Self-reflection. Creativity. Connection. These are among the benefits often associated with using tarot cards. Some believe these outcomes can also be reached by smoking cannabis or combining the two.
Depending on who you talk to, tarot has its origins in Egypt, Italy or even among the Roma. This divination system, which started off as a card game, has evolved into the personal development tool it’s known for today.
Both tarot and cannabis can be used as a tool for self-discovery. And when the two meet? That’s where the magic happens.
Each tarot deck tells a story
With 78 cards, split into the major arcana (big mysteries) and minor arcana (little mysteries), tarot tells the story of humanity’s triumphs and defeats. Cards are based on archetypes that are present in everyday life and have always been present.
“[The deck] combines magic and joy of cannabis with the wisdom and guidance of tarot. Cannabis opens and grounds my mind, body, and spirit.”
Julianna Rose, creator of The Four Twenty Tarot.
Love, loss, change, and more are woven into tarot cards to help the reader find the answers they are looking for.
The minor arcana
The minor arcana are divided into four suits: pentacles, cups, swords, and wands, with numbered cards from ace to ten. There are also the court cards, king, queen, knight, and page.
The minors deal with the everyday aspects of life—situations that need attention or advice, choices that can be made or a reflection of where the reader is in their life.
The major arcana
The 22-card major arcana deals with life’s larger, overarching themes—ones where spiritual or cosmic influences are at play. Each card can be read upright or reversed with different meanings depending on the orientation, though some choose not to read reversals at all.
Tarot and cannabis: a weed witch’s dream
There is no shortage of cannabis-themed decks; the pairing of weed and tarot is a natural fit. While other decks can use outdated language and imagery, these two 420-friendly options are sophisticated AF, combining the spiritual nature of tarot with the chill factor of cannabis.
The Four Twenty Tarot by Julianna Rose
The Four Twenty Tarot by Julianna Rose is an independently published deck with a funky colour palette of lime green, fuschia, black, white, and grey. The cartoonish style, a riff on the traditional Rider-Waite deck, highlights the crux of the meanings in a light-hearted fun way.
This deck is filled with diversity—WOC with different skin tones and hairstyles, as well as queer family and people with disabilities represented in a way that is considered and natural, not tokenistic.
The deck is filled with strong female representation, even in the king cards. The images will be familiar to any seasoned tarot reader but the subtle nods to cannabis make it stand out.
For example, the Hermit, a cloaked, solitary figure usually seen holding a lantern, is now also seen with a lit joint poking out of their hood.
Rose openly talks about how antidepressants, therapy, weed, and tarot all play a big part in her life. She shares with Leafly, “cannabis and tarot have positively affected my mental health, creativity, and the community I connect with.”
Soul Cards ‘Green Dream’ tarot by Kristine Fredheim
The Soul Cards Green Dream deck is the ultimate luxury for deck lovers and smokers with its rose petal finish (if you know, you know) and beautiful gold foil and gilding. The deck is from a partnership between psychic medium and tarot creator Kristine Fredheim and cannabis lifestyle brand Allume.
The deck is described as being “created for those who chill” and everything about it fulfills this expectation. From its light sage green colouring, its muted gold gilding, to the intricate symbol-based cards—this deck practically makes you drop your shoulders and sigh a deep breath out.
It’s minimalism at its best.
There are no figures throughout the whole deck and that might be difficult for a beginner tarot reader to understand right out of the box. Luckily, Fredheim provides a comprehensive PDF download of the upright and reversed meanings.
The backs of the cards with cannabis leaves and their shadows are the only hint that these cards are weed-themed.
Why tarot and weed work together so well?
Diana, who prefers not to use her last name, a professional tarot reader who regularly consumes cannabis before interpreting a spread, tells Leafly that she prefers smoking to other methods but will use edibles from time to time.
As much as she loves tarot, Diana shares that using the cards for self-reflection is intellectually and emotionally demanding. “Using cannabis while reading tarot helps improve my ability to think laterally, to connect with my intuitive understanding, and to naturally relax my body.”
Once she starts to feel effects, Diana begins meditating on what questions she seeks answers for from the tarot cards. When talking about how that relates to her tarot practice she says, “weed helps me read the spreads as one cohesive story, rather than a series of disconnected cards.”
Diana considers both weed and tarot to be ‘outlets for self-improvement’ and keeps her weed handy when she’s pulling cards, that way she can casually take puffs while she analyzes her spread. She shares how it keeps her in the moment, as opposed to worrying about getting everything just right.
The Four Twenty Tarot creator Julianna Rose, like Diana, smokes and/or eats edibles while pulling tarot cards. Though Rose also enjoys vaping from time to time, sharing that she does what ‘feels right’ which can change day-to-day.
Tarot and cannabis are a powerful combination, shares Rose. “Combining the two is right for me because it illuminates new stories and possibilities to consider in the cards.”
“Together they’ve helped reconnect me with my intuition and learn to trust myself again.”
“[The deck] combines the magic and joy of cannabis with the wisdom and guidance of tarot. Cannabis opens and grounds my mind, body, and spirit,” says Rose.
Whether the cannabis and tarot are used together or separate, it’s clear that some turn to them to provide ample benefits either to ease symptoms of mental illness, connect to one’s intuition or just plain self-care.
Olga Alexandru is a Romanian-Canadian writer and poet currently living in the UK.