Keep Calm & Heal Your Wrong Tarot Spread

The ability to recognize your own wrongdoing and the desire to make it right takes a profound spiritual maturity that I believe most people strive for in our day-to-day lives.

Not all damage can be undone, but owning up to our own shortcomings always results in growth as a person.

Use the spread below to identify the exact nature of your wrong, your motives, how to heal the damage and how to become a better person on the other side.

keep calm and heal your wrong

For this spread, I chose the wildly colorful deck, Whispers of Healing, which focuses on inner healing as a primary theme.

If you have a choice of decks, select something that feels healing or at least impartial to you.  After all, when you make a mistake, the last thing you need is to feel judged.

tarot spread healing positions

Position 1:  The Fundamental Problem.   This card symbolizes the foundational crack in your spiritual “house.”  For example, drawing The Devil in a standard deck here may indicate you exploited someone to feed an addiction.   Taking a moment to reflect on root cause of your actions goes a long way to healing the damage you did to yourself, which is the first step in healing situation overall.

Position 2:  What Area of Your Life Was Most Effected (Besides the Obvious)?  Any action casts a natural “ripple” effect.  Did this ripple effect touch your job, relationships or health the most?  What area of your own life needs the most healing?

Position 3:  How Did My Choice Effect Someone Else?  Perhaps the hardest part of taking responsibility for our actions is recognizing the impact they had on others.  But understanding and finding empathy for those we hurt, even if they remain angry with us, paves our way directly to the best path forward, no matter the outcome.

Position 4:  The Choice You Face Now.  Whenever we do something that results in undesired consequence, a choice about how to handle the fallout presents itself.  Look to this card for what your options are now, and consider them carefully.

Position 5:  What’s Standing in the Way of Right.  We usually know the right thing to do.  Doing it often proves the most challenging.  What’s standing in the way of the right thing for you right now?  Pride?  Fear?  Self-Doubt?  Search this card for a deeper understanding of why the right choice may not be the easy one.

Position 6:  Where to Go From Here.  This card symbolizes your best next move.  Play it well!   Use your skills in the Craft, your intuition and your basic common sense to turn an “Oops!” into a positive.

Position 7:  What to Watch Out for Next Time.  We all make mistakes.  We are meant to make them.  They teach us the lessons worth learning in this life.  This card represents the warning sign that will signal a repeat of the cycle.  But knowing what it is empowers us to see a trap for what it is next time.

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Understanding the Death Card in Tarot

Few cards in the tarot stir a sense of primal fear like the Death card.  Many people refuse to touch a deck out of terror they might draw it.

But for the experienced reader, this deceptively morbid card signifies the relief that a less literal ending is near—–and almost certainly, for the better.

Let’s take an in depth look at why the Death Card may very well be the most welcome draw in the deck.

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First, we need to define clearly what the death card is not. 

Drawing the death card indicates absolutely nothing about your state of health or the health of those around you.  You need not live anxiously in fear of the grim reaper.

The death card in the tarot symbolizes not an actual physical death, but the death of a situation, relationship or state of being.

“Wait!  That still sounds scary,” you say.

Well, yes.  Change, by its very nature, unsettles us.  Human beings like consistency, predictability, and routine.

But paradoxically, monotony makes us miserable.  We get bored.  We lose ourselves in our ruts.

No matter how spontaneously or adventurously we like to think of ourselves, we all set into our ways on some level.

You need not run a 9-to-5 rat race to slip into habit.

For example, I work a variety of jobs as a yoga/belly dance instructor, an online retailer, a freelance photographer, a full time mom and a semi-professional blogger.   On the outside, my life seemingly defies order and routine.

Certainly, my sock drawer does.

Perhaps least predictably, I travel at least 2-3 times a month, sometimes on very short notice.

But I like my suitcase packed a certain way.  If given a choice, I always take the window seat on the plane.  I never fail to ask the hotel front desk for exactly 3 extra pillows.  I still write in a paper travel journal decades after most people switched to laptops.

In short, I have my ways, and I’m set in them just like everyone else.

But just as the numbness of routine, stability and monotony lulls us into a sense of perpetuity, the death card appears to remind us: life speeds by.

And while we grapple inevitably with endings and change, mourning the loss of a marriage, a job or set of circumstances we felt comfortable in, the freshness that follows an ending ironically ushers in a renewed sense of life.

When the Death card appears in a spread, a few introspective questions tend to tease out the meaning.  For example:

What, in my life, appears to be nearing its end?

Is there anything I am struggling to hold onto that might be best let go?  Relationship?   Job?  Sentimental attachments to material things?  Even the way my furniture is arranged?

When I slip into mindless activity, what am I doing?  What habits put me on “autopilot” and should any of them be eliminated?

When was the last time I felt freshly excited about life?  What do I need to change or “let die” in the metaphorical sense that will make room for something new?

Yes, endings and transition try our sense of security.  In the midst of change, we often mourn the loss of what we knew well, even if it lulled us into monotony, boredom or depression.

But in between endings and beginnings, the limbo offers lessons that literally change your life.

So when the Death card appears, take a step back, breathe a sigh of relief, and remember:

It’s not the letting go that hurts.  It’s the holding on.

Getting to Know Your Tarot Deck

Come on.  Admit it.  Your tarot deck has been sitting in a closet or a drawer for months or years.  You always mean to break it out and really become fluent, but it never happens.

If you haven’t decided on a New Year’s resolution yet, learning the tarot is a great skill that can been mastered in a year with some diligence and dedication.

Here’s a few tips to get you started.

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Choose a deck.  If you don’t have one already, or the deck(s) you have simply don’t speak to you, start by searching some random ones.  This can be done online, but occult shops with sample decks are an even better opportunity to get a literal “feel” for various decks.  There are many, many decks of every imaginable variety.  Decks for cat people, decks for steampunk enthusiasts, decks for music aficionados, decks for writers, decks for kids.

(One of my favorites of all time is The Housewives Tarot.  It’s shaped like a recipe box and The Devil is chocolate.)

Point is, there’s one for you.  If nothing speaks to you, keep looking.

Connect with your deck.  Once you’ve selected and acquired a deck, spend some time with it.  Go through it card by card several times.  Right down any impressions you get or cards that jump out at you, even if you don’t know the meanings of the cards yet.

Learn the cards.  It’s time for a little rote memorization.  While most readers eventually develop their own method of interpretation, it’s best to have some foundation in the traditional meaning of the cards.  I started by choosing 3 key words for each card from Learn Tarot and putting them on flash cards.  It took me several months of daily study to get to the point of instant recall, but you may find it goes faster or slower for you.  Once you have absorbed the basic energy of the card, the words themselves sort of disappear and you just get a general impression when you pull the card.

Start reading.  For everyone.  In the beginning, I carried my deck wherever I went.  I started reading for people I knew well first.  But then I just started reading wherever.  The homeless guy outside my grocery store, the lady at the nail salon, the bored bank teller.  I used to know a reader who traded readings for cab rides.  Respect those who decline your offer for a reading, but don’t assume someone won’t want one.  Many times people whom I never thought put any stock in divination quite eagerly let me read their cards.  Skeptics arguably make for better learning experiences than believers anyway.  The more you practice, the better you get.

Decide whether you want to be paid in karma or cash.  Once you’ve become fluent enough to start charging for your services, think long and hard about whether or not you really should.  It’s not for everyone.  Don’t assume that just because you don’t get cash, you won’t be paid back in full—and then some.  I’ve noticed that when I offer a complimentary reading to someone in spiritual need, it comes back to me ten fold in karma.  Just something to think about.

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Chaos Tarot Spread

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Have things gotten a little crazy lately?  Don’t know which end is up?

Perfect for the seeker feeling a little out of sorts, this spread is designed to help tame the mess and make sense of your surroundings.

1.  Your foundation.  This card represents the most stable force in your life.

2.  The “disrupter.”   Signifies the catalyst of your current situation.

3.   Hidden agenda.   The underlying motives that make up the root cause—whether they   are yours or someone else’s.

4.  The obstacle.  What stands in your way right now.

5.  What your meant to learn.  Represents the test you must pass in order to restore calm.

6.  Who or what will help you.  Signifies who or what you should seek help from.

7.  Final outcome.  How things will ultimately play out if you continue on the current path.

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5 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Professional Tarot Reader

Have you been reading tarot for a while?  Are you at a comfortable level of fluency with the cards?

You might be ready to start reading tarot professionally.  But before you do, take a moment to do a quick personal inventory.

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1.  What are your ethics?  While everyone is different in this respect, I think it’s important to establish some firm boundaries for yourself and be open about them with your clients.

Personally, I don’t like the word “psychic,” because for me, it has too many connotations that I’m not prepared to identify with.

I also like to explain ahead of time that reading tarot is about showing people their options, not telling them how to make decisions.  It’s important to me to empower my clients rather than leave them with a feeling of dependency.

What standards will you set for yourself?  If you haven’t thought about it, it’s time to get those squared away before you book your first session.

2.   How comfortable are you with discussing the intimate details of someone’s life?  When I first started reading professionally, I was astonished by how forthcoming strangers were with me.  They discussed extremely private parts of their lives, including combat experiences, extramarital affairs, and mental health problems.  If you are squeamish about the idea of addressing topics like these, reading is not for you.

3.  Can you keep a secret?  See #2.  Nothing will ruin your reputation faster as a reader than dishing the details of a client’s private life.  Be honest with yourself:  are you a gossip?  There are worse things to be, but if this is a weakness for you, consider another line of work.  You can really do damage to peoples’ lives this way.

That being said, I always warn first-time clients that if they disclose plans to hurt themselves or others, I will tell someone.

4.  How judgemental are you?  Compassion and a non-judgemental attitude are absolutely essential to the art of reading for a bunch of reasons.

First, if you’re quick to jump to conclusions, it tends to cloud your intuition.

But more importantly, humans are incredibly adept at reading subtle, non-verbal cues.  If you’re judging someone for sleeping with multiple partners, blowing her inheritance on foolish expenditures, or lying to her boss, she’s more likely to pick up this than you think, and you may not even know it.

5.  Know when to part ways.  Tarot reading is a very personal affair.  Not all clients will be good fits.  If you sense you’re not really helping someone, don’t continue to take her money.

This is particularly true with the Tarot Addict.  While good readers will undoubtedly build up a regular clientele, there is a difference between a loyal customer and a junkie.  If you have someone who calls you every time they need to make even minor life decisions, becomes anxious if you are unable to see them, or starts to become obsessive, do the right thing and let them go.

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Free Will of Fate Tarot Spread

In my last post, we discussed the concept of the “Free Will of Fate.”

Discussion is one thing, practical application is another.  So I decided to show you a simple Tarot spread that applies this principle in the practice of divination.

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Position 1:  The Crossroads.  This position represents the figurative place you are in right now.  Before you, you face a decision with two options.  This decision may be a major life decision (like whether or not to get married right now) or not (like whether to eat that muffin.)

Position 2:  Represents the first step on the first optional road you could take from Position 1.  By now, the decision is made, you chose left instead of right, and this will determine your course.

Position 3:  Represents an obstacle on this path.

Position 4:  Represents someone or something that will help you along your way on this path.

Position 5:  Represents the first step on the second optional road you could take from Position 1.  By now, the decision is made, you chose right instead of left, and this will determine your course.

Position 6:  Represents an obstacle on this path.

Position 7:  Represents someone or something that will help you along your way on this path.

Position 8:  Final outcome.  Lesson learned.  The point of this spread is that you will arrive at your destination no matter how you chose to get there.  This idea is both liberating and difficult for the controlling nature of the human condition.

I hope you enjoyed this new spread, and add it to your repertoire!

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Tarot Spread of the Week: 7 Chakra Spread

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This is a clever little spread useful for identifying emotional and spiritual imbalances.

You may know that in the Hindu belief system, chakras are points of energy on the body.  The seven main chakras each represent an aspect of spiritual life.   Each of the chakras have richly complex meanings that could be debated at length, but for the sake of this spread, we’ll stick with some very basic definitions.

Here are the card positions—one card for each chakra.  To avoid confusion, the seventh chakra is actually on top (Crown Chakra), and the first chakra on the bottom (Base Chakra), but we read this spread from top to bottom, so I reversed the numbering, labeling the Crown Chakra one, and the Base Chakra seven.

chakra spread chart

1.  Crown Chakra:  Highest point of consciousness.  The soul’s point of communication with the divine.

2. Third Eye Chakra:  “Instinct,” “intuition,” and “psychic awareness” are all words that are loosely associated with this chakra.  You might think of this point of energy as the place where you “see” things that are invisible.

3.  Throat Chakra:  The seat of communication and self-expression.

4.  Heart Chakra:  This chakra rules complex emotions like love, compassion and rejection.  When we talk about our “hearts” in the figurative sense (“he broke my heart” or “I knew in my heart she was telling the truth”) we are talking about this part of ourselves.

5.  Solar Plexis Chakra:  The seat of your intellect.  What we think of as “the mind.”  The essence of your cerebral reasoning.

6.  Sacral Chakra:  This energy point drives your sexuality, creativity and “lust for life.”  Key points here are the need for an individual identity and self-governing behaviors.  An imbalance here may indicate addiction or a loss of self-control.

7.  Base Chakra:  Rules your innate drive for survival and your most primal instincts.

When reading this spread think about how each chakra relates to the card drawn for it.

For example:

-The Hermit (solitude, introspection) on the Crown Chakra position may indicate a need for quiet spiritual reflection.   Consider participating in a retreat, spending a few days in an ashram or taking a camping trip where you can be alone with your thoughts.

-Or, the Page of Swords (usually represents a young, intelligent man) on the Heart Chakra may indicate a new romantic relationship with youthful, bright-minded man.

-The Fool card on the Throat Chakra might be interpreted as oblivious or naive speech, saying things without thinking or giving away a secret without realizing it.

And so on.

I hope you try this spread and enjoy using it—it really is very insightful!

For other tarot posts, check out my Tarot and Divination section.

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