Examples of 2-Card Email Readings – with feedback

Two-card readings are a nice way to get your feet wet as a tarot newbie, and a quick check-in for anyone who wants some outside input.

These are 2-card readings for querents who were willing to let them be shared on the blog, and the responses of those who agreed to let their comments be public.


For E.A. of Keller, TX.

Child of Create and reversed five fo think
Cards from Hip Chick Tarot

The Child of Create and Five of Think (reversed) in this deck are analogous to the Page of Wands and the 5 of swords (reversed). This pair of cards feels like a sweet complement or affirmation for you, E. It suggests you’re using your creativity and enthusiasms to interrupt conflict and work toward cooperative solutions that will benefit more than just one person. Well done!

From E.A.

[The reading] made me feel glowy. I definitely connected with the words and interpretation. I train and the reading directly relates to not only my job but things going on with family! As an overall holistic reading, I felt very connected. Using creativity to overcome conflict defines my life!


For A.J. in Whitehall, PA

Reversed 5 of Cups and The Tower
Cards from the Luna Sol Tarot

Your cards speak to a rough season. It looks like you’ve been pressing down some grief to manage the upheaval around you. If I can suggest it, I think the reversed 5 of cups is an invitation to honor the reality of what you’ve lost, and let yourself grieve. The Tower is something we can’t control, and we hope will come around to our ultimate good, but that is usually later.

The Now is where we are, and tears are for you. They also are only for a time – they do have an end – and so often they can help as we look for a way forward.


For E.W. in Bristol, UK

Reversed 7 of wands and reversed page of pentacles
Cards from the This Might Hurt Tarot

In your cards I see you in a bit of survival mode. You are managing your tension – perhaps feeling the world against you, or your own spoiling for a fight – it’s tough but you’re managing it. This takes a lot of energy, and I get the impression that as a result you’re not able to put the focus you’d like into your own studies.

I’ve always seen the page of pentacles as the student of the beginner’s mind. The diligent consistency to pursue learning. And it probably disappoints you how hard it is to study right now. The way I see it you have two options: Cut yourself some slack (always fair in these situations), and/or let yourself work on a different level.

For example if you’ve been studiously working in order through a text, let yourself “graze” and take in the best bits so you can continue to nourish that part of yourself that misses learning.

[Of course, this assumes these are self-paced studies and you have that option. My heart goes out the enrolled students fighting to reach targets at this time. <3]


For M.H. in New York, NY

Cards from Tarot of the Sweet Twilight

You asked about the energy around a job search, and if you like numerology I think you’ll enjoy seeing that both your cards are 8s – a number about personal power.

Short answer, these cards reflect very good energy for a job search (yours or someone else’s), with wands-8 (speed, intensity), and pentacles-8 (steadiness, perseverance) coming together.

If you’re interested in some advice, this reading seems like an invitation to stick with your strengths. Do what you know you’re good at, what you’ve mastered and will WOW your employers. That not being an option, go where you will be allowed/have time to learn. Impatience (on their part or yours) or not being able to perform (especially in unjust circumstances) could hurt you in the long run.

From M.H.

{First impression:} A little startled by the cards and due to the dark colors preparing myself for an answer that I didn’t want to hear and then quite happy to have the reading be very positive about my question. I was also happy with how much information you were able to tell me with two cards.

Your interpretation was clear and concise. You spoke about the cards individually and together. You also gave a summary and then more detail, which I thought was great. Even better was getting an answer to a question that I hadn’t specifically asked (I had been thinking about moving into an adjacent field and now I know that the timing for that isn’t quite right.)

The level of detail, the numerology, the advice were all spot on. I also really liked how you formatted your answer (short summary with individual card meanings and then together, followed by a longer more nuanced interpretation). I really appreciated the part about sticking to my field as I had been seriously thinking about applying for jobs in an adjacent field. I think, especially now, that is very good advice.

For C in Seattle, WA

C wrote:

During COVID-19 stay-at-home, I’ve begun reflecting on and trying to grow, deepen, and clarify my emotional life. How can I best go about this process? What guidance does the Tarot offer me? I’m interested in guidance about areas to spend time with and pay attention, guides for the process, or strengths/skills to draw on.

KIng of swords and reversed 2 of cups
Cards from The Light Seer’s Tarot

I wondered if we’d get an answer to the whole of that out of two cards, but this is a good example of asking for what is important to you, because I think you got it.

The king of swords suggests fully engaging your mind in your emotional life. There are excellent books about emotions (The Language of Emotions by Karla McLaren, How Emotions are Made by Lisa Feldman Barrett, The Feeling of What Happens by Antonio Damasio) that will demand work from your mind and the ability to organize your thoughts while processing competing possibilities.

I’d suggest starting with just the first title if you don’t have energy for the “competing” part.

The reversed 2 of cups suggests you keep this exploration close to home – yourself and your closest relationships right now. The reversal suggests an imbalance or perhaps just a “look here” that is an invitation to your attention. Regarding an available skill, I think that is the king of swords as well. Let your inner leader bolster you and give you confidence to pursue what you value.

From C.

I felt very seen — the cards were eerily specific, and Wren’s explanation of their significance succinctly honed in on key ideas for me to think about.

I gasped! I don’t know how you did it, but the deck you chose to do my reading with was perfect! I’ve been admiring Light Seers for a long time. That you recommended books for me was exactly right! I’ve already checked out one of the three as an ebook from my library–thank you, and the gentle suggestion of where to start (‘close to home’) is a welcome one.

Your explanation of the reversal as either a place of imbalance or at least a place to start resonated–this is a tender place and I appreciated how carefully you worded this suggestion.

Feedback on the Panda Reading

Feedback on the Panda Reading

The difference between tarot and storytelling is that tarot is done for or with a person who is seeking meaning out of the cards we’re reading.

When we’re telling stories it doesn’t matter how things connect or play out for a specific someone else, because we’re laying out a sequence of events and making meaning within a closed system.

Tarot seeks to either bring the querent (the person the reading is for) into that system, or to align the reading with the querent to add meaning to their situation.

How do we know if we found meaning – some connection to real life?

We ask questions, of ourselves (as readers) and of the querent(s).

In person – with a live reading face-to-face or via phone or video call – this sort of feedback is very natural and organic. I ask, “Does that resonate?” and the querent will let me know if that angle on the cards lines up with their situation.

Email or other distance readings (where the reader and querent are not face-to-face) cannot hold the same immediacy, but can still have value.

As I’ve expanded my practice into written readings, I ask follow-up questions of those I read for. I encourage anyone who reads for others to consider how questions such as these can both enrich your services, and provide confirmation of your instincts – which is a tremendous confidence-boost and can help a reader remember they’re not just shooting words into the void, they are touching lives. Read more

What Does an Email Tarot Reading Look Like?

In the year+ I’ve been in business, the majority of people I’ve read tarot for have been first-timers and/or afraid of tarot.

On one level I feel incredibly privileged by this, because it means that I have the chance to educate, inform, and just plain share my delight in tarot to neutralize negative stereotypes.

The only drawback is that this full-newness often means querents (the askers) don’t always know what they’re looking for, or what tarot can offer.

So, interspersed with the card-explorations I’m (slowly) posting, I’ll also use opportunities like today’s to share (with permission) a recent reading I did for a real-life querent.


I connected with Beth (not her real name) on Facebook, and she described her situation:

I am feeling very called to do – something. I read tarot, I’m a Reiki Master and clairvoyant healer, I use my pendulum, I work with earth spirits, I’m studying herbalism and permaculture and many other things. I love is so much and I’m happy in it. The problem is, the energy around learning all this feels frantic almost, like I HAVE to be the keeper of this knowledge.

As a tarot reader, Beth knows the value of a clearly stated question, and here’s what she offered for me to work with:

What’s the energy around why I’m being called so strongly to these intuitive and healer pathways now? How much is this just part of my personal journey or is there a bigger purpose at stake – something beyond me?

Read more

Images and links for the Untangling Tarot interview on Poema podcast

Images and links for the Untangling Tarot interview on Poema podcast

Hi everyone, my first podcast interview went live today.

Because I name-drop, and because tarot is so visually intensive, I wanted to offer this post as a sort of “listener’s guide” for people who want to explore further the specifics I reference in our conversation.

You can find the Poema Podcast (hosted by James Prescott) pretty much anywhere you get your podcast, but here’s one link: Season 6, ep. 7.

Read more

Major Arcana – the fifth suit

The Fool from Tarot of the Magical Forest

These are the archetypal and original storytelling cards of the tarot.

The oldest majors have people (or humanoid) forms, even if the rest of the deck – the minors – look like the playing cards they correlate to (a repetition of the number of items listed on the card).

These 22 cards, numbered 0-21, are among the most iconic images of the tarot, including the Fool, the Magician, the Devil, the Tower and the Moon.

The Major Arcana (majors) are to the Minor Arcana (minors) as a lion is to a lynx. They both hold power, but the former are bigger and have more (cultural, story-based) associations. particularly in the Western world (starting in Europe) where they were developed.

Side note (credit to The Queer Witch Podcast where this math was first pointed out for me): Our “modern” deck did not devolve from the tarot – losing a face card and the majors along the way. A couple easily accessible sources point out where playing cards entered the historical record, and it was long before the tarot.

It’s one useful reason to call the majors the 5th suit, because its a reminder of the order.

Also, considering the early tarot examples are all European, and cards were imported before that could happen… It was an example of my own short-sightedness that I rolled with the first stories I heard about tarot coming first.

~ ~ ~

The majors, like the minors, are usually taught in a specific order: 0-21. Read more

Reading Reversed Cards

I love reversals. People who don’t use them insist that all the possible meanings are in a card, upright or not, but that’s a huge load to make a card (or reader) carry.

By including reversals, I only have to see half of that stuff at a time.

From the Monstarot deck

Reversals have been read a number of ways:

  1. Something opposite the core meaning
  2. The worst version of the card topic
  3. a smaller or specific aspect of the card
  4. intensifying the core meaning
  5. in protection aspect (kind warning)
  6. delay or resistance to the topic/essence
  7. fear related to the topic of the card, or placement in the spread.
  8. Not at all (every reader chooses for themselves, and have all of these element still available to them).

There are more, of course, but these are the ones I’ve run into personally.

How do you know which one it is? Read more