Let’s start October with a five-card tarot spread asking, “What do we need to know this month?” In this tarot reading for October 2022, the message is to communicate clearly and compassionately, leave behind what no longer serves you, and pace yourself.
How I Read Tarot Cards
The call to action from this month’s reading is to be honest about what is and isn’t working. Hopes and dreams are helpful north stars, but make sure you understand your own limitations, as well as the limitations of those around you. Generally, for any reading, I shuffle the deck thinking about my question or intention, cut the deck into two piles, and draw from the pile that calls to me most. There isn’t a wrong way to pull cards though. This is my personal preference.
I appreciate that the overall message of this month is to make positive changes, but be realistic about what you can do right now. Sometimes spiritual advice on “manifesting” can come from a place of privilege and ignorance, and doesn’t take people’s circumstances into account. Tarot reading itself is a job born out of difficult circumstances from when Romani people left India between the 10th and 11th centuries, traveled through Persia, Armenia, and the Byzantine Empire, and eventually arrived in Europe between the 12th and 13th centuries, where they were the first to use the Italian playing cards, Tarot, as a divinatory tool. They also brought palmistry, tea leaf and coffee reading, and other divination with them as they traveled.
They were met with extreme persecution, which continues today. Roma were limited to traditional jobs like fortune telling, metal working, performing, animal training, and other trades for a long time, and many still are. Disproportionately, Roma experience poverty, police brutality, as well as housing, education, and employment discrimination. Even mixed and assimilated families like mine with relative privilege deal with intergenerational trauma from slavery, genocide, and other forms of persecution. But Roma are also resilient, creative, contribute to society, and are actively working toward a better world. When I offer advice to leave situations that aren’t working and to pursue your happiness, I do so with the understanding that this looks different for everyone. I encourage you to look for the pathway that makes sense for you.
I created my own five-card spread for this column. There are spreads that you can use that are predetermined, but you can also make up your own. The five cards below represent embodiment (your energy right now); situation (what’s around you at the moment); obstacle (a struggle you’re facing); action (what to do about it); and a lesson (what you will learn from this month.)
Embodiment: Eight of Wands
The Eight of Wands represents the mastery of communication. You are perfectly positioned to hone your skills of self-expression in all areas. Now is an ideal time for creativity, heart-to-hearts, and important meetings. Tools like journaling, therapy, and reading books about communication can help you say what needs to be said in the best way possible. This is an opportunity to speak what you need into existence.
Situation: Eight of Cups
The Eight of Cups suggests that you might have been disappointed recently, and this experience is a sign that it’s time to move on. Think of it like a snake shedding its skin; letting go makes room for renewal. Make sure to communicate clearly before ending anything, whether you’re leaving a job, a relationship, an obligation, or an awkward situation. Walking away means moving to a place where you’re appreciated and supported.
Obstacle: Five of Pentacles
The Five of Pentacles acknowledges that you might have a lack of resources at the moment, whether it’s money or energy, and that can be very draining. Take steps for change at a pace you can handle. For someone unhappy at work, maybe apply for one new job a week rather than one every day, ask for help from friends with resumés and cover letters, and only leave your toxic job once you have a new one lined up. In general, this card reminds you to budget your money and time, and protect your energy.
Action: Seven of Cups
The Seven of Cups is a card of disillusionment, which can be uncomfortable, but is ultimately helpful. Take the time to honestly assess your desires, and the people and situations around you. Take note if you have a tendency to idealize or catastrophize, and use that awareness as an invitation to observe what’s really there, what’s practical, and what you can trust. You can still dream big and be rooted in reality.
Lesson: Queen of Pentacles
The Queen of Pentacles is a card of nurturing and empowerment, and comes to the rescue after feeling depleted with The Five of Pentacles. Good communication is a powerful act of self-care, and so is releasing yourself from situations or people that no longer feel right for you. The Queen of Pentacles reminds you that simple acts — like eating nourishing meals, getting enough rest and exercise, and finding a routine that works for you— give you the energy and stability to take care of yourself in bigger ways.
How To Use October 2022's Tarot Lessons
October is full of the creative, expressive energy of the Eight of Wands, so immerse yourself in stories. Journal out your feelings, listen to inspiring TED Talks, read books that spark your imagination, and dance to witchy music that wakes up your heart. Since October is spooky season, my favorite thing is to indulge in tales of the paranormal. Dead Scared Entertainment, a Romani-family run horror media company by Pierce and Raquel Horvath, has a wonderful scary story podcast, O Verda Darano (The Wagon of Fear). In an interview with the Romanistan podcast (out Oct. 9), the Horvarth siblings explain how they were inspired to take the rich tradition of Romani storytelling and share it with the world, and make it into a livelihood that brings them joy. This month, see how your stories and your truth can lead you to a more joyful path, too.