Reading: Developing your intuition — Open Heart Tarot

A new series where we share actual personal readings done for ourselves or clients (with permission!) that crack our hearts and souls open so that we can dive deep to understand the context, the cards and the story they reveal.

Deck: Smith-Waite Centennial

Question: I’m looking for guidance on whether or not I’m on the right path for developing my intuition.

The spread

Card 1: Where am I coming from in terms of my path to developing my intuition?
Card 2: Where am I now on my path to developing my intuition?
Card 3: What is my path from here to developing my intuition?
Card 4: What is or what might be a hindrance on my path to developing my intuition?
Card 5: What is or what might be a help on my path to developing my intuition?

Use the arrows to scroll through the five cards drawn and then read on for the story they tell.

Card 1: The Lovers (VI) (reversed)
Card 2: Five of Wands (reversed)
Card 3: Eight of Wands
Card 4: King of Swords (reversed)
Card 5: Three of Pentacles (reversed)

A note about reversed cards
Since there are a number of reversed cards here, I’ll share some information about reversed cards that I’ve found very helpful and empowering. I have adapted this from the guidance of Brigit Esselmont of Biddy Tarot in her stellar book, The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings. As always, the meanings of cards must be considered based on the specific question and the overall context within the broader story the cards in the spread tell. Here are some things reversed cards my indicate:

  • Internalized energy: Energy that is held within ourselves; it may be more private or even secretive, or is simply latent, waiting to be released and directed into action.
  • Too much or too little energy: An energy imbalance. In the case of confidence, for example, it could indicate a lack of confidence or overconfidence.
  • Blocked energy: Rather than merely being internalized, energy is blocked by something on the part of the querent or something or someone in their life. When this comes up in the cards, it is time to do some sleuthing to try to learn what is blocking the energy.
  • Upside-down imagery: This is exactly what it sounds like. When we flip a card over, we see a different image. Think of the classic optical illusion where one way there is a young woman. When the drawing is flipped top to bottom, however, we then see in the exact same image an elderly woman. With reversed cards, it can be helpful to do a visual assessment and let our intuition lead in terms of what what we see and what this other image might be trying to tell us.

The overall story

As always, it is critically important to look for the overall, cohesive story of all the cards in the reading, rather than focusing on each card on its own. The querent, the guide (reader), the question, the spread (card layout), the time and the current circumstances are all at play, along with other factors. In my opinion, this cohesive story in context is where the real power and insights come in.

The story I see here is that there is potentially impactful disharmony with one or more others who have a significant presence in your life that, above all, results in energetic conflict—which can drown out the ambient energy and intuitive messages that are surely there already. Whether a direct result of this discord with others or not, there seems to also be an opportunity (as is true for so many of us!) to increase your focus and commitment to being your own best friend—as in the friend who loves you, has your back no matter what and is willing to give you the hard truths out of love. This is the time to love yourself, trust yourself and be good to yourself. Cultivate a rich sense of your own unique power and value in the universe.

A key part of this process will be grappling with the need to stand up for yourself, set healthy boundaries and be willing to take decisive action when those boundaries are crossed. This is the time to trust your heart, mind and soul and take inventory of your passions and your values so that you can stand firm in them as these are what will guide you on your path to develop your intuition and be in a healthy place to let this serve you and others.

With the clarity all this work brings will come a brightly-lit path toward developing your intuition. Your spiritual GPS will have a strong, unobstructed signal to work with and your newfound appreciation for your own tremendous power and value will allow you to make progress in your intuitive development work at a pace you wouldn’t have imagined possible. The key is to maintain a sense of focus, humility and peace, looking out for the healthy boundaries you have established in order keep your path forward clear. This doesn’t require you to be a loud, overbearing tyrant; far from it. You have a quiet power that, frankly, this world needs more of. You can lead with love—always starting with yourself—and a fierce, humble compassion, while still being relentlessly dedicated to your values, your truths and your goals and personal commitments in life.

It may very well be that this journey toward tuning in to and developing your intuition is one that you need to undertake solo for the most part—at least in the near term as you look critically at those with a significant presence and impact on your life, the energy they bring, their effect on your ability to love and trust yourself and so forth. Don’t be afraid to spend more time alone than you’re used to or perhaps even comfortable with at first: this may be standing in front of the mirror, looking yourself in the eyes. Sitting with yourself in deeply-reflective meditation. Luxuriating a little longer in a rejuvenating bath, free of distractions. A solo trip to the ocean. Do what feeds your soul and in a way that lets you focus on you as you learn to listen to and trust what the universe, your heart and your soul are telling you about your unique role and place at this time and the critically important work you are here to do, for yourself and others.

Card by card: The building blocks

Card 1: The Lovers (VI) (reversed)

Question: Where am I coming from in terms of my path to developing my intuition?

Major Arcana: The 22 cards of the Major Arcana are a series of archetypes that represent the events within a cycle of life, often referred to as The Fool’s Journey. A Major Arcana card typically refers to a major life theme or event.
Keywords for The Lovers reversed: self-love, disharmony, imbalance, misalignment of values

The Lovers reversed can point to a state of being out of sync with others—particularly partners, family and other loved ones. Perhaps you can’t seem to get on the same page or there is a mismatch in values. If this is a friend or partner, this cards calls for reckoning with yourself on whether or not you truly want this person in your life. The Lovers reversed can also show up when feelings between two people are out of balance, where one is simply not as invested or enamored as the other.

The Lovers reversed can also call us to examine our relationship with our self in terms of self-love and respect. Do you honor yourself? Do you truly see your inherent worth and the unique value you bring to the world and those around you? Perhaps you have been feeling envious of others, wishing you could be more like them. You see these things you admire because they are within you, as well. The Lovers reversed invites you to see, embrace and cultivate these things within yourself and your life if they are truly what you value and admire.

Card 2: Five of Wands (reversed)

Question: Where am I now on my path to developing my intuition?

Wands: The suit of Wands is ruled by Fire and represents energy, passion and motivation. It often arrives in a reading about spirituality, new ideas and life purpose.
Five: Fives, in numerology and the Tarot, are associated with conflict, instability and change.
Keywords for the Five of Wands reversed: conflict avoidance, inner conflict, release of tension

The Five of Wands reversed indicates possible internal conflict and a lack of a firm stance on important issues, which could be social or political issues, or more personal issues around what to do in regard to a relationship or job you’re struggling with. It calls on us to do the work to align our head with our heart and take necessary action toward achieving inner peace.

The Five of Wands also shows up when we are avoiding conflict, especially if this is an ongoing pattern. Not all conflict is bad and it can be necessary for progress, even if unpleasant or difficult in the moment. The Five of Wands invites us to see conflict avoidance as compromise and to trust our hearts and our instincts and follow that in doing the work that will guide us out of situations that are hindering our progress.

Card 3: Eight of Wands

Question: What is my path from here to developing my intuition?

Wands: The suit of Wands is ruled by Fire and represents energy, passion and motivation. It often arrives in a reading about spirituality, new ideas and life purpose.
Eight: Eights, in numerology and the Tarot, represent accomplishment, action and mastery.
Keywords for the Eight of Wands: action, movement, rapid change, alignment, potential air travel

The Eight of Wands is all about energy and movement, with the promise that there is a clear path ahead for you to reach your goals more quickly than you might have imagined. It often signals a period where you will be very busy, but it will be with energy and excitement as you see your progress and know it is taking you toward a clear goal.

The Eight of Wands asks us to make the most of the energy and encouragement it brings toward moving rapidly toward our dreams and goals. Face fears head on and move past them. Find your flow and trust your place in the Universe and the work you need to do. This calls for determination, alignment and great focus with both your intentions and actions. In the process, try to complete each task before moving on to the next so you can avoid backtracking and rework.

Specifically in regard to spirituality, the Eight of Wands can signal or even seem to bring about a sudden opening of oneself to a new level of understanding and spiritual expansion, perhaps even in the form of a breakthrough moment where your spiritual path is illuminated and newly clear to you. In the context of the energy of the Eight of Wands, this is your opportunity to take immediate action and achieve the life transformation you desire.


Card 4: King of Swords (reversed)

Question: What is or what might be a hindrance on my path to developing my intuition?

Swords: The suit of Swords is ruled by Air and represents thoughts, words and actions. Swords often show up in readings related to making decisions, asserting your power and communicating ideas.
Kings: The Kings in the Tarot are self-assured, generous, strong, meditative and tend to be more extroverted and action-oriented than the Queens, who otherwise share similar traits.
Keywords for the King of Swords reversed: inner truth, quiet power, misuse of power, manipulation

The King of Swords reversed may arrive to remind you of the quiet power you hold. You may not be loud or inclined to stand behind a podium and take control of a room, but the King of Swords reversed is here to remind you that you have a great deal to contribute in your unique, necessary way. This quiet power you have comes from within—from a deep self confidence, grounded in a strong sense of your values, and a commitment to owning your power and boundaries and living your truth.

Of course, depending on the question and context, the King of Swords reversed may also visit to point to a sense of uncertainty and lack of direction; perhaps we are feeling lost and indecisive about which way to go and which options to take, causing us worry and delaying important decisions.

Finally, the King of Swords reversed may come knocking in order to warn us that we are misusing our power and that our ego has gained too much sway. If this is the case, we are prompted to take stock of whether we are wielding our power and authority to manipulate others.


Card 5: Three of Pentacles (reversed)

Question: What is or what might be a help on my path to developing my intuition?

Pentacles: The Suit of Pentacles is ruled by Earth and represents the material plane: material possessions, work and finances. The Pentacles cards tend to show up in readings about career and financial wealth.
Three: Threes, in numerology and the Tarot, are associated with creativity, growth and groups.
Keywords for the Three of Pentacles: working alone, disharmony, misalignment

The Three of Pentacles reversed may manifest at a time when you’re feeling ready to go it alone and get the job done on your own. It may be that you’re tired of waiting for one or more others to come along with you, or it may simply be something that you feel you need or prefer to undertake alone.

The Three of Pentacles reversed can also show up to validate our sense that the mundane job or situation we’re in is indeed just that and that we’re right to feel that our contributions and experience are going unnoticed or unappreciated. This may be a good time to make a move and find a better job or career fit.

Similarly, the Three of Pentacles reversed may simply point to a lack of respect and harmony among team members—typically in a professional or organizational setting. It doesn’t necessarily mean the situation is a deal-breaker, but it does tell us what there is a great deal of work to be done in order to set healthy boundaries, establish trust and respect and sort how to move forward as a healthy team.

1. The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings, Brigit Esselmont of Biddy Tarot
2. Modern Tarot by Michelle Tea
3. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, Rachel Pollack



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Founder ♏︎ Reader ♐︎ Guide ♋︎ Seeker ♎︎

Iris is the founder of Intuitive Eclectic and, first and foremost, a seeker on the intuitive eclectic path with a current focus on intuitive Tarot and its relationship with astrology, numerology, and symbolism more broadly. Iris’s work is grounded in the knowledge that we have gravely important work to do and very little time to do it, and that our work must be intersectional and expansive. Please get in touch.