Tarot for Dreams

Blog, I’m back! I’ll bet you thought I went out for cigarettes and would never return, eh?

Last night I had a dream that I’ve just moved into an institution and I have to search for my bed. I don’t know why I’m here in this institution but I feel emotionally unsteady and I think – maybe whatever Grandma had, I have it now. I still don’t know exactly what that is or was. The dream did not illuminate that for me.

Anyway, I eventually find my bed – though, calling it a bed is misleading because it is actually a busted up old sofa – and as I’m unpacking my strange collection of things onto my bedside table, I’m listening to my closest neighbors talk. One of them says, “The dance is tonight. They’ve brought in boys for us to choose from.” I interrupt them. “But what if you don’t like…. what if you’re a vegetarian?” They laugh. It doesn’t matter. A guard comes through and announces that all sharp objects and large rocks must be put away out of sight.

Then I wake up.

I dream a lot. Especially during the dark times of year, I dream every night. They’re not prophetic, visionary dreams. Often they are catharsis for emotions I didn’t know I felt until I woke up drenched in them. Sometimes they have clues about the more mundane mysteries of life. Sometimes they have a kernel of wisdom that prolonged consideration reveals. Occasionally, they are so strong, so vivid, that they completely change everything.

There is a dream interpretation method I learned from some wise women Sue and Tchipakkan at a tarot workshop a few years ago. First, distill the dream down into five sections. Then, choose a tarot card that has the same feel as each section. This isn’t based on the “meaning” of the card, but on the way the card “feels”. Then you lay the cards out and tell the story of your dream from a different perspective.

For example, with this dream, I would say:

  1. I am in an institution.
  2. I am looking for my bed.
  3. I find my bed but it isn’t what I thought I was looking for.
  4. There is going to be a dance where each woman will be expected to pair up with a man whether she wants to or not.
  5. The guard announces all sharp objects and large rocks must be put away out of sight.

The cards I would choose are:

  1. 8 of swords
  2. 8 of cups
  3. 4 of cups
  4. 15 the Devil
  5. 5 of swords

I’m realizing as I’m typing that this dream is not the best example, if only because these cards are total bummers.

Now the dream through the eyes of the cards.

I’m stuck in a trap; although I could escape, I don’t realize it. I finally get away and move on to better things, but I’m cut off from the gifts and opportunities that life presents through my own inability or unwillingness to receive them. Caught in a destructive relationship that steals my will and ability to choose, I am stripped of my power and must admit my defeat.

Ugh, what a downer. No wonder I woke up this morning in a weird mood. On the plus side (because I’m an optimist, there is always a plus side) now I know this situation is happening behind the scenes and I can start to uncover it and address it. And this is an excellent time of year for this type of work.

And really, it doesn’t have to be such a big deal – it could just be about the way that the lack of sunlight is making it so I don’t want to do anything. It also calls to mind the way I imagine the Syrian refugees might be feeling. In reality, some dreams are just mysteries that can’t be solved, and I might never know the “meaning” of this dream.


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