Tarot card interpretations can vary widely depending on the reader’s perspective and the context of a reading. While some tarot cards are generally associated with negative or challenging situations, the interpretation of card combinations is complex and nuanced. What may be considered negative in one context could have a different meaning in another.
That said, there are some tarot card combinations that are often seen as potentially challenging or dark, no matter the reader’s perspective and the context of reading. Just like life. There are dark moments, but they are there with a purpose.
The Tower followed by the Ten of Swords: The Tower represents sudden and disruptive change, while the Ten of Swords can symbolize betrayal, pain, and rock bottom situations. Together, this combination can suggest a major and unexpected crisis.
The Tower combined with The Five of Pentacles: The Tower card represents sudden upheaval or crisis, while The Five of Pentacles represents financial hardship and feeling abandoned. This combination suggests a sudden and disruptive financial setback or crisis that leaves you feeling vulnerable and unsupported.
The Fool reversed and The Tower: The Fool reversed suggests recklessness or poor decision-making, and The Tower represents sudden upheaval or crisis. This combination may indicate that impulsive actions or decisions have led to a significant and unexpected life crisis.
The Ten of Swords paired with The Eight of Cups: The Ten of Swords signifies betrayal and hitting rock bottom, and The Eight of Cups represents walking away from a situation. This combination implies a painful ending or betrayal that prompts a person to finally leave behind a situation that has become unbearable.
The Ten of Swords followed by The Nine of Pentacles: The Ten of Swords signifies a painful ending or betrayal and The Nine of Pentacles represents financial independence and luxury. Together, these cards may indicate a period of recovery and self-sufficiency after a significant setback or betrayal.
The Devil card followed by The Nine of Swords: The Devil card oftentimes symbolizes bondage, temptation, or unhealthy attachments, while the Nine of Swords represents anxiety, worry, and mental anguish. Together, these two dark cards suggest feeling trapped in a negative or toxic situation, leading to mental distress and inner turmoil.
The Devil paired with the Five of Pentacles: The Devil can represent bondage, addiction, or unhealthy attachments, while the Five of Pentacles signifies financial hardship or feeling abandoned. This combination can suggest feeling trapped in a difficult situation, both mentally and materially.
The Devil combined with The Three of Swords: The Devil card represents unhealthy attachments or addictions, and The Three of Swords signifies heartbreak and emotional pain. Together, these cards may suggest that a destructive relationship or addiction is causing deep emotional suffering.
The Death followed by The Devil: The Death card symbolizes transformation and letting go, while the Devil card represents bondage and negative influences. This combination can suggest a profound need to break free from a toxic or destructive situation, even if it requires significant personal transformation.
The Death card followed by the Three of Swords: Death often represents transformation or the end of a significant phase, and the Three of Swords is associated with heartbreak and sorrow. Together, they can suggest a period of profound emotional upheaval and loss.
The Nine of Swords in a spread with the Ten of Wands: The Nine of Swords represents anxiety and sleepless nights, while the Ten of Wands symbolizes a heavy burden. Together, they can indicate extreme stress, feeling overwhelmed, or a sense of hopelessness.
The Nine of Swords with The Eight of Cups: The Nine of Swords represents anxiety and worry, and The Eight of Cups signifies leaving a situation behind.
Together, these cards suggest that anxiety or fear may be holding you back from making a necessary and emotionally difficult decision.
The Ten of Wands paired with The Seven of Cups: The Ten of Wands signifies burdens and overwhelm. The Seven of Cups represents confusion and unrealistic fantasies. This combination could indicate a situation where you are overwhelmed by many responsibilities and choices, leading to confusion and indecision.
The Five of Cups followed by the Eight of Cups: The Five of Cups signifies disappointment and loss, and the Eight of Cups represents walking away from something emotionally fulfilling. Together, they suggest a period of mourning and leaving behind what was once cherished.
The Five of Cups with The Three of Swords: The Five of Cups represents loss, disappointment, and grief, while the Three of Swords signifies heartbreak, sorrow, and emotional pain. This combination often points to profound sadness, mourning, or emotional wounds that need healing.
The Five of Cups and The Ten of Swords: The Five of Cups represents loss and sorrow. The Ten of Swords signifies a painful ending. Together, these cards may indicate deep emotional pain and a difficult ending that is hard to accept.
The Queen of Swords reversed combined with The Five of Cups: The Queen of Swords reversed can represent a harsh or critical attitude, and The Five of Cups represents loss and disappointment. Together, these cards may suggest that a critical or unforgiving outlook has contributed to feelings of sorrow or loss.
The Death paired with The Ten of Pentacles: The Death card symbolizes transformation, endings, and rebirth and the Ten of Pentacles represents wealth, stability, and family. This unfortunate combination can suggest the end of a long-standing, prosperous situation or the need for a major transformation in a family or financial context.
The Hanged Man combined with The Five of Pentacles: The Hanged Man signifies surrender, suspension, and seeing things from a different perspective, and the Five of Pentacles represents poverty, hardship, and feeling left out in the cold. Together, these cards suggest a difficult period of feeling stuck and isolated, but also an opportunity for personal growth and enlightenment.
The Five of Pentacles followed by The Four of Cups: The Five of Pentacles represents financial hardship and struggle, while Four of Cups signifies dissatisfaction and apathy. Together, these cards may indicate a period of feeling stuck, both financially and emotionally, where it’s challenging to see opportunities for improvement.
The Five of Swords and The Eight of Swords: The Five of Swords represents conflict and sometimes defeat. The Eight of Swords signifies feeling trapped and powerless. These two cards combined suggests a situation where you may have been defeated in a conflict and now feel stuck and unable to move forward.
The Five of Swords together with The Tower: The Five of Swords represents conflict and hostility. The Tower card signifies sudden upheaval. Together, these cards may indicate a situation where a conflict or confrontation has led to a dramatic and unexpected change.
The Moon and The Five of Pentacles: The Moon card represents confusion and illusions. The Five of Pentacles represents financial hardship. This combination may suggest that you are struggling with financial difficulties and may not see the full picture clearly due to confusion or deception.
It’s important to remember that tarot readings should be approached with an open mind and used for introspection and guidance rather than as definitive predictions of the future. The interpretation of tarot cards can vary greatly from reader to reader, and the meaning of a combination may change based on the surrounding cards, most of all context, but also the reader’s intuition. Additionally, even challenging combinations can offer insights and opportunities for personal growth and transformation.