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Ask KnightHawk — Job search

July 4, 2010

Dear KnightHawk,
I am looking for a part-time job, but it’s all about “who you know” over “what you know” here, and I’m new to this area and don’t have an extensive network of contacts yet. I am sending out requests to the spirit realms, asking them to guide me to the right job — one that I will enjoy, that has the right amount of hours so as to balance my home life, and where I can help others through my skills, energy and enthusiasm.
I would like to ask the Tarot: “What can I do to increase my chances of being considered for the jobs I apply for?”
Job hunter in a new locale

Dear Job hunter,

Thank you for your reading request.  Here are the cards I dealt for you:

The Sun -- Tarot of the Masters . Queen of Swords -- Tarot of the Masters . Eight of Swords -- Tarot of the Masters

Card 1 (Major Arcana Card for Spiritual advice) – The Sun
Card 2 (Court Card for a trait to develop or emphasize) – Queen of Swords
Card 3 (PIP card for a suggested action) – Eight of Swords

The general impression that I immediately get from these cards (since both Minor Arcana cards are Swords) is the advice to carefully evaluate your thoughts and beliefs about your job search. The Sun card adds a related message of “Cultivate optimism! There is a saying that “Nothing succeeds like success,” but truly, nothing succeeds like optimism too.

Now let’s look at the individual messages of the cards.

The Sun:

This card is about optimism, so don’t give in to negative thinking. See yourself as the Sun – bright, cheerful, and energetic. Have confidence in yourself and in your abilities (a message echoed in the next card, the Queen of Swords), and rely upon that confidence. Don’t let your belief that you are at a disadvantage due to being new in the area become a self-defeating prophesy.

The Sun card’s association with “a new day” also suggests that you boldly explore new and exciting ideas, opportunities and challenges in terms of your job search. Think of and try something completely different each day and approach your search with a new (or renewed) attitude of joy and vitality. Developing this approach will give you a new perspective on your life in general too, and lead you to find increased enjoyment and fulfillment in it as you shine the light of optimism and cheerfulness on all of life’s shadows.

Appreciation for the brightness that already exists in your life is another way to find joy and satisfaction there, and a great benefit of this is the fact that gratitude leads to new opportunities. And finally, this card urges you to keep your faith that things will turn out for the best. This is an incredibly valuable lesson to learn in any circumstance.

Queen of Swords:

The Queen of Swords is characterized by her honesty, shrewdness, and self-reliance, which are all qualities that will help you at this time. She is also incisive when it comes to understanding and evaluating other people, so when you go out on interviews pay close attention to your assessment of the people interviewing you and of the people skills needed for the job.

This Queen also exemplifies the old admonition to “Know Thyself!” She has gazed unflinchingly into the dark corners of her mind, which says that you may need to reevaluate what your strengths and skills are in order to ensure that you are pursuing the right job opportunities.

Eight of Swords

This card has clear implications of self-limitation and of not seeing “the forest for the trees.”

For one thing, this card can suggest a case of “victim mentality” such as when we feel we are being treated unfairly. Since it is in the suit of Swords (thoughts, ideas, and beliefs), this card suggests that your obstacles lie in the way you view the situation. But the good news here is that the solutions to your problems can come from a change of attitude. If your problems are being created by your own thoughts or self-doubts, then positive visualizations of the outcome of your interviews and increased self-confidence (which was discussed in both of the preceding cards) will help you overcome your difficulties. So, one very concrete suggestion here is to visualize being offered the job prior to going on each interview.

As for “the forest for the trees” aspect of this situation, when we are in the thick of things, we tend to limit ourselves to the ground view where we only see the trees, or in your case, the details of your job search. But we can benefit greatly when we also see the forest, i.e., the big picture that both encompasses and transcends all the details. Consequently, I see in this card an element of not realizing all of your choices. This harkens back to the advice of the Sun card to explore new ideas about doing your job search. Another piece of advice I see here is the advice to spend some time expanding your professional network (i.e., to improve your “who you know” qualifications) while you look for a job.


To help you in this situation, I would like to leave you with the following affirmations, which are based on material in my book, Tarot Affirmations. Feel free, of course, to adjust these to suit yourself.

First a few for the Sun card:
I am optimistic about how my job search will turn out.
The gray clouds of the Sun card can imply overcoming obstacles or breaking free of restrictions, which leads to the following affirmation.
I release myself from self-imposed limitations.

Next, one for the Queen of Swords:
I have a keen understanding of other people.

And finally, here are a couple of affirmations for the Eight of Swords:
I see the big picture that lies beyond all the details of my job search.
I see opportunities to learn and grow in what appear to be obstacles blocking my job search.

Bright Blessings,


“Ask KnightHawk” Readings:  If you would like to get an “Ask KnightHawk” reading from me, click on the Ask KnightHawk tab at the top of the page for more information. And if you would like to read a collection of KnightHawk readings for mythical, fictional, and historical figures, you will love my books Tarot Reading Explained and Tarot: Get the Whole Story.

Tarot Deck:  The deck used for this reading was my own Tarot of the Masters which you can only purchase from me. 

Private Readings:  Note that I offer private readings that are more in-depth.  They can be on the telephone, via Skype, using email, or in person (if you are in the Los Angeles area.)  For more information about that, see my reading services page.

Archives:  To see past “Ask KnightHawk” readings, see the KnightHawk Readings Index page.

Disclaimer: A Tarot reading is not a substitute for medical, psychological, financial, or legal counseling.  For such advice, please consult a qualified professional. The information provided in a Tarot reading is not legally binding and the Tarot reader assumes no legal liability for any damages, losses, or other consequences of any client decisions or actions, subsequent to, or based on, this service.

  1. job hunter permalink

    thank you James, from the bottom of my heart.

    I will definitely have the way forward lit by the energies and attributes of the Sun – what a great card to open with. It is interesting the other extreme (right hand side) is the 8 of swords so it shows I may be osciliating between being positive, and then having the “woe is me” mentality. I know that Queen characteristic will be telling me to get a grip. I love how you said I should also be assessing the interviewer – it reminded me it is a two way process.

    This reading will be re-read each time I apply for a role, and I will continue to let the Sun have the predominant energy as it is from spirit. I think it confirms I am doing the right thing of being positive, and sending my thoughts out to spirit. This can only enhance any good intent.

    I love how you are very honest in the reading, and in a gentle way point out shortfalls which may be holding me back. I really can turn them round with the positive affirmations, without feeling I have been chastised. (hope that makes sense….lol). A great reading and I am truly grateful.

    Kind regards

  2. Hi James

    I noticed you are not using reversals. Is that why your interpretation of the 8 of Swords is the inverse of what it usually represents (a somewhat negative card)?


    • Hi Helen,
      In these readings I’m not using reversals. I can see the entire range of meaning in each card without them. This is especially true for me when I use my own deck because I am so intimately connected to it.
      As for the 8/S being a negative card, I don’t believe any card is totally positive or negative. Each one has a spectrum of meaning, and what I indicated in this reading is what I saw in this card while doing this reading, which, by the way, I think DID encompass some of the negative implications of this card.

  3. johnballantrae permalink

    Dear James:

    It’s good what you do with answers, but I couldn’t help but notice the question was about increasing chances of being considered….

    However, doesn’t the questioner actually want a job, rather than just be considered in a more positive light?

    Increasing chances doesn’t automatically mean success.

    Or should we assume the question is implied even if it isn’t stated directly? In which case, why not state it directly?


    John Ballantrae

  4. I dunno, the 8 of Swords sounded pretty negative to me: “victim mentality,” not seeing the forest for the trees, creating one’s own obstacles in the way we view things. That card is all about fear and self-doubt, putting too much control in other people’s hands, but it’s all your own doing. You have to develop a new attitude to get past the mental bondage.

  5. johnballantrae permalink

    The only thing is that James picked a pip card for a suggested action – now and into the future. So it’s showing what the questioner can usefully do, and doesn’t have to be saying she’s been doing something wrong or saying anything about her past actions.

    If we look at the picture, then the advice is to stay put; don’t try to move beyond where you are right now.

    There is a sword over the eyes, so you can’t see clearly what is out there, so don’t bother with it; you’ll only misinterpret the situation.

    Instead, close your eyes and look within. Examine your thoughts and keep those you like or want; say goodbye to what is no longer of use to you; it doesn’t belong any more.

    Then, after an analysis of the situation, formulate a plan – call it Plan A. Be ambitious. It will be a good plan because you will have thought and because you know what you want and what you want to do.

    Enjoy your success.


    John Ballantrae

  6. Hi John,

    My comment was actually in response to Helen’s comment, suggesting the 8 of Swords was not negative by James’s interpretation.

    In response to your comment, I don’t think the 8s are about ‘staying put’ (at least not in the sense of advocating it), I associate that with the Two’s. I’ve always seen the 8s more as cards of action, and control. The 8 of Swords is about being afraid of what’s going on around you, letting others have too much control over you, hold you back. The seeker is letting him/herself be held back by other people, or the desire for the perfect part-time job is preventing them from seeing other opportunities that may not be perfect, but could be a step in the right direction.

    Just my .02!

    • Hi Digital Dame,
      Thanks for your input.
      Yes, I agree that the 8’s are about movement. That’s obvious in the other Pips numbered 8, and in the 8/S it’s about what’s blocking your movement. That’s why, in this case, I saw its message as being about how to UN-block that movement.
      However, I tend to see the FOURs being more about “non-movement” than the TWOs, altho’ the 2/S can certainly be blocked movement.

  7. johnballantrae permalink

    Dear Digital Dame:

    You make good points, and I can agree with what you are saying.

    My “stay put” suggestion was based on the picture on the card, and relating it to James’ intention of being able to make a suggestion about what action the questioner can take.

    >preventing them from seeing other opportunities that may

    I can see the sense of what you’re saying. My thinking is that if the card had been reversed, then it would have been telling the questioner to stop doing certain things. The fact that it was upright, makes me want to use it as a guide on what to do, so I followed its lead.

    It would be nice to hear from the questioner.


    John Ballantrae

    • John —
      Thanks for your input!

      First — As you can see, the questioner has responded… it’s at the top of the comments section. (Her response didn’t show up when you posted your comments because it required “approval” first and I just logged on again.)

      A couple of responses to your points:

      Please remember that these readings are not interactive. I have to intuit the “real” question since I can’t discuss it with the seeker. So yes, I felt that the real question — or the deeper question — was about getting a job, not just being considered positively for jobs.

      As for giving advice about what to do (8/S) I think I did that pretty clearly. My interpretation of this card was based upon my sense of its message as I did the reading. Also, I interpreted this card in light of the other cards in the reading, which gave it some context.

      This, of course, brings up an important point. Since each card has a broad spectrum of meanings, what the reader intuits during the reading may be very different from what observers see after the fact. Students often ask me questions like, “What did such-and-such a card mean in this reading I did yesterday?” I tell them that since I was not involved in the reading, I can’t say what it meant, but I can give them some possibilities for them to consider.


  8. johnballantrae permalink

    Dear James:

    I knew you would have good reasons for what you wrote, but I appreciate your taking the time to describe and explain.

    I was wanting to give a slightly different take on the reading, and I enjoyed the comments and short discussion with Digital Dame, and you.

  9. Thanks James and others for their comments on the 8 of Swords. To clarify, I was referring to James’ interpretation of the card as a suggested action, which to my mind (subsequently clarified by James) was the reverse of the default somewhat negative meaning of the card. I hope I am making sense!

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