Tarot cards – alternative names

Long time, no post. Never mind… the reading section has perked up. You should go there and post a question. Talking of the readings, I might well clear them out into an archive, so that they are accessible and I can start the readings 9 Swordspage afresh.

Meanwhile I noticed that a particular search term was used to find my blog and it sparked the idea for this post. The term was “The Nine of Swords is often referred to as ‘the nightmare card’, do other cards have names too?” Quite a cool question, I thought.

The answer is, yes, lots of them do… and some you can make up to help you interpret them. However, you have to be careful to open your mind to other interpretations too. The problem with naming the cards is that you are effectively giving them a keyword, and if you have read other articles of mine, you’ll know I dislike keywords because of the restriction they put on a card’s meaning. But, anyway, let me run through a few ‘alternate names’ and perhaps you can invent some of your own.

Let’s start with the Nine of Swords – the Nightmare card. You can see why it got this name. This poor person may have just woken from a nightmare, or they are in such despair, their life may seem like a waking nightmare. The depths of misery, indeed. Oh, wait… but this is a nine, therefore the cycle is coming to a close. Things will get better. And look at those swords – arranged just like a ladder. There’s a way out of this. Simply wait a little while and the problems will resolve themselves, or a solution will be offered. Ach… I didn’t mean to go into such detail, but you can see that a one-word prompt could close down the interpretation unless you are prepared to examine the card properly. I’ll go through a few more, and this time you can do the “Oh wait, but…” thing.

  • The Empress – the’ pregnancy’ card (go on, say “Oh wait but…”)
  • The Three of Cups – the ‘girls night out’ card
  • The Two of Wands – the ‘hurry up already’ card (can’t do it; got to be patient)
  • The Four of Wands – the ‘wedding’ card
  • The Four of Pentacles – the ‘hands off, it’s all mine’ card
  • The Four of Swords – the ‘I’ll just take a little rest’ card
  • The Four of Cups – the ‘sod off and leave me alone’ card
  • The Five of Swords – the ‘heh heh heh’ card
  • The Six of Swords – the ‘things are always getting better’ card (sing it)
  • The Seven of Swords – the ‘possession is nine tenths of the law’ card
  • The Eight of Swords – the ‘I can’t, really I can’t’ card
  • The Eight of Cups – the ‘bye-bye’ card
  • The Eight of Wands – the ‘arrows of love’ card (AE Waite’s term)
  • The Nine of Pentacles – the ‘happy to be alone’ card
  • The Ten of Swords – the ‘oh shit!’ card
  • The Ten of Pentacles – the ‘we’re all right, Jack’ card

And so on. I challenge you to make a list of your own alternate card names and post some of your finest in the comments.

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2 thoughts on “Tarot cards – alternative names

  1. Veronika

    Brilliant idea 🙂
    I would like to add a couple that came to mind:
    Knight of cups – the “prince Charming” card.
    Three of wands – ” but I still want more” card
    6 of wands – ” The winner takes it all…” by ABBA
    Judgement – is called ” Awakening” in the Victorian Fairy deck, very appropriately 🙂


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