Flexing Your Cards - An Exercise in Adaptation
P.S. This post has been updated to include a more complete worksheet. All links to the older worksheet have updated below to include the new material.
This post includes a downloadable resource: Flexing Your Cards - Exercise Sheet.
No, this isn't a post about how to get the most of your workout routine with the aid of tarot - though I'm sure it wouldn't be above their ability to assist with this either! When I talk about flexing, what I'm describing is a method of reading that allows you to bend and mold the card's standard meaning to fit the specific question being asked. Whether it be love, career, personal development, passion projects or anything else, a single tarot card can and should be able to provide suitable guidance, if you can adjust your lens ever so slightly.
Of course, there are some cards that seem to speak fluent love or finances, but even if not; even if the card seems to be themed in an entirely different direction, doesn't mean it can't give you the answer you're looking for. You just need to know how to look at the card.
.Let's dive in, shall we? If you want to play along, grab your deck of cards and save the PDF I've created to go alone with this exercise. You can print it or just use it as a guide. A regular paper and pen works just as well!
So the mechanics of this exercise is really simple. You're going to select a card at random from your deck of cards and then locate that card in the chart on the worksheet provided. You could include reversals, but you may also want to keep things simple and stick to just upright for the time being. You can also go in order, starting with The Fool and moving onward. There is no right or wrong way to approach it, but I thought a random selection may be a nice way to just dive right in!
Now, with that same card, take a moment to think about how it may apply to an inquiry about love. You can frame each topic as such, if this makes it easier: "Tell me what I need to know about my love life" or "my career" or "self-development". We're not really reading for ourselves - we're just brainstorming how the card could be interpreted to fit different situation. So, starting with the Love column, make a couple notes about how that card could flex to fit the topic. Then, take a step back and re-frame. How then could that same card bend to fit a question about career? And finally, what might it also say about self-development?
I'm going to grab a couple cards at random from my deck and make some notes below to give you a few ideas on how this flexing thing works.
Example 1: The Fool (I swear I chose randomly)
Keywords: Beginnings, Fearlessness, Risk, Taking Chances, Leap of Faith, Naivety, Adventure
Love: The Fool may be indication that the seeker is entering into a partnership and is excited about the possibilities and potential there. Everything is sparkly and new and the seeker may be very hopeful and optimistic at this time as to where things are headed.
Career: The seeker may be starting a new position in a field that they are not entirely experienced in. Or, it could be an indication that the seeker needs a fresh start where career is concerned. The advice may even to be to keep their eyes open for new opportunities coming.
Self-Development: The seeker needs to keep an open heart and mind. They may be boxing themselves in too much, and they are encouraged to see their world through new eyes. To explore the endless possibility and potential in front of them, and push themselves to experience some adventures along the way!
Example 2: 4 of Wands
Keywords: Celebration, Home, Security, Foundation, Harvest, Homecoming
Love: It may be possible that the seeker is getting ready to settle down or share house with the person they're involved with. The 4 of Wands could be about taking the relationship to the next level, becoming more comfortable in that dynamic and celebrating the success they've so far had together.
Career: The Seeker may have really found their stride where career is concerned. They have, or are about to, reap the rewards of recent achievements. There could even be a promotion or raise coming up for the seeker. At the least, they can expect their success to be celebrated in some way.
Self-Development: I read this card as being a bit about being really comfortable in your own skin, where self-development is concerned. To love your temple, both your physical being and your outside surroundings, and to nurture them and make them yours. Allow yourself to relish in what makes you feel good and focus on the positive.
I hope those examples helped to shine a light on how you could take one card and then bend and flex its standard meaning to fit any situation. Give it a try for yourself! And if you feel like talking it through, or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.
Happy Reading, Friends.