The Most Misunderstood Tarot Cards & What They Actually Mean

Why Misinterpretations Occur:

Tarot cards often carry more profound meanings than their surface interpretations suggest. At The Argyle Oracle, your leading psychic centre in the Rocks, Sydney, we’re dedicated to demystifying these symbols to reveal the true wisdom of the Tarot.

Pop culture and a lack of context contribute to common Tarot card misconceptions. The true meanings often hinge on the card’s position in a spread and the intuitive connection of the reader, like our founder, Helen Beckman.

The Death Card:

Contrary to popular belief, the Death Card in tarot does not signify physical death. Instead, it symbolises transformation and new beginnings. This card represents the metaphorical death of an aspect of your life, suggesting that something old must end to make way for new growth. It encourages letting go of outdated patterns, beliefs, or situations to embrace positive change and renewal. The Death Card serves as a reminder that endings are often a natural part of life’s cycle, leading to fresh opportunities and personal evolution.

The Devil Card:

The Devil card in tarot speaks to the self-imposed bindings and negative patterns we struggle with, rather than representing an external malevolent force. This card often signifies our inner demons, such as addiction, dependency, or destructive behaviours, that keep us trapped in a cycle of negativity. It serves as a powerful reminder that we hold the key to our own liberation. By recognising and confronting these self-imposed limitations, we can begin the journey towards breaking free from their grip, ultimately leading to personal growth and empowerment. Understanding the Devil Card is a crucial step in this transformative process.

The Tower Card:

Though it signifies upheaval, the Tower card in tarot also represents the profound growth that can arise from such disruption. This card embodies sudden, often unexpected change that can feel chaotic and unsettling. However, it is through these very upheavals that we gain the opportunity to reassess and reconstruct our lives. The Tower encourages us to embrace the destruction of old, faulty structures and beliefs, making way for new, more resilient foundations. It symbolises the potential for transformation, urging us to rebuild stronger and wiser from the ashes of the unexpected. This process, while challenging, ultimately leads to greater clarity, strength, and wisdom.

The Hanged Man Card:

The Hanged Man card in tarot is about pause and reflection rather than an ominous delay. It encourages us to take a step back from our current situation and view it from a different perspective. This period of suspension is not about stagnation, but about gaining deeper insights and wisdom through letting go of control. The Hanged Man teaches the value of patience and the power of surrender, suggesting that true enlightenment often comes when we release our preconceived notions and allow ourselves to be open to new ideas and possibilities. By embracing this state of reflection, we can discover a more profound understanding of ourselves and our path forward.

The Ten of Swords Card:

Despite its grim imagery, the Ten of Swords in the Tarot suggests that a difficult cycle is coming to an end. This card, often depicting a figure lying defeated with ten swords in their back, symbolises the culmination of hardship and the lowest point in a situation. However, it also carries a message of hope and renewal. The Ten of Swords signals that the worst is over and a period of recovery and healing is on the horizon. It encourages us to let go of past pains and to look forward to a brighter future. This card reassures us that, after enduring significant challenges, we have the opportunity to rise again, stronger and more resilient than before.

Understanding Tarot Context and Intuition:

Tarot is a deeply personal practice where the meanings of the cards are influenced not only by their traditional interpretations but also by the specific context of the spread and the reader’s intuition. Each reading is unique, shaped by the question at hand, the placement of the cards, and the insights of the tarot reader. A flexible approach, as employed in our Tarot card readings at The Argyle Oracle, allows for richer, more personal guidance. By considering the dynamic interplay between the cards and tapping into intuitive understanding, we provide readings that resonate on a profound level, offering tailored insights and empowering individuals on their personal journeys. This adaptability ensures that the guidance received is not only relevant but also deeply meaningful, fostering a deeper connection with the messages the tarot reveals.


Misunderstood Tarot cards are gateways to hidden wisdom and personal growth. We invite you to explore their true meanings with an open mind through a reading at The Argyle Oracle or by learning from experienced psychics like Helen Beckman.