Desire and Manifestation Tarot Spread - Mars, Venus, and Mercury, Oh My!

Just in time for Venus retrograde, I have my first official spread to share with you all! But before I dive into that, there is some necessary background information that informs the spread…

I recently became aware that Mars, planet of desire and energy, is leaving its retrograde on October 8th. Venus, planet of love and partnership, enters retrograde today (October 5th). When Venus stations direct on November 16th, Mercury, planet of communication and boundaries, goes into retrograde on the SAME DAY.

All of this information hit me like a ton of bricks. I had already been thinking a lot about Venus’s retrograde, and how we enter it with Venus in Scorpio, the sign of desire and passionate emotions. This, in combination with the current conversation around sexual assault in society as of late, called to mind the importance of our desires, and how to prioritize what we want and need with others and with ourselves.

The smallest amount of shaming or neglecting can completely skew our sense of desire, and transform what should be a powerful and intuitive gift of direction, into something we want to push down, hide, or somehow triumph over. This is especially true for queer people, feminine aligned people, and likely all groups of systematically oppressed individuals. The fact is our needs are not prioritized, and our desires are seen as secondary (and often times for queer people, perverse).

This all really came to a beautiful resolution for me upon listening to the most recent episode of the Queer Witch Podcast, where Anna Joy talks about desire as a tool for manifestation, as well as overcoming shame and trauma around our sacred sense of desire. (CW: this episode discusses sexual assault!)

click here to listen on their website, or view their other content!

This episode blew my mind. It called out to various aspects of my life, all of the ways my desire has been stolen, suppressed, or mutilated by society and my own shame. My desire to embody my gender truthfully had been shamed by cisnormativity and transphobia. My desire to love who I love has been shamed by homophobia and transphobia. But even beyond these more obvious examples, I found that on a deeper level there are so many things that I want, that go unnoticed now. Passions regarding career, relationships, family, future, all pushed far from my active mind. Suddenly I became so aware of how much easier it would be to manifest what I want, if I was just aware of what I wanted to begin with.

I sat with all this energy for a while and devised a tarot spread for the purpose of getting in touch with our desire, and how to use it to manifest what will fulfill us. I wanted to post it to share with all those who are feeling the weight of these retrogrades and/or the cultural conversation around desire and boundaries.


Card positions from left to right:

  1. The current state of your relationship with your desire.

    How do you view your desire? If this card feels dissonant to what you expected, remember it represents the ways your desire is currently blocked or muted by shame and trauma.

  2. How to break through the barrier of shame.
    What can you do to untangle shame and desire, and remind yourself that the shame is undue? Where could this shame be coming from? Is this an action you must take physically? Is it an internal decision? Both?

  3. Your desire’s true form and where it wants to lead you.

    What do you truly want? How do you want to get there? Does this feel more like what you expected your desire to look like? Is this a complete surprise?

  4. How to protect yourself from further shame and distraction.

    What can you do to guard against shame that society or individuals will try to place on your sacred sense of desire? What can you do to keep yourself focused on manifestation?

  5. How to use your desire to manifest what you want.

    What does your desire tell you about the future you want, or the sense of self you are seeking? What actions can you take to make this desire a reality? How can vague desire speak to more physical and realistic goals?

I highly recommend listening to that episode of the Queer Witch Podcast, as well as trying this spread, and perhaps journaling on the questions I listed above. If you feel like sharing your experience with my spread, I would love to hear about it! Tag me in posts on Instagram using @hjtarot, DM me privately, or email me at!

I wish you all an amazing Venus retrograde, and hope that this spread can be helpful on your journeys!

Blessings and best wishes!