You’ve likely seen it a dozen times in pop culture: a woman with shaking hands plucks a card from a tarot deck. She gasps, and, in a foreboding flash of lightning, we see the card that sealed her fate — The Tower, the Hanged Man, the Devil or, worst of all, Death itself.
Luckily, the real world of tarot is much different from common pop-culture depictions. While omens of death may be par for the course in fictionalised tarot readings, you’re unlikely to see them in your own, even in readings where you draw a card as seemingly dire as Death.
Below, we’ll walk you through some of the key meanings of four famously feared Major Arcana cards. By the time you finish our post, you’ll better understand what it means if you draw them during your next psychic reading.
No matter the deck, the Tower is an alarming card to look at. It depicts a tower being struck by lightning or consumed with fire; the illustration may show figures diving out of the tower to escape the conflagration.
But while the Tower emphasises destruction, its message isn’t necessarily one of death or chaos. Instead, it often indicates the need for change.
For instance, if you draw this card during a love tarot reading, it could indicate that your relationship has cracks or weaknesses you prefer to overlook. If you don’t address these issues now, your relationship could crumble like the Tower itself.
Or the card might guide you to look at the reason for the Tower’s collapse: its foundation. If your relationship was built on shaky ground, a massive upheaval and re-evaluation of the relationship’s basic premises might be the only way to move forward.
The Hanged Man
Since the Hanged Man card depicts a man in distressing circumstances, you could be forgiven for seeing him as an ill omen. But the Hanged Man doesn’t usually try to warn you about death or suffering. Instead, his presence could indicate that you feel trapped by your current life circumstances. You might feel stuck in your present relationship, unable to see your way past today’s difficulties.
The Hanged Man could also indicate that you need to take a break. Just as the Hanged Man calmly surveys the world around him, you might need to hit pause on your relationship so you can meditate on your current position.
Like the Hanged Man, the Devil often reveals that you feel trapped where you are. The card could emphasise that you’re addicted to certain negative aspects of your relationship. It could also mean that you’re too focused on yourself or on material, trivial concerns instead of on the person you’re with.
Either way, the Devil often conveys that you need to spend more time considering core concerns instead of focusing on the superficial.
We often think of death as an ending and a tragedy, so drawing it during a love reading can be jarring. But death is an essential part of rebirth, which means the Death card often signals the need for transformation, change and new growth.
What do you need to let go of so your relationships can flourish? Does an old relationship hold you back from finding the new love you need? Should you move on from a current relationship? Drawing the Death card can help you contemplate crucial and transformative questions like these.
Call a psychic for personalised advice
None of the cards in the tarot deck are inherently frightening, foreboding or ominous. Quite the contrary, actually — each card drawn presents you with the opportunity to explore your path and work towards a better understanding of your life, your relationships and yourself.
Looking for advice and guidance from experienced clairvoyants? Grace’s Psychics have helped querents in and around Sydney since 1985. Call us to get a personalised reading.