A few days ago, we looked at the question of why cards sometimes turn up repeatedly in readings, regardless of whether you are getting readings or giving them. As I was uploading the post, I could almost hear a chorus of “It’s Mercury Retrograde” coming from social media as a hot take explanation of why life lessons are hard to learn; why messages aren’t being heard well and why cards have repeating lately.
I disagree. Understanding and enacting an important life lesson often takes much longer than any given Mercury retrograde. It takes more than a Mercury year. It can take multiple Earth years. Any retrograde of any planet in any solar system is no more than a trick of forced perspective. It is the relative movement of a very close planet compared to very distant stars. It is a little like those photos where it looks like someone is holding up the leaning tower of Pisa or holding the setting sun in the palm of their hand. As the animation above shows us, shift your point of view, and POOF! no retrograde. Only normal cycles of planets – and of nature – remain.
I have seen, however, a connection between repeating Tarot cards and one particular planet’s orbit. It isn’t Mercury; It’s Earth. The Wheel card in particular speaks to these cycles. When the Wheel shows up, think about natural cycles that may be moving through your life. There is also a subtext of adaptation. We must move with the wheel of time and natural cycles, or be crushed beneath it. This is a good example of a difficult life lesson that takes time to learn, don’t you think?
Seasons of the year are an obvious natural cycle. Over time, I’ve seen several cards cluster around summer and winter. They seem to capture the essence of the season. I often see cards like the 9 of cups, the 4 of wands or the 3 of cups turn up frequently around the Winter holidays. It fits Those holidays are akin to the cards with celebrations, traditions, family foundations and social connections all at top of mind that time of year.
Summer cards are a bit more subtle.
We think of summer as an active time, and it is. Yet it needs balance. In the winter, we balance the seasonal cold with warm things: woolly clothes, fires in fireplaces, spices, warm drinks, candles, lights. Summer needs balanced with cool drinks, sitting in the shade, loose cool clothing, going barefoot. Again, there are cards that hint at this seasonal balance, with quiet introspective cards like the 4 of swords, 3 of wands, 5 of cups or The Hermit. Admittedly, I’ve seen this pattern emerge more as a reader than as an individual. It think of it as being part of the entrainment phnomenon we talked about last time. Cards may repeat in a party (or in a season) as a resonance with the time and place (or time of year.)
If a card keeps turning up time and again, yes, it is significance. Yes, that repetition in and of itself is a message. If a card keeps repeating, it could be for multiple different reasons. As always, it is usltimately up to your feeling and your intuition to decide which reason best fits..or if it is something else entirely. It might be:
- an important message or lesson you are misunderstanding, failing to hear, or failing to enact
- a significator, a stand-in for you in the reading to show how Tarot and spiritual growth in general fits in with you as individual and with your self-image of the time.
- a validation, a signal from spirit the card’s message is important, real, authentically for you
- resonating with places you go …. parties and so on
- resonating with the season of the year