Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop! Our wrangler Karen Sealey of The Pure and Blessed Way asked us to play with “Oracular anomalies… Things that make you think Hmmmmmmm.” I ended up with a rather interesting take on things that are out of place, but end up working perfectly.


Orac Anon

Five of Swords from the Legacy of the Divine by Ciro Marchetti, published by Llewellyn Publications, 2009.

Five of Swords from the Legacy of the Divine by Ciro Marchetti, published by Llewellyn Publications, .

A man stands on the offensive, a sword held ready in each hand, three more hung by chains from his belt, battered shields on the ground before him, in the far distance explosions. The front has moved on, but his red eyes do not see that it is over.

This card falls in the advice position for a woman asking how to better her relationship with her husband.


“Sorry, there’s nothing you can do. Will that be cash or credit? Next!”

I wish.

Oracular anomalies. Those crazy cards that defy logic and stubbornly arrive where they weren’t invited. And then hog the conversation.

As much as we want to call a re-do when these cards show up, these can be the most rewarding of all our oracular experiences.

I always say that the cards are never wrong, although I might misinterpret them. It’s my job to make sense of the baby talk those cardboard images are babbling. They have a purpose, they’re not random, they just want to be understood.

Staring at them seems to work.

I stared at that Five of Swords for a while before realizing, she needs to be able to fight with her husband. I asked her about this—sure enough, she tended to take the high road, not sweat the small stuff, be the bigger person. She never said, hey, no way, put ‘em up. If she wanted her relationship to work, she needed to learn to have productive arguments with her husband.

Now that the Five of Swords and I have achieved this rapport, it comes up all the time for questions about interpersonal interactions, always asking about how the couple fights. It’s one of my most helpful cards for relationship readings.

Nine of Swords from the Tarot Illuminati by Erik C. Dunne, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2013.

Nine of Swords from the Tarot Illuminati by Erik C. Dunne, published by Lo Scarabeo, 2013.

Another time, I was doing a phone reading for a woman about an upcoming job. I can’t remember if she had already gotten it, but she was at least a leading finalist and I was getting a lot of very positive cards around the topic. Then out of the blue, I turned over the Nine of Swords.

I’m not afraid to address difficult cards, but this just didn’t fit the pattern. One of these things was not like the others. It took some thought, and some more card gazing, but finally I realized that this was something that came up after she got the job. It was her clients. I asked for more info, and yes, the counseling job she would be doing was specifically working with a segment of the population that was more likely to be troubled or have difficulties. I suggested that when she started the job, she be aware of whether she was taking it home with her.

I make it a practice to read each card in the spread. Most often I use small spreads, 6 or 7 cards max, and throw several during a reading. Too often it can be easy to note the overall mood of the spread and skip anything that doesn’t seem to belong or that apparently contradicts the other cards. But I have found that addressing each card produces the most insightful and beneficial readings.

When I created the first draft of this post, I saved it as Orac Anon to distinguish it from my other blog hop post for my other blog. I of course meant Orac Anom, but this Mercury retrograde has been full of spelling mistakes for me.

Oracular Anonymous are the cards that don’t want to be seen, that turn up their collar, turn down their hat brim, and stay in the shadows. They are the quiet ones who observe but don’t say much. But still waters run deep, and if you take the trouble to engage them in conversation and open them up, they tell fascinating stories. I invite you to take the time to walk up to one of these Anonymous Anomalies and introduce yourself. You just might discover something amazing.

What out of place cards have you found helpful truths in? Please share in the comments!



About the Author

Joy Vernon has been studying and teaching energetic and esoteric modalities for more than twenty years. She is the organizer of the Denver Tarot Geeks, Denver Tarot Meetup and Denver Traditional Reiki Meetup, and she served on the faculty of Avalon Center for Druidic Studies. She is one of the psychics at Isis Books and has been featured at SpiritWays, the Mercury Café and psychic fairs throughout the Denver Metro and Northern Colorado. She is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and a member of the American Tarot Association and Tarosophy Tarot Association. Joy also teaches Traditional Japanese Reiki. For information on upcoming classes or to schedule an appointment, please visit JoyVernon.com.

© 2015 by Joy Vernon. All rights reserved.

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9 thoughts on “Oracular Anomalies

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  • February 2, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Great post Joy and I couldn’t agree more with all the points you raised. As a side note the first thing I noticed with the Orac Anon title about the 5 of Swords and I thought you’d given him a super hero name! 😀

    • February 2, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Ha! That’s awesome. We should make up superhero names for all the cards!

  • February 3, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I just got the V of Pentacles as what could empower a client going foward. Ummmmmm….. I think I’ve settled on emphasizing the gift of the divine lessons we learn so well during a hardship that are practically inaccessible to us when everything is going our way….

    • February 3, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      Yes, that’s a great answer! Depending on the deck you’re using, a lot of time there are two people in the card, so on a more mundane level the empowerment could be friendship, partnership, or finding a way to connect with others that are going through what the client’s going through.

      I wrote an article on the Five of Pentacles a few years ago. You can check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/JoyVernonTarotandReiki/posts/332486573485257

      Thanks for sharing your anomalous reading!


  • February 8, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    Ah, and there’s Joy again! I should have recognized that engaging writing style. You’ve just given me so much more I can do with the pesky Five of Swords, for one thing, and just oddball draws in a spread for another. Never thought of the 5 of S just indicating whether conflict exists or not. Cool!

    • February 8, 2015 at 7:26 pm

      Thanks, Joanne! Yes, that 5 of S was pesky for me too for awhile. I’m glad to be able to offer up some alternatives!

  • February 9, 2015 at 4:54 am

    I’ve also had it go the other way – the World as what’s bad in a situation. I realised it was about having an idealised idea of things, and a notion that things would/could ever be complete/finished. As long as we’re still breathing, nothing is really over, even if only in our heads…
    Another great post, Joy, thanks!

    • February 9, 2015 at 6:09 am

      Yes! Great example! I have had a couple of occasions where all the cards in the reading were 100% positive (especially with a lot of Majors) and the actuality of the situation was that they were very dreamy and optimistic about their desired outcome but weren’t putting any sweat equity into it. Thanks for the example!


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