Much Ado About Nothing? – The Problem with Trump Cards in Prediction

Although I’ve been working up to it for a while, I recently decided to take a more measured stance regarding the significance of trump cards in my personal readings (but not in those for other people since I won’t presume to tinker with their destiny; that’s for them to decide upon seeing the cards). I’ve found over several decades of practice that, although they are often purported to show “big-deal” events or influences entering our lives, those seldom manifest exactly as predicted (if at all) in my routine daily, weekly and monthly outcomes. Over a year ago I removed the trump cards from my deck when doing daily readings since the minor and court cards are more attuned to what could realistically happen in mundane terms over any 24-hour span. I’ve done the same thing for my monthly “New Moon” readings, since the astrological Moon is more about routine, day-to-day or habitual activities than major long-term developments. I still occasionally use the quintessence calculation with my readings because a single trump card derived from the rest of the cards in a spread can offer a broad view of the backdrop against which the action will take place, not as an active “player” but as an environmental factor setting the “tone” for the period. While it doesn’t make sense to expect a sizable impact every time a trump card shows up in a spread (they are, after all, more than a quarter of the population),  regarding them as imparting an inferential bias has some validity.

What I’ve concluded is that trump cards are more likely to show something “coming to a head” for good or ill in our personal intersection with universal energies (think of it as “the stars aligning”), such that we should pay closer attention to our affairs in the areas signified by the cards but remain poised and not overreact in either direction until the evidence becomes clearer. They don’t necessarily show that we will encounter certain momentous events or circumstances, just that there is an increased likelihood that we might and should be prepared for them. Think of it as an “eye-opener” but not necessarily a goad to action or an inevitable instance of substantial benefit or detriment. We can either acknowledge the potential and better position ourselves to “go with the flow” of a fortunate indication or dig our heels in and try to resist a less fortunate one. As I’ve often observed, trump cards can show the emergence of critical situations that we can neither avoid nor fully deflect, so we have to adapt or adjust to their implications, at least in a preparatory way. I’m now softening that assumption to recognize that, while there is always a chance for unforeseen difficulties to occur in the best of cases (or for a “silver lining” to appear in what seem to be dire straits), it’s never a certainty unless we “play our cards” to that end, intentionally or not.

In my opinion, the value of the trump cards in a more substantial reading is that they interrupt the relatively uneventful flow of more prosaic cards, kind of like tossing a big rock into a placid pond. They make waves and create cross-currents that can alter the trajectory of a narrative, but they must always be kept in perspective. The Devil may say “Watch your back!” but not mean that you’re definitely going to be manipulated unless you set yourself up for it. It could be said that there is almost always self-induced complicity in the twists-and-turns of our personal fortunes, whether conscious or otherwise, that can create a propensity for – or vulnerability to – certain consequences. Sometimes it’s rooted in a kind of transfixing “moth-to-a-flame” compulsion, but at other times it’s more that we’re just looking the other way when it arises and get “blind-sided.” Even when they are benign, the intrusion of trump cards can pave the way for an automatic response (or “knee-jerk reaction”) that can overtake us before we know what’s happening. For example, seeing the Sun in a reading, we might say “Wow, that’s great!” but without examining all of its implications we could miss the fact that there’s no place to hide if it brings any unpleasantness to light under its pitiless gaze. For example, if anything is going on in your life that can’t stand the light of day, the glare of the Sun could drive it out of the shadows. It can be a case of “Be careful what you wish for!”

One thought on “Much Ado About Nothing? – The Problem with Trump Cards in Prediction

  1. Pingback: More Thoughts on the Trump Cards | Parsifal's Wheel Tarot & Astrology

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