During the 14th century, tarot cards were just another playful parlour game invented by the Italians for fun. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that they rose through the ranks and underwent an enchanting evolution.
Ever since their magical glow up, people have been captivated by this mysterious fortune-telling tradition, turning to the tarot deck for divination, self-discovery and guidance on what the future holds.
The standard modern deck we know today consists of 78 cards divided into two groups: the major arcana (representing significant life events and influences) and the minor arcana (for everyday matters, like the supporting cast members of the deck). Nowadays, tarot is widely used as a tool to discuss the past, present and future, the trials and tribulations we face along the way and the lessons we need to master in order to thrive.
Despite its witchy roots and stereotypes, it’s less about theatrical fortune-telling, and more about holding a mirror up to our lives so that we can connect with our inner wisdom, access what is happening in our personal orbit whether that be money, love or career goals and gain some support with our daily decision-making.
Each card is packed with implied meaning and symbolism linked to psychology, astrology, numerology, alchemy, Kallallah and many other religion and traditions but ultimately, it’s up to us to dig into our experiences to determine what the cards are showing us.
In this edition of our ‘We Tried’ series, we had the pleasure of sitting down with tarot reader and all-around cosmic hun, Simone Stevens (you can follow her at @sensesbysim), for our very first reading.
All cards on the table… here’s how we got on!
I’ve never had my cards read before so as a total witchy newbie, I had no idea what to expect and I loved going into it that way – no high hopes or preconceived ideas to muddy the waters. Other than knowing it involved shuffling a pretty deck of cards with some nice pictures on, I was 100% clueless about what it entailed, but also completely geeking out because I love this sh*t.
There was no beaded curtain, candles and sage sticks on this occasion, just a couple of Brightonian humans sat in front of each other over a table, holding space, opening up energy and chatting about it. Wholesome stuff. The lovely Sim asked me to think of a couple of open-ended questions and, I’m no mind reader but I sensed she wasn’t referring to the ‘should I have finished that entire packet of Jaffa Cake Nibbles last night’ kind of question (an elite snack if you’re keen to explore).
I decided to focus on fertility and creativity. I wanted to know if motherhood is something that will find me in the future after a somewhat relentless road of going at it like rabbits to no avail, and if I’ll ever get round to writing that bloody book I’ve been threatening to write for the last 5 years (if an ex is reading this, sorry pal, what can I say? My memoir, my material. You should have found my clitoris sooner).
Pretty much all of my cards related to some form of a juggling act – spinning all the plates, work-life balance, saying ‘yes’ to everything (guilty as charged) and burning the candle at both ends. Well, the cards don’t lie people because… IT ME. It’s an ever-familiar theme in my life but what to do when you have a smorgasbord of glorious people around you, you’re terrified of letting anyone down and you have all the fingers in many, many beautiful holes and you need to give every single one of them your all. You turn to wine. That’s what you do.
Whilst I didn’t find out everything I wanted to know or make sense of in this tarot reading, Sim explained that not all messages will resonate with you in that moment, sometimes we need to sit with our readings for a while and let the cards, well, work their magic I guess!
As a full-blown Pisces, I’m so open to any form of spiritual guidance and I think getting your tarot cards read is a great way to give anyone peace of mind or clarity over certain areas and events in their life past, present and future. Much like other forms of healing meditation or mindfulness, it gives you the space and intimacy to tune into your thoughts & feelings above anything else, something that can quickly fall to the bottom of all of our priority lists. It welcomes introspection and the opportunity to confront difficult truths or big arse dreams. Whether you’re a believer or not, it’s a big ol’ intuitive nudge in the right direction and you bet I’ll be going back for more wise ‘n’ witchy insights with Sim quicker than you can say Hocus Pocus.
What the cards had to say for me:
Past – Knight of wands
Full steam ahead, charging in to all that came in the past. Ready for action and you’ve taken every opportunity. This firey, creative energy is what has led you to where you are today. It’s a brilliant way to be, passionate and strong determination to succeed. But perhaps sometimes this approach is too much, saying yes to it all and jumping right in without a rationale plan or idea what you’ve taken on.
Present – Two of Pentacles
A balancing act, juggling too much and being out of kilter is what this card represents. And although you’re sailing this stormy looking sea, and have your coins under control, are things still just a bit too much? We are not balanced. Is it work life or social life balance you need? Emotional balance to the physical balance? Or a bit of it all? It’s time to look at your spinning plates and prioritise those that matter, bring you joy and happiness and really light you up.
Challenge – Eight of cups
This is about going inward, and looking at perhaps at what you need to or can walk away from. What do you need to move through, overcome or move on from? Also remember things change, we go through phases, like the moon reminds us, what is no longer serving you? This can be a bit of a path of self-discovery but given your present card I think this makes total sense.
Future – Four of Pentacles
This card is about stability. You have a good, or better balance. You’ve got a solid foundation. The beautiful red robes and crown also stand for material wealth. You’ve worked hard to get here and you know it, you feel it and you’ve earnt it.
The way in which our person holds their coin to their chest can also flag a sense of holding on too much, it’s okay to loosen the purse strings occasionally. Perhaps a fear of losing it all, but that won’t happen if you stay stable and balanced in the situation. Money is a great part of life but life needs to be enjoyed. Be flexible, treat yourself. The triangle shape the pentacles make can also stand for the elements, the things that keep the world moving.
I was super excited to get my cards read, I’ve only done it once before at a Christmas party but I loved applying the cards to my personal life and doing a bit of introspective work! I don’t go ALL in for the cards knowing all and predicting the future, I personally look at it as a way to think about my life in a way that I usually wouldn’t, and to look for perhaps some signs in my future that may relate to what the cards told me, without giving the experience too much stock.
Sim has wonderful energy and I instantly felt cool and calm when I sat down with her. I didn’t really have anything specific that I wanted to ask the universe about but at a push, I’d say the two things that cause the majority of conversations/uneasiness in my life is fertility and money. They’re the big conversations I have with my partner Harry, like when should we have children, should we re-arrange our cancelled COVID wedding, should we be saving for a holiday or to get the garden landscaped! So those were the kind of things I had on my mind going into the reading.
Overall I loved the experience and have popped my cards along with my thoughts about them below:
Past – Five of wands
There has been some chaos, setbacks and delays… but nothing you couldn’t handle because it was handled well, no balls were dropped, no one got hurt and it all worked out, your support network held you through it and this is how things got sorted.
I really liked this card and I felt like it was telling me how crazy the last 18 months has been in all areas of life due to COVID. The anxieties of cancelling our wedding, working and managing the team from home, buying a new house. All crazy things that I got through because of my family and friends helping me!
Present – Nine of wands
This is nearly at completion, you may feel like you’ve been through a lot, some hard blows and setbacks…(ha see card above) but now you’re in a good place, content and happy. Take time to look at what you have achieved and pat yourself on the back. This card is big self-confidence vibes and having a lot of courage. All your hard work and effort is paying off, yet there is more to come, believe in yourself, you can get there and you will, and when you do you will truly know you’ve made it! The nine can also represent still having many options and being open to what they could be, so keep an eye out 😉
I think this card is exactly what I needed to hear, instead of wondering what’s next all the time I should just be looking around at how much we’ve managed to achieve in the last couple of years and be grateful for it. I’m pretty hard on myself sometimes and find I find it difficult to give myself that breather and praise.
Challenge – Queen of swords
Get your ducks in a row, get a bit more organised and logical with what it is you truly want to achieve what are the steps you need to put in place to get there. Plan. Plan. Plan. She is strong no BS vibes so this is the approach to take. She is also open to opportunity but is firmly in her place too, she is strong independent female vibes all the way. You can make anything you want to happen, just get this no fluff, no BS plan to get there off the ground! We also have abundance, new life and rebirth sneaking in with the butterfly and child’s face. All positive hints.
The Queen of Swords is such a badass, I love everything she stands for! I’m choosing to believe that she means I should decide what I want and what I need to be saving for and just DO IT. Instead of dilly-dallying, I need to get on with it, learn how to drive, start a new savings account, and stop wasting my money on rubbish that only brings short term happiness!
Future – seven of wands
Successful and stable. Facing life full-on. You stand in victory of what you’ve achieved. You’re not afraid to take anything on. You stand and speak in your truth, and it’s very powerful. You have big dreams for the future and you will get it. You’ve worked hard, got through some challenges but now you stand tall, proud and confident.
Obviously, this card sounds fantastic for anyone’s future, and I love what it stands for, however, I’m wary that to get to this place I need to put in the work. This stability and success won’t just fall into my lap, but it’s mine for the taking.
I’ve always wanted to have a tarot card reading but like a lot of things in life, it was just something that I never got around to doing with busy life schedules and not having the time to really research who I would like to have it done by. So, as you can imagine I was super excited when the opportunity came about to get my cards read finally!
I sat down with Sim who was the lovely lady reading our tarot cards that day, she had some crystals dotted around which I instantly noticed as a fellow lover of crystals and their powers. I’m quite a spiritual person in some ways, so I do find myself drawn to crystals and their healing powers so it was nice to chat with Sim about that too. I went in with a fairly broad question around whether I am on the right path, I find as a 23-year-old, you can sometimes feel behind others who are of similar age to you. Some of my friends live at home still (like me), some have mortgages, some are in long-term relationships, some have never even kissed someone. It’s seriously such a confusing age and can be hard to not compare yourself to others. So I was hoping to find some kind of clarity around that, whether the cards would say I was where I was meant to be.
The cards reallyyyy got my past and present spot on, to the point I was actually quite shook by it! Basically, they said in the past I didn’t fully deal with something that happened and therefore it’s still taking up some headspace in my present (all definitely true). My present is all about feeling outside of the institution, the card shows two people standing outside a church in the snow. This was really interesting to me because I do sometimes have feelings of being an outsider, as I don’t have a strong desire to get married or have children or just to do more conventional things in general, so that really got my attention!
But what truly, truly shocked me within my reading was my future card. It was the four of wands which is all about a beautiful union, whether that is a relationship, friendship, who knows! But for me I see it as a relationship, even though marriage isn’t something I see for myself, I do want a life-long partner. However, when Sim pulled the card she had this urge to check the time, it was 11:22 and do you know what the four of wands represents? 11:11 and 22:22, I couldn’t believe it! Just felt it was a true sign from the universe to trust the path I’m on. I’ll absolutely be going back to Sim for more readings in the future when I’m feeling uncertain about something happening in my life!
What the cards had to say for me:
Past – Four of Swords
Perhaps something from the past wasn’t dealt with, that need you to retreat, rest and recover from it? And although this is very much in the past it is good to go back and deal with things, let them go and make space for more in your current life. Take time out for it, mediation is always a good way to work with this card. Take care of yourself, and work through this in a place of calm and stillness.
Present – Five of pentacles
This card is about being on the outside, perhaps of institutional ways. But it is okay to be on the outside. Being part of tradition, ‘cults’ or set out paths is not for everyone! We don’t have to conform. Because these ways exist doesn’t mean they are right or right for you. This card does also mean there is change, perhaps change to be the outsider? Other key points of this card are about communication, being open and speaking your truth.
Challenge – Ace of Pentacles
This gift/wish card is the universe gifting you the permission to go for it! Abundance is yours for the taking. Whatever and where ever you want to be, or not be, it’s all yours for the taking. This card is about new ventures and the power to succeed. A setting for a new, exciting path. It is also linked to fertility, joy, happiness and pure abundance.
Future – Four of Wands
This wonderful card is about union, a partnership, marriage or a beautiful relationship. Two people working together that complement each other, pull and push each other in the right directions. A soul connection. And more opportunities on the horizon in this beautiful partnership.
The colours also represent abundance too! The wands can also represent number sequences 11:11 or 22 – just like the time was!! This is about intuition and moving forward, the guides and universe really giving you go ahead.
I have ALWAYS wanted to do a tarot reading and since learning more about manifestation and the law of attraction during lockdown I definitely feel more spiritually connected, so when the opportunity came up to have our cards read I was so excited. Sadly I had Covid at the time so had to complete my reading digitally rather than in person, but I actually don’t think this detracted from the experience at all and I was still able to feel just as connected and moved by the outcome. I chose to focus on health and relationships going into the reading as I’ve struggled with long term, chronic pain for a few years now and came out of a really long term relationship about a year ago, so love, connection, health and happiness are really at the forefront of my mind and focus. I had actually googled in advance what to expect from a tarot card reading as the whole world of it felt very new and foreign to me, but even having done some research I was not expecting the outcome that unfolded!
I was so overcome with emotion when I saw my cards and I really didn’t expect to be. Having both The Magician and The Star felt so powerful and was really the positive boost and indication I needed to know that the universe has plans of happiness and connection for me and has truly made me excited for the future. I felt like the Seven of Pentacles being my past card was also really accurate as it spoke about putting a lot of hard work into something and being okay now with a different outcome, and I really do feel like this relates to my previous relationship and the progress I have made in therapy and in reflecting since then. The idea of being able to take a fresh perspective was really useful and aligns with the vision I already have for myself, so this again was a great confirmation that I’m on the right path.
My final card, The Ten of Wands, again was something I feel like I needed to hear in terms of setting boundaries and definitely linked back to my past card and the idea of a fresh start and knowing myself well enough to take care of my mental health properly. It definitely left me with a lot of food for thought!
Overall the experience is one I would truly recommend to anyone as it left me feeling so enlightened and ‘seen’ but in a really positive way. I felt the reading was really specific to me and where I’m currently at in life, and I know some sceptics would say that similarly to a horoscope you can relate it to anything if you really want to, I do genuinely think this reading was meant for me and the plans the universe has in store. I loved the whole experience and would love to go again in the future if I feel I need some more guidance.
Past – seven of pentacles
This card represents the planting of seeds and watching them grow. It can often mean a lot of work has gone into something and you now need to wait patiently for the outcome to flourish, hard work in the past is now paying off? Be proud of the hard work you’ve put in, maybe treat yourself to something that will remind you of all you achieved. It can sometimes also represent a new perspective, perhaps something you worked hard for or on in the past didn’t quite go as you’d hoped but it has given you a new perspective and that is then the lesson to take from it. Or perhaps what you planted in the past is now not what you want, your dreams have changed and this means perhaps now looking at things with a fresh mind and perspective.
Present – the magician
Wow this is a powerful card! It confirms you’re in the right place at the right time. You’ve got yourself to this point and you contain all the magic to achieve whatever it is you truly want. This card isn’t just about mystical things it’s about pragmatism too. So all the things that you dream about, inspire you and maybe feel so out of reach are in fact not! The message is you’re magic and that if you set your mind to something you can make it happen…just like magic. This is manifesting big goals, concentrating on that achievement you really want to reach. As you can see in the card the magician has all four elements of the tarot; swords, pentacles, wands and cups. This means you have all that you need to achieve this. When this guy shows up in a reading, especially in the present it means truly anything is possible, you now just have to get in that mindset and make a plan to get it!
Challenge- The Star
This challenge card is what can help or be blocking you at the present time. But wow to get the Star with the magician is a double high five from the universe. The star is about making wishes come true, the water represents love, inspiration and tenderness. It’s about dreaming big, hard work but anything is possible. Coupled with the magician I would say the universe has something exciting planned for you very soon, you just need to know what it is you want and go for it. Stay motivated. This card can also mean that our creativeness needs rest. So if you have been unwell this is a sign to take the time you need to be truly rested and feel rejuvenated again. The water going in and out of the card is about ensuring we stay balanced and keep our own intentions and dreams full. Try some meditation with water sounds or hanging out at the beach to replenish.
Future – the ten of wands
Try to avoid taking on too much responsibility, or at least try to share it out so the burden isn’t all on you. You may need to take a break from having so much on your plate. Perhaps even look at if some of these people or things even truly need you anymore, and could set you free? Perhaps you often take on too much and it’s a habit that in the future you will need to break free from. Perhaps you notice you do a lot, more than others and that you don’t always get the thanks you deserve? Watch out for these signs in the future, it will be a good time to break away and set your own boundaries, look after yourself more. Tens represent new chapters and phases too so for the future this is a sign that you will break away from unnecessary burdens and be free to be you.