Tarot Routines + What the Five of Cups Can Teach Us

I’ve recently been inspired by a tarot reader friend who has been doing big, deep-dive readings for himself each week to get a sense of what to prioritize in the days ahead.

I know it’s popular to pull a card a day, but sometimes that can feel like information overload with a lot to take in and not enough time to carry through on all of tarot’s messages.

I like the idea of a weekly tarot pull to set the tone for the week ahead. I find in general that I’m most effective and focused when I start off my week with a clear sense of my top priorities. A lot can happen in the span of a few days, but I can also waste a lot of time if I haven’t clearly identified what I need to be moving forward.

And these days, it feels like there is so much to do: I have new writing projects I want to make space for. I have my new Tarot Study Hall community to build upon. And I have been busy with the little vintage resale business my husband and I started last year.

There’s a lot to do, and everything takes a different level of energy and concentration. And of course, I have big hopes for everything I’m working on: We all do, right?

And when we pull tarot cards, whether it’s for ourselves or others, there is often that hope in the back of our minds that we’re going to see the best cards for all of our aspirations.

We want to see tons of pentacles when we’re building a business. We want to see fun, bright cards like the Sun or Ten of Cups when we’re putting ourselves out there. We want to see the Magician or the World affirming our mega-manifestation dreams are all coming true.

But last week when I sat down to do a weekly reading for myself, I was disappointed: I had lots of gloomy cards, and there was the Five of Cups smack in the centre of it all as my main focus for the week.

“Five of Cups?” I thought to myself. “Why?” I had so many big plans, you see: Why weren’t they showing up in my reading?

Well, my friends, here’s the thing: Some of my plans didn’t go as I’d hoped last week. Instead, I had to do some things I didn’t want to do.

I had to say no to something when I really wanted to say yes.

I had to bust my butt in my vintage business (which is a very, very small side hustle for us right now) at a time when that business has been painfully slow.

I ended up with way less time to write than I had planned for.

Such is life, right?

By the end of the week, I knew why that Five of Cups had landed right in the middle of everything.

Some energy got spilled. Some of my hopes were depleted.

But as I contemplated that card, a Rolling Stones song popped into my head: “You can’t always get what you want / but if you try sometimes / you might find you get what you need.”

And I thought about that in relation to the traditional image of the Five of Cups: Not everything is lost.

We all have those days when we get into a funk and wonder if it would be easier to quit everything we’re doing and just start over fresh.

That’s the vibe of the Five of Cups: You’re so focused on what’s going wrong that it’s easy to forget what’s going right.

It's so easy to spiral into dramatics when things don’t go your way, too. We can easily start to think nothing will ever go our way again – even when, logically, we know that’s probably not true.

By the end of my Week of Funk™, I was thinking hard about the figure in the Five of Cups:

Are they falling into these same dramatics?

Did they put on their grim reaper costume that morning because they think they’re going to die of thirst?

Are they acting like they’ve spilled the last three glasses of water on earth?

Because as we know, the Five of Cups just has to turn around to see what’s still available. They might think they’re going to go thirsty, but in reality, they won’t.

They’re fine. They’re safe.

And that’s what I had to remind myself of last week: Just because things aren’t going exactly as planned doesn’t mean that everything is wasted.

And it doesn’t mean everything is over.

In fact, things can still be going really, really well even when you’re in the middle of a bad day. Or a bad week.

Sometimes you have to remember how far you’ve come in the first place, and to take stock of all that is working in your favour – even if it’s not always immediately obvious at the time.

So next time you find yourself in a funk, think of the Five of Cups, and look around for the hidden chalices that are waiting to soothe your thirst.

Until next time,



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