Tarot has been around for centuries. Initial versions of the cards were seen as early as the 14th century, brought over to Western Europe from Islamic societies, says How Stuff Works. Many still use the deck today for guidance on important life decisions, including money matters.

Tarot readings can be helpful for those stuck in a rut because they can be a reflection of your subconscious. You might already have the answer to your problems but just need an extra push to get there. Sarah Mae Loyd, tarot card reader and owner of In The Clouds Tarot, says that a lot of times querents (AKA people who seek out an oracle) already have an idea of the overall reading.

“The first thing I do when laying [down] the cards is [ask] the person to look at each card and tell me what they feel,” says Loyd. “I always say that I’m just the messenger and here to assist you on your path but you already have all of the answers. If I can help light up the path in order for you to see I will!”

Before getting your financial answers via tarot, you’ll have to know your card basics. There are various kinds of tarot decks, but one of the most well known is the Rider-Waite deck. Named after publisher William Rider and mystic A.E. Waite, this deck has been printed since the early 1900s, says Mental Floss.

Most decks, including Rider-Waite, are comprised of 78 cards. Fifty-six make up what’s called the Minor Arcana and 22 are the Major Arcana, says Tarot.com. Major Arcana cards are illustrated with characters like The Empress, The Fool, and the High Priestess. Similar to playing cards which are comprised of Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs, the minor cards are comprised of Cups, Pentacles (or Coins), Swords, and Wands. Each card has a meaning that informs a reading. (Refer to a tarot guidebook or tarot websites for card meanings.)

Sara Whaley, tarot cards
Courtesy of Sara Whaley

When starting a card reading, you might have several targeted questions you seek answers for. If you don’t know what to ask, you can stick with open-ended queries. However, Loyd says if someone is clear on their question, the message from your reading will also be more clear.

For those having trouble formulating specific questions, analyzing their “life story” can help. Reiki master and healing touch practitioner Sara Whaley says most people having recurring themes in their life story — the characters might be different but the plot is on repeat. That might be a good indicator of something that needs to be addressed.

“When it comes to financial/career repeated themes, there is usually a lack of self-worth involved,” says Whaley.

Kim Krans, artist and creator of The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck and Animal Spirit Deck, says specific questions work but open-ended questions can be good for preventive purposes.

“It is helpful to once in a while to check in with these bigger overriding questions because those are the big picture of our life,” says Krans. “It’s kind of like a band-aid versus like a preventative lifestyle — a specific reading can be a little bit of a band-aid…anytime we’re asking deeper, bigger questions, it’s going to be more beneficial in the long run.”

Kim Krans, tarot cards for money advice
Photo by Erika Astrid; Courtesy of Kim Krans

To derive meaning from the cards, you’ll shuffle your deck, pick a certain number of cards, and place them in specific orders called a “card spread.” You can do a reading with a single card, or draw more depending on how much clarity you seek. Whaley suggests a three-card style spread.

“Card one represents your financial past, card two represents your financial present, and card three (represents your financial future,” says Whaley. “If you need to pull cards for additional clarity, reshuffle the deck with that intention and pull a fourth/fifth/sixth card and place underneath the card(s) in question as needed.”

The Pentacles suit (often portrayed with coins) is most directly related to finances as it represents earthly possessions. Each card has a meaning that can be applied to financial readings. For example, the four of Pentacles can represent the “the paradoxical aspect of material security” and six of Pentacles can represent patronage, says Tarot.com.

Krans suggests readers use just the Pentacles suit for a specialized financial reading.

“You’re asking for specific advice — you’re going to the specialist, so to speak,” says Krans.

Whaley says she often does money and work-centric readings where querents think that roadblocks in these areas are the cause of their unhappiness. She finds that people are usually more consumed with filling their bank account rather than their “soul account.” The root of their problems can be something deeper than money, says Whaley.

“It can be a relationship, or even go as deep as a generational wound,” says Whaley. “Every situation is different, of course, but it’s important to look beyond the surface.”

Need more Magic Money? Read more in our series here