Tarot Cards Are Everywhere

How to use them for personal growth

You may already have a deck or two. Tarot cards are one of the oldest self-help tools in existence and completely underutilized. The Tarot contains aspects of astrology and numerology, images of archetypal symbolism, as well as its own legend and lore. Don’t be overwhelmed.

Think of the cards as little windows into your life, illuminating areas that need attention. Though often used as a divination tool, they are not inherently magic or scary, but become a product of your intention.

Choose a deck you’re drawn to and begin. If interested in learning the traditional archetypes, a Rider Waite deck is recommended. However, there are thousands of delightful decks to choose from with original artwork in varying themes.

You will need resources for learning the meanings of the cards. I use a combination of books, websites and intuition. Usually a deck will come with a booklet of explanations, but don’t feel bound by these. Always cross reference information.

Begin by shuffling your deck. When finished, spread your cards out in front of you face down. Take a few deep breaths to slow down and relax, this is supposed to be fun. Draw three cards and lay them face up in front of you.

For this three-card spread we will assign Past, Present, Future as the meaning of the cards. Another three-card spread option is Body, Mind, Soul (soul in this sense refers to a message from your higher-self, universe, guides, whatever you are comfortable with).

Here’s an example of a three-card spread interpretation.

I sit relaxed on the floor so that I have plenty of room for all seventy-eight cards. Since I respect my deck and view it as a special object I’ve laid out a blanket to spread them on. I’ve lit candles to set a meditative tone. My journal is ready nearby. You may use a simple kitchen counter top with no props, it will still induce insights.

I pick up the cards and shuffle them while thinking of a question. I ask for a broad overview of life and what I need to examine. After shuffling I spread them out in front of me. I run my left hand over the cards and pull one out. I place this card in front of me to the left in the Past position. It is the Five of Cups card. I repeat this step pulling a second card and placing it to the right of the first card for the Present position, which is the Nine of Coins. I repeat a third time placing this card to the right of the middle in the Future position, which is the Queen of Coins.

I now have three cards face up in front of me. The Five of Cups often represents disappointment and loss. Oddly, I have experienced a lot of loss and disappointment in the recent past. I feel relief seeing this card in the past position, as it acts, both as a validator of my feelings, and as a reminder to let go of this disappointment and move on.

The Nine of Coins card shows a man enjoying material wealth. My card was upside-down so it’s reminding me to appreciate all that I have. This is a good time to make a gratitude list in my journal. I also realize that I’ve been wrestling with unnecessary anxiety about money lately. Maybe I should take a little extra time to explore my relationship with wealth, do I fear scarcity? Do I see myself deserving of money? You get the idea.

The Queen of Coins in the future position may be representative of my partner or an aspect of myself. This card reinforces the Nine of Coins and tells me that I will continue to have adequate resources. It also asks the question, am I being greedy? The Queen is a woman who delights in material things, but is also a keeper of the land. Did I remember to take out the recycling? Maybe I should give these extra cucumbers from the garden to my neighbor?

Some cards have ominous overtones, but aren’t bad, I promise. Had the Death card shown up today it would not imply impending doom or physical harm, but could simply be indicative of the ending of a cycle. I compare it to a new moon, a simultaneous ending of a phase and beginning of the next. This may refer to a relationship that needs to end or simply to a stale state of mind you need to drop. Let your sub-conscious guide you.

Whether you pull a card daily to meditate on or use one as a journaling prompt, your Tarot cards will be an excellent companion. Pull three cards in the evening to see if they explain your day. The creative uses are endless and don’t we all need a little help seeing ourselves more clearly?

Living and writing in Guam. Professional Tarot Reader. www.melaniesalchemy.com

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