How to Stop Fearing the ‘Scary’ Tarot Cards

One of my rituals each morning is to pick a Tarot card to get guidance for the day ahead and to open up the lines of communication between myself and my Spirit Guides. I must admit picking one of a handful of scary tarot cards can cause me to rethink my day.

When I pick a card each morning, I don’t try so much to use the card to predict how the day will unfold; rather I take note of the card, sit it aside and see what comes up during the 24-hour period. 

The beauty of this exercise is that I begin to notice patterns and symbols and over time I gain a better understanding of what that particular card is trying to tell me. 

This morning, the Devil card came up and my first thought was ‘oh swell, of all the luck.’

scary tarot cards

I know I’m not the only person who dreads certain ‘scary’ Tarot cards: the Devil, Death, The Tower and the 10 of Swords all come to mind. 

If you’re into Astrology, you may feel this way about certain transits — Saturn transits sometimes fill me with fear. In fact, one of the books on my reading list is now Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, which purports to help us recognize the gifts the often dreaded planet brings. Also planets in retrograde sometimes had me paranoid, waiting for some bad experience to drop on my doorstep from the heavens.

But recently I’ve made an effort to make peace with these metaphysical tools and trends. All tarot cards have messages for us. All astrological transits have something to say to us that has value. And even if a card or planet gives us news we don’t want to hear, it also gives us guidance that we can use to grow or improve our life.

I’ve also realized that these cards and transits get a bad rap. While Saturn transits can be harsh, Saturn can help us learn discipline, structure and perseverance. The Death card, scary as it looks, is really about rebirth and transformation. We can’t manifest something new without allowing something old to die. 

Why we can’t avoid the ‘scary’ tarot cards

As much as we may want to pull the Sun and Lovers cards all the time, the truth of the matter is that life gives us a rainbow of experiences and we need all of the cards to give us the insights that apply to a given situation.

The Devil card sometimes refers to addiction or another vice that is holding you back. Pulling that card can be helpful if the Universe wants you to take a step back in doing something that is causing you to veer  off of your desired path. In the course of my day, I realized that I had missed an important spiritual message about my health years ago because I thought I knew more than the person who relayed the message. 

I believe the Devil card was reminding me to be conscious of moments when my ego blinds me to the miracles of Spirit — those moments when I’m tempted to rely on my will alone rather than aligning myself to the Universe.

How to reframe ‘negative’ cards

I guarantee you don’t want to miss any messages that Spirit has for you so it behooves you to make peace with those scary tarot cards you fear. Here are some suggestions for ways to do that.

Sit with the cards that cause you fear

If there are multiple cards, work with one at a time. Set the intention that you be shown what the card could be trying to tell you.

Sleep with the card under your pillow

Keep a journal near your bed so you can jot down any dreams if you remember any.

Note what happens when the card comes up

Though I felt a moment of dread when I pulled the Devil card, as the day went by I saw that it wasn’t the end of the world. In fact on the contrary, the Devil card brought me a powerful message that I can appreciate. When I write about the experience in my message journal, that will reaffirm a different understanding of that card.

Find a deck that has more pleasant imagery

Every tarot deck has its own energy, and the imagery associated with it can make a big impression on you. Some decks have scary images; others have friendly images while still others are more abstract. You can check out a broad variety of decks here.

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