Every Friday at Swankety Swank, I perform Tarot Readings with an X-Men playing card deck.  This deck was bought in the early 90s and contains artwork from the comics of that era, much of it by superstar artist Jim Lee.  Wanting to do something more with the deck than play solitaire, and recognizing that playing cards are descendants of Tarot without the Major Arcana, I began to investigate how I might use the deck for Divination.  I have been reading the Tarot since I was 16 and am well versed in the traditional symbolism.  As an X-Men fan, I am familiar with their pop culture mythology.  I found that the combination of Super-Hero iconography with the traditional Minor Arcana resulted in multiple levels of meaning to explore.  As I compared the meaning of the cards to the characters placed upon them, I discovered serendipitous connections.

For example, Cyclops makes sense as all four Kings (each character embodies the same four cards of each suit) because he is the primary leader of the X-Men.  However, depending on where he lands in the spread, he also invokes the energy of the Emperor.  For her compassionate nature and story of sacrifice, Jean Grey represents the unconditional love of the Empress.  Also, as the representative for all of the nines in the deck, she is also a symbol of attainment and renewal, which relates to her connection to the Phoenix Force.  The villains of the cards include Mr. Sinister, Apocalypse, Sabretooth, and Magneto.  They represent constricted energy and serve as shadow guides.  Toad and Arcade are the Jokers of the deck and represent the Fool, but in a misguided fashion.

After experimenting with meanings for each card and character, I went to work on what kind of spread I would use for the deck.  I used traditional layouts like the Celtic Cross for some time before creating a spread consisting of 9 cards in an “X” formation.  The first four cards are placed in a square and represent You, Your Environment, Your Challenge, How to Overcome the Challenge, respectively.  After the dual meanings of traditional Minor Arcana and Super-Hero are discussed, the Client is asked to pull four more cards that go out from the original four.  These four bring more characters to the Client’s story and expand upon the themes and questions already present.  Finally, after much investigation of the four corners, a card is placed in the middle of the spread, completing the “X” and therefore, the reading.  More discussion is had and a final conclusion is determined.

One does not have to have a background in Tarot nor the X-Men comics to have an X-Men Tarot reading.  If you possess knowledge in one or the other, that certainly adds to the experience, however it is not required and in some cases it is better if you come to the reading with a beginner’s mind.  Regardless of your comics or Divination expertise, an X-Men Tarot reading can bring the gift of reflection into your or a loved one’s life.


The photo above shows an example of the “X” spread.  You can see a powerful Professor X ties this reading together.  As the Ace of Spades/Swords, he represents a powerful new idea taking effect!  This is doubly powerful as Professor X is a telepath and the realm of the mind is his particular playground.

X-Men Cards

Original watercolor paintings of the X-Men are available when you purchase a Gift Certificate for a loved one.  What better way to show them you care than by artwork and a personal reading?

STORM candles

Magickal Mutant & Sacred Super-Hero candles are a great way to activate your own personal super-hero energies!  Select a hero that resonates with your Tarot Reading or choose another character!  These meditative candles are also a great gift idea!

Call Swankety Swank to make an appointment for your X-Men Tarot reading !