Slow Tarot – The Questions Asked in the Major Arcana

In a series of articles, I examine the questions that the Tarot poses to us for our growth, development and healing. The questions I suggest here are a spring board for your own thoughts and the lists I’ve presented aren’t exhaustive by any means. You will find different decks, quite naturally, pose slightly different questions according to their various imagery and symbolism.

In this blog post you’ll find a mixture of closed questions and points to mull over. The closed questions aren’t intended to stop a process, but to start one – a celebration or perhaps an inspiration to change a mindset or path.

I’ve included a spread which is there to inspire rather than claim this one spread covers all eventualities. There are loads of ways you can work with the Tarot as questions for growth – from journalling with one card for a specific issue to a spread designed to span a year posing questions to explore each season – you’re only as limited as your imagination.

Today is the turn of the Major Arcana and there is a podcast to accompany the post if you prefer voice to text.

Check the Trade Winds Tarot Podcast out here

0 The Fool asks us where we can bring renewed freshness and a sense of adventure into our lives. He asks us what it is that is holding us back from taking that leap. He can also be asking us to examine our behaviour. Are we being impulsive, reckless or careless?

I The Magician asks us where we are directing our focus. He asks us if it is in the right place and in the most effective manner. He asks us why we are directing our focus where we are – is it to attain our own desires, or to put on a show to create a glamour to impress others?

II The High Priestess poses the questions ‘Do you take the time, create the space to know your Self, your intuition’s voice in your body?’ ‘Do you have a tendency to be overly secretive or to be too much of an open book?’ ‘Are you able to be serene and protected in order to work with your intuition and your psychic senses to their fullest potential?’

III The Empress asks how we can foster patience and tenacity in creation. What we can do to nurture our vision, our goal in the face of knowing that this is no quick and carefree process. She also asks if we can recognise when the creation is mature enough to be released into the world, and when our role in the process is complete.

IV The Emperor asks how can we see more clearly where our actions or inaction will lead. He asks us if we are taking the time to plan and strategise our steps to reach our desired destination. He also asks if we are flexible enough to make changes to strategy in response to changes in our desires or to obstacles and challenges that may present over time.

V The Hierphant asks us to carefully consider what we learn, what we have decided we know and what we believe. He asks us to be aware of who or what we consider to be our mentors, teachers and gurus and to weigh up whether it may be time to change things up in order to grow. He also points to old knowledge hidden behind ritual, pomp and ceremony and asks if we can still see it, feel it and work with it. The Hierophant asks us to wonder about, and perhaps act upon the possibility that we may be ready to share what we know, our wisdom, with others.

VI Lovers ask us to consider our respect for our Self in relation to others, to situations and circumstances. On a different note, they ask us to consider our choices and the wider consequences of these on our Self and on others. They ask us whether we draw (or want to draw) on our higher guidance in the decisions and roads we take in life.

VII The Chariot asks us about our dynamism, drive and direction. It asks us whether we need to be in control or in submission. Whether we have the ability to recognise when we need to change tack, speed up, slow down or stop and when to be receptive or assertive.

VIII Strength asks us if we recognise our strength and strengths, how we wield these and what effect this strength and these strengths can have upon our situations, circumstances, growth and progression if harnessed and utilised to their full potential.

IX The Hermit wonders if we know our Self in all of its shining and shadowy glory, if we are comfortable with and accepting of the sum of our soul’s parts that make up the whole. He asks us to identify what light guides us onwards and upwards when all around looks dark. He asks us to wonder upon the quality of the light we give out and what that draws to us.

X The Wheel of Fortune asks us to recognise the fortune in our lives and to consider whether we feel and express gratitude for this. It asks us to look closely at the cycles and seasons and their effect upon us. It also prods us to question our need to cling onto things, situations, places and people and to consider the consequences of attachment in times of change. The Wheel of Fortune asks us to consider our timing of doing in relation to the adage ‘there is a time and a season for all things under the sun’.

XI Justice‘s questions to us include: Are you honest with yourself about your role in the situation? Do you have a tendency to shoulder blame and mete out your own punishment? Are you able to view circumstances from an objective position to obtain a balanced perspective before acting? Do you favour mercy or justice, and what are the consequences of this?

XII The Hanged Man quietly, slowly and deliberately asks us if we can accept times of inactivity, whether we see value in them and the potentials and pitfalls of our views and actions (or inactions). He asks us to consider flipping our current world view on its head and seeing what this looks like. He wonders whether sacrifice in order to progress is part of our belief system and what effect this has on our progression, on our life and on our Self. Alternatively we may change our view on sacrificing progression to something else. The Hanged Man is wise. The questions he poses hold no judgement.

XIII Death asks us to consider our beliefs and fears regarding change and transformation. He asks us whether we flow and welcome new terrain or hanker after what was. He asks us whether we fear the loss of the old as we embrace the new. He wonders how our life is impacted if we try to carry the accumulation of all that was, along with us.

XIV Temperance looks us in the eye and asks how we can consciously blend our talents and superpowers to lift our life to a new level of awesome. She wonders if we are leaning too heavily on one or two strengths and too lightly on others. Temperance asks us to consider our thoughts on the perfect recipe for a life well lived and to consider it with measured precision.

XV The Devil wonders where in our lives we feel restricted, confined, mis-used or abused. He muses on the ties that bind – those habits, procrastination, the things we do to avoid doing the things we’d rather not (but that we know in our hearts would benefit us), and invites us to mull all of this over with clear sight and wonder about how we can lean into our strengths, abilities and gifts to break free.

XVI The Tower asks us to consider which aspects of our lives aren’t built upon firm foundation, those aspects that, given one good whallop are likely to come crashing down. It asks us if we have an underlying tendency to sabotage our greatest achievements in some way. It asks us if we might be at a point where it is necessary to smash down those restrictive walls/rules/strategies and tactics, make a concerted effort to start again from the ground up with arms spread wide and a feeling of space and freedom.

XVII The Star asks us to consider if we give our Self enough time to be still and recuperate. She asks if life is too busy for us to recognise potentials and opportunities for change and growth. She wonders whether we drink enough water, would we love to feel the cool refreshing touch of water on our skin. She wonders if our emotions are drowning us or if we are able to feel them from a place of safety and then allow them to flow on

XVIII The Moon asks if we are willing to step out despite being afraid, despite not seeing where the next footstep will take us. She asks us to explore our dreams, nightmares and fantasies, our hopes and fears and ponder upon which of them can be carried forward, which of them hold us back and where we may be deluding ourselves.

XIX The Sun asks us what we consider true success to be. To get clear on this. He wonders whether we are able to let go and have fun, whether the child inside is given enough freedom.

XX Judgement asks ‘Are you prepared to go where you feel called?’, ‘Are you living the life that you feel you are meant to?’, ‘What is calling you?’, ‘Where will following your calling lead you?’.

XXI The World invites us to consider our readiness to level-up. She urges us to examine any reasons/excuses we are putting forward as to why we ‘can’t’.

The Spread is a good old-fashioned celtic cross that can be used for a specific issue or more generally. Remember that the questions will relate to the issue asked about or highlighted by the cards.

There is a potential for deep questioning at the positions indicated by the arrows, perhaps one of those positions may be relevant, perhaps more. It might be quite a process to work through if there are a series of questions requesting your attention in the spread.

You may see questions in positions that I haven’t highlighted – if so, go for it, ask what needs to be asked.

And the Mindful Outcome is the potential outcome when we give questions due consideration and perhaps act upon what we uncover.

The Questioning Cross can be the catalyst to a fairly lengthy process, particularly if there are several questions posed in the cards. Be prepared to journal, meditate, ponder and allow your responses to percolate.

Join in, if you feel moved to, let me know what questions the cards pose for your consideration. They may be wildly different to the ones I see.

You may have a questioning spread of your own, in which case, I’d love to see it and give it a shot.

Goodbye until next time,

Fay x

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