An insightful exercise in self assessment is to go through the Tarot and pick out your favorite and least favorite cards. So you know what I’m looking at, I’ll be using the Rider Waite Tarot for this exercise.
For this exercise, it helps if your cards are sorted by Major Arcana, then by Suit and in all order (it’s up to you which order: I usually place Major Arcana first as the deck faces me, then behind them, Swords, Wands, Cups, and Pentacles, in that order, but I think it’s okay to use any order as long as it is something significant to YOU). It also helps to be consistent. If you change your technique, wait a while for that method to settle with you before you change your mind again. Having the cards in order as you perform this exercise will help your subconscious mind keep in touch with the story arch of the Major Arcana and each suit.
Side note: if you perform this exercise repeatedly and record your efforts, patterns will emerge in your choices, and you can bring hidden preferences into consciousness and gain a stronger connection with your power. If you decide to balance out your preferences, you can intentionally choose a favorite and a least favorite from the Major Arcana and each suit.
Gaze at the cards as though seeing them for the first time, if you can. Forget any meanings or symbolism you have read or memorized, and simply look at the figures in the cards.
It’s okay if you end up with two groups of favorite and least favorite cards. If you have two or more of either your favorite or least favorite, you can shuffle each packet of cards and pick one of them at random.
The exercise for myself, today:
Over time, I’ve grown to detach from labeling cards as good or bad. For me, the least favorite cards are images that stir up anxiety in me or seem to reflect current obstacles in my path. In some ways, that makes it harder to select a favorite and least favorite. I pick out between 6 and 8 and select one, for each category.
Least Favorite Card – the Queen of Pentacles. Maturity, generosity, stability, nurturing energy, motherhood. (Reversed – withholding, smothering, laconic, anxious, unhelpful.)
I’ve been doing a lot of work to embrace my impending maturity, but I still hold some fears about growing older. I feel anxious about closing the door on my twenties. I fear that this will have been the best time of my life, and that it will soon be over. It’s a husk left over from my upbringing, of behavior that glorified youth and scorned old age. The Queen of Pentacles embraces all that she is, and loves herself and the people in her life without relenting, but sometimes I see this smug look on her face, as though she knows what is best for everyone because she has so much figured out for herself. In her reversed aspect, her love is tainted by envy, greed, and bitterness because she has not learned to love and accept herself and so makes her life unacceptable. She overeats, withholds affection, and puts off exercising of any sort because her energies are stuck.
Favorite Card – the 3 of Cups. Cooperation, harmony, diversity, emotional and spiritual accord, creating and celebrating friendships. (Reversed, artistic differences, false connections, superficial or fair weather friends, cliquishness). The image of three women dancing stands out to me, reminding me of when I’ve entered into fellowship with other women. I tend to feel more secure in life when I have at least two people I know I can call at any time for any sort of help (not that I do so all the time). Over time, I have seen some friendships that I thought were tested and sturdy erode away like old cobwebs. I still remember those friendships with fondness, and have been blessed to count the friendships I have had. This card also invokes the triple Goddess for me: Maiden, Mother, Crone, dancing together in a spiral, marking the cycles of life, death, and rebirth.
What are your favorite and/or least favorite Tarot card, and why?