If you read Tarot cards for yourself with any regularity, you likely are already familiar with the term stalker card. It’s that often confusing, frequently frustrating experience of a single card popping up over and over, for days or even weeks in a row, endlessly giving you the same message.
No matter whether you consider yourself a Tarot beginner or have been reading for years, this particular phenomenon can happen to anyone – and can be challenging to deal with.
While sometimes we know exactly what the cards want us to recognize, other times, the answer can be a bit more elusive. Sometimes we need to dig a little deeper, give the cards a chance to clarify and explain so that we can more clearly understand their meanings and begin to apply those truths in a way that makes sense to us.
What Are Stalker Cards?
In readings, stalker cards usually indicate one of two things: either you aren’t fully accepting the meaning of the card that is being offered to you, or you are missing a key point or bit of depth to the card’s meaning itself. Neither is necessarily a bad thing, but in my experience, the cards don’t stop repeating themselves until you spend the time and energy to really dive into what you are failing to acknowledge.
Even if you change up your framing of a particular question or situation, chances are good that the Tarot will recognize what’s happening and still find a way to put that particular card forward for you.
There are times when the deck needs you to hear a message, and when a card keeps repeating itself, it’s up to you to do the work to figure out what that message is. This is easier said than done.
You may not necessarily know if you’re in denial or just missing a key element of a card’s interpretation – and if you’re coming to the cards over and over again, either with the same questions or different ones, you may not know what it is that you’re overlooking when the same card comes forward.
You can work with stalker cards several ways, and I highly recommend beginning by reading multiple interpretations of a card if it keeps coming up for you.
But if you’ve been struggling with a particular card following you around, and if you’ve taken some time to consider what you’re missing and are still coming up empty-handed, this stalker card spread might be able to shake some of the cobwebs loose and open up some new understandings of what your deck is trying to tell you.
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A Spread For Stalker Cards
Before using this spread in your personal work, I highly recommend finding the card that has been stalking you and pulling it out of your deck.
Spend a few moments meditating on it if you like, familiarizing yourself with the keywords and interpretations that you know, and considering anything new that comes forward. Set it to the side and remember this card as you’re shuffling for this reading, opening yourself up to any new clarity or perceptions that this reading may offer.
To help you understand how this spread can work for you, I’m offering a sample reading using a card that’s been coming up for me a lot lately: The Devil.
A complicated and multi-faceted archetype, it’s easy to panic when we see the Devil in Tarot readings- particularly when it comes up over and over. This card asks us to examine our own shadows, impulses, and desires and consider where we may struggle to find or maintain control.
But what does it indicate when this card keeps coming forward in readings? What layers of meaning can we tease out of this card that may offer new and important insights?
Card One: A Reason That This Card is Important for Me Right Now
One of the other Major Arcana archetypes most commonly associated with shadow work, the Moon, is a mysterious and dreamy card that asks us to tap into our subconscious dreams and desires.
It urges us to honor our intuition, to consider what feelings and emotions we may be burying or afraid to examine too closely. Still, it also can indicate that we are missing something important, getting caught up in a fantasy, or being tricked by an illusion. When this archetype comes forward in a reading, it invites us to be aware of how we use our wildness and where we may be getting caught up in something that isn’t completely real.
In this position, the Moon points to the aspects of the Devil around control, instinct, and familiarity. What old patterns or destructive behaviors might be getting overlooked? Where could surrendering to dreams and instincts be a good thing?
You might want to brush up on: How To Expertly Shuffle Your Tarot Cards
Card Two: Something Preventing Me From Hearing This Message
An archetype of creation, abundance, and joy, the Empress often indicates that something we have been working towards is beginning to manifest in tangible, measurable ways. A wild, raw formation card that isn’t concerned about perfection, the Empress asks us to celebrate, be present, recognize all that we are accomplishing, and live in this moment of magic and satisfaction.
While this archetype is generally a positive one to see in readings, in this particular position, it indicates that there’s a deliberate focus on the good things that are happening, to the point that any warnings, downward spirals, or temptations are being ignored.
Celebration and acknowledgment of success are powerful and essential components of any journey. Still, when we work too hard to see the silver lining and ignore the more obvious obstacles or errors, we can get ourselves into difficult positions, find ourselves trapped in destructive patterns or harmful routines.
What are you afraid of seeing in the shadows? Where are you avoiding the recognition of something that may be causing you fear or anger? How can you be honest with yourself about struggles, challenges, or anxieties?
Card Three: A Way to Release Any Blockages
Elder of Pentacles
Also known as the King of Pentacles, this ruler of the Earth is a card of responsibility, patience, generosity, structure, and care.
Pentacles may be the slowest moving suit, but this king understands their place, their power, their ability to establish foundations that will last beyond their own lifetime. This figure is often associated with success and stability, along with ideas of legacy, personal power, community leadership, and financial security.
In this position, the King of Pentacles offers a concrete way to release blockages by tackling the problem head-on and making a thoughtful, organized plan for moving forward.
Kings are leaders, deeply connected to their suit, and aren’t afraid to call the shots or make big moves. And with the suit of earth, we are charged to take control of the situation, recognize the truth of our circumstances, and deal with our problems out in the open instead of tucking them back into the darker corners.
What steps can you take to move forward? Where do you find your strength? What are you ready to confront?
Read next: How to Embrace Changing Using Tarot
Don’t Ignore Your Stalker Card
While stalker cards can be frustrating, resist the temptation to ignore their messages. What might you be missing within your readings that could help you find the answers you most need to hear?
How can use the Tarot itself as a tool for reflection offer you new insights into recurring cards?
Giving ourselves the space to explore our readings more personally can build powerful and important connections with our cards and go even deeper into our Tarot practice. What cards tend to come up for you the most often? How often do you have to see a card repeat before you label it a stalker card? How can this spread help you understand what your cards are trying to communicate?
This post features cards from The Spacious Tarot.