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What Do You Do When a Card Doesn’t Make Sense?

July 15, 2017 2 Comments

When I give talks or teach workshops on working with cards, I like to take the participants through some exercises, as ways to create experiences that could help them when they work with the cards after they leave, in their personal practices.

And sometimes, there are moments when a person in the group expresses having difficulty connecting with a card, because it doesn’t seem to make any “sense.”

I can relate to such moments. Not so much with Tarot, but more with Angel cards, as I seemed to experience those “this card doesn’t make sense” moments when I was going through the Certified Angel Card Reader™ course.

So I thought I’d share an experience I had with a particular card that helped me through the “this card doesn’t make sense” moment, in the hopes it can help you when you have such a moment in your work with your card decks.

The Card That Didn’t Make Sense

As I shared in the past, one of the things I do to connect with a deck is to spend time with it by pulling one to three cards daily.

During a period when I was spending time connecting with the Daily Guidance from Your Angels Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue (and published by Hay House), I pulled Wedding as my card for the day.

Holding the card in my hand, I said, “Wedding?!?”

Instant disconnect.

I have no intention or desire to be married, so the literal aspects of the card (the image of a bride, as well as the words, “Your wedding day is a testament to your well-founded faith in love’s power.”) didn’t relate to me in any way.

So, I set the card aside, as I would normally, leaving it out to see how it might connect to my day.

I went outside to mow the front lawn, and while doing so, I had a breakthrough with the card, one that I would share in talks afterward.

Say What You See

As I was mowing the lawn, I suddenly had the Wedding card flash into my mind, along with the intuitive prompt to “say what you see,” which is a technique I’ve used in my study and work with Tarot.

Staying in the moment, I left the task of mowing to go inside and sit with the card.

With journal out and pen in hand, I wrote down what I saw: “There’s an angel, with purple wings, wearing a white bridal gown and veil, holding a bouquet of flowers. She appears to be walking through an archway that looks like a wreath decorated with more flowers.”

Personal Association: What Does It Mean to You?

After writing down what I saw in the card’s image, I realized it was like recording a dream.

Dreams are narratives that are filled with visual symbolism, so I was feeling inclined to consider the imagery being like dream symbols.

And when I work with clients helping them get to the message of their dreams, a technique I use is personal association.

For each symbol in the dream, I ask the dreamer, “What does this symbol mean to you?” The intention is for the dreamer to share the first thing that comes to mind, and to use that personal meaning as a way to unlock the message of the dream.

So, with the Wedding card, I had the following symbols: angel, bride, gown, veil, white, flowers, archway, wreath, purple, wedding.

And asking myself what each one meant to me, I came up with the following:

  • angel – messenger of God; divine thought/idea
  • bride – female aspect of self; “always a bridesmaid, never a bride”; bride of Christ
  • gown – formal attire; as clothing, can suggest an attitude or role (“clothes make the woman”)
  • veil – “seeing beyond the veil,” which can imply seeing beyond the physical/material, getting a glimpse of the mystery of the spiritual; something being “veiled” implies something hidden
  • white – purity; enlightenment
  • flowers – an “arrangement” being made (playing on the bouquet aspect)
  • archway – threshold; signifies a transition/transitional phase or stage
  • wreath – victory, triumph, success; celebrating an accomplishment
  • purple – spiritual leadership; crown chakra
  • wedding – a ceremony where two parties make vows, promises, pledges, and oaths, publicly acknowledging the expressed intention of honoring their commitment to one another; moving from being fiancés to becoming spouses (a change in relationship status); making a commitment official (ceremony being officiated)

Putting It All Together

After saying what I saw and working with those symbols using personal association, I was really struck by what I came up with when I got to the word wedding.

So, for me, the Wedding card became a message (angel being a messenger) to honor any commitments I’ve made to others (keeping my promises).

Another message with this card is that a transition is being made successfully (angel bride walking under a wreath-like archway).

With a wedding being a ceremony in which the parties involved officially take on a new role (becoming a husband or wife), this card can indicate a change (transition) taking place in which a new role is adopted, and it becomes official.

And finally, Wedding can suggest a time for me to “join together” aspects of myself (my feminine and masculine energies), allowing such an integration (union) to bring me to a state of wholeness.

So, I went from an instant disconnect with a card that, on the surface, didn’t make any “sense” because I couldn’t relate to it, to coming up with meanings I could relate to.

Over to You

I hope my sharing this experience might be helpful to you the next time you turn over a card and feel it doesn’t make “sense” to you in the moment.

What was your greatest takeaway here? Which technique (say what you see, personal association) resonated with you, and that you’d be willing to try?

And, if you do, circle back and let me know how it worked for you. I’d love to hear all about it.

About the Author:

I am passionate about dreams, Tarot, Reiki, personal growth & development, and self-improvement. I work with people, helping them understand the messages of their dreams, as well as read the Tarot professionally.
All the work I do has the same common thread: to get people to become more self-aware, so they can improve themselves and live their best lives. My favorite quote is by Socrates: “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Comments (2)

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  1. Merilynn says:

    I’ll be using the “Say what you see” method, in my attempt to begin learning the Tarot! Thanks, James! 🙂

    • James says:

      Thanks so much for checking out the post, Merilynn! I’m super excited to hear that you’ll give “say what you see” a try with Tarot! I’m biased, but I think it works wonders with Tarot! 😉

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