I hope you’ll try this out, join in, and share your own posting or video response to these philosophical readings with the tarot. Or if you prefer, use your favorite oracle deck.
Here’s the premise. You’re going to be using the cards to answer seven classic philosophical questions.
Before you start, you’ll set the intention that the cards will know how you’d respond to the questions deep down, on some soul level. So every card reading will reflect what you really think, how you really feel about the answer to the given inquiry.
I’ll be using my Spirit Keeper’s Tarot Vitruvian. For each question I will only be doing a single card draw, but please don’t limit yourself to that. If you’d rather do a three-card reading for each question or design a simple spread for each, go for it!
For those familiar with how I’ve designed the SKT, I’ll be using The Seeker version of Key 0 for my significator, Spirit in Search of Science. Then I’ll shuffle, meditate on the question at hand, and then turn over the cards looking for The Seeker. The card behind The Seeker will be my answer to the question.
Let’s begin with the classic trolley dilemma, shall we?
A runaway trolley is racing down the tracks toward five people who won’t be able to move out of the way in time. There’s a side track with one single person. You can pull a lever to divert the train onto the side track, preventing the death of five, though it will kill the one.
Do you pull the lever to divert the trolley from killing five, but then it would kill one, or do you take no action, leave the trolley on its natural course, and kill five? Ask the cards what you would do.
The point of this exercise is to not answer with your conscious mind, but to make room for a more subconscious and truthful response to reveal itself through the cards.
Key 8: The Force (The Tamed Lion). This is the Strength card from the Major Arcana.
Here we see the symbol of the north lunar node and the awakened kundalini first pictured on Key 1: The Magus. (This link here takes you to a gallery of all SKT cards to check out The Magus if you’re curious.) The astrological correspondence here is Leo, featuring strong energies of one who seeks to be a hero.
And if I had to choose between whether I interpret the visuals in this card as “taking action” or “taking no action,” I would say the maiden in white is taking action, gently and with great compassion, albeit most certainly doing something.
Even the key phrase, “The Tamed Lion,” suggests action– taming the circumstances, interfering with the course of feral nature.
So I think I have to interpret this card draw as indicating that I would take the action of pulling the lever to kill one but save five, and live with the consequences of having killed that one.