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Reading the Meanings of Gypsy Oracle/Tarot Cards

Erin writes about various topics concerning Pagan/Wiccan practice and knowledge.

Read on to better understand the meaning of Oracle cards.

Read on to better understand the meaning of Oracle cards.

I have scoured the web over and over again, trying to find articles on these types of fortune-telling cards. Unfortunately, I had no luck with this search. I wanted to better understand their meanings. While oracle cards are similar to your typical tarot deck, they do not hold any particular suit. Rather, each card supplies a picture or situation that is meant to be interpreted symbolically.

What Are Gypsy Tarot Cards?

Tarot Cards are used for fortune-telling. In principle, it's very similar to the practice of divination. The difference is that divination involves religious ritual, invoking deities or spirits, while fortune-telling is less serious and formal. That said, it's best not to think of tarot/oracle cards as something that perfectly predicts coming events, but rather as a set of suggestions for spiritual or practical guidance or affirmation.

With any sort of fortune deck, the reader needs to read between the lines. The placement of the cards will not necessarily make sense in relation to the question being asked. This article aims to give readers expanded insight into some of the vaguest cards you will ever see.

What Oracle Cards Are Trying to Tell You

According to legend, a Gypsy told of two things that had to be kept in mind: the image, which 'provoked feelings and memories in the heart and mind,' and the sentence (the card's title), which 'guided sensitivities and perception in the right direction.'

Below you will find a detailed description for each and every gypsy oracle card. The cards have alternate meanings depending on what's going on in your life and what position the card is in. Make sure to read both the typical interpretation as well as the reversed or alternative meanings for each card. The cards have been arranged in alphabetical order for your convenience.

Cheerfulness Tarot Card

Cheerfulness Tarot Card

Cheerfulness or Party

When Facing Right Side Up

When facing right side up, it could mean a social event, a reception, a wedding, and/or baby shower, is coming your way. There is a great need to get out more and enjoy yourself. Let yourself escape the mundaneness of normal life for a little bit. You deserve it.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

When facing upside down, it could mean that you are feeling uncertain about your social skills and might have a fear of social situations. It could symbolize a future event with a lot of interaction. Take note of the other cards that you have pulled in your reading to possibly narrow down the nature of this event.

Child Oracle Card

Child Oracle Card

Child or Baby

When Facing Right Side Up

  • When facing right side up, this card could be telling you about a new start, pregnancy, or a baby.
  • It could represent the infancy stage
  • It could represent the start of a project or relationship.
  • You may have to look after someone who is less fortunate than you are.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • When facing upside down, it could mean naivety or inexperience.
  • It could mean that you must satisfy repressed desires and unfulfilled hopes. You may have a longing for the past.
  • This card can represent a new addition to the family as well as represent the character of the person receiving the reading, or the person the reading is about.
Consolation Oracle Card

Consolation Oracle Card

Consolation or Some Money

When Facing Right Side Up

  • When the card is facing forward it could mean a bonus, a purchase, small win, refund.
  • Can be a small raise or increase.
  • Finding or having some loot you forgot about.
  • Receiving a refund check, rebate, etc.
  • Entitlement.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • But in reverse, it could mean not coming in first.
  • Not receiving what is expected in full.
  • This card can represent a small prize heading your way. It could be a small increase in money or materialistic fortune. It can also represent a small loss that comes with little consequence.
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Constancy Tarot Card

Constancy Tarot Card

Constancy

When Facing Right Side Up

  • Forward-facing, this card can represent a lack of change, accountability, and that everything will stay the same in a positive light.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • Alternatively, if you are wondering about a negative situation when the card is upside down, then your situation is unlikely to improve. This may be due to stubbornness.
  • This card represents the quality of being dependable and faithful, as well as enduring and unchanging. Take note of the surrounding cards that you've pulled in order to narrow down this card's meaning.
Conversation or Judge Tarot Card

Conversation or Judge Tarot Card

Conversation or Judge

When Facing Right Side Up

  • When this card is presented facing forwards, it could mean that a conversation is going to take place soon, or a final verdict/decision will be made by those in authority. Weighing the pros and cons in a situation may be the solution for you at this time.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • If this card has been presented upside down you are either being put through some kind of a test, or you are seeking acceptance to move forward.
  • Above all else, this card represents judgment and finality. A discussion is to take place soon. Take note of the surrounding cards pulled in your reading to determine what the conversation or decision will be about.
Death Tarot Card

Death Tarot Card

Death

When Facing Right Side Up

  • In a positive light, and in the upright position, this card's meanings relate to the start of a new cycle, a time to move on and forget the past. It's time to head off in a different direction.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • When placed upside down, it means farewell, a finalization, endings and if a yes or no question has been asked, the answer is no.
  • It's often depicted as a negative card to pull, but it also brings some joy. This card represents endings, but also brings in new beginnings. It can be used to answer yes or no questions. (Similar to how the "Faithfulness" card has alternate meanings.)
Despair or Anger Tarot Card

Despair or Anger Tarot Card

Despair or Anger

When Facing Right Side Up

  • When placed right side up, the meanings usually regard a provocation or a circumstance that tests your patience. This is a card of emotions that could be telling you how you, or others, are feeling. It could also represent the despair of other people, and may suggest that someone around you will be in need of your help.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • Upside down, this card signifies that someone near you is prone to sudden outbursts or will 'fly off the handle.' There are some anger issues that exist along with frustration, negative emotions, annoyance, and an all-around bad mood.
  • This card represents the many hardships and cruelties that you will experience in the world. Alternatively, it may be a pun on 'the spare.' Perhaps the meaning is hinting at the fact that you may need some backup.
Doctor or Physician Tarot Card

Doctor or Physician Tarot Card

Doctor or Physician

When Facing Right Side Up

  • When this card has been placed in the upward position, it can represent a medicine man or woman. Perhaps there is someone near you who needs caring for and advising.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • Alternatively, in the reversed potion, there is a need for emotional or physical healing, maybe even some medical concerns are present.
  • On the card, you can clearly see a doctor comforting his patient. This could be regarding something medical or emotional. The card may be telling you to seek guidance or to pay attention to the health of the person receiving the reading.
Enemy Tarot Card

Enemy Tarot Card

Enemy

When Facing Right Side Up

  • Weakness
  • Hostility
  • Impostor
  • Self-doubt
  • Opposing ideas and contradictory attitudes
  • You are in denial about something or rejecting someone.
  • Inner conflict with yourself

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • This card means the same forward as it does in reverse, though the severity of the situation may differ. Consult the surrounding cards to decipher this card's meaning. Is there someone near you that has ulterior motives? Perhaps an acquaintance that does not have your best interest at heart?
Faithfulness or Good News Tarot Card

Faithfulness or Good News Tarot Card

Faithfulness or Good News

When Facing Right Side Up or Upside Down

  • This card is positive in either position. It is a "Yes" card signifying positive results. It also represents a joyful announcement, generosity, loyalty, protection, and intuition. It could also be telling you that you were recently or are about to be put through a test and you will have had or will pass.
  • Strong values and good intentions will enable you to move forward in the world and succeed.
  • This is a positive card to receive. Just like the "Death" card, can be used for "yes" or "no" questions, this one is the "Yes" card. This card suggests that good news is coming.
Falseness Tarot Card

Falseness Tarot Card

Falseness

When Facing Right Side Up or Upside Down

  • This is a card of lies, corruption, defensiveness, and negativity. Perhaps there will be a betrayal by someone you have put your faith in. There is some kind of deception going on here and someone is trying to cover it up by lying to you. This card can also represent the person that is getting the reading. If this is the case, the card is telling you to make things right.
  • This card's meaning is the same forward as it is reversed, though the severity may differ. This card represents lies and manipulation. Consult the surrounding cards in the reading to decipher its meaning.

Own Worst Enemy

“You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you.”

— Lisa Kleypas, Love in the Afternoon

Foe or Rival Tarot Card

Foe or Rival Tarot Card

Foe or Rival

When Facing Right Side Up

  • There is an embrace of some joy not thought of. Something may not have gone your way, but something good will still come from it as long as you can be aggressive to make good things happen. Are you competing or comparing yourself to others' accomplishments? It is sometimes better to do things that are just for you and not to do them in order to come out on top of someone else.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • When in the reversed position you are losing your credibility by standing with or against others. It also may suggest that you have neglected your duties or abandoned your responsibilities. Don't be reluctant to assert your rights and standing up for yourself or for a cause that you believe in.
  • This card does not represent another person, rather, it represents your own idealism and/or cowardice. As the saying goes, "You are your own worst enemy."
Fortune Tarot Card

Fortune Tarot Card

Fortune

When Facing Right Side Up

  • There has been a victory or a string of luck happening at this moment. Something is happening that is most satisfying and praise should be given for your abundance. This could be pertaining to inner riches rather than a more literal fortune.
  • This is a positive card to receive. It is either telling you that you soon will reap your rewards or advising you to make the first step to making your dreams come true.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • When reversed there could be some unexpressed talents that should be addressed. You're not moving in the direction you should be in to achieve your fortune.
Friend Tarot Card

Friend Tarot Card

Friend

When Facing Right Side Up

  • It could represent a friend or a friendship. They are an important person to have around you at the moment for they are teaching you things about yourself that you need to be in tune with. Lessons will be learned and positive reinforcement is high.
  • Signifies aspects of your personality that you have rejected, but are ready to incorporate and acknowledge. Most people don't like accounting for their own flaws but sometimes it is crucial in order to grow as a person and become the true self you are meant to be.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • Whether reversed or forward this is a positive card to receive when surrounded by other positive cards. Take into account what your surrounding cards are. There is someone close to you that can be beneficial.
Frivolity or Inconstance Tarot Card

Frivolity or Inconstance Tarot Card

Frivolity or Inconstance

When Facing Right Side Up or Upside Down

  • With change comes new beginnings. They could be rocky at first, but they end up turning out for the better. Something is changing and an embrace is needed at this moment.
  • If change isn't embraced, it could lead to some negativity and irrational actions. Do not be disheartened about things not being the way they used to be. Without the river moving, it can not awaken life along its path.
  • When drawn, this card, more often than not, means something uncertain is about to happen, has happened, or is happening at the moment. Perhaps you must rely on your own instincts rather than seeking out wisdom from the cards. Are your instincts telling you that you must do the least thing you want to hear? Perhaps that is the better choice.
Gift Tarot Card

Gift Tarot Card

Gift

When Facing Right Side Up

  • A gift may be perceived as anything of value to the individual. Rewards are plenty at the moment but it may not be a reward in the more literal sense. This card represents a donation, a contribution, or an inheritance and may also be representative of a generous person.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • Alternatively. you may be trying to express some kind of feeling or having something awkward to say that needs to be "carefully packaged" or this card could be telling you to allow yourself to have a more generous nature towards a situation.
  • Something is coming your way in some shape or form. It could be rather grand or may be something small but special. A kind word, an inheritance, or some news that you could be waiting for. Or are you in need of breaking some news to someone else that may be rather hard for them to hear?
Haughtiness or Pride Tarot Card

Haughtiness or Pride Tarot Card

Haughtiness or Pride

When Facing Right Side Up

  • Ambition is key to your situation at the moment. This card is telling you that you should not expect the rewards you seek or the treatment from others with which you long for if your ambition is lulled and no action on your part is taken.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • When reversed, there is an arrogant air about you that isn't be received well. Others may be perceiving you as conceited or a show-off.
  • When this card is in place, take into account the surrounding cards. Is this card representing you or someone else? Does your pride get in the way of things or perhaps you are dealing with a rather prideful person? Or perhaps it is the opposite and the cards are telling you to go after what you need to be doing. Don't let fear hold you back. Go for it! You have nothing to lose as long as you try.
Hope Tarot Card

Hope Tarot Card

Hope

When Facing Right Side Up

  • You have been patient and put your faith into the future holding what it is you want to happen and now a positive outcome is your reward.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • Alternatively, in your waiting you let other opportunities slip past you. A patient man can either be wise or a fool-hearted. It is up to you to determine which one you are.
  • There is nothing wrong with being patient. After all, it is a virtue. But don't let waiting for something allow you to miss the other opportunities passing you by. There is no sense in letting something that may or may not happen hold you back from any reward you may deserve.

Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.

— Elbert Hubbard

House Tarot Card

House Tarot Card

House

When Facing Right Side Up

  • This is the card of home and security. It represents your own sanctuary or even your own soul and self. There are projects abound in the environment you are in and can only bring comfort if you take the time to improve. This card also represents family and bonds that bring warmth into your life.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • Alternatively, there is a need to accept responsibilities and be more self-reliant. You could be taking advantage of a situation or ignoring a project that needs to get done.
  • The house card easily represents a place of solitude and comfort. It can literally represent a home or it could be representing your security with yourself. It also represents projects that you are being faced with whether they are physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.
Journey Tarot Card

Journey Tarot Card

Journey

When Facing Right Side Up

  • A much-needed vacation or harmonious change has been rewarded to you or soon will be. You have worked hard and are deserving of a get-away. Use this time to discover things about yourself that you didn't know where there.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • When faced upside down, it could signify an emergency or an unexpected and urgent happening that requires you to travel.
  • There are a lot of reasons to journey out into the world. Perhaps it's not a physical journey, but a journey of the spirit. Maybe a conquest of yourself is in need. Alternatively, you might be needing a well-deserved vacation or maybe even there has been a family emergency that needs tending to.
Joyfulness or Merriment Tarot Card

Joyfulness or Merriment Tarot Card

Joyfulness or Merriment

When Facing Right Side Up

  • Harmony is the theme of your life, lately, whether it be because of a harmonious event, feelings of pleasure from entertainment, a bout of creativity or a general well being, joy is a big part of who you are.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • When in reverse you may be ignoring your responsibilities or in denial of the reality of the situation. You may also be relying too heavily on outer, materialistic things to bring you joy.
  • There is nothing wrong with feeling true joy. But you always must remember the joy doesn't come from things outside of you. You must produce the joy within yourself.
Letter or Note Tarot Card

Letter or Note Tarot Card

Letter or Note

When Facing Right Side Up

  • This could be the answer you have been waiting for and will bring a new opportunity or challenge. An approval of some sort will come.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • When reversed this message may come baring news that you weren't hoping for. It could else represent a lack of communication that should be addressed.
  • Who doesn't like getting mail? With every correspondence brings even the smallest imprint in your life. Bad news or good news, something will change. Are you waiting on something of importance? It will come soon. Be patient and you will receive the answer you have sought after. Keep in mind that it may not be the answer you were expecting or desiring.
Lord Tarot Card

Lord Tarot Card

Lord

When Facing Right Side Up

  • This card represents an authority figure such as a boss, teacher, parent, or property owner. Perhaps you are the authority figure, if so, then there are obligations that should be a priority.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • When reversed, you may feel that someone else has authority over your life and dictates what you can or can not do. It symbolizes your limitations and lack of freedom or originality. There is a reminder here that there is a higher power that you have to answer to.
  • Look carefully at your cards. Does this card represent you or someone you know? Do you feel like you are being limited or silenced or are you doing the silencing? This card should be a wake-up call to those who receive it.
Love Tarot Card

Love Tarot Card

Love

When Facing Right Side Up

  • There is happiness, love, and affection in your life or soon to come. Satisfaction with where you are and what you have in your life is strong at this point

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • Reversed, it may imply that you are not getting enough love or affection in your life. Are you allowing yourself to open up to people and accept positivity in your life?
  • Love is one of the most sought after things in the world aside from happiness. Often times, love and happiness go hand in hand with one another but this is a farce. Love doesn't necessarily bring happiness and happiness doesn't necessarily bring love. Look at your surrounding cards to determine the meaning of your card. What was your initial question for the oracle?
Lover Tarot Card

Lover Tarot Card

Lover

When Facing Right Side Up

  • Represents the man getting the reading.
  • If you are a female, then the lover is your special man or boyfriend. If you don't have one, he can represent a male friend or brother. In the future spot predicts the potential of a love affair.
  • Symbolizes acceptance and self-worth, and acknowledgment of your true inner-value.
  • You are feeling complete and whole.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • Alternatively, it can represent the man in your life is not who he seems. If the drawing is for a man you are not being true to yourself or to others.
  • This card is representative of the man getting the reading or the man whom the reading is directed at. Either way, the man is the lover who seeks out companionship. Alternatively, he may not be honest in order to reap his rewards.
Malady Tarot Card

Malady Tarot Card

Malady

When Facing Right Side Up

  • There has been an illness, whether mental, spiritual, or physical, but a recovery is in sight. It's becoming easier to meet with the day to day life.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • The reverse suggests an illness, a negative well-being, unpleasant changes, or an inability to cope with a situation. There is also a possibility of using sickness as an excuse not to deal with something or someone.
  • The card is a reminder that life is too precious and that you need to make the most of your time every day. This card represents illness and negativity. Perhaps an illness has befallen you or a loved one and recovery is hoped for or in sight. Unfortunately, this card doesn't need much interpretation. There is sickness of the body, the mind, or the spirit.
Melancholy or Sadness Tarot Card

Melancholy or Sadness Tarot Card

Melancholy or Sadness

When Facing Right Side Up

  • This too shall pass. The sadness in the air is temporary and the situation will become much easier to deal with, maybe even a little funny after the fact.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • In the reverse, this card suggests an upsetting time and signifies disappointments. There is an inability to connect with others around you do to grief, mood swings, or depression that is difficult to get over.
  • You are going through a rather difficult time at the moment or soon will be facing some disappointment. It doesn't look like good news is coming your way but you can always take heart that turmoil makes you stronger in the end and soon the clouds will part.
  • Inability to connect with others; feeling withdrawn and distant.
Merchant or Profit Tarot Card

Merchant or Profit Tarot Card

Merchant or Profit

When Facing Right Side Up

  • This card represents business aspirations and professional goals. You are open to changes and looking at things with a different perspective that will lead to big advantages.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • Alternatively, you or someone is taking advantage in a negative light. Take care not to allow yourself to be in a situation that could possibly damage a relationship whether it is through business or in your personal life.
  • The merchant is cunning. He knows how to make a profit and isn't shy to do it the only way he knows how. This card is telling you to go for it. Use your skills to your best advantage. Alternatively, someone may be playing you for a fool to get what they want.
Messenger or Message Tarot Card

Messenger or Message Tarot Card

Messenger or Message

When Facing Right Side Up

  • An announcement or invitation is on its way, perhaps some news you have been waiting for will be coming to you soon. It could also mean that there is an important message that you need to convey and let others know.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • Alternatively, you could be receiving ill news or you are not receiving any communication at all.
  • Look to the card beside it for an explanation as to the type of message it is depending on what spread you have chosen. Maybe someone is waiting on a message from you and you haven't delivered. Be sure to reach out if necessary. Think about how you would feel if you needed information that wasn't coming to you when it is expected.
Misfortune Tarot Card

Misfortune Tarot Card

Misfortune

When Facing Right Side Up

  • This card serves as a warning to a situation. Be cautious about moving forward.

Reversed or Alternate Meaning

  • In reverse, bad luck, discomfort, and obstacles may be at play with your situation. A potential mishap or freak circumstance may meet you soon. Something is in need of your attention. Stop to rethink the consequences of your actions before making a move.
  • This card leaves little to the imagination and represents exactly what you think it might. Take into consideration the surrounding cards. What does this misfortune pertain to?