I got a free Tarot reading for my birthday. I did it just for the fun of it. How can a computer “read” the cards in a meaningful way? How can I randomly pick cards with my mouse? I’m not sure I have much faith in Tarot in general, but I’ve always been skeptical of automated readings.

Until yesterday.

I’m posting a screen shot of the cards. If you’re interested, the interpretation is after the jump. Even without the interpretation, the names of the cards and the positions are intriguing. This reading explains a lot of what I’ve been feeling lately.

click to embiggen

Higher Power: The Hierophant

Main (positional) meaning | General | Position

Become a role model of higher learning and esoteric skill.

The card in the Higher Power position reflects the broader perspective and influence of your conscience, Guardian Angel, inner wisdom.

The Hierophant in this position says you are under the influence of a highly refined spirit. This Guide is attempting to help you organize and articulate a body of wisdom you may have accumulated over time. It may be related to teachings of your forebears.

You are developing and refining the shamanic skill of awakening higher consciousness in others. In your way, you are a spiritual and intellectual catalyst and teacher. Accept this responsibility with grace.

Near Future: The World

Main (positional) meaning | General | Position

You will soon gain a new view of how your center fits in with this rich and wonderful world.

The card in the Near Future position indicates which way the wind is blowing with regard to your situation. If you follow the Advice card, however, you can improve on or neutralize tendencies.

With the World in this position, it appears that you are rounding the last bend on the winding road to the promised land. When you arrive, you may lay down your burden, revel in the successful completion of this journey and ascend to a higher order of meaning and understanding. You are prepared to fully enjoy and appreciate the truth, beauty, and sacredness laid out around you in the form of your life. Reciprocate by sharing all the truth, beauty, and sacredness you hold within yourself.

The World gives you the signal that your choices, beliefs and responses to life’s challenges will work out well. The “powers that be” will both approve and cooperate with you, because you are contributing to the general harmony. You may very soon safely dwell in the trust and security that comes from knowing you are one with the greater good.

Blocks & Inhibitions: The Hanged Man

Main (positional) meaning | General | Position

Ask yourself whether a pattern of shame and self-blame is really about you or just learned behavior.

The card in the Blocks position points to self-undermining tendencies, areas where you could be in denial, where you could get stuck — unless you examine yourself and make some corrections.

The Hanged Man in this position suggests a tendency to volunteer for the scapegoat position to the extent that you don’t even consider other stances you could take. Do you have an almost morbid compulsion to take the blame and internalize negative judgments?

It may be difficult for you to believe you are not the problem when you lack confidence in yourself. Begin to address the problem by questioning whether any guilt and shame you feel is your true nature or whether it’s a personality dynamic you learned in your family of origin. You can’t possibly be the cause of all the negativity in this situation. If there is blame, it must be shared. Don’t take it for granted that you are the source of the problems.

Allies: Temperance

Main (positional) meaning | General | Position

A transformational advisor is offering to work with you. Decide if you are ready.

The card in the Allies position points to people who can be supportive or helpful to you at this time.

Temperance in this position suggests that a highly developed individual is opening a door that will greatly speed your evolution if you let yourself go through it. If you do, you must be willing to strip away denial, defense mechanisms, excuses and resistance to change. When you shake yourself loose from your emotional armor, you will be free to accept this extraordinary offer. If you are immobilized and rigid, this potential ally will move on without you — the need for transformation is great and the time is short.

Advice: Justice

Main (positional) meaning | General | Position

You are seen as a fair-minded party whose opinion matters.

The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.

The Justice card in this position advises that you listen carefully as others explain to you their version of events and the parts they played. It is unnecessary to offer feedback. Your role is to observe, listen closely, give a full hearing and keep your wits about you as the story takes shape.

As you witness people’s account of themselves, your understanding will go beyond the words you hear. Subtle inferences and clues will reveal the truths that will enable you to make a wise and accurate assessment.

Long-term Potential: The Star

Main (positional) meaning | General | Position

A bright beam of guidance will show you the way if you are open to it.

The card in the Long-term Potential position points to unknowns still taking shape. It is the “wild card” yet to be played.

The Star points to the potential of true inspiration. Persevere in your commitment and weather all the challenges; such resolve will carry you for years to come no matter what happens.

You are now on a path that will lead to your highest spiritual opportunities. Stay this course. Do the work. Mine this vein with steadfast conviction. Hard-won wisdom and inner peace are yours to lose.

Self: The Magician

Main (positional) meaning | General | Position

You have a talent for creating something from nothing.

The card in the Self position reveals aspects of how you perceive yourself right now.

The Magus symbolizes imagination, creativity and an inventive nature. Your unique intelligence and talent for clever experimentation is a valuable asset. The Magus serves as a catalyst, an agent of change. His influence is a fresh breeze blowing through any situation.

So be playful, and stay open. Don’t limit yourself, the possibilities are endless. Try things, see what happens and correct your course as you go. Tease open the minds of those who are watching to see what you will do.

ituation: The Sun

Main (positional) meaning | General | Position

Doing your best work is pure pleasure.

The card that lands in the Situation position refers to social or circumstantial factors which could be affecting your life at this time.

When the Sun is in this position, you may be in charmed company as a valued member of a creative, progressive team. This is an exciting time in your life.

The challenging projects coming your way are fascinating and will elicit your best work. This is one of those periods when boundaries between work and play tend to disappear. Enjoy this time for as long as it lasts.

Challenges/ Opportunities: Page of Coins

Main (positional) meaning | General | Position

Become a patient observer so you will know how to fit in when it becomes necessary.

The card that lands in the Challenges/Opportunities position refers to ways that you can turn obstacles into stepping stones.

The Page of Coins (in some decks, a Princess) in this position asks you to become as transparent as possible within the current situation. Make yourself invisible so the patterns of powerful forces which are shaping events will reveal themselves to you. For the time being, resist the urge to do anything other than observe and take notes.

Be open and awake and listen to your body — it is telling you something interesting is going on. Some kind of transformation is in the works. When it comes to a close you will be able to help those who remain to regroup and regain their place in the new order of things. The skill that makes it possible for you to mutate through such changes and come through intact will be something you can teach others in due time.

Foundation: Three of Swords

Main (positional) meaning | General | Position

Remember the lessons you learned about how not to act when you feel threatened.

The card in the Foundation position points to influences from your personal history, your roots and background.

The Three of Swords in this position suggests you have experienced negativity, pain and loss resulting from failed relationships. The good news is that these experiences did lead to hard but important lessons about boundaries and trust. There may be some unresolved emotions stirring in the present that are stimulating old wounds.

Try not to project a scenario from your past onto this present experience. Let your memory of the past provide you with enough wisdom to produce a different outcome this time around, one that justifies renewed hope. You are being challenged to look beyond old programming to perceive a world in which people may be able to work things out.

Recent Past: Nine of Wands

Main (positional) meaning | General | Position

Focus on creating a success that transforms the quality of your life.

The card in the Recent Past position refers to events that are just departing, recently influential but now diminishing in power.

When the Nine of Wands is in this position, a period of taxing demands and exhaustion has just come to a close. Even though something may have been achieved, there was an emotional and physical cost. Analyze recent events, and see if there is a way to do the same thing next time with less struggle and anguish.

As we mature, we gain the acumen to work smarter, not harder. Use the most natural means to achieve your goals. Depend less upon raw willpower and aggression. Focus on creating a success that produces a better quality of life. Let your energy be freed up for more aesthetic and spiritual pursuits.

*Yes, it’s a song lyric from the 80’s. That’s all you get.