The Fool is the first card of the tarot, symbolized by the number zero, which evokes the idea of boundless opportunities. It feels auspicious to publish this monthly tarot reading on April 1, or April Fool’s Day; you can look at the entire tarot as the Fool’s journey through the cards of the Major Arcana, learning lessons along the way. In tarot, the card is actually positive — the Fool is naturally lucky, takes risks for the better, and invites change. Most importantly, the Fool is willing to start from zero without judgments. Appropriately, according to the five-card spread below, this April invites big change and liberation. It’s also a call to connect with your community and accept yourself in order to thrive through these transitions.
How I Read Tarot Cards
I read tarot, palms, and tea leaves in my mixed Sinti (a subgroup of Roma) family’s tradition — I was taught by my Sinteza grandmother as a child. Many people don't know that tarot reading for divination is a Romani cultural practice; when early Roma first arrived from India in Europe between the 1300s and 1400s, they took the tarot, an Italian card game, and used it to tell fortunes, allowing them to survive despite many centuries of persecution. That persecution continues to this day, in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. Roma are also known as Gypsies, a slur that evokes harmful stereotypes; it’s a word only Roma can use.
When I read tarot, I check in with the goddess-saint Sara Kali for guidance and with my ancestors, whose risks and sacrifices allowed them to retain their culture during the Holocaust, during which Roma and Sinti were also targeted. In starting a tarot practice, it’s important to center yourself with a few deep breaths, clear your mind, give thanks, and set your intention for the reading, even if that’s just “Please tell me what I need to know right now.” I approach tarot, and other forms of divination, as a way to heal, reflect, grow, and learn, and to help others do the same.
A monthly tarot reading gives you an idea of what to focus on during a specific amount of time, like a monthly horoscope that’s applicable to everyone reading. This tarot reading for April is based on a five-card spread, with each card representing a different theme: embodiment, or the vibe you’re spending significant time in; situation, or the context; obstacle, or an issue you’re overcoming; action, or what you can do about that issue; and the lesson, or what you’ll learn. You will also find a short manifestation idea that will help you put the tarot’s lessons into practice. See this reading as a suggestion for how to navigate major themes in your life over the coming weeks — with the Fool's openness, of course.
The Death card represents change, the release of what no longer serves us, and the demise of the ego. For most people, ego isn’t a narcissism thing but rather a preoccupation with what others think of you. Your ego governs the societal, cultural, or familial standards that might not suit you or even apply at all — like your parents’ expectations for your career versus the kind of work that you actually want to do. The Death card invites you to let all that judgment fall off your bones. To embody Death means to embrace the fact that you’re changing and potentially outgrowing something like a routine, a relationship, or a place. Letting yourself change means revealing who you truly are.
Situation: Four Of Swords
The Four of Swords is often a call to rest. If you’re doing all this changing and growing, it’s likely liberating, but maybe it’s also energy intensive. Perhaps the reason why you’re embodying Death is because the situation you find yourself in is exhausting and you no longer want to spend the energy it requires to keep up something that doesn’t really work anymore — for instance, a side hustle you aren’t making money off of or isn’t quite the craft that you envision for yourself anyway. If you are feeling drained, let yourself rest as much as you can. You might need to carve out the time to do so by saying no to favors, asking for help with household chores, or simply designating a certain block of hours just for you.
Obstacle: Ace Of Cups
The Ace of Cups represents a new opportunity to heal and connect with deep, unconditional love. As an obstacle, it suggests that you might not feel like you deserve it. Maybe when you try to chill out, like the Four of Swords requests, you beat yourself up for not being more productive. You will rest and regenerate easier if you allow yourself to truly rest and speak to yourself more kindly. Practice believing that you deserve good things.
Action: Three Of Cups
The Three of Cups is all about friendship and community connection. This suggests that a helpful approach to embracing change and being more comfortable with the practice of self-love would be to connect with people who treat you with love and respect. Seek support. Reach out to friends, family members who have your back, or those who might understand what you’re going through. If the Death card is making you think about a relationship that needs to end, text a friend who's known you since before you swiped right and ask for advice. If it’s nudging you to think about your career, see if your work spouse from your last job has any insight.
Lesson: The Lovers
The Lovers represent union, love, and devotion. Even when this card is about relationships with others, it’s about your relationship with yourself, too. The goal of embodying Death is to learn how to show up for yourself as your own beloved. If you’re feeling a difficult emotion, rather than telling yourself it’s nothing and to just get over it, show up for yourself with compassion. Journal about that feeling, be curious about where it came from — maybe it’s a holdover from childhood — and comfort yourself by writing out your strengths and ways you’ve overcome difficult feelings before. Then, do something sweet for yourself. It could be something relaxing and comforting, like revisiting a favorite movie, or invigorating and exciting, like making that first baby step toward change.
How To Use April 2022's Tarot Lessons
To get into the spirit of letting go of what doesn’t serve you and embracing your true self, I recommend the album Tehno Vrājitoarele by Kali x Niko G, Romani artists and performers from the feminist theater troupe Giuvlipen. The title’s translation is Techno Witches, and these songs are a celebration of cultural resilience and a rejection of racism in the face of intense persecution.
You might be ready for change or to take some risks but afraid to let go of coping mechanisms disguised as personality traits. There’s a difference between believing “I’m just a guarded person” and “I learned to act guarded when I don’t know if I can trust someone.” That second statement shows how playing it close to the chest has served you and how you can work with it when you want to let someone in.
Thinking about the cards for this month, it might be helpful to make a list of habits or traits that you feel ready to outgrow. Journal about where they came from and how they’ve helped you. Do you cling to that 5 a.m. workout routine because it makes you feel your best or because you started it when you were 22 and wanted to be “the kind of person” who wakes up at 5 a.m.? Be compassionate and curious about yourself and your behaviors. Then write about the ways in which you’ve already made some changes, even if they’re really small. Jot down whatever you’re feeling ready to release and burn it in a (fireproof!) bowl, thanking it for trying to protect you or serve you however it did, and saying goodbye. Rituals can make our intentions feel more concrete.