I’ve written before about how reading tarot is one of my favorite ways to practice self-care — it’s a good, quiet way to do some me-to-me therapy (or intimate one-on-one processing with someone you give a reading to) and it lets you cut through to the universal challenges, obstacles and desires we all have at any given time. So spotting a deck of sex tarot cards over at Ella Paradis hit right at the intersection of sex and the occult to get this sex editor-who-dabbles-in-witchcraft’s attention. After all, what could be better or more exciting than injecting a bit more magic into your sex life?
While I am decidedly single and not looking at the moment (pandemic meet-ups with close friends are a hard sell, let alone with strangers or acquaintances for anything sex-related — no matter how safe it can be), I figured I’d take these cards for a spin and ask them some questions about my love and sex life and give the Internet a play-by-play.
First, let’s talk product specs: The cards are cute enough (though I generally tend to prefer a designed back instead of the words “Sex Fortunes” repeating), with Daria-like illustrations of various couples getting it on in a myriad of ways. The major arcana include sexier archetypes (the stripper, the wheelbarrow) among classics like the star, the hanged man, death and the tower and the minor arcana have decidedly dirtier interpretations of the traditional tarot (testicles for pentacles, sex wands for wands, clits for cups and flesh swords for swords).
I will say, for non-tarot readers looking to do some fortune telling, you’ll want a reliable app (Golden Thread tarot’s app and deck are great for beginners!) to help with interpreting your readings. If you have any other deck, you should be able to see how the various major and minor arcanas line up with their non-sexual counterparts. But if this is your first go at a deck, you might be a bit confused when testicles, sex wands, clits and flesh swords are strewn about your bedroom floor (as one does). The cards also come with a separate game for you and your partner(s) that can be played with or without any divination/tarot knowledge (sort of a monkey-see, monkey-do along with the sex positions on the cards).
But I came here to read some sex fortunes and get some mystical, potentially personal insights about my romantic past, present and future that I’ll immediately broadcast to the world. So here we go:
Reading #1: Cuffing season’s coming for me?
As a warm-up, I used an old reliable three card spread focusing on a situation, action and outcome. The cards that came out to play were the Ten of Testicles, Page of Testicles and Justice, respectively. The Pentacles/Testicles (snort) typically relates to the physical realm (think earth signs) and the material and tangible things needed to be comfortable. (Like balls, I suppose.)
So the Ten and Page coming out in the situation and action would say that, while looking to make lasting long-term connections (if not endgame, a long game) that are secure and sustainable and comfortable, you’ve got to be willing to tap in to the part of yourself that goes after the things you want and manifests them — be an active, engaged and hands-on (which seems apt given the card’s design) participant in your love life. Good advice, generally.
And the outcome? The major arcana Justice corresponds to my star sign (where my Libras at?), but can also in a love reading speak to balance in partnerships, the righting of wrongs/correction of imbalance and a lack of reciprocity. That, or it could mean I’m supposed to end up with another Libra, a lawyer or a judge (but that feels too literal for my reading style, TBH.)
But, alright I’ll take it.
Reading #2: What are you not letting yourself do, say or have?
Turning more toward the future, I did another three card spread — this time focusing on where you’re at, what you want and how you can get there. This time, I drew the Four of Clits, The Stripper and The Moon reversed (reversals can be controversial in tarot, but I like to occasionally look at all the ways an a card can express different parts of one idea).
In this deck, Clits are an analog of Cups, which represent emotional terrain and ~feelings~ (and, yes, I do have many feelings about the hardest working part of the vulva) — and the Four of Cups typically refers to the things you’re mulling over, thinking hard and turning about in your brain and heart as well as the things you’re just unsure about. It can mean saying “no, not right now” to certain things or people, it can reflect apathy or not being fully in the game — like a pandemic making you single and decidedly not looking? The Stripper, this deck’s (hilarious) answer to the Hierophant, can typically refer (again) to commitment, marriage, and security when it pops up in a love reading. And the Moon, when reversed, asks you to reject the narratives, illusions and delusions that keep you anxiously avoiding what you want or need — plus it asks you to do a little more listening to the inner voice that keeps getting drowned out.
Altogether, this spread can mean that maybe the apathy and soft-rejections of “no, not right now” might be spun into the story you’re telling yourself (or the one I’m telling myself, I guess?) about what will be emotionally fulfilling and worthwhile at this exact moment.
Personally, I love when the cards seem deeply invested in me sorting out my nonsense (someone has to be!)
And on that note, I do need to excuse myself to stare wistfully off into the night and think about my life and choices. If you dug this little foray into interrogating your/my emotions, I highly recommend you check out this deck (or some of the other very cool sexy decks available — this one is also sick!) or go for a nice, safe and socially-distanced/virtual appointment with your friendly neighborhood tarot reader. Either way, don’t be afraid to inject a little bit of magic and a lot a bit of introspection into the way you approach your heart and mind — it’s good for you, after all.
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