IKEA is a place of transition, a journey, a source of light and comfort, but also strife. Like the universe, IKEA feels infinite.
The tarot is a way of finding understanding through symbols. What could be a better source of symbols than IKEA? That's why I made the IKEA tarot. It takes its symbols from IKEA assembly manuals and maps them onto the cards of the tarot.
Here are some of the cards so you can get an idea about what it looks like:
A way to Read the IKEA Tarot
Like any good set of symbols, a tarot deck can be read in infinite ways. Do whatever works for you. You can always just look at the cards, and see what they make you think. But to aid you on your journey here is one way to read it.
The Minor Arcana
First we start with the minor arcana. The IKEA tarot has four suits: lamps, sofas, dowels, and allen keys.
As is traditional, each suit has fourteen cards: Number cards ace through 10 along with four face cards: the Page (P), the Knight (N), the Queen (Q) and the King (K).
Unlike many tarot decks, each of the number cards does not have its own illustration. They are represented, like a normal deck of cards, with pips corresponding to the number of the card. Instead, you can think about the meaning of the suit and let the value of the card represent its strength. For example, multiple lamp cards, especially the higher numbers, might indicate a strong influence of illumination or lightness. A low number might indicate just a slight imbalance. A lamp reversed might indicate that light is missing. The combination might indicate an imbalance or a conflict.
The suits of Lamps is light and dark. Upright, it is things that are clear. Reversed it is things that need illumination. Upright, think of knowledge. Reversed, think of ignorance. Upright the things that cast shadows. Reversed, the shadows themselves.
The suit of Sofas represents comfort, home, safety. A sofa might mean curling up with a hot cup of a tea. It might be leisure. Reversed, it might be the need for those things or too much of them.
The suit of Dowels is joins and connections: friendships, family, relationships, weddings. Reversed, dowel represent the opposite: partings, rupture, conflicts between people. Dowels hold things together, but when put under pressure the wrong way, they can split. Sometimes you need a hammer to get a dowel into place.
The suit of Allen Keys is about action in the world: changing your environment, protesting, work, projects. An allen key works on the principle of torque—sometimes a little force, a little change can go a long way. Reversed, allen keys are about inaction—an environment out of balance, a misalignment at work, a floundering project, forces out of whack.
The Major Arcana
There are twenty-two Major Arcana. They represent major archetypes, themes, and parts of the human experience.
The Fool is not just folly, but the holy fool, the fool whose ignorance is wisdom, the naivety that makes the impossible possible. The Fool is enthusiasm, is playfulness, is following joy. Reversed, the Fool is just ignorance, is acting against wisdom, is serious.
The Magician is power, resourcefulness, control. If you're putting something together, the magician is who you want doing it with you. Reversed, the Magician is precariousness, wobbles, lack of control, the circus tent shaking as the elephants charge forward. Will it collapse or will it settle down?
The High Priestess
The High Priestess is mystery, intuition, the subconscious, what is hidden. Reversed, The High Priestess is secrets coming into the light.
The Empress is femininity, especially feminine power. The Empress is subtle, refined and when used carefully, can bring things together. Reversed, the empress is sharp, used to cut and wound or to take things apart.
The Emperor is masculinity, strength, the power of keeping things moving, slotting into place. Reversed, that power is brute, overly rigid, a screw head stripped.
The Hierophant is a card of manifestation, physical and spiritual, manipulation. Reversed, it might represent using the wrong tool. When all you have is a hammer…
The Lovers is a card of togetherness, relationships, collaboration, and of course, love itself. Reversed it's an absence, a distance, a relationship that isn't working or needs to no longer be.
The Chariot is a card of war. War is conflict, but it's also logistics, supply lines, morale, moving pieces into place. Reversed it's chaos, missing parts, morass, miasma.
The card of Strength can be raw power. But it can also represent the act of finding strength, using wisdom to augment it. With the right lever you can move the world. Reversed, this card is strength without purpose, flailing around, lashing out.
The Hermit is alone, trying to do something that should be done with a partner or a team. Reversed, the Hermit may be alone, but that's how things should be. Maybe a need for isolation, or a time to regroup.
The Wheel of Fortune
The Wheel of Fortune is what all the world stands on. Upright, the card may be solid ground, good fortune, time to take a chance. But reversed the ground may be loose, uneven, a misstep could spiral out of control.
Justice, as they say, is blind or perhaps just complicated, a situation where moving one piece into place can cause another to move out of it. Reversed it's out of alignment, unbalanced, sliding around. Or maybe it's mercy.
The Hanged Man
The Hanged Man is confused, uncertain, all thought and no action. The Hanged Man might be paralyzed with indecision. Reversed, the Hanged Man is all that thought but focused, figuring things out, thinking things through.
Death is the card of endings, closings, the end of a phase of life or the end of life itself. Death reversed is change, something cleared away making way for something new.
Temperance is the card of balance, evenness or the skill or act of bringing it about it. It can also be taking the safe path. Reversed, it's imbalance, too much, too little, teetering to one side, but it may also be a necessary risk.
The Devil is temptation, pride, lust, the easy way out, the opposition. Reversed, it's the same but stronger, a surrender to those things.
The Tower is the card of destruction, a fall from a great height, rising chaos, collapse. Reversed, it's still destruction, but the clearing kind, a controlled burn.
The Star is a source of brightness, a thing to look forward to. Stars can guide. Together, they can be stories or powerful beings. Reversed, The Star is meaningless meaning, what looks like a pattern, but is actually just noise.
The Moon is soft and hazy, that which illuminates the night. The Moon is cycles and rebirth. Reversed, the Moon may be light, but it is not warmth, a fact without context, predictable, but not always there when you need it.
The Sun is what makes life possible, warmth, safety, success, that which brings light, that which brings life. Reversed, the Sun is danger, unwanted knowledge, a closeness that burns.
The Last Judgment
The Last Judgment is a card for artists, makers, people who put things out into the world. It's the last refinement, the finishing touch. Reversed, it's the imperfections necessary to actually finish something.
The World is the people around you, the things around you, the broad context of everything, what your place is and what it means. Reversed, it may be myopia, missing the forest for the trees, or being overwhelmed.
When doing a tarot reading, you deal them out in what's called a spread. Different cards in a spread correspond to different parts of the reading. For example, a simple spread might be three cards side by side, where the first card represents the past, the second represents the present, and the third represents the future.
Different spreads are good for different types of questions, so I won't recommend one true spread. You can easily find common spreads by searching the web. I find with this deck, spreads with more cards tend to be helpful so you can see which suits appear and reappear giving the reading an opportunity emphasize certain areas and show conflict or balance.