Tarot is a language of images, symbols and archetypes. Often, in a tarot reading, the cards speak clearly of the situation at hand. In a positioned tarot spread, each card in each position is easily relatable and understood.
Sometimes it happens that a typical interpretation for a card in a particular position (or in answer to a particular question) just doesn’t make sense. I call these “oddball cards.”
This happened to me in a reading recently. In my eleven-card Celtic Cross spread, the card in the crossing position represents the biggest challenge. In this particular reading, the card in that position was the Two of Cups.
Typically, the Two of Cups in the crossing position would indicate a problem within a current relationship, or a current problem regarding matters of love and romance. However, in this client’s life, there were two significant factors standing in the way of this rote interpretation.
First, the client was in a good relationship. Second, going in to the reading knew that the client’s biggest concern was an undiagnosed health issue.
Typically, when a card in a larger spread doesn’t makes sense, it’s easy to gloss over it and focus on the cards that do make sense. There are many times when it’s better to take time to dig deeply into these “oddball cards”.
I invited the client to process the card with me. I told her the usual interpretations, and she agreed that her relationship was better than ever, and her biggest worry was her health. She also felt, as I did, that this card represented something vital about her health situation.
I was using my trusty Waite-Smith deck, and so the caduceus caught my eye. Today, we associate the Rod of Hermes with medicine. Since the Two of Cups is a card of partnership (usually romantic), I began to understand that the partnership that was her biggest challenge was with medicine, that is, her health care professionals!
Digging deeper as I looked at the surrounding cards, I saw another partnership that was affecting her health; her ability to be a good partner to herself.
The gift, and challenge, of her illness was this. She had to learn to stand up for herself, honor her needs, and advocate for herself with her health care professionals. She had been lacking in self-care for years. She had never been good at getting her needs met. This illness was her opportunity to change that.
The next time you get an oddball card, take the time to dip deeply, and find the profound truth within it. No matter how strange the card may seem, the truth is always in there somewhere.