Top 10 Tarot Cards that Call You Out

10 tarot cards that call you out shadow work

There are some Tarot cards that nobody likes to get in a Tarot reading. When you are reading for yourself and these cards come up in a reading, you may be tempted to say, ‘Oh well, I didn’t shuffle properly, let’s start over.’ You know that’s cheating, right? So let’s take a look at the top 10 Tarot cards that call you out. Hopefully, I can make you see why you should stick with them and learn rather than stick them back in the pack.

Let’s face it, nobody said it better than C.G. Jung:

“Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.”

Shadow vs Golden Shadow

C.G. Jung is probably the most famous author when it comes to shadow work. He taught us that we do not only project dark, negative and shameful traits onto others. We also have what he labelled a ‘Golden Shadow,’ which are the positive traits that we project onto others. Why would you project positive traits on others? On some level, we all fear stepping fully into our power. Doing so means subjecting ourselves to possible criticism as well as assuming more responsibility. More responsibility, in turn, means more work. Hence two reasons for the existence of the Golden Shadow are laziness and lack of courage. In fact, courage itself can be projected as a Golden Shadow.

The Tarot as the Mirror for the Soul

When you look in the mirror, you want to see the filtered and Instagram-ready version of yourself, right? The good news is that the Tarot doesn’t allow for a superficial glance in the mirror. It reflects the depths of your soul back at you. How much you will gain from this depends on how willing you are to confront your shadow. Ignore it at your own peril because it has a tendency to come back and bite you.

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.

Carl Jung

Top 10 Tarot Cards that Call You Out on Your BS

Please note that this list does not include all possible cards that can call you out. (I left the court cards out completely because… Well, it gets complicated) Nor are these exhaustive explanations for each of the cards listed below. Rather, this is what these cards commonly want us to own for ourselves when they show up in a personal development Tarot spread. At least tune into this end of the spectrum of meanings for a minute… And if any of the descriptions below ring true, let the healing begin! Because you can only recover from your own BS/shadow if you own it first!


5 of Wands

5 of Wands – You are getting nowhere because you are constantly comparing yourself to others. This could be in both the positive (Golden Shadow) and negative sense. Focus on your own work and stay in your lane!

6 of Wands


6 of Wands – Pride and vanity may become your downfall. Appearances matter far too much. Acknowledge and show gratitude for the input of others in your life.

4 of Cups

4 of Cups – You are letting apathy and self-pity get the better of you. Nobody is coming to save you. However, there is plenty of help and inspo all around but you’re too busy focusing on how stuck you are to see it.

7 of Cups

7 of Cups – You are trying to escape from reality through the use of consciousness-altering substances. If you are constantly confused and unsure of where your life is heading, look at the habits you have in place on a daily basis. Do they promote clarity?


5 of Swords

5 of Swords – A general ‘my way or the highway’ attitude could be what is creating a lot of lose-lose situations in your life. Stop using divisive black or white arguments. This is particularly insidious if you are hiding between a wall of social justice idealism.

7 of Swords

7 of Swords – You think of yourself as cunning when really you are busy deceiving yourself as well as not being entirely truthful with others. The reason you think you need to keep an ace up your sleeve is because of deep-rooted trust issues.


4 of Pentacles

4 of Pentacles – You could be holding on too tightly something or you could be keeping your wall up too high, making it impossible for others to get to know the real you. What are you afraid of? There is enough to go around and showing vulnerability is how you create lasting bonds.

5 of Pentacles

5 of Pentacles – You could be lowkey worrying about your bodily foibles and focused on how poorly you are instead of focusing on your health and wellbeing. Or you could be caught in the mind trap of poverty consciousness. It’s time to begin healing your relationship with your body and/or money.


The Tower

The Tower – Yeah, you could be the victim of a Force Majeure but in all likelihood, you’re in the mess you’re in because you tried erected a Tower on the foundation of your ego and there is some pretty big third chakra healing work needed. Anger issues can also be indicated when this card shows up.

The Moon

The Moon – It may be time to start asking around for recommendations for a good therapist. This is essentially the shadow work card and could indicate that you are being massively impacted by your subconscious mind in whatever situation you find yourself in. The Moon typically indicates some pretty big fears lurking. If you are riddled with anxiety (which is basically fear without a known source), this card is your friend. It tells you it’s time to face your demons. When you drag them into the light of your conscious mind, they’ll go ‘Poof!’ and vanish.

Bonus Card

The Devil

The Devil – The Devil basically represents whatever you’re scapegoating in your mind when you are projecting your shadow. Why not just own the fact that you’re a bit divine and a bit devilish? Go on, you’ll feel much better!

“To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light. Once one has experienced a few times what it is like to stand judgingly between the opposites, one begins to understand what is meant by the self. Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides and thus gets in the middle.”
~ Carl Jung


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