February begins with a five-card tarot spread asking, “What do we need to know this month?” In this tarot reading for February 2023, the message is to follow your ambitions, collaborate with others, and keep your passion burning.
What Is Tarot?
Tarot cards originated in Italy as playing cards during the 15th century. The Romani people, also known by the slur “gypsies,” were the first to use these decks as a divinatory tool. Roma also brought other divination practices with them, like palmistry and tea leaf-reading, when they left India in the 10th and 11th centuries and arrived in Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries.
How I Read Tarot Cards
Generally, for any reading, I start by shuffling the deck while thinking about my question or intention. Then I like to cut the deck into two piles, and draw from the pile that calls to me most. There’s no right or wrong way to start a tarot reading. It depends on what you prefer.
I created my own five-card spread for this column. There are spreads that you can use that are predetermined, but you can also make up your own. The five cards below represent embodiment (your energy right now); situation (what’s around you at the moment); obstacle (a struggle you’re facing); action (what to do about it); and a lesson (what you will learn from this month.)
Think of this month as a journey from one shore to another. Look forward, not back.
Embodiment: Three of Pentacles
You are embodying the energy of the Three of Pentacles this month, which suggests that you’re in a good place to collaborate on projects and goals, both personally and professionally. Take a look at your relationships and social circles, and consider who feels like they’re really on your team. Ask them for support if you need it. Trade in competition for cooperation, and make an effort to lift up the people around you.
Situation: Six of Swords
The Six of Swords indicates that you are on a journey of sorts, setting sail for new shores. If you have any travel plans this month, that’s good timing. Regardless, this card is an invitation to consider the figurative journey you might be on. If you’re the type to set New Year’s resolutions, you’ve had a month to test out new routines and rituals (or not — no judgment). Take what you’ve learned, make some tweaks if needed, and keep going forward. Ask for help if you need it. You may be on a voyage, but you don’t have to go it alone.
Obstacle: Knight of Cups
You could be sorting out some deep and difficult emotions. As uncomfortable as that can be, Knight energy can help you figure out what matters to you most. Even though you have opportunities for growth, you might be worried about change or vulnerability. Don’t be afraid of your feelings; do your best to hear them out without judgment. Concerns about moving forward don’t necessarily mean you should stay put. Instead, try to find support, patience, or gentleness as you take the next steps.
Justice is a card of balance, fairness, and clarity. If the Six of Swords is saying that this month will be a journey, then Justice is saying to pace yourself. Consider all the factors when you’re making decisions, weigh your options thoughtfully, and ask people you trust for their advice. This card can also indicate that part of your journey this month could include righting any wrongs, and holding yourself accountable for your actions (instead of beating yourself up over missteps). If you feel that you’re the injured party in a conflict, think about how you might give yourself a sense of justice. What do you owe yourself?
Lesson: Knight of Wands
When this Knight is out of balance, the energy is impulsive and chaotic, full of motivation and passion. The lesson then is how to harness your fire while still walking the measured path of Justice. Stay in touch with your emotions and do your best to process them as they come up, perhaps with a therapist, a friend, or in a journal. It’s likely that you will see some results from your efforts this month, but no matter what, the goal is not to “win.” It’s more about trying, planning, collaborating, and keeping that inner flame burning.
How To Use February 2023's Tarot Lessons
Make a list of goals and actions you could take this month. You might enroll in a class, fill out applications, start that book you’ve wanted to read, or learn to cook a new dish. Be realistic about how much time and energy you have.
Journal about any emotions that come up in connection with these goals, like anxiety or hopefulness. Use the gifts of the Justice card, reason and fairness, to talk yourself through any fears.
Tend to your dreams and holistic wellbeing. For inspiration, explore the work of Jennileen Joseph of Sastimos Holistic Health, a Romani naturopath and Ayurvedic practitioner. She’s a wealth of knowledge on caring for your body from a place of balance. I also recommend the work of Alice Psychic, a 10th-generation Romani Drabani (or spiritual healer). She offers readings, courses, and other content for spiritual growth.
Reach out to your loved ones and communities for help, and uplift those people up in return. Realistically, we all need support, and it’s very rare that anyone accomplishes anything of importance with no assistance or influence from others.
How I’m Using February 2023’s Tarot Lessons
I draw a lot of inspiration and joy from the Romani community. I love to work with other Roma and turn to them for their expertise whenever possible. Community connection is vitally important to Romani folks for survival and well-being. (Romani were enslaved for five centuries in what is now modern-day Romania, and were met with extreme persecution. Roma still disproportionately experience poverty, police brutality, and discrimination in housing, education, and employment.)
I’ve been so appreciative of the way that social media has connected me to wonderful Romani people I may have otherwise never met, and part of my goal with this column and my podcast, Romanistan with Paulina Verminski, is to share my community with others. Think about how you might share your community too.