We’ve all seen it on TV: Your favorite character on the Netflix show you’re binging somehow ends up having their tarot read, pulls a Death card, and dies. Whomp, whomp.
The tarot Death card. Always misinterpreted, never completely understood. Though its imagery can appear frightening, this card is about an ending – not the death of a life, but usually a circumstance. It’s easy to forget that every ending welcomes a new beginning. Yes, closing the proverbial door of your past can sometimes be scary or gut-wrenchingly sad. This card wants to remind you that a new opportunity is coming your way.
Tarot dates back to the 1400s; it began as a game for royalty and was based on standard playing cards. The first known deck – the Visconti-Sforza – was created for the family of the Duke of Milan around 1440 and included characters inspired by carnival parade participants who are still often presented on modern decks today. It wasn’t until the late 1700s when practitioners of the occult began using tarot as a divination tool. Today, there are hundreds of different decks and anyone curious about reading tarot can find one that will inspire them.
What does this have to do with self-care? Self-care and self-love are essential practices for our mental and physical health. Self-love practices don’t need to include fancy bath bombs or spending a lot of money – activities like meditation and self-reflection are uncomplicated, inexpensive ways to care for yourself, and the act of reading tarot involves both meditation and self-reflection. Instead of memorizing card meanings, readers can pull a set of cards and interpret a meaning that makes sense only to them. As an extreme over-simplification, reading tarot cards is selecting series of cards without knowing which cards you are choosing, considering the images on each card and how they relate to each other (often using common societal archetypes as a starting point), and using your intuition or a journaling practice to interpret the meaning.
So, how does someone use Tarot for Self-Love?
Find some silence.
Find a quiet, comfortable place. If you can get outside and let the sun shine on your face, do it. If it’s too cold or you live somewhere where outside space isn’t accessible, go into your room and shut the door. No music, no electronics, no interruptions. Turn your phone off. Find some peace.
Your phone is off, right? Sit down. Close your eyes. Listen to each sound around you. What do you hear? Is it close or far away? Is it a familiar sound or something new? Focus on your toes. How are they doing? Warm? Cold? Squished? Totally comfy? How about your ankles? Knees? How are your guts? Is your spine comfortable? Pause to focus on your neck and shoulders – are they tense? Breath some air into them. How about your forehead? Is it wrinkled? Let go and don’t forget to breathe.
Break out your journal. Don’t journal? Grab a blank piece of paper and a pencil. You can always burn it later if you want.
Pull five cards. Pull the cards in such a way that the resulting images are a surprise to you. It doesn’t matter if you shuffle them and stack them and fan them out, or if you simply throw them on the floor and pick up the ones that you feel called to. Don’t look at the tarot book. Yes, this can be a helpful tool. But for this reading, what is most important is what your mind and spirit bring to the reading. Trust your intuition. Interpret the reading. You’ve already put down the book that came with your deck (right? <3). What imagery do you see in the cards? What story do the cards tell as they are placed together in a row? Are there people you know represented in your deck? Are the characters on the cards representing activities that resonate with your life?
Write it down.
Focus on being kind to yourself. You deserve it. Suggested Tarot for Self-Love Questions:
- What do I love about myself?
- What do I wish I loved about myself?
- What do I love about others around me?
- How can I welcome more love into my life?
- How can I better love myself?
Looking to have your tarot read by a professional? I can help! Visit me at thebookwitch.com or @_thebookwitch on instagram for details.