Tarotscope: Open Your Mind (Introduction, May 4-17)

Dawn Frary

Welcome, everyone, to my new bi-weekly feature for The Real MainStream: Tarotscope for the Collective! Every two weeks, I’ll be coming to you with a new tarot reading intended for the good of us all.

A tarotscope? You mean like a horoscope?

Yes and no. A horoscope offers insight and advice for the upcoming month according to astrological signs. A tarotscope is a tarot reading for the community as a whole. It’s a way to speak to folks on both a small and large scale. While everyone gets something different out of a tarotscope individually, all of us can receive guidance to share for the greater good.

Wait… tarot? Really? Isn’t that a lot of new age nonsense about seeing the future?

Again, yes and no. (But mostly no.) The mainstream portrayal of tarot and tarot readers says tarot reading can predict the future, perhaps indicate who we will marry, and tell us exactly how and when we will die. Tarot readers are frequently depicted as unrelatable mystical and sometimes shady “others” who relay terrifying futures to us with great aplomb, while maybe trying to sell us a potion or trinket to offset the fate they’re telling us is ahead. (If you do encounter a tarot reader who actually does this, run!)

Sounds kind of weird. Will it be scary?

All of us humans fear what we don’t understand. For many, tarot falls into this category. I want folks to understand that tarot is not strictly “new age woo.” It is simply a tool to offer a perspective we may not have considered. 

A tarot reading can show us all the things going on in our lives that we can’t see with the naked eye. It can help us tap into universal symbols and archetypes that have existed in our collective unconscious for millennia. At its core, tarot is a crossroads of art, psychology, and mysticism — all fields of study that encourage us to explore ourselves and the world around us.

This quote from one of my favorite tarot writers sums it up quite well: “[Tarot] is not necessarily about telling the future. It is about retelling the present.” – Jessa Crispin, The Creative Tarot

Get to Know Your Tarot Reader

I got my first deck when I was a teenager in the mid-90s and have been studying tarot ever since — about 25 years at this point. The more I learn about tarot, the more I realize there is to learn. It is a fascinating and never-ending rabbit hole down which I’m happy to go.

In 2018, I started reading and teaching tarot professionally under the name Folkloracle. At the time of this writing, I’ve had the honor of reading for likely hundreds of clients at pop-ups, conventions, festivals and private readings. I am committed to showing that we can approach tarot from a real-world perspective to empower ourselves and learn to trust our intuition in our daily lives.

My clientele has included artists, authors, teachers, librarians, business owners, nurses, scientists, psychics, entrepreneurs, professors, and software engineers. While my clients’ backgrounds and lifestyles differ, each shared one thing: an open-minded curiosity.

I like to think of a tarot reading as a two-way street, a collaboration between myself and my client. What you get out of a tarot reading depends on what you bring to it. If you approach a reading with skepticism, ready to disprove and pick apart every detail, you’ll likely walk away with nothing.

But if you bring an acknowledgment that we all have the ability to shape our own future, if you’re open to the idea that reality is malleable, a tarot reading can reveal things about your life that you may have known instinctively but couldn’t see. As I often tell clients: “A good tarot reading doesn’t tell you anything you don’t already know.”

It is my highest intention to guide and navigate by interpreting the signs, symbols, and stories I see in the cards. I hope each installment guides, empowers, and entertains you. I look forward to where this adventure will take us.

For more of my work with tarot, you can follow me on Instagram @folkloracle or take a look at my website, folkloracle.com.

Immerse yourself in Dawn Frary’s TRM Tarotscope for the Collective by taking in two readings: one for the upcoming two-week period, the other for the two weeks preceding.


The Devil and the Wheel of Fortune: TRM Tarotscope for the Collective, May 4-18

TRM Tarotscope for the Collective: May 4-17

The Cards: The Devil & The Wheel of Fortune

The Deck: The Lioness Oracle Tarot

This week, for the second reading in a row (see the April 19 reading below), we are greeted once more with two Major Arcana cards, hefty, “big-picture” cards dealing with recurring themes. And just like last time, both of the cards I chose jumped out of the deck as I was shuffling.

When I saw them, my immediate thought was, “Oh…OK. We are not messing around here.” They are actually cards I referred to in the April 19 tarotscope as heavy energies we might potentially encounter as we move forward numerologically through the Major Arcana. As uncanny as it may seem, I assure you these cards emerged organically.

The Devil is a complex card traditionally aligned with toxicity, addiction, oppression, and willfully attaching ourselves to things we know are bad for us. 

We are currently inundated with toxic behavior at various levels. Institutions which allegedly exist to protect and provide for us are refusing to do so. Large corporations are putting profits over people by exposing employees to unsafe working conditions. Various media outlets are willfully spreading false information spun from twisted narratives or straight-up lies. 

When left unchecked or overlooked, carelessness, greed, and ignorance, will run amok. The Devil exposes these corruptions and has the power to reveal the true nature of the beast, whatever that beast may be.

On the other hand, the Devil also indicates that while we might knowingly attach ourselves to things we know are toxic, we also have the ability to willfully detach from them. The Devil reminds us that we have free will and with free will comes the power to choose.

Identifying that attachment is half the battle. Whether that means consciously detaching from people or situations we know are bad for us, choosing to put down your phone and stop doom-scrolling into the wee hours, or simply redirecting focus from the constant barrage of coronavirus coverage, we all have the power to make that choice.

The second card for this tarotscope is the Wheel of Fortune. Both The Devil and the Wheel of Fortune call into question the concept of free will. While the Devil might say “We have free will,” the Wheel of Fortune says, “…to a point.” 

The Wheel of Fortune wants us to know that as much as we might like to believe we are 100% on top of things, 100% of the time, some things in life will always be outside of our control. That despite the plans we make, the Wheel of Fortune — sometimes known as Fate — can step in. In the blink of an eye, it can change everything (not always in the most welcome way).

The Wheel of Fortune is a cosmic memo that everything is temporary, that life can change with a revolution of the Wheel. And haven’t we all received that memo in a really big way in the last month? We can go from being on top of the Wheel one moment, where we may seem untouchable as we enjoy the fantastic view, to being crushed underneath it the next. And the thing is, it is impossible to have control over the Wheel. It is too vast and too unpredictable for that to even be attempted.

We cannot control what happens TO us, but we CAN control how we respond. We can choose what we attach to, and what we detach from. We can choose to trust ourselves to know when it’s time to let go of something, to allow the Wheel to turn and surrender to the fact that nothing — good OR bad — lasts forever.

The Chariot: TRM Tarotscope for the Collective, April 19-May 3

TRM Tarotscope for the Collective: April 20-May 3

The Card: The Chariot

The Deck: The Lioness Oracle Tarot

The Chariot is a Major Arcana card, meaning that it is a bit heftier, spiritually, than the Minor Arcana, which are the suits and numbered cards which correspond more to our day-to-day affairs.

The Major Arcana represent big-picture, archetypal energies that can manifest in our lives as recurring themes, lessons, or patterns that must be acknowledged and sometimes resolved before we can move forward.

Before diving into the interpretation of this card, I want to mention that it jumped out of the deck as I was shuffling. This happens from time to time and usually means that whatever card bursts forth in this manner has a strong message it wants to get across.

In the tarot, The Chariot is traditionally aligned with victory, triumph, success, overcoming obstacles, and forward momentum. All of these interpretations align with what we’ve all been going through the last six weeks. It may not seem like it some days, but think back to all the obstacles we’ve encountered and overcome since the advent of COVID-19. The Chariot reads as a sort of collective cosmic pat on the back: go us! We are getting through this! WAY TO GO, EVERYONE.

Of course in the tarot, there is never just one cut-and-dry meaning to a card. Other interpretations of The Chariot can indicate the need to assess where we have come from, where we are now, and where we are going. The Chariot is poised at such a position in the grand scheme of the Major Arcana that as we move forward numerologically, we will begin to encounter cards with heavier energies: The Wheel of Fortune, The Hanged One, Death, The Devil, The Tower. These cards ask a lot of us, individually and collectively, and in return the Chariot asks: can YOUR Chariot, as it exists right now, sustain and carry you through the potentially rough terrain that lies ahead? 

Is your Chariot equipped to traverse unknown landscapes, both inside and out? If not, how might you fortify your Chariot to carry you where you need to go? Think about who might drive a chariot. Knights. Warriors. Gladiators. How can you align with the qualities of these figures to better control and steer your personal chariot?

When The Chariot comes up for me personally, I accept it as a mandatory invitation to move beyond my comfort zone, to identify the boundaries of my comfort zone, and to venture into the unknown territory that lies beyond. It is the beginning of a voyage, one that may not include a distinct end point. The purpose of this voyage varies depending on the context and the situation, but the result is always the same: a new plateau of understanding and illumination.

As we move further into our “new normal,” may all of our actions be infused with triumph and courage. May our collective Chariot carry us to victory, as individuals and as a community.

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