Discovering Your Blind Spots with the Tarot V Cards
Let’s get into some real talk about a subject that makes everyone a bit uncomfortable- blind spots. A blind spot is just that, a place where you cannot see. You’re unaware of what is outside your awareness. You can’t imagine what is outside your imagination. There is just so much you don’t know and then, suddenly!, you find out… and it doesn’t feel great. This uncovering of your blind spots can be one way to read the V numbered cards in the minor arcana.
We each live with a glaring blind spot every day, right in front of our noses. Well, actually it is our noses. If you are able to see, your eyes are placed on your face in such a way that your nose gets in the way of your field of vision. You don’t notice it though because your mind fills in that blind spot with what it expects to be there, what makes sense that would be in that space. In the same way, your mind fills in the blind spots in your understanding. If you haven’t encountered a type of situation, person, event, or idea, etc. your mind will use past experiences to fill in what the meaning of that thing is for you now, based on your past. It works with the tools in your current toolbox to get you through your day.
What makes the revelation of blind spots so challenging and uncomfortable is that you have forgotten your ignorance. You find out your mind was making false assumptions. You realize that what you couldn’t see was something far different that you were capable of seeing. That forgetfulness, that arrogance of your knowledge, is what brings the pain. If you could simply live in surrender to everything that you don’t know at all times you would never be surprised by a blind spot. Life would be accepted as a constant unfolding of new information without fear or embarrassment when new things were encountered and learned.
The discovery of a blind spot can be an uncomfortable time, though, to put it mildly. Emotions can range from embarrassment and shame right into trauma and terror. It feels like your whole world is crashing down. And maybe it is! Your blind spot could reveal that your job is not secure, or your partner is unfaithful, or your religious leaders are corrupt, or your lease won’t be renewable on your home, etc. What you once thought was certain, safe, and secure, is no longer there for you, your foundation is shaken and dismantled.
These moments remind me of the cards with the number V in the minor arcana. The Vs are traditionally associated with conflict and strife. They come after the IVs which were about stability and feeling secure. Now, with the Vs, that stability is questioned. It becomes glaringly evident that everything in this Universe is temporary. Everything is always changing, in flux, in flow. The rate of change for various things differs- think of the slow erosion of a mountain versus the rapid growth and decay of a blueberry. Nevertheless, everything changes constantly and the Vs in the tarot are a reminder that that change can be stressful to us humans who like to think that we can halt change or avoid it.
The V of Wands often shows an obvious depiction of struggle, as people joust with their wands, trying to best each other in combat or even just a friendly game. This card traditionally means conflict and change, and can specifically denote the kind of conflict that comes up between individuals with different ways of meeting goals. Perhaps you were working with a person or group of people who shared a common goal, only to find out that each person wanted to meet that goal in a different way. The conflicts of interest and various passions at play could make reaching the goal together impossible.
This is the kind of blind spot revelation where you thought you understood a situation, person, organization, etc. only to find out that you actually have totally different agendas. This can cause you to realize that you no longer way to be with that person, working with those people, or at that corporation. It could even be a struggle within yourself, between the you who wants to do what society tells you to do and the you who wants to do what is good for your soul. Regardless of what is precipitates the conflict, the end result is the same- you can no longer keep pursuing your goal the way you had been doing it previously. It just doesn’t work anymore.
The V of Pentacles is one of those cards that blatantly speaks to that feeling of being thrust out in the cold, rejected, no longer a part of where you used to belong. This card often depicts someone who is maimed, hurt, desolate, outside of a warm and light-filled church. This could literally be the moment when you realize that your religion has been lying to you, that your spiritual beliefs are not represented, that you’ve been manipulated to serve a person or group and not the essence of the divine.
The V of Pentacles also brings up the awareness of the false ideal that money can bring happiness and security. Money is ephemeral and transient. Realizing that money is not the end all be all of making a good life for yourself can be overwhelming. Perhaps you realize that your working and working, accumulating goods, buying whatever the TV tells you to buy and no matter how hard you work, how high your salary goes, how surrounded by all the luxury of materials possessions you become- you still aren’t happy. Realizing your blind spot was succumbing to the American dream of excess and finding out it was all a capitalist lie to make someone else rich, is a tough revelation.
The V of Swords holds the ideal of intellectual superiority, that using the mind and your knowledge, you can get the upper hand. You may have been asserting your opinion as “right”, and debating that other’s opinions are “wrong” unable to keep an open mind and realize that opinions are just opinions. We are all entitled to them, but we should not shame and punish each other for differing opinions. Berating, scolding, and hammering away at a point that is your opinion without listening, holding space, and allowing for other opinions can lead you to a lonely place. There is very little fact when it comes to “how we should live”. Almost all of that stuff is opinions. When you find yourself suddenly aware that you are creating enemies by needing to be right and other people to be wrong or change their minds and agree with you, you can see the blind spot of assumed intellectual superiority.
The V of Swords can just be that moment when you realize how much you don’t know. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve other people at all. It is simply being faced with your lack of knowledge in any avenue. You could read something in the paper this morning that opens up a whole new world of information to you. You suddenly realize that you’d just never looked it that way before, or thought of that before, or had went down that path before. Now, suddenly, you see signs of that information everywhere and your outlook totally changes. This can be the kind of experience where your mind is blow and you may realize you’ve unintentionally been racist, or homophobic, or patronizing, or exclusive. It hurts, but you see the error in your ways now and will put down your sword of opinion.
The V of Cups is perhaps the saddest of blind spots revealed, realizing that your heart is broken and you’re terribly full of regrets. Perhaps you thought that love was eternal, that you had found your forever partner and now they have left you for another or died. This is the moment when you may find that you put your ability to be happy in someone else’s hands, that you took that responsibility away from yourself and now must learn how to take care of yourself. Or maybe you realize that you were afraid of intimacy, that you never showed your authentic self and now your chance has gone. The V of Cups is that moment of emotional upheaval when you realize the way you were expressing your emotions was untruthful and inauthentic and it all feels like it was a terrible waste of time.
The Vs of the minor arcana can signify many things in a reading. Here I’m offering the outlook that they each can be an indication that a blind spot of yours has been uncovered and it’s causing you strife and conflict, both internally and externally in your day-to-day existence. Ultimately, I believe that the Vs are turning points, though, places where we are challenged to grow. It can feel sticky and icky to be in the midst of unraveling your blind spots, but it is such necessary and important work.
The key with all of this Vs business is not to be ashamed or embarrassed. Listen, you were doing the best you could with the information that you had at the time. Now you know more and can do your best with what you’ve currently got for wisdom. This cycle will continue throughout your life so the sooner you get good at accepting what you didn’t know and integrating that new awareness into your daily life, the better you will get at doing it each time your blind spots are revealed. This is about process, not perfection. The Vs give you a chance to be startled by your weakness, stupidity, largesse, foolishness, superiority, or timidity and then to learn and grow.
After the moment of discovery of your blind spot, comes the transition to your new outlook and understanding of life. The cards with the number VI in the minor arcana show the ways that that transition can unfold. I will be back in a couple of weeks with another blog post about the time after your awareness expands and your blind spot is illuminated with the Vs. Stay tuned!