The Vulnerability of Self-reading

I don’t read for myself in the way I read for others.  Since the rational mind can be a stalwart defender of the ego, a different tactic is necessary.  When I read cards for myself I must approach the cards with no expectation of a clear answer.  The moment I draw to the cards anticipating an answer to my question, I’m defeated.

You’ve heard it said the cards can be a doorway.  Or a mirror.  Or a portal.  But never should they be an answer to my question.  I can discover my own answers, and the cards won’t carry the truth of the matter.  The Tarot is not truth.  My goal of self-reading is simply meditation. It is question-seeking.  I am not cunning enough to be both the reader and seeker.  I am the seeker only.  That is why I go to the cards.

I have witnessed self-readers floundering in a sea of their own BS.

To self-read answers in the Tarot is an exercise of the ego.  It simply confirms we learned some arbitrary card ‘meaning.’  And when we regurgitate the card meaning, we will inevitably twist our answer to fit the meaning.  That is not self-reading the Tarot!  It’s self manipulation.  Deception.  But when we seek questions in the cards instead, we are exposing our vulnerability to great effect.  We are willing to bear witness to ourselves and confront scary stuff.  When a person cannot be vulnerable in their own skin, it shows a lack of trust with their own mind and memory.  I do not want to be in a position where I cannot trust myself with my self.  Especially when reading.

When was the last time you allowed a card spread to invoke the memory of trauma?  Or is the memory of pain so deeply buried, that the cards’ meaning is all you think about?  Which is your coping mechanism, deflection or introspection?

One has to turn a blind eye to so much of oneself in order to get through life.*

I expect to leave every self-reading with another question, not an answer.  The next time you do a self reading, approach it without any expectation, other than to leave with more questions than you asked.  Trust you can answer the Tarot’s question on your own.  This is where the real Tarot work begins.

Here are some single-card BS readings for your amusement:

II The High Priestess

B.S. Reading: I need to seek hidden wisdom

REAL Reading: Why is it so difficult to learn from my mistakes?

9 of Coins

B.S. Reading: I must trust in the abundance of the universe.

REAL Reading: I am scared to reach for the coins. Why is that?

2 of Swords

B.S. Reading: I should consider both points of view before making a decision.

REAL Reading: Why do I always feel the need to be right?

XIV Temperance

B.S. Reading: I have to find balance in my life.

REAL Reading: What is it about boredom that makes me so uncomfortable all the time?


All cards from the Alchemical Tarot 4th ed. by Robert M. Place.

*from the Netflix series “The Crown”


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