Five Card Tarot Reading

Q: Open reading, please!

A: Thank you for being so open about this. I’ve always gotten the best readings that way, and they feel like they have more energy behind them when giving them. It’s like letting a car roll a little instead of riding the brakes, if that makes any sense as an analogy. In answer to some of the “how does this work” questions I get every now and then, this is an example of how all my readings work, really. This is exactly what you get with an e-mail distance reading. Think of it as a written transcript of a video, phone or in-person session. It doesn’t matter to my intuition whether I give the information with my voice or with my fingers on a keyboard, it all comes out the same. But again, thank you. Let’s take a look at your cards. I shuffled 4 times, keeping my mind on “the highest and best for ****”. These are the cards that we got.

For *****

May 26, 2019

Your Cards Today Are:

  • Lessons from the Past: Three of Pentacles (Coins)
  • Current Situation: Death
  • Moving Forward: Three of Cups (reversed)
  • Advice / Choices: King of Wands (reversed)
  • Alternative Path: The Emperor

General Pattern

Are you familiar with the Tarot deck? On part of the deck mirrors the modern game playing deck with aces, numbers, kings, queens etc. That is called the minor arcana and over time, as I read them, these card are more day to day guidance. There are 22 other cards, called Trump cards or the major arcana. These cards have more wattage behind them energy-wise, and they tend to have a bigger message, something that may ask you to take action or make a serious decision.

In your case you have two majors (Death and The Emperor) the rest are minor arcana. In a layout this small, that is enough of an edge that it gets my attention. This may be a cue that you are in a time of high energy (or stress). It doesn’t give a good sense whether this on the horizon or in progress (remember, Tarot never predicts the future….it helps navigate you to it and through it). If I were to take a guess, things have been busy and this may be a hint that you will have a lot of things on your plate for a little while longer. There is also a feeling that you might actually like it that way….as if you are much more stress tolerant than you give yourself credit for being. You might get bored or feel stagnant if there wasn’t some energy and change bubbling up every now and again.

Of your minor arcana cards, three of the possible four suits are showing. That balance among the suits also hints that if there is stress, in is on the second half and you are closer to return to normal than peak change. Or, if you aren’t feeling particularly stressed, this would underline tha notion that you are a person that is very tolerant of energy and change…a very good thing.

When three suits show, sometimes it helps to look at the one missing, too, in case it has a message and is being conspicuous in its abscence. You are missing swords… the element of air, with hints of action, society, relationship with authority. By not being here, I get a feeling that this isn’t a good energy time for action, certainly nothing rash or hurried. It feels more like “sit back and let things unfold. There is enough energy here, you won’t regret it”

Lessons from the Past

Three of Pentacles

Pentacles have to do with the element of earth, the physical realm, the practical nuts and bolts of living, oftern work or career. The three in particular has to do with projects and group efforts, even though in this deck the three shows only one person, seemingly putting in late hours. The phrase “extra effort award” comes to mind here. I can’t say it is definitely work or school related, but it sure feels like it. Something needing extra work is implicit, not explicit. There is a need for a self-starter, a need for you to take initiative somehow. The reason it comes through as lessons past, feels like this is a lesson you may have learned the hard way. There may of been times in the past (the ‘past’ in question here feels like high school, teen years, a time when everyone is learning these types of things) where there may have been times you did assignments only as asked, or done only the minumum (like every teenager ever) But now you are being asked to take your game up a level. Put in the extra effort…dig a few layers deeper into things before passing judgement, before coming to a conclusion or before turning a project in. Usually this position has a lot of validation flavor to it. This does vallidate past experiences …but as a comparison for now, a lesson in what THIS time doesn’t need. The past is a lesson what not to do this time…a strong sense of “look at here and now with fresh eyes, not old habits.”

Current Situation


You KNOW the death card isn’t literal, right? It is about a big change, something that changes everything. I see it all the time at Bachlorette parties….that kind of life altering change. And it doesn’t have to be a negative change. It can be very much a change for the better. Off the cuff, I want to associate this with career change…as if the extra effort energy in the 3 of coins card can bring some change in responsibility at work, or some change in self-esteem or the amount that you enjoy your work. Not necessarily wads of cash, but some pleasant benefit or doorway of opportunity for the future. Outside of work, it feels like a subtle but building, important change. Here is where loads of validation comes in. Lots of little life lessons, lots of learning, paying attention, maturing, caring, paying forward…a zillion little things have accumulated to big change. I feel like this card is saying you are not the same person you used to be, and that you are to be commended for the changes you have made little by little over time. The change will last.

Moving Forward

Three of cups

When a card turns over upside down relative to the person doing the reading, it is called reveresed. Some readers will switch card meanings when that happens. I like to consider all the possible aspects of a card anyway. If it turns over reversed then I just think of it as hinting that idea, that area of life, has blocked or turbulent energy. It’s not different per se, just a little more difficult or challenging than it might otherwise be. Cups symbolize our closest relationships, often romances, but in this case it is about your close circle of friends. It has advice energy around it. The reversal makes me wonder if there has been some distance creeping in between you and your closest friends. It could be as simple as everyone being busy, but the feeling is such it makes me wonder about tensions or conflicts. The advice feels to heal…to patch up any little spats so you can all be there for each other. Not necessarily just like before, but there just the same. A more mature group as a whole, but still a group together. Very stage of life feeling, not dire or permanent feeling.


King of Wands

Wands are fire, Kings are leadership. It feels like your choice is ennui and ho-hum vs following your passions. I want to connect that feeling of following your passions to the extra work and extra effort idea from before. The inspiration and idea to take THAT initiative my come from your innate interest and passion for something. Follow your passions and take initiatives. I thing the reversal comes from a hesitation or lack of confidence more than being an indication of outdome. The more confident and self-starting, the more of a leader you are, the more you follow your passions the better. Don’t let your doubts hold you back. Think, yes. Make good rational decisions, yes. But don’t let unrealistic or unreasonalbe self-doubt hold you back either.

Alternative Path

The Emperor

Basically, this is give yourself credit. The feeling here is that the current path card moves toward the three of cups, with that card symbolizing private, not-work life. This path, or part of the path, feels work related. When the two cards line up side by side like that, or seem related somehow, I take that to mean that you are on a good path…this card isn’t so much offering a clear alternative as it is emphasizing the cards before, especially the leadership aspects of the 3 of pentacles and the king of wands. This card is less offering an alternative than it is highlighting the idea of taking initiative, digging deeper, and having the courage to follow your passions. The Emperor is often a protector. Protect your dreams. Protect your passions and goals.


This part always seems to start with a color or color and chakra reference. For you I get rainbow flourite, with lots of purple and green together. It may not be it’s best known property, but it feels like it will give you the mental focus and clarity to do the extra work, the deeper layers you may need to do at the same time helping you stay grounded and clear. Clarity, focus, that may clear the way for you to also find any courage you need later on.

I see pine trees.

Again the purple stone….could be amethyst too.

There the energy steps back. It feels like this part wants to be extra gentle for some reason, and is stepping back with little information given…but nothing is missing “What needs said has been given”

Here I add what I call the “sigil element” You can use it in making a sigil (power symbol) for yourself if you like, or you can write it down on paper and carry it for luck, or you can just think of it as a picture way to sum up your reading. In my mind’s eye, I see wavy lines for energy and movement. The emphasis on change, and the new way of doing things with more initiative reminds me of the greek letter delta which means change in math. Three triangle together show change and flow….change, change again, constant learning and growing

Affirmation: I have the courage and mental clarity to change when needed and to follow my passions.

And there you have it….a typical Five card reading. I hope it helps!

Author: TaoCraftTarot

I read Tarot, write e-books and make stuff. 25 + years experience reading Tarot, oracle cards. Non-accredited Ph.D. in Natural Health, B.S. Med. Sci. Reiki Master-practitioner, retired Tai Chi instructor.