I have a thing about “Card of the Day” draws. And by thing I mean a block. I don’t do them. Well that’s not technically true. I used to do them ALL the time as a beginner, before I had a firm grasp of the card meanings. At the time, I didn’t have a “thing” about it at all. Now If I do them, it’s usually random and even when it IS consistent, I don’t post them publicly. I had planned to write about this by now, since I’ve not heard any other tarot blogger mention a “thing” with COTD (card of the day) draws, but I totally forgot about it until last week.
It came up while I was reading a post by fellow bloghop contributor, Joanne of Cosmic Whispers Tarot. She asked how you might interpret the cards in her “Anatomy of a Daily Draw” post. More specifically she asked: “… how do you approach the daily draw vs. a reading with a question?” Rather than have a straightforward response, I spiraled into a series of questions of my own about daily draws:
“Doesn’t a draw depend on the question?”
“How in the world does a person gauge relevant meaning from a draw without a question? Without context?”
“Why can’t I do daily pulls for myself without freaking out?”
My thoughts took on a life of their own and I decided it’d be a bit much to rant about it on Joanne’s page. So here we are!
Doesn’t a Draw depend on the question?
If I’ve learned nothing else this year, I’ve learned I prefer starting a card pull or session with context in the form of a question. Like Joanne of Cosmic Whispers, I follow bloggers who do daily card pulls. A lot of them pull a card at the start of the day. I read these posts, in part, because I find daily pulls, without prompt, question, or context, fascinating. For me, a card without a question is like a random ghost whispering incomplete sentences from the shadows. A ghost who doesn’t bother with introductions and might not even care about telling the truth. I don’t know how to parse these nebulous tidbits.
Every now and then I get a message from spirit realm. Sometimes these messages come in the form of a wild card or “jumper” card, where the card isn’t a part of the spread but just pops up and says “I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU.” This feels totally different to me than a card without context, because these cards usually become clear in the context of the rest of the spread.
Another “wild card” example is when I’m at a community event or ritual space and I pick a card for all present. Sometimes I intend the card to show what I/we can expect from the meeting/event but most of the time I do not. The card becomes a symbol of what happened during the space as well as its unfolding or integration. The card makes sense within the context of the people present and the shared experience of the event. These mini-draws can be very powerful and I can see how a deliberate COTD practice could tap into this blended feeling of relevance and reverence. This is the kind of draw I’m likely to post and the kind I love reading from my peers. I like it so much that it became the basis for the facilitative group sessions that I offer.
How do You draw relevant meaning
without a question?
Even though I believe that asking questions is one of the most tranformative and empowering things any of us can ever do, the need I have isn’t about questions per se. It’s about context. If there is no question in a card pull or session, context will certainly do. Context can be shared experience, as I said above in the example of the circle or community event. Context can be gleaned from specifics about the person receiving a reading, such as the time of birth, their feelings, hopes, or goals, or more general details that relate to many people such as astrological climate, sign, or lunar cycle. This is where it makes sense to me to do something like a tarotscope for an entire zodiac sign. Following this train of thought you would think the shared context of a certain day would be enough to satisfy me and maybe inspire my own COTD posts. Which brings me to my last block to COTD posts.
Why can’t I do daily pulls for myself
without freaking out?
In the recent past I’ve done my own card pulls in a bit of a hurry. Usually I’ve hopped off my bike in the woods somewhere and drawn a card before I can even catch my breath. I feel exhilarated, sweaty, curious, expansive, and not my most intentional. Without intent, the cards automatically take a predictive tone, since this is the way I read at the start of my tarot practice. It’s my default. And while there’s always the possibility that something yummy pops up, if the cards are a little heavier, a little more ominous, they unsettle me, a bit, with their detail. Sometimes I stay unsettled for the rest of the day. I respect when someone else wants to know what will happen with their day, it doesn’t feel like it serves me to know until it’s actually happening. There are exceptions to this, like when I need to know if I should rush deliver that panda hoodie, (I did btw) but for the most part, it isn’t something I’d do daily.
While writing this, I wondered several more things about a COTD practice:
- All this assumes I pull a card for myself. What about pulling a card for everybody but me?
Interesting, I’d never thought to do that. I wonder how I would provide enough context to scratch my relevance itch. *rubs chin*
- What about pulling a COTD only with heightened awareness or intent?
That sounds DELICIOUS. Like it might encourage that relevance/reverence feeling that I so often associate with ritual. Yes please!
- What about embracing the heavy cards, the ones I’d rather not start my day with?
I read a post by Beth Maiden on littleredtarot.com, a few months ago, about removing triggering cards from the deck as an act of selfcare. I thought the concept was interesting and I knew that it wasn’t something that I’d do. While I still have triggers, at this point they aren’t associated with events or memories so much as random, unpredictable things. And in a professional reading, the difficult cards are often the cards that have the most healing potential.
The closest I’ve come to needing such a boundary is a 2 month stint where I kept pulling the same card. I didn’t associate the card with anything, but after seeing it almost every daily pull and every spread, I was DONE with that card. I took a break from that deck, cleansed and reordered it, and worked with a new deck for a while. Problem solved.
Pulling a difficult card can be a lot like receiving a no. Who wants to hear “no”? It can feel heavy, like rejection, like pie in the face. Still, there are many kinds of “no”s: the open and closed-hearted, the nonverbal, the “no” left unsaid, and not all of them feel the same. The feeling depends on the meaning we make of “no”. In much the same way the feeling of difficult cards depends on the meaning we make of them.
When I read a full spread, for myself or others, I love the difficult cards. They hit me as some of the most authentic and potential-filled cards in the deck. For COTD pulls, I could stand to practice with the difficult cards, with the tarot’s open hearted “no”s.
Practice a card pull for a set amount of time. What does it look like to do a daily card pull with intent? What supports a need for reverence? What supports a need for relevance?
I took a stab at this in my post about Auditory Card Pulls, but I would love to explore this with consistency.
Practice a card pull for the collective for a set amount of time. What does it look like to do a daily card pull with intent? What supports a need for reverence? What supports a need for relevance?
This one seems less pressing since I think I already do this, to an extent, in my monthly collaborative tarotscopes.
Pull out all the “difficult” cards. Write what they have to say, naming the flavor of the tarot’s “no”s. Do a COTD practice with only these difficult cards. Sit with each card at whatever time supports and in whatever way supports keeping an open heart. Notice how it feels.
I can’t wait to try this. I’m pretty sure this experiment will inspire a series on “difficult” cards…
What is your experience with daily card pulls?
Please share your thoughts below.
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