A valuable practice is to associate Tarot cards with … well, with anything. It is great practice for doing readings, it is a great way to expand your understanding of the cards, and it encourages thought about things in general.
With that in mind, I decided to take a shot at considering which cards go well with various phrases or “statements” in the Desiderata. I made these choices by reading each passage and seeing which card(s) came to mind, which was an intuitive (versus analytical) process. This is not meant to be a definitive set of associations by any means, and I invite your thoughts on this.
Note that some cards appear more than once, since every card has more than one meaning. Also, I have picked just one or two cards per instance, even though several cards may have come to mind.
Again, this is just an exercise. I hope it inspires you to do the same thing, either with this “prose poem” or with something else.
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
High Priestess; King of Cups
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Three of Cups
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Ace of Swords; Queen of Swords
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
Five of Swords; Knight of Wands
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Temperance; The Devil
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Four of Wands; Two of Wands
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Eight of Pentacles; The Wheel of Fortune
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
King of Pentacles; Seven of Swords
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
King of Swords; The Star
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
The Hanged Man; Seven of Wands
Especially, do not feign affection.
The Fool; Knight of Cups
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Four of Cups; Ace of Cups
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
Strength; The Tower
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Nine of Swords
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
Strength; Nine of Pentacles
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
The Wheel of Fortune; The World
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
The Hanged Man; The Hierophant
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.
Five of Wands; The World
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Five of Cups; Five of Pentacles
Strive to be happy.
Queen of Wands
 (c) Max Ehrman 1927