Tarot Tuesday: Accountability + Boundaries

playshopbannerHappy Tuesday everyone!

I hope everyone had a lovely start to their August. The past month and a half has been a whirlwind of activity, re-structuring, and schedule changes for me. I finally came into a (partially body induced/mandated) slow down this weekend. It was unfamiliar and really lovely. I got to pull quite a bit of tarot.

Two things continued to come up: Accountability and Boundaries.

I got to thinking about the intersection of these two themes as I started to write Tarot Tuesday this morning. I thought about the ways that we are accountable for the time we put (or don’t put) to our healing, the type of healing we utilize, the way that we have to set boundaries for our self care versus the way we are accountable for our interactions with others, and the way that the guidance of tarot resides in between these two places.

Tarot can offer us guidance and direction for our awareness but, ultimately, it is our responsibility to integrate that information however we choose. Tarot might invite us to set some healthy boundaries, but only we will be able to truly discern what those boundaries will need to look like. With this in mind I decided to create a spread to help offer guidance on the common struggle of this intersection.

AccountBoundSpreadThis spread will be helpful if you feel like you need to set some boundaries in your life. Beyond some awareness around helpful boundaries it will support your consciousness around your place and accountability in the manifesting of these healthy structures. Card 1 and Card 2 signify the intersection while Card 3 and Card 4 support the question at hand in the stable structure of a triangle to offer specific guidance.

Here is the spread I pulled for myself:


Card 1: Major Arcana 7, The Chariot or The Conductor (Inverted)

The Collective Tarot describes The Conductor… “The Conductor is victory, steadfastness, control, movement, strength, a plan, a direction, and riding the wave. This warrior is fierce , yet confident and relaxed.” Prior to the last re-paint of my room this reminder graced my wall and during a recent tromp through the House of Intuition in LA I flipped through the pages of The Secret Language of Birthdays and was unsurprised to see The Chariot staring back at me. In best forms, this individual is balanced, powerful, and confident in their abilities. Their power is something that is already familiar in my tarot reads and my life. The way that they showed up inverted in this spread, perhaps less than confident, less than trusting of these gifts, is also something familiar. What do I need to hold myself accountable for in the way that I set boundaries in my relationships is a conflict that is often hovering near the surface of my interactions. At the center of this intersection, perhaps The Conductor is reminding me that content is there if only I can find contentment in it?

Card 2: Major Arcana 9, The Hermit

The Hermit crosses my intersection as the central challenge. Why would The Hermit, “with the demented smile and candor of a master hold the message of challenge for me? She is both “map and compass to the human heart,” she trusts her intuition, and distinguishes loneliness from being comfortable being alone. I think that perhaps her lantern of illumination is drawing my attention to the ways that my people pleasing and friendliness can come off as extroverted gregariousness taking a heavy toll on my introverted spirit.

Card 3: Major Arcana 20, Judgment or Liberation (Inverted)

A card of transformation sits at the cornerstone of my accountability support in this spread. The center point of this transformation is taking off the mask, releasing expectation, and sinking into the truest self. It is a card that reminds us of the metaphorical truth that “the cards have been dealt,” and only we are accountable for how we decide to play them. While daunting, once this is accepted, we can find “A kind of letting go that is so vast and profound and honest that it reduces you down to your most basic raw child-like elemental self… A letting go that begins to dissolve the boundaries of our social and material constructs, so that we are no longer so separate and disconnected, but instead are more integrated and whole. Inverted, I wonder if it signifies the heartbreak that can only come from holding on too tightly to past versions of the self and how it keeps us from being accountable to our present/future integration.

Card 4 Major Arcana 15, The Devil or Oppression (Inverted)

The Devil or Oppression reminds us of difficult times where we feel drained by the way that we are confined and sometimes actively pushed down. It also requests that we stay wary that we are not oppressing others. My awareness of boundaries can often be draining, especially when I see them being impeded upon. With accountability close at hand, perhaps the Inverted Devil offers me a gentle reminder to shift my focus from others impeding on my boundaries to how I hold my own.

Overall, I really enjoyed building this spread with a theme in mind and feel like this is one I may come back to for insight into this intersection as well as the holding triangular structure supporting a central issue and challenge. While you can pull tarot in any way that feels right to you, you may also want to play with the extra information that comes with spreads or even create your own.

Happy Tuesday!

In accountability,



Traci {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is a yoga teacher, therapist and amateur tarot enthusiast! They try to believe in the power of their inner Magician, stay inspired by the Fool’s spirit, understand struggle through the lens of The Tower/Disaster and always stay reminded that, “The Star Awaits…”


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That Tricky 7 of Swords


I’ve used tarot for a lot of things over the years. And I know I’m excited to have some space to write about tarot and share some of those stories here. But I find myself wondering: how to start?

This is actually how I use tarot most these days. These are not my days of fancy spreads that take over the table, or deep extended esoteric study piling up across the living room floor. Moving through my day, in the flow of it, coming across a random question and doing a quick draw to address it – to shift the energy, to take a breath, to bring some playfulness and perspective in – this is the bones of my practice lately. The cards are like neighbors who drop in for a spot of tea and gossip, sharing their view from just around the corner. They have familiar personalities and penchants, but sometimes pop over in unexpected ways.

So, how to begin? What are we up to here with Tarot Tuesdays?

7 of Swords from the Rider Waite Smith deck.
7 of Swords from the Rider Waite Smith deck.

Oof! Talk about unexpected. This fellow is the neighbor who just shows up, at the back door, with odd timing and who you can’t quite say you like, and who can sometimes be quite demanding to deal with, yet who just as often brings such rare gifts, ideas, assistance or laughs that you’re glad he’s around – and glad when you seem to be on his good side, too.

I think of this card as how Trickster shows up in everyday life – particularly in our life of the mind, how we think. When your thoughts run crafty or cunning. When you need to get out of a spot. When a little sleight of hand goes a long way. When you see the flaw in the matrix, the gap in the armor, the way around the impasse. When you use reason and logic as tools, and can see the world beyond them, rather than being caught in their blinders. When you flirt with deceit. These are 7 of Swords moments.

I have heard this guy described not just as a trickster, but as a shape-shifter. In the RWS deck, he’s the only one with those fancy fur-trimmed cap-n-boots. Sneaking around on the outskirts of the camp, on the border between wild and civilized life, he’s in some other kind of relationship with The Animal. But also with the thinking mind – these are swords being put to some other use than battle. That outfit might also mark him as himself other, from another the tribe.

This speaks a lot to me about my relationship with tarot. It brings something in from the outside, another perspective, something that feels wild and other while at the same time familiar and thoughtful – which is always kind of a gamble, where you may not get what you’re looking for at all. We all have those experiences of drawing a card and going “WTF no, lemme pull another.” In fact, this touches how I believe tarot even “works:” by giving our usual daily-ego-minds a way to step aside and get in touch with the random – with chaos, synchronicity, and the wyrd. To practice not giving into that “wtf, no” but sitting with what’s on the other side of that reaction and listening for its perspective. Letting that perspective inform our own. Looking for reflections.

What an excellent place to begin – with this unexpected encounter with the tricky edges of ourselves and our usual campsites. And with the reminder to examine our thoughts once in a while, to sneak outside their usual flow and not be so ruled by what seems like the cold, hard steel of civilized logic. And a lovely anchor for our explorations here – let’s continue to expect the unexpected!




Kaeti is a therapist, teacher, and dreamer based in Long Beach, California. All of her work (and play!) is interested in dismantling intersections of oppression and breathing magic and radical healing into all the daily corners of her life, into all the spaces of community she helps weave.