Tarot Trouble

May 3, 2017
Diego Molano Rodriguez
Riveted Editorial Board

A few days ago, I found myself exploring the bowels of our stockroom, when I came upon a forgotten promo item – Shadowhunter’s Tarot Cards! The tarot is the basis for every major card game in the world. It is comprised of 56 minor arcana (similar to the 52 cards in your typical Bicycle deck, except with the suits being swords, wands, cups and pentacles), combined with 22 major arcana – archetypal figures representing The Fool’s journey to enlightenment. Perhaps their most common use is to try and divine the future. With Clockwork Angel currently available as a free read until May 8th, I decided that my discovery was more fate than coincidence. Inspired by this find, I consulted our resident mystical/paranormal/all things uncanny expert (yes, we really have one of those but she prefers to remain anonymous) and decided to find out what the future had in store for me.

We decided to go with a Celtic cross spread; one of the most common and useful spreads. After I shuffled the cards, it was time for the question – let’s go with something broad: How positive can I expect this coming year to be?

Please note: we totally would have used the Shadowhunter Tarot cards if we had been allowed to open any of the packs. But alas, we were not. 

And now for the reveal:

1) Card 1, the signifier (this card is a general representative of the person whose cards are being read A.K.A. me). The Nine of Swords: Death, failure, deception, disappointment, despair.

The Nine of Swords
Oh boy, well that’s a scary one to start off on. The nine of swords is already visually terrifying, and when drawn as the signifier it refers to someone who is heavily influenced by feelings of failure and disappointment. Maybe this question querying about a positive year was a bit more personal than I thought.


2) Card 2, the obstacles. The Five of Pentacles: Material troubles, destitution, alternatives that cannot be harmonized.

The 5 of pentacles

Oh. Desolation. Despair. I mean my bank account isn’t that low is it? And I’m pretty sure I paid my rent last month. Plus, what does “alternatives that cannot be harmonized” even mean? Our resident weirdness expert provides no illumination. Is the deck trying to tell me that I should have gone to law school like my father wanted?


3) Card 3, The recent past. The Three of Swords: Removal, absence, ruptures.

 The Three of Swords
I mean this one would make a really cool album cover. No, I’m not attempting to change the subject to get away from the card’s significance (*sigh* except I totally am). So yeah, this basically means that 2016 was rough, but it was rough for everyone. You aren’t telling me anything new.


4) Card 4, the near future. The Devil: Rage, fatality, violence.

 The Devil
So apparently I’m turning into some kind of monster. And by the looks of it I’m totally chained to my bad habits. I have set back my whole “New Year, New Me” mentality for 5 months. At some point I may have to just accept that it’s just the same old me and luck is clearly not on my side.


5) Card 5, that which is above you. The Five of Cups: Loss, the remainder, bitterness, and frustration.

 The Five of Cups
I am not a bitter person. This deck is wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Ok fine, so maybe I’m still a little bitter about Bobby Carrick in the fifth grade when he “borrowed” my favorite eraser and never gave it back. It was dinosaur shaped. Is it weird that I brought that up unprompted? The Weirdness Expert just stares at me.


 6) Card 6, Root issues. The Ten of Swords: Tears, affliction, sadness, desolation, betrayal.

Ten of Swords

I honestly don’t know why these cards are giving me such a hard time. I have never bad mouthed them. I feel targeted. It should be noted that at this point, The Weirdness Expert has stopped responding to my outbursts.


7) Card 7, attitudes on the matter. The Lovers: Attraction, beauty, trials overcome.

The Lovers

Finally! Some good news. Dates are fun, and I’m a classic romantic.

Oh wait… it’s upside down.

Upside-down, The Lovers can also represent foolish desires and failure. When found as the seventh card of the Celtic cross, it can point to an obsessive attitude towards foolish whims. I knew I shouldn’t have put so much time and money into recording that lullabies for dogs CD…


8) Card 8, the environment. The Two of Swords

The Two of Swords

A blindfolded kneeling figure. Apparently I’m blind and alone, and am completely incapable of letting my guard down. That is profoundly depressing.


9) Card 9, hopes, dreams, fears. The Tower – Misery, distress, ruin, disgrace.

The Tower

This is perhaps the scariest card in the entire deck. A falling figure and a destroyed tower. But of course I’m terrified of failure, who isn’t! Am I climbing too close to the sun? Have all of my efforts in life added up to nothing but a proverbial tower of babel, ripe for destruction? Come on outcome; give me something I can work with!

Despair Tarot Cards
Much like my hairline, the cards say my prospects are receding.


10) Card 10, the outcome. Death

Death Tarot Card

I’m done. Forget this.


Storming Off Tarot Cards

Ok, so I’m exaggerating. It’s important to note that every card has both a positive and a negative interpretation. So if you’re trying (and quite possibly failing) to write a semi-funny article about messing around with the tarot, you may want to see doom and gloom in your reading. Take Death for example. Sure, the totemic image of a skeletal knight on horseback is pretty bleak, and pop culture always seems to present it as the ultimate evil card. But Death also represents new beginnings, fresh starts, and the natural path of all life. Winter has to happen for spring to arrive, doesn’t it? Maybe we should give this reading a second pass, with a slightly more positive slant. While I’m doing that, check out the full read of Clockwork Angel, available on Riveted until May 8th!

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