The Ending of Mad Men According to Don Draper’s Tarot Cards


One thing I bet you didn’t know about me is that I like to read Tarot cards. I’m very bad at it – I don’t have the cards memorised at all and have to look EVERYTHING up – but my brain enjoys making the various connections and drawing out the symbolism, so that a coherent story emerges.

Mad Men

It seems that Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner loves Tarot cards too. His production company logo is the The Sun card (an incredibly positive card all about getting your heart’s desire) and in Season Two, Don Draper/Dick Whitman’s friend Anna reads his cards. Here are some readings that were done at the time, but nobody seems to have thought to update them recently in the light of the intervening seasons.

Anyway given that Weiner has always said that he knows how the story is going to end, I’ve wondered for a long time if the outcome of the Mad Men story was revealed in the cards and I think that now might be the time to revisit that Tarot reading for spoilers.

Mad Men

My theory is that the four cards to the right of the reading (on the ‘Staff’ if you know Tarot) correspond to the last four seasons of the show.

Card 7 is the World, a card of great professional and personal success, fulfilment and  completion, and by the end of season 4 it looked liked Don might have achieved it all  – his own busy successful agency and a new blissful marriage to a hot young wife.

Card 8 is the 9 of Wands which is the card of creative tests and challenges – one person holding the fort against the world. Season 5 sees all of the characters, including the new agency, struggling for creative success as they are faced with challenge after challenge and by the end nobody has quite what they wished for.  

Card 9 is the Wheel of Fortune – a neutral card suggesting that things go in cycles, what goes around comes around, what goes up must come down etc. Don has fallen to the very bottom of his wheel by the end of season 6 – the agency has been taken over, he is out of a job, his marriage to Megan is cold and empty, and his addiction to alcohol is more and more evident.  

The top card, in the space reserved in a reading for the final Outcome is the 8 of Wands. In this card past struggles have been overcome and it indicates opportunities, freedom and space to move forward and make progress with energy, focus and enthusiasm. It’s a card of accomplishment, getting things done and is very action-oriented. It can also indicate air travel or moving, and is a card of inspiration and excitement.

I do hope Don and Peggy and Joan (and also Ken, because I have always had a soft spot for him) have this card in their future.

I’m going to predict now that the last episode shows Don finally moving to California and starting up a thrusting new agency with Peggy, Joan and Ken by his side and with Megan hopefully having been eaten by coyotes.

What did you all think of the season opener? It truly was thoroughly depressing all round, with not even a glamorous 60s apartment to blog. Megan’s knotty pine eyrie nearly killed me.



  1. says

    Interesting thoughts. I’m curious to see how this last season will play out (thought I am a bit upset that they’ve divided an already super short season into TWO years!!).

    And I think that Megan is going to be murdered. Terrible, I know, but I read an article about it last year, and it made perfect sense. Something about a shirt she wore last season being the same shirt that a murdered woman in CA was found wearing? I guess we’ll see…..

    • says

      I’m also upset about splitting the season over two years. It would serve them right if we all lost interest before next year, but that’s not going to happen.

      I don’t think Megan will be directly affected by the Manson Family killings mores the pitty but I think the Sharon Tate murder will freak her out somehow.

      LA peeps, it sounds like it would all be happening nearby no?

  2. bri says

    I keep coming back to this scene (and therefore googling Mad Men tarot) and I share your thinking–Don is (finally) learning. And. That. Means. He. Can. Change.

  3. Jon says

    I also like your Tarot take on Mad Men and your disgust with Megan’s knotty pine decor. I would like to see the show end a little like Season 2 ended. Remember how uncomfortable those final episodes were getting with Don shacking up with Joy and her “family”? And then it resolved in a brilliant and satisfying (if slightly unbelievable) way when Don made his call to Anna? There was that apparently gratuitous nod to California hot rod culture when Don met the hot rod guys when Anna sent him out for groceries. I wondered then if that was going to turn into something important later on. Well, the final season is making me just about as uncomfortable and I hope Weiner does it again, just like the end of Season 2.

  4. says

    Great and helpful article. I am also a big fan of tarot reading, but I only just began to be good at it. So, don’t worry! I am also looking up to get a hint of what exactly does it mean 🙂


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