Pokemon Cards

Tarot reading the future through Pokémon cards

Contributed by
Jun 18, 2019, 3:42 PM EDT (Updated)

A few weeks ago, sitting drunk in a hotel after a busy day spent at London Comic Con, one of my best friends and I got into a discussion about star signs. It’s a pretty common topic of conversation when we are together, but one I usually have very little in the way of contribution. I know I’m a Virgo, but I don’t know anything about rising signs or the supposed ways various signs are meant to interact with each other, though I love seeing my friend get passionate about something she’s fascinated by.

While I have never been a big believer in horoscopes, star signs, or tarot card readings having an actual magical ability to predict the future or influence who we are as people, I have always believed they have the power to help us better understand ourselves and the world around us. Any given tarot card in a traditional tarot card deck can have up to three or four vague meanings attached to it, plus another three or four if it’s presented reversed, and given any questions as a prompt there’s usually a valid meaning that someone who’s looking to be introspective can draw from.

The thing is, I know nothing about the meaning of actual tarot cards, and while I guess I could spend time to learn their meanings, that seems like a lot of work when I already have a deck of cards to hand that have intrinsic meanings to me.

So I decided to try giving myself a tarot reading using a bunch of Pokémon cards.

Pokemon Cards

Credit: Laura Dale

Now, before we get started, I did check that doing tarot with a deck of Pokémon cards wouldn’t be flying in the face of the spirit of the practice, and everything I read suggested it would be a totally valid thing to do. Websites dedicated to Tarot readings all suggest picking a deck of cards that has deep, personal meaning to you, one that resonates with you and that you feel able to connect with. As long as you can parse meaning from the cards you turn over, it’s a valid deck for reading Tarot.

As a kid who grew up on the autism spectrum, and really struggled to socialize in my early schooling years, my obsessive knowledge of Pokémon was a real lifeline to early social interactions. These cards were an obsessive interest that helped me focus and feel knowledgeable, they gave me a safety topic to make friends, and have stayed a frequent part of my life ever since. They seemed like the perfect deck of cards for me to use to get some insight into myself.

To create my Pokémon card tarot deck, I opened five blind booster packs of cards, ensuring that I had a random spread of types of card, without any bias introduced by the way I build my own competitive trading card game decks. I looked through them all to see what was there, shuffled it, picked a question, and turned over my first three cards.

I started with the most pressing question on my mind. I recently had a big career change, going back to self-employment. How would that career change pan out?

Pokemon Cards 2

Credit: Laura Dale

Well, I drew a Celesteela GX card first, a rare card whose primary ability prevents your opponent’s most powerful attacks from hurting you while it’s present. While it can be scary facing down something that could really harm you, with this card out, you have some breathing room, you know you don’t have to worry about things unexpectedly going catastrophically wrong.

Next, I drew a Caterpie, whose ability gives it a chance to evolve, become more powerful, progress to a new and improved stage in its life. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s taking a chance to improve.

Lastly, I drew a Triple Accelerate Energy, a card that can only be used on a Pokémon which has evolved, much like Caterpie’s ability would allow it to. It gives a Pokémon far more power to do cool things than you could normally give that Pokémon with a single card. 

From these, I took away the reading that my career change is going to go well. I don’t have to worry about things going badly, because I took a chance to grow and improve, and for taking that chance to evolve I’ll be able to be much more powerful than I would have been before.

Next up, I had a night out dancing with friends coming up on the night of the Pokémon tarot reading. How was my night out going to go?

Sandshrew Tangrowth Energy

Credit: Laura Dale

I drew a Sandshrew first. While it’s a fighting-type Pokémon and has an attack called rolling tackle, I'm interpreting the art on the card as this cute little guy wanting a hug. That rolling tackle, just a very enthusiastic hug. To me, that suggests I’ll get on well enough with someone new to offer them an enthusiastic hug before the night is through. If I do that, maybe I’ll “collect” a new friend.

Next was Tangrowth, a very sleepy Pokémon. That checks out, I’m planning on staying out very late partying, I’m probably going to be very sleepy by the time the night is through. Tangrowth’s bind down ability prevents someone from retreating, which could have ominous meanings, but in the context of the hug-happy Sandshrew I’m going to read it as implying that a new friend I make might stick around, be a longer-term friend than just one night.

Lastly, I drew a psychic energy card. Psychic-type moves are about the ways brains interact, and I’m going to read this as reinforcing that I’m going to meet and get on really well with a new friend, maybe finding a good level of connection.

I have no idea if that’ll all happen tonight, but I don't think it'd be a bad thing going into a night out being open to making a new friend that I might stay friends with due to a really nice level of connection. I can at least be optimistic and open to that.

Lastly, I wanted to ask something less personal, and more something that might prove one way or another if Pokémon Card Tarot works or not. So, my final question, how will Spider-Man: Far From Home end?

Hypno Aron Lickitung

Credit: Laura Dale

According to my final three cards, here’s how the film will end. Hypno clearly represents Mysterio, with his mystical magical perception-altering powers. Hypno’s ability allows it to control which Pokémon it fights next, meaning it can limit what attacks can be used against it. This means Mysterio is going to use his magical powers to stop Peter Parker from fighting with his full strength.

I think Aron represents our spider based hero. Aron can use the move Rigidify to strengthen, coat itself in metal, and become more powerful by leaning into that strong metallic armor. I think this is telling us Spider-Man is going to lean ever more into the robotic suits Tony Stark created for him, eventually becoming the new Iron Man position figure of the MCU.

Lastly, Lickitung. Peter’s going to beat Mysterio by licking him, which the Lickitung card says will cause paralysis. This gives Peter his opening to win the fight.

With less than a month until the film releases, I guess we won’t have long to see how accurate my Pokémon tarot predictions for the movie’s plot are. Until then, I’m going to reflect on the personal questions I asked, the answers I saw, and what that means about myself. Who’d have thought Pokémon cards would make me feel more comfortable about a new job and making new friends? Or at the very least, Peter Parker licking Mysterio to death.

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