Christmas, the season of goodwill and cheer is nearly upon us.
Whether one loves it or hates it there is no avoiding it. Many
people try to escape it by flying off to sunny seasides in an
attempt to rid themselves of tinsel mayhem and misery. Yet try
as they might they are still dealing with Christmas, still
acknowledging its inevitable existence and making plans to avoid
It’s around this time of year, late October, maybe a little
earlier, when Christmas starts to show itself in many, many
readings. What I’d like to share with you are which key tarot
cards to look out for that can depict Christmas, and the type of
events going on around it.
One of the most pertinent tarot cards for depicting Christmas is
the Ten of Coins as it symbolises what I call the “hierarchical
family”. This is Mum, Dad, brothers and sisters, grannies and
grandads, aunts and uncles, the cat, the dog, the new boyfriend,
the difficult wife, the screaming babies, the noisy toddlers and
the long lost relatives. If they are in any way related to your
family, whether through blood or marriage, then they are
symbolised by the ten of coins.
The Ten of Coins tarot card not only depicts the people but also
the family values, beliefs and dynamics. This, along with the
actual people, is what starts to become important when
predicting what type of Christmas any individual is likely to
experience. One member of the family might desire a traditional
Christmas dinner while another might want something less
The next most important card is the Nine of Cups. This tarot
card symbolises parties and get togethers in which people
generally have a few drinks, socialise, and are friendly and
Put the Ten of Coins together with the Nine of Cups and we find
a lovely fun filled Christmas.
Next one needs to take into consideration which family member
this reading is for, what part are they playing in the family
One woman had the Ten of Batons leading up to the Ten of Coins
and the Nine of Cups. The Ten of Batons in Tarot symbolises
excessive burdens and responsibilities, running around after
other people and forgetting about oneself. This woman was the
mother of all mothers, from October until early January busy
shopping, cooking and organising so that her extensive family
could have a wonderful Christmas. When I suggested that she
might wish to share the burden she came up with two comments:
that she preferred to have people come to her home, and that she
was the only one who was capable and that no-one else would
Looking at Christmas from another perspective was a reading for
a woman whose sister-in-law was much like the previous woman.
She had her Christmas day shrouded by the Three of Coins
reversed. This card symbolises being weak willed and
subservient, an unwilling servant who does not have the ability
to stand up for their own needs. “My husband wouldn’t dare defy
his sister and not go to her Christmas do,” she said wearily. “I
just keep quiet and get on with it.”
There are many other characters within any family, here are just
a few examples of what I have seen, and what kind of gifts they
might, or might, not appreciate.
The Queen of Swords: This card is traditionally “The divorced,
widowed, embittered woman.” Around Christmas time she generally
shows her face as the unpopular wife of a much loved son, the
mother-in-law, or a much older woman, such as a grandmother, who
is on her own in life. Gift type: Usually this type of person is
never satisfied with anything. If you give them a gift voucher
they say you haven’t bothered, if you take flowers they complain
that they will die and shed upon their floor. Best to take them
a bottle of wine and get them drunk. This might exacerbate their
poison tongue but it might also send them to sleep.
The Queen of Cups: This is the tarot card of the perfect mother
and good cook! Gift type: Take her something personal and
special. She has enough pots and pans and homely type things, so
something beautiful that she wouldn’t buy for herself. Anything
from perfume, to a silk scarf, to a pamper day at a local health
The Emperor: A powerful father figure who likes to have his
family gathered more for show than love. Gift type: Something
expensive! It need not be large but must have taste, quality and
usability. This man has not built his life up on trivia. Does he
need a new wallet, or set of golf clubs? A years membership to
The Page of Batons: Of all the tarot court cards this page is
the one who symbolises the child. When upright it is a capable
child who enjoys having a go at most things, but when reversed
the Page of Batons depicts the kind of child who is not very
self confident and constantly requires help and reassurance, and
is prone to temper tantrums. Gift type: Depending on age the
Page of Batons will enjoy most toys which have an element of
exploration and fun, whether a construction type toy or game.
However, the reversed page, needs something less complicated
which does not require such a long attention span. Musical
instruments which give instant gratification would suit, as well
as any toy which speaks back, either as a learning aid or simply
With the people come the problems. Here are a few simple
examples of which cards can show typical Christmas problems.
The Three of Swords: With the three of swords tarot card we find
envy, jealousy and rage. Anything which isn’t love. Upsets all
round. Often over the festive season this can be aroused by the
attitude of “He/she has a bigger, better gift than me,” or by
excessive alcohol. (see the nine of swords below) Arguments
always abound with the three of swords.
The Four of Cups: This card when upright symbolises being
rejected, which can be triggered by feeling left out or simply
by not being invited! When reversed the four of cups tarot card
represents, amongst other things, the need for a hug and
physical attention. This is not sexual attention, and therefore,
especially when next to the Page of Batons, will depict that the
children need playing with with their new toys.
One card which can symbolise various Christmas difficulties is
the nine of swords. This card is where stress has stress and
situations potentially get so complex and fraught that some folk
will start to seriously hit the bottle. Drinking is generally
accepted around the festive season but when alcohol intake
becomes excessive, nastiness, bad feeling and sometimes even
violence can ensue.
Not everyone has a large family or group of friends to spend
Christmas with. In a reading you will often find the four of
swords representing aloneness. Maybe for some the isolation
represents a pleasant type of solitude away from the potential
arguments and bad feelings that family gathering can so often
instigate. For others it represents loneliness and invokes
feelings of desperation and despair. If the separation from
society and socialness is not chosen but forced upon the
individual through unpleasant circumstances then the Star card
reversed may well be seen next to the four of swords.
And what of all those folk who like to bunk off to freedom for
The World: Quite literally escaping into the larger world of
The Eight of Cups: Envisaging something better far, far away.
The Sun: For those who like to escape the cold and bask on a
The Knight of Cups: This is an intrepid traveller, eager to seek
out new places, people and situations. Most likely to spend
Christmas climbing a mountain or sitting painting itfrom a tent
with a view!
For many people Christmas is a pleasure, a time to draw the
family together and be close to friends. For others it’s a lot
of fuss and bother for one day. The Six of Coins reversed
symbolises overspending, so remember to budget carefully, take
the preparations in your strideand whatever you doenjoy a very
wonderful Christmas day.
About the author:
Toni has been a professional tarot reader for over 20 years and
an astrologer for over 13. She is the author of The System of
Symbols, a new way to look at Tarot. You can learn tarot through
her website at ToniAllen.co.uk By appointment she offers
private readings and tarot parties.