Tarot in a Time of Turbulence

Four of Swords Rider Smith Deck
As many of you know, I teach Tarot and give reading in person (when social distancing is not in effect) and online. Email Sessarego1@gmail.com to set up a session. This month, I want to talk about what we can learn from Tarot during a time of uncertainty.


Tarot is not for the weak at heart. The cards don’t reveal anything that you, the querent, don’t already know, but they do encourage you to look at your own behavior, emotional state, and patterns honestly. Happily, even with the toughest of readings and the toughest of times, tarot is eternally hopefully for these reasons:

The tarot does not determine your future.

You determine your future (within limits, which I’ll address below). That is not to say that that we aren’t all influenced and constrained by a million different factors. However, it does say that you have at least some autonomy in your life, if only in how you deal emotionally with challenges. You certainly shouldn’t feel bossed around by a deck of cards!

The future is not set.

Don’t like your reading? Change your behavior. Change your mindset. Change your patterns. Tarot is a great tool for helping you work through what to tackle and what to let go of.

There is no endpoint.

The Fool is numbered zero or not numbered at all because he/she/they is on a never-ending journey. Get to the World card? Pass through and start a new journey. There’s always another challenge and always another thing to learn.

The tarot values community and self-care.

Lean on your family and friends. Value your accomplishments. Rest when you need it.


There’s a kind of philosophy of positivism that can be deeply victim blaming and oblivious to societal factors. Things will happen that are beyond our control. We live with various levels of racial, economic, sexual, and gender privilege. When I say that you determine your future, I say that with many caveats.

However, during this time in history when we feel so little control over what is happening in our lives, it’s worthwhile to take stock of what we can control. We can take certain steps to manage stress. We can take certain steps to reduce health risk. We can write letters and emails and make phone calls to our elected officials to advocate for the well-being of others. Also, as the Four of Swords points out, it’s never a bad idea to take a nap!

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