From Sex & Tarot:
Tarot is traditionally said to be comprised of Four Suits plus the Major Arcana. Each suit represents one of the four natural elements (fire, water, air, earth). Given my history and practice with witchcraft, I actually work with the tarot as if it’s a set of Five suits, with the Major Arcana representing the fifth element, which is spirit. Spirit is written about totally differently though, so we will start with the four Minor Arcana suits, often called the pips.
The Suits & Sex
Wands are the suit of Fire. Fire is passion, excitement and fast movement. Wands are very often sex or sexual attraction itself in its raw and powerful form. Expect a lot of flings, experiments, and partners if you get a ton of Wands in a reading about sex.
This suit of logic and action frames the analytical part of our mind as the most important and is excellent at communication as well as logistics. It’s also a suit where we see a lot of trauma and oppression. It stands to reason then that this is a suit of sexual trauma or oppression because of sexual or gender identity. It also stands to reason that even for cisgender straight people, the white heteropatriarchy can REALLLLY screw up our expectations and experiences of sex. That’s all indicated here in the Swords.
When we’re talking about sex in the positive, Swords are sometimes our (occasionally rude) reminder to keep a cool head and not give in to our basest lust. Alternatively, if we’re reading the cards strictly by artwork there’s frequently a lot of bondage in this suit so it could be encouraging us to try new things and get a little kinky. As a suit of communication, Swords also remind us that stating your sexual desires is the first step to getting what you want. Sex writing or therapy as a career option is well-aspected in a number of the Swords cards too.
Earth energy is all about stability and growth. It’s also about your actual physical body. Because of that we see sexual desire for the feeling of sex and touch in this suit, or the sensations of sex. We also see how our needs change and grow as relationships and bodies develop with age. Pentacles can often be sex within a committed relationship, but look for the pieces I mentioned first before assuming this is the case.
Sex work is positively indicated in the Pentacles and can guide a sex work career the same way it would guide any other career.
Chalices are normally my favorite group of cards but when they come up in a reading about sex I tend to groan. That’s because they are all about emotions, and that’s not always what I want when it comes to sex. It’s not a bad thing though, obviously. For a lot of people the best sex is riddled with feelings and aspiring towards emotional satisfaction. The Chalices are sex that is primarily about intimacy, not physical sensation. It’s sex when in love, or at least when feeling romantic.
Chalices also deal with emotional healing, so when we’re looking at our journey as a human, especially if we have sexual trauma, a positive Cups card is a solid indicator that we’re on the right track. All of the Chalices/Cups are here to remind us that we are emotional creatures first and we need to be ready and prepared to have the kind of sex we’re considering--even for the most happily non-monogamous and sexually active people among us. Sex still carries weird or surprising emotions sometimes, and this watery suit won’t let us forget that.
The Majors normally indicate fate/coincidence/higher power/Divine energy. If you or the seeker you’re reading for are not super spiritual, a lot of times these cards represent things you have no control over or that the ball is already rolling on. Sometimes the Majors are just the cards that didn’t fit in to the suits but bring important messages to you.
In a reading about sex, the interpretation of the Major Arcana varies dramatically depending on the question or situation. Cards like The Hierophant can show a discomfort with sex thanks to a strict religious upbringing or societal trappings. Cards like The Sun can show the innocent joy of good sex with a good person that perhaps blooms into a lasting relationship. Cards like The Star or The Devil can indicate the spiritual side of sex, namely tantra or ritual sex acts.
Overall, when we’re talking about sex I think the Major Arcana’s goal is to move us from a place of being scared and fearful when we think about, talk about, or even have sex to a place of empowerment and bed-breaking lust when the situation calls for it.
If you want to see where this leads and let the tarot take you on a journey towards your best sexual self, hop over and grab a copy for only $9.99 through the end of the week (which I do define as Sunday). Happy Cyber Monday!
Blessed be, y’all!