I was playing with my tarot last night and had a thought about interviewing someone for this blog. I’ve thought about doing interviews here for a while — not the “big names” or published authors, but real people doing their own thing, some of whom are now known on the internet. It’s not something I’ve been motivated enough to make happen.

Last night, I thought: “Hey! Why don’t I interview __________?” I started imagining how such an interview would go, then thought maybe it wasn’t such a good idea. I decided to consult the cards about it.

Lo_Scarabeo-Swords_08 Empress - LS Tarot Lo_Scarabeo--XIII-Death

8 of Swords – Empress – Death (Lo Scarabeo Tarot)

My specific question: What will come of my idea to interview ______ for my blog?

I’ll be breaking down this straightforward spread, showing how the tarot gave a pretty clear-cut answer, exploring the Death card and comparing that with the Lenormand coffin.

The Question and Spread

As I’ve written before, the question is critical for a good reading of any cards. Although “should I” and yes/no questions are possible, I believe a precise question that allows a story to be told work best with cards. Being the cartomantic detective, I think the best questions are along the lines of what a detective would be looking for: who, where, what, when, why or how.

I chose a past-present-future (PPF) spread. I’ve been reconsidering my stance against positional spreads. I’m not against them, so much as I  like the freedom of linear strings of cards.*  For quick three-card draws I usually read them in a line, sometimes going left-to-right  and sometimes focusing on a trio where the center card is modified by the side cards. In this case, I decided on a straight PPF.

The Reading

This seems very straightforward.  The 8 of Swords past shows inaction, which matches the situation to date: I could do something but have not. This verifies that I’m on the right track with this spread, by matching up with known facts.

In the present sits the Empress. In my notes for the reading I simply wrote: “Creative idea!” I was feeling inspired to do something new and expand this blog’s content with something new that I hoped would prove fruitful.

The future shows Death, which brings a sense of finality and endings. I see this as my creative idea coming to nothing. Which is funny, because even before I threw these cards I thought this interview unlikely to happen, because this person is very private. These cards confirm that feeling.

Analysis of Process

Is this reading helpful to me? I’m reviewing my entrenched thoughts about readings, predictions, and value for the sitter or client or querent or subject (whichever term is in vogue this month). I ultimately want readings that are useful to the receiver.

This was helpful because formulating my question and doing the reading helped me get the facts out of pure fancy and into practical channels. The reading itself reminds me that I’ve chosen not to do anything; and suggests that the idea itself — doing interviews — is a good one. However, it warns me that this particular interview is likely to go nowhere should I pursue it. Although I don’t plan to approach this reader right now, I’d definitely have a good “pitch” ready, and I’d be prepared to respect a declined invitation.

The “Dreaded” Death Card (and the Lenormand parallel)

I choose to read Death as an ending nowadays. It is expected in most quarters that Death talks about a transformation — something is ending to make way for something new. I suppose this fits modern sensibilities that strive to stay away from fatalistic readings and towards more psychological summaries of the cards. The downside of this approach is that Death loses value in readings about daily life. When is Death an ending, and when is it a transformation? If I equated Death with transformation, this reading wouldn’t have been so clear: what would my interview idea become, and how would that change answer my question with this spread?

Death as transformation also blurs tarot meanings, because most of us equate Judgement with a transformation or renewal. Isn’t that what most people say about Death? I think the difference is that Judgement isn’t usually thought to be painful, while Death can be — but isn’t always! Confusing, isn’t it? And I suppose we’d have to consider the Tower as another overlap, because it also brings a “breakdown that allows for new things to be built” — sounds like another transformation to me. So having Death show an ending, no more and no less, seems like a good approach to me.

Coincidentally, the Lenormand coffin parallels this interpretation of Death, which usually shows something ending for traditional Lenormand readers. (Or sickness.) Even if there is talk of something new starting after the (painful) death, there is a definite ending, and there aren’t other transformation cards to confuse things in the Lenormand deck. Many readers have flocked to Lenormand for its clear-cut readings, and I think this lack of “fuzzy meanings” when compared to typical modern tarot is why the Lenormand is so successful there.


There you have it, a straight PPF reading that is on-target and answers my original question. Tarot can be direct if approached in a direct fashion. Remember that in the late 1800s and early 1900s, tarot was read like an expanded playing card deck — so in a sense, its cartomancy history shares with the playiing cards, the sibillas — and the Lenormands.

Do you have additional thoughts on my reading? Do you agree with my comments on the Death or Coffin cards? Then hit me up in the comments!

* I do like a nice comprehensive spread; something like a well-done celtic cross, an astrology layout or even a “life spread” numerology layout (instead of twelve astrological houses there are nine numeric houses, but both mean to cover all areas of life). These are tarot equivalents to the lately-popular Lenormand Grand Tableau in my opinion.