Disclaimer: I know nothing about tarot. For this section, all tarot information comes from learntarot.com.
After Zade’s two-for-one date with Mac and Jackson, she decides to do a tarot reading to help her decide which man to choose. She begins her reading, starting with the present:
“I’m looking for who would be best overall for my highest and best good and for his highest and best good as well. Jackson should come up in the form of the King of Wands and Mac as the King of Cups” (chapter 8).
First, we can see that Zade has identified Jackson with the King of Wands. LearnTarot.com describes the King of Wands thusly:
He is creative and never settles for old, tired approaches. He trusts his originality and allows his inspirations to take form. He’s enthusiastic. He steps forward and takes the lead if the opportunity presents itself. Others follow when he shows them the way with confidence. He’s forceful in pursuing his goals. He’s not a quiet, passive observer unless that suits his purposes. He jumps in and creates results. He’s dramatic and exciting. This King is never a wallflower, more often the center of attention. He’s bold and daring. He avoids the safe, easy route because he has the energy and assurance to take risks and win. The King of Wands has the courage of his convictions and always believes in himself. (source).
I think it’s significant that Zade has identified Jackson with this card because it is also very evocative of Charles’ personality. Charles is identified time and time again as being goal-oriented, and in chapter one, Zade thinks that he’s the kind of person who is “always the most important person in any room.”) Charles is a leader, and takes risks (as shown with his incorporation of chaos magic, which is very dangerous), and he’s said to be a captivating storyteller in chapters 15 and 18. In fact, this description matches Charles more than it does Jackson, as Jackson is the center of attention far less often.
The next card Zade reveals is:
“The High Priestess.” That card usually talks of supernatural, secret knowledge; information she may or may not reveal to you. Must be my mom (chapter 8).
Zade’s instant interpretation that the card must represent her mother seems odd. While Zade probably should stay in touch with her mother, there is no way Dela could provide any useful information in this situation: Dela’s only been in love with Charles, and doesn’t know anything about either Mac or Jackson.
If we look at the card’s symbolic meaning, though which Zade represents as “secret knowledge.” LearnTarot.com says:
In readings, the High Priestess poses a challenge to you to go deeper – to look beyond the obvious, surface situation to what is hidden and obscure. (source)
This clearly hints that Zade should examine her potential lovers more closely, implying that one of them may be hiding something (like the fact that he’s her father, maybe?)
Next, Zade reveals “The Chariot”, which she says indicates a journey, but learntarot.com indicates that it has to do more with control and competition. After that, Zade uncovers The Fool, which represents new beginnings, excitement, and spontinatiy, but, Zade emphasizes this:
“the Fool carries a little “bark” of warning, as well. He’s depicted as being so busy being happy and excited that he doesn’t notice that there is a huge cliff coming up and his dog is barking at him trying to get his attention” (chapter 8).
This echos the hint from the High Priestess that there are secrets that she needs to watch out for. We know that Mac is relatively honest about his past, leaving Jackson as an ominous figure.
The next three cards Zade turns over are the Magician, the Devil, and the Lovers. She doesn’t make much of this, interpreting the Magican literally (so as Charles? Huh?), not even bothering trying to figure out what the Devil represents, and thinks that the Lovers is telling her that she’ll start a new relationship soon.
But here’s what learntarot.com has to say:
First, The Magician seems to indicate that one ought to act with conviction:
In a reading, the Magician implies that the primal forces of creativity are yours if you can claim your power and act with awareness and concentration. This card is a signal to act and act now, provided you understand exactly what you want and are committed to getting it. (source)
The Devil seems to warn about self-defeating tendencies, and urges you to see things more clearly:
This card lets you know that you are caught in an unhealthy, unproductive situation. You may be in the dark about something – ignorant of the truth and its implications (. . .) When you see the Devil, examine your assumptions carefully. Make sure you are not working from a false picture of yourself and the situation. (source)
Once again, the cards seem to hint that there is something Zade must realize about her situation.
Finally, the Lovers. LearnTarot.com indicates two possible meanings: it either indicates a strong relationship, or it indicates that tough choices (often ethical in nature, or with a definitive right and wrong choice) are coming up. (source).
To me, this clearly indicates that Zade’s cards/Destiny/whatever governs the card’s opinions/whatever is clearly indicating that there is a right and wrong choice for Zade regarding which dude to choose. (Obviously, this is because one of the dudes is hiding the secret that he’s actually her dad).
Finally, Zade gets to the “possible futures” part of her reading. These are the cards in Jackson’s grouping:
The Eight of Wands, which is meant to represent Cupid’s arrows, meant he likes me. No surprise there. The Three of Pentacles (a relationship), the Three of Cups, the Sun, and the Five of Pentacles meant it would be great-but it wouldn’t be perfect. I kept reading and found the Nine of Cups, which meant all would be content-and the King of Wands. So that indicated for me that this was my future path with Jackson. Sounds pretty good. My intuition was telling me that the entire combo had an extra meaning to it, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was (chapter 8).
Disclaimer: I am cherrypicking my interpretations because every card has multiple meanings (how conveinient for me!), and I don’t want to go over each and every one.
So, the Eight of Wands
The Eight of Wands also stands for the arrival of news or information. You may see or hear something important. The news could show up in a disguised form, so stay alert. Pay attention to everything that comes your way for a while. (source)
Seems like the cards are once again hinting that Zade must stay vigilent! I honestly don’t know where “8 of Wands means he likes me” comes from; the general meaning seems to be more about being decisive.
The Three of Pentacles:
As Pentacles are grounded and practical, this card represents a task-oriented team – people who are working cooperatively toward a common goal. There are few jobs that can be accomplished alone. We need the help of others to achieve our goals (source)
I guess I can see how Zade thinks this indicates a relationship, but the card seems to be more about teamwork. Which obviously indicates that Jackson is not working alone! Because Zeb is integral to this plan.
Three of Cups:
In readings, the Three of Cups can signify a friend or the feelings associated with friendship. This card can represent community – the network of support created when we interact with others. It can be any group in which the members feel a bond. (source)
Zade doesn’t interpret this one at all, but it seems to indicate a connection of some kind. At this point, she’s connected far more with Mac, so why would this be in Jackson’s pile? Since Jackson = Charles, and Zade does feel rather bonded to Charles, this could be another hint that she’s already more connected to Jackson than she thought.
In readings, you will understand Card 19 if you imagine yourself to be a Sun God. How do you think and feel? You have total confidence in yourself. You are not cocky, but profoundly sure of your power. You have unlimited energy and glow with health. (source)
Because the reading is about the future of Zade and “Jackson’s” relationship, I would guess that this card would refer to “Jackson’s” feelings if their relationship were to be comsummated. While I don’t know if this interpretation is allowed in tarot, I’m assuming it is, because Zade thought. that the Eight of Wands reflected Jackson’s feelings.
The Five of Pentacles:
Zade thinks that this means that her future relationship with Jackson will be “great but not perfect.” However, this card appears to indicate negative circumstances and times of hardship:
The Five of Pentacles can also represent rejection or lack of acceptance. We are social animals and feel pain when excluded from our group. We want to be included, not only for our emotional well-being, but also for mutual support. (source)
This would mean that once Zade finds out Jackson’s secret, she would reject him, right? Or perhaps he would grow weary of her, and move on to someone new. I don’t see how Zade can interpret this one optimistically.
Nine of Cups:
Zade thinks that this one indicates that she and Jackson will be “content.” But it appears that this contentment also contains a warning:
The man on the Nine of Cups reminds me of “the cat who ate the canary.” Now, a canary is a pet strictly off limits to hungry felines. Any cat who manages to catch one is going to feel pretty smug about it. This is the feeling tone of the Nine of Cups – pure indulgence and self-satisfaction(. . .) This may feel great at the time, but sooner or later the feathers around your mouth will be discovered, and regret will set in. Pursuit of pleasure without regard to consequences is never satisfying in the long run. (source)
Again, this seems to be talking about how Jackson/Charles will feel once he’s successfully managed to bone his daughter: satisfied and proud, but at what cost?
Finally, Zade explicitly thinks that there’s something about this batch of cards that she’s not catching onto. To me, when combined with the cards showing the “present,” these can easily be interpreted as a warning that Jackson is working with someone to seduce Zade for the sake of serving his own ego. Which is what I’ve been saying!!!