I have a method I use for dream interpretation with tarot. This method has been very helpful and successful over the years. My method relies on the theory that “dream dictionary” interpretations have limited value because of the cultural and experiential differences between us. Yes, archetypes are real. However, the idea that a specific item appearing in a dream would mean the same thing to each and every person makes as much sense as believing that a tarot card would mean the same thing in each and every reading. It just doesn’t work that way.
I had been wanting to share this technique for a while. The thing is, it’s a hard technique to teach without a clear example. Luckily, I just had a request from a friend for help figuring out a weird dream she had. She has agreed to let me share the dream, and my interpretation, with you.
My friend is a Florida-based tarot reader. I have shared the dream in her words, with her permission.
I hope that the next time you have an interesting dream to interpret you might try this technique. If you do, please let me know how it goes!
The dream takes place in a residential community that I have never seen but was my home in the dream. The dream has three parts.
In the first part, I receive a visit from an acquaintance whom I know, in real life, to have recently died. She and I were friendly acquaintances in life. She came to my tarot classes and we served together on an advisory board of a community in which with both lived. I assume the setting of the dream is inspired by that fact.
In real life, I had just seen on social media that this person (I will call her Mary) had passed away. While I had not seen or communicated with her in almost ten years, I was, in real life, saddened by the news of her death.
In the dream, Mary comes to visit me at my home. She is driving a golf cart, as I remember her doing in life. She is using oxygen, as she did toward the end of her life.
I tell her I am glad to see her but am surprised because she is dead. She tells me that she did die but is coming back for a little while. She is weak, so I have to help her up the steps. I am surprised by how little she weighs.
In the next section of the dream, she is stronger, and not using the oxygen tank any longer. We are sitting outside together, and there is a large black fuzzy spider, about the size of my hand. In real life, I don’t like spiders. This is also true in the dream. Yet, in real life and in the dream, I try to be kind to spiders and recognize their value. I tell Mary that it is a huntsman spider and is harmless to us.
Then, I see something on Mary’s face, and realize it is the body of the spider. I see that the spider has removed its own legs and tied them in a bundle. I flick the spider’s body off Mary’s face, and it begins to reattach its legs. It seems to psychically tell me that this is a normal thing for this type of spider to do. I tell Mary that, and she does not seem alarmed.
Then, a few minutes later, I realize that the spider has taken its legs off again, and its body is attached to my face. Its body is oddly metallic and square, although it didn’t look that way when its legs were attached.
I flick it off my face, it reattaches its legs and scuttles away.
Throughout this ordeal I am surprisingly calm, even though I am aware that I don’t like spiders and that this spider is behaving oddly.
In the third part of the dream I am to give tarot readings at an event at this same community. Mary seems to be fully recovered and is interacting with people in a normal way. It seems to be common knowledge that she was dead and is now alive.
I am on an open porch, setting up my tarot table. As I take my cards out of their pouch, I see the cards are all mixed up with a bunch of empty clothes hangers. This upsets me a great deal.
Once I am set up to read, some folks come to talk to me, but they don’t react to me in a normal way. No one wants a reading, and no one has much interest in what I am doing.
People are sitting at picnic tables, so I take my cards and try to strike up conversations with people at the tables. It turns out that they all have tarot decks, too. Yet, they have no interest in speaking with me about tarot. They have no interest in their own tarot decks.
That’s where the dream ended.
It seems significant to mention that Mary died of chronic lung issues, unrelated to coronavirus. Yet, I had this dream during our current quarantine, at a time that I was particularly worried about the coronavirus and the effects it might have. My sense is that this dream is related to my fears about the pandemic.
The Dream Interpretation Reading
My technique involves pulling a card, or a few cards, for each aspect of the dream in order to understand what the symbols in the dream mean to the dreamer. I also pull some cards to ascertain the importance of the dream. After all, some dreams are highly significant, others are more mundane. Some dreams are prophetic, or healing, or problem-solving, Other dreams are direct communication from those in spirit. Other dreams are simply the product of stress, or of the food we ate before bed.
Overall, what is the nature of this dream?
Six of Cups reversed.
To me, that suggests that the dream is based primarily on the dreamer’s upset at her friend’s passing. Given that her friend was a tarot student and they lived together in the same community, and the dream is based in a similar community, this makes a lot of sense. The Six of Cups can also refer to the dreamer’s concern about the coronavirus; wondering when and if things will return to normal.
Is there any deeper spiritual meaning to be derived from this dream?
Page of Pentacles
This dream is probably more a product of current anxieties and worries. Yet, there could be practical, helpful things to be learned from the dream.
What is the significance of Mary’s return from the dead, and increasing health throughout the dream?
Eight of Wands
Things are moving very quickly in the dreamer’s world, and, though times feel uncertain, good things could be coming at any moment, and more swiftly than expected.
What is the significance of the odd spider in the dream?
Ten of Swords reversed
The spider is creepy, but easily overcome. We can interpret this to say that the dreamer’s real-life anxieties can also be overcome. The spider, like the coronavirus, is unlike anything the dreamer has seen before. Yet, in the end, it goes away.
What is the significance of the spider removing its legs?
Six of Pentacles
We can do amazing things to receive and give help when we need to. We can ‘remove the legs’ of scary things to give them less power. We can remove scary things that try to attach themselves to us.
Why is the spider’s body metallic?
Queen of Swords
This may have to do with technology. The dreamer told me that she is using a lot of new technology during quarantine. She is unsure of her abilities to use it well, so this also causes a bit of anxiety.
What is the significance of the clothes hangers mixed in with the tarot cards?
Seven of Cups
Our dreamer is allowing anxiety to create confusion and dark imaginings that are clouding her spiritual focus and intuitive flow.
What is the significance of the fact that the attendees all had tarot decks?
Our dreamer worries that her knowledge and skill might lose its helpfulness during this crisis.
What is the significance of the fact that the attendees had no interest in readings?
Four of Cups
Similarly, our dreamer worries that, in the face of illness and death, her spiritual skills and knowledge might not be equal to their task.
The dreamer is entirely correct in her belief that this dream is inspired by her fears regarding our current crisis. The important message comes from the return of her friend from the dead, and the departure of the spider.
It is normal to worry about the current pandemic and to wonder if one is capable of managing such a crisis and surviving it. Yet, in this dream we see life conquering death. And we see miraculous occurrences, and we see scary things going away.
Our dreamer must acknowledge her spiritual power, and her power to withstand the challenges of these difficult times. She must be strong in her knowledge of her tools and her ability to use them. Our dreamer must have faith that these scary times will go away, just as the spider did.
That the Eight of Wands presented, and that a spider has eight legs, suggests that things may be back to normal in the eighth month, which is August, or perhaps even sooner, in eight weeks.