How to Deal with Stalker Cards in Tarot
Are you being stalked? Whether you read tarot or oracle, at some point, if you haven’t already experienced it, you’ll find yourself turning over the same card repeatedly. The card can present itself as a jumper; a card that consistently falls out of the shuffle, or appear no matter what deck is used. In some cases, you may even find the card stalking you via online images, being mentioned in podcasts, or even making itself known through a non-tarot reference. Typically, a stalker card has a message to impart that for some reason, is just not clicking. Despite what the name conjures up, stalkers are here to support and enrich our lives, not leave us trembling in fear. So what options do you have when that one card keeps appearing? Here are a few different ways to interpret the message and ensure you’re aligning with your highest good, which is all that stalker truly desires!
Consider an Alternative or Missed Meaning
When that stalker card appears for the umpteenth time, chances are you’ll be saying,‘Why is this popping up again? I know what the message is!’ to yourself. But do you, really? Check your deck’s little white book, or visit your go-to place for card meanings, and take a moment to reacquaint yourself. While you may have the card’s overall meaning in your mind, perhaps there’s a secondary meaning you hadn’t considered, or an aspect of the symbolism you’ve overlooked. All 78 cards demand a lot of brain space, so it’s easy for less obvious messages to slip from our awareness. Note symbolism, colours, and imagery on the card, too. Perhaps something here might suddenly jump out at you and provide that a-ha! moment you’ve been missing. I wouldn’t recommend using more than three sources when confirming a card’s meaning. Sometimes, the more information we have, the more confused we become. If you can approach your reflection with calm reasoning, you’re more likely to stumble across a word or line that clicks into place and suddenly, that stalker card makes perfect sense.
Listen to your Gut Reaction
What’s your initial reaction when you turn over your stalker card? We all tend to have favourite cards, along with the ‘bad’ cards we never want to see. So what emotion does your stalker stir? Give the emotion permission to be heard, especially if the stalker card is not one of your favourites. Are you pushing against what the card actually represents, or are you unconsciously associating a personal experience with the card? When I first began studying tarot, the Hierophant regularly stalked me. I was raised Roman Catholic, so whenever I saw the Hierophant with its religious overtones, I immediately thought of my negative experiences. I didn’t want anything to do with the card; organised religion had no place in my life. But as my studies deepened, and I spoke to my mentor about being stalked, I soon came to realise I was missing the message entirely. My prejudice didn’t allow me to see past the church setting in the imagery to accept I needed more structure in my life.
The same can apply to happy cards like the Sun, or the Star. It’s just as easy to attach a positive personal experience to an uplifting card, and accidentally overlook the actual meaning. So note your gut reaction, and examine from where it stems, especially if you’re immediately equating the card with a past experience.
Just to confuse you, gut reaction can also whisper a message that’s a mile away from the card’s traditional meaning. Have you ever had a symbol or something within the imagery of a card catch your eye, and despite what the card typically represents, your intuition delivers an entirely different message? If that interpretation sits peacefully with you, then you’ve got your answer. Sometimes, the traditional meaning doesn’t matter a jot, but that symbol, number, colour, pose, or tiny detail smacks you upside the head and everything becomes clear.
Avoid Ostrich Tactics
Planting your head in the sand? I’ll admit I’ve done this. I’ve turned over a card repeatedly for a few weeks, and noped out of there. I knew exactly what it was the card was trying to tell me, but I chose to ignore it—for a whole variety of reasons. In my ‘wisdom’, I reckoned that if I ignored it long enough, the card would give up, along with the issue, right? But did it? No, and once to the point where I truly regretted it. The only advice I can give here is to suck it up and face the truth. Forewarned is forearmed, and no matter how much you want to ignore the message, the situation surrounding it isn’t likely to go away unless you implement it. Yes, it may demand courage, and often, moving out of our comfort zone, but tackling prickly issues instead of ignoring them will serve us far better in the long run, and that’s what the universe wants—our highest good. So instead of shoving the card back into the deck and walking away, place it front and centre, and take action.
Seek Another Opinion
If you’re truly stumped, sometimes, it can be worth pulling another card as a clarifier. Exercise restraint with this one, as if you pull a second card, it’s tempting to draw a third, a fourth, and so on, and in the end, all you’ll have is an aching head and an even muddier thought process. A structured spread is often a better option, but again, keep the number of cards pulled to three or less or you may find yourself more befuddled. Any of the following questions could be used within a three-card spread:
What lesson does this card represent?
What is blocking me from understanding the message?
What is significant about this card?
What am I not seeing?
Where is my resistance rooted?
How can I move forward?
How will this card empower me?
If you have a fellow tarot enthusiast in your life, why not chat to them about your stalker? Our friends (whether they’re tarot nerds or not) often have insight that we would never have considered, and because they’re not as entrenched in the situation, are likely to be able to see things more clearly, and without as much emotion.
Online forums can also assist. A stranger’s opinion can be just as enlightening, but again, be wary of gathering too many opinions and tangling yourself in tighter knots.
Even if your confidante has no clue about tarot, it might be worth asking their opinion on what you think the card is trying to tell you. For example, I had the 9 of Pentacles stalking me with intent a while back. Its overall message is that of self-sufficiency, success, and accomplishment, so a positive message for me. Yet it kept reappearing. I mentioned it to a non-tarot friend and showed her the card along with an explanation of its traditional meaning. Her first reaction was to say that the woman depicted looked so bored with her lot. Yes, she had abundance around her, but maybe she needed to take a new direction? Without realising it, my friend hit the nail on the head. I had been focused on the success through hard work message, and missed seeing how I had indeed grown bored with some of my processes and needed to reinvent them to spark excitement again.
Meditation and Journaling
Two highly recommended tactics come in the form of meditating and/or journaling. Create space in your mind to truly focus in on the card and what it means to you. Prompt yourself with questions such as:
What emotion does this card bring up for me?
What is my immediate personal association with this card?
What is the reversed meaning, and could any of that apply to my situation?
What message am I afraid to hear?
What message would empower me?
What positives can I take from this card?
What perceived challenges can I reframe as opportunities?
You can write your answers, or approach a meditation session with one or two questions in mind. With journaling, especially if you don’t marshal your words as they flow onto the page, it’s often surprising what can come out. Often times, a brain dump can clear out the mud and grant us clarity. And even if what you mediate upon or write about doesn’t bring an immediate answer, you may suddenly find it coming to you at a later point.
Although you’re now armed with ways to decipher stalkers, remember this: Tarot works with our unconscious mind and it can take a while for that truth to rise up to the conscious mind. Trying to force an understanding will never work, nor will adopting a mindset of I MUST KNOW!! Sometimes, the only solution is to mentally put the card aside and allow our unconscious mind to process things in its own time, so don’t be afraid to create a little mental space.
Have you been stalked by a tarot card? I’d love to hear your experience, and how you worked through the process. You can reach me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org