Sample Reading: Firing Up

Each month, one lucky newsletter subscriber (who opts in) gets a free tarot reading of their choice. July’s winner opted for the Firing Up reading and asked that I use the Tarot del Fuego, perfect for shaking off some wintry doldrums that still clung to her deep in the heat of summer.

The querent, whose identity and specific concerns have been altered for privacy, requested the reading because she was feeling stuck in a set of circumstances that were difficult on the work front and the home front, and she knew that she needed to start making changes but couldn’t see how to start. For that, the Firing Up reading seemed a perfect choice for getting those fires burning. It’s still too early to know exactly how it will all turn out, but she agreed to let me share the reading so that those who haven’t tried this type of reading could get a sense of what this type of reading looks like.

I’ve included the whole PDF reading in a link below, but I’m posting the questions for my Firing Up reading in case anyone wants to use the reading for their own practice (if you post a reading with the spread or use it with clients, please give credit where credit’s due—I’m happy to give, but I like to receive as well), and I’ve included an early snippet of the larger reading (yes, all that counts as a “snippet”) in case you’ve never had a reading from me and want a taste of my tarot reading style.


From the Tarot del Fuego

What should know about the current situation? 10 of Swords (reversed)

What’s dampening her energy? 6 of Wands (reversed)

What steps can she take now to work to fire herself up? 9 of Wands

How can she maintain that inner fire? Queen of Cups

What can she expect once she’s started this work? Knight of Wands (reversed)

What card can serve as a sign (outside of this reading) to remind her that she’s a bad-ass and she’s got this? King of Swords

Extra: What should I, as a reader, know about this situation? The Hanged Man and the Devil (flipper)

Excerpt from the beginning of a recent Firing Up reading

[There’s an introductory letter and then the reading begins]

I get the impression from these cards that there is actually plenty of fire here within you and within your household, and what’s needed now is a bit more water to help not just calm some of that fire but also help create power in the balance. In the elemental basis for the tarot that I often use as a guide, fire and water make steam, signified by air. But steam is also a source of power, as in a steam engine. There are a few reasons I am drawn to this elemental analysis even though the Tarot del Fuego doesn’t explicitly use it. One is the prevalence of fire imagery in the first three cards, even though only two are Wands, followed by the ultra-watery Queen of Cups and reversed (reversed ultra-fiery) Knight of Wands. So we move from fire to water. And then outside of the specifics of the reading but giving a lot of additional insight, we have the King of Swords, who is ultra-airy (your steam power), and the Hanged Man, who is the major arcana of water. I was also struck by the way blue that is so prevalent in many of these cards. The deck, as you know, is generally quite fiery, and it uses a primary color scheme, but not all the cards in the deck highlight blue in the way that, say, the 6 of Wands does, and I think that’s significant here in the context of the other cards.

This focus on a need for water energy isn’t to say that you can’t be “fired up” with the Tarot del Fuego, but it might be a useful reminder that what could fire you up is not the sort of thing you’re expecting. The Hanged Man confirms a need for fresh perspective. And I think that this all means that you’re looking for fire when, if anything, you might have too much fire in your life. I’ll go over the cards individually since each answers a different question, but it will be good for you to start thinking about how watery energy might actually help you to get moving in ways that you haven’t been and in ways that differ from the sorts of things you’re expecting me to say. You may need a way to complement the fire you naturally have with something else, such as more balance with watery elements of your life. Before I get into the individual card analyses, I should note that two of the cards, the Hanged Man and the Devil, are for me as guides to the rest of the reading. They won’t come up that much in an explicit way, but they’re definitely behind some of the core ideas in the reading.

You mentioned anxiety in your request for this reading, and one of the characteristics of anxiety that I have experienced seems relevant here. In talking with loved ones who have anxiety disorder, there’s a feeling that the nervous system is completely fried, as though it’s been electrified (or burned) so many times by various stimuli that even minor things can suddenly feel explosive under the wrong conditions. I’m not sure if that’s how your own anxiety makes you feel, but it serves as a useful metaphor for what I’m seeing with all of this fiery energy, particularly as we start with a reversed Swords card, which can suggest some difficulty in clear thinking or more basic mental processes.

To read the whole thing, download the sample Firing Up PDF reading here.

The cards pictured here are from the Tarot del Fuego by Ricardo Cavolo © 2016 Lo Scarabeo srl, via Cigna 110, 10155 Torino, Italy. All rights reserved, used by permission.