This is Literally Going to Hurt


There were many times when I believed that the Tarot just could not be read literally and there have been many times when I was proven wrong. If literal answers are needed, it does help to have a specific question in mind but the cards can still be deadly accurate, even if a question has not been formulated at all.


5pm yesterday with no question in particular, I was just taking a look at three cards, thinking mildly that they could perhaps tell me about the rest of my day but not coming to any conclusions immediately. I refused to believe however, that the three dark cards lying in front of me equated pain. No, not now – I am not in any pain, this cannot be right. It must be a metaphor for something, but what? I willed myself to look more closely (and literally) at the cards, one after the other.

I saw a LOT of ‘something bad’ in a web woven together with wingèd skulls in the frame, like being fenced in, then I saw the interconnecting pain dissipating with one sword precisely hitting a multi-faceted orb, then I saw four swords cutting a flower stem. By the time I had understood what the cards had to say, I was putting them back in their box.


9pm yesterday and I was in bed with terrible pain all over; it came on very suddenly and kept on and on until it had become focused as a sharp stabbing in my skull, specifically behind both eyes. There was no explanation for this, other than I was coming out of a particularly heavy bout of coffee drinking. By 11pm, I had taken a painkiller, which managed to stem the pain twenty minutes later.

I went back to look at the three cards, which were still on top of the pack inside the box, not quite believing what I had just witnessed. Even though sometimes we refuse to open ourselves up to it, the Tarot can be deceptively literal and dangerously accurate. The secret, I am coming to realise the more I work with them, is to let ourselves believe in it.