Tough or Tender tarot started as something I’d offer sporadically over on Instagram. These days I’m not using Instagram nearly as much as I used to, so I thought today we’d try this activity on my blog/email list.

Here’s how this works: tune in to your intuition and ask if you are currently in need of a TOUGH but constructive message, or a TENDER but to-the-point message.

I’m writing this on September 10 2019, but know that this reading is evergreen: you’ll find this message when you need it. We’ll be using the Wild Unknown tarot.

Once you’ve chosen TOUGH or TENDER, scroll down for your reading.

If you chose TOUGH, your card is the reversed Daughter of Swords. Look, you think you know, but what if you don’t know? What if you are flat out wrong? This may sound like an attack on your intelligence, but it is not – it’s a check on your ego. Your ego wants to be right. Your ego wants the truth to be simple, straightforward, pinned down. But the lesson here is that, like it or not, there are very few things in life of which you can be absolutely certain.

What good is certainty, anyway? How many times have you been sure something was true only to find out that wasn’t the case at all? Perhaps certainty itself is largely an illusion. Maybe there’s no one right answer to land upon and call home, but instead infinite viewpoints to visit and sit with.

The imagery of the reversed Daughter of Swords is reminiscent of the Hanged Man, and there does seem to be a call to surrender here. Surrendering your tightly held “knowledge” might be freaky. It might feel like falling into the void. But it also might feel like freedom. Possibility. A necessary expansion of your consciousness.


If you chose TENDER, your card is the Two of Pentacles. Ah, look at all that you do! Really, look. Notice. Pay attention to the positive impact that your actions have. Like the fluttering of a butterflies wings, these things may be subtle, but they are there. Your influence is real, and it is welcomed in this world.

This is especially important if you find yourself fixating on all that you can not do. It is true that you can not singlehandedly solve all the world’s problems (or even all of your own problems!). This is okay. You are not here to do all the things. You are here to do a few things. Focus on those, enjoy them, do them as well as you can.

The rainbow infinity sign feels like a reminder that there is magic in your seemingly mundane actions. Every action that you take is a contribution to the whole. Do not downplay what you do. The ways that you tend to your work, your craft, your people, yourself. All of the ways you move in this world. These things can seem small, but their effects are infinite. Give yourself credit for all the good that you do. Keep fluttering your lovely, lovely wings.


And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this round of Tough or Tender Tarot. Maybe we should do it again soon?

Take care and be well,

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Hi, I'm Carrie!

I'm a tarot reader and mentor.
My purpose is to encourage your expansion. If you're new, start here.


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