What card reading has to do with therapy – The story of Romina
15. July 2023

Card reading backwards: how to better understand what is really behind card reading

I love cards. I am incredibly fond of tarot cards, Lenormand cards or other oracle cards. I don't know what it is that fascinates me about it, but I feel this urge and love for the cards. For many years I resisted it a bit, or dismissed it as a silly gimmick. Because there was always this part of me (that is still there) that has the usual attitude towards these things: This is all nonsense. Look at the people who offer card reading - that can only be unserious, or in the best case just totally stupid. Fortune telling does not exist. Forget that crap.

In addition, I am not only engaged in things like card reading and astrology.
But at the same time, I have a very science-oriented part of me that also has a soft spot for modern technology and science fiction. So not necessarily what one imagines under a "card reader".

But the longer I study the cards, the more often the things I read from the cards come true so exactly that it is sometimes scary. That's why I never managed to just put the cards aside and put the whole thing to rest as a "spun phase" of mine.

But despite all the enthusiasm, it also happens again and again that I either simply do not understand the cards, or that my interpretations and predictions are simply wrong. And then, of course, that nasty little voice I mentioned before has the upper hand again and screeches louder than ever, "See! I'm right again! It's all lies! Everything deception!".

But it's as if the cards are very good, old friends of mine that I really enjoy being with and just don't want to leave hanging - even when they sometimes annoy or disappoint me.
That's why I keep going.
Use the cards for myself privately.
Use the cards in consultations.
Educate myself further. Visit webinars. Chat about it on internet forums. Read books.

And in one of the many books I found a great exercise a long time ago that opened my eyes. Because if we put it a little pathetically, the art of card reading is, after all, a method by which we can contact and communicate with the universe, the spiritual world and/or the collective unconscious. Maybe we are just talking to ourselves - but no matter how you look at it, it is communication with someone or something.

But you also have to realize that our counterpart, i.e. our "interlocutor", has a damn tough job here!
Because it is not easy to answer with only 36 Lenormand cards (or 78 Tarot cards) all the - often very clumsily asked - questions we have so.
Whether we want to know if we will get the job we applied for, if we will have good weather on our vacation or if our partner has another. We usually expect to get a clear and unambiguous answer from the cards.
But this exercise shows: it's not always that easy.

You can also do this exercise yourself if you know at least the standard meanings of the Lenormand or Tarot cards.
The exercise goes like this: Pick out a few catchy headlines from your daily newspaper, a magazine, or the Internet. And then try to express this headline with the help of 3 or 5 Lenormand cards (or Tarot cards). And consider whether you would have come up with this interpretation the other way around.
I do this regularly all the time.
And let me tell you, it's darn complicated. At least sometimes.
I don't know of any exercise that is better for engaging with the cards, learning new things about the cards, and remembering how difficult what we ask of the cards sometimes is.

For example, I recently took the following headline: "Continuous rain causes problems at open-air cinema".
For this I have chosen three Lenormand cards: Clouds, Garden and Mountain.
The card "clouds" usually stands for things like uncertainty, confusion, bad outlook and yes - also literally for bad weather.
The "Garden" card represents publicity, networking, meeting other people, parties, celebrations, events - so I thought this card was also appropriate for something like an open-air movie theater.
And finally, the "mountain" which classically stands for problems, obstacles and blockages - which fits excellently here.
That was relatively easy and I was quite pleased with myself.
If these cards had come up in a reading, my interpretation would probably have been pretty apt.

But the next headline was more difficult: "5 people missing after storm".
Again, my first card was "clouds" because of the bad weather.
But already the second map was tricky. Because there is actually no card for "multiple people". There are person cards, but they always stand for a specific person. And there is "garden", which stands for meetings of several people - but actually not just several people. Nevertheless, I chose "garden" again.
And finally, the word "missing" - how to express it? Maybe with "book"? Because the book, in addition to information and knowledge, can also stand for secrets. Or the card "Fox"? Because the fox stands for deceit, theft, or things that are not as they seem. Or the "mice"? Which stand for theft, reduction or forfeiture?
Then maybe actually the mice, because something here is no longer there, what should be there.
So then we would be at clouds - garden - mice.
But if it had been interpreted, would I have actually translated that as "5 people are missing after severe weather?"
I think not.
Perhaps something like "difficulties at a meeting leading to decay and illness" would have come out. Or "A lousy party where everyone gets sick afterwards".

Not so easy, is it? After all, it would have become clear that something was not going well and that it probably affected several people. And if the question had been well posed, it would probably have resulted in at least a halfway accurate interpretation.
This exercise has opened my eyes. This made several things clear to me at once.

On the one hand, I understood that the cards are a tool, but just not a perfect one. Even if all the answers are there - some things are difficult to communicate with the cards.

I now understand better why all experienced (and serious) teachers and authors in this field keep emphasizing how fundamentally important practice and experience are in this. Because it is simply not enough to memorize the standard meanings. Only through constant practice and experience can you eventually learn that the garden can also stand for an open-air cinema and that the mice can also symbolize missing people. At least for me.

Because that's the next thing I understood through it: The cards themselves have no meaning. They are simply a piece of cardboard with a picture on it. And the standard meanings were just set by someone at some point. So that the whole thing has a certain structure. I can adopt these basic meanings - but I don't have to. What is important is what the particular card means to ME. And if mice for me just can also mean that something or someone is missing. Then that's the way it is. But the universe (or whoever we communicate with when we read the cards), as well as myself, must know that the card "Mice" can have this meaning for me.
And that's exactly why practicing is so incredibly important.

This exercise also made it clearer to me why it is so crucial to formulate clear and unambiguous questions that can be answered meaningfully with the help of the cards in the first place!

And finally, I now see more clearly that intuition, as well as empathy, are at least as important in card reading as the cards themselves. In fact, anyone can learn card reading to some degree. At least the basic meanings of the cards and how to lay them out.
But how accurate the interpretations are, that is another question. Card reading is not something you can learn exclusively from books.
Books are a start.
But then you have to practice. Over and over again. Preferably every day.
Similar to a musician who has to practice over and over again to be really good.

And you can only do that if you really like the cards and working with the cards.
This condition definitely applies to me. 😊