Tarot for Radical Healing

I’ve been doing a lot of tarot reading recently. After overwhelming interest from my peers, I made a quick sign-up sheet and expected to do a couple readings a week if that. But it took off and now I’m doing almost 20 readings a week, and I’m loving it. Folks leave teary, inspired, encouraged, introspective, and surprised. I’ve realized how important tarot is as a tool for healing.

The intimate connection between the reader and the read-to is healing in itself. Even without the cards, both people are entering into a very intimate relationship. We sit at a small table, eye-to-eye, and talk about how we’re feeling. It’s quiet and there are no interruptions – we listen to each other with our full attention. We are reminded that we are not alone, that our story is worth listening to, that there are people who will hold us. As a reader, I am cognizant of the power I hold in our relationship and of how my identities give me more or less power. I work to create a space where we both feel respected, powerful, and safe.

The cards bring clarity and help us talk about our experiences. In a safe(r) space, which is created in the tarot reading, we’re able to really look at what the cards are telling us. They are just general themes and archetypes that show up in life, but they become personal when they’re put together. Each card has multiple meanings, depending on where it is in a spread, what cards it’s next to, and what kind of energy both people are bringing to the reading. Seeing our internal life laid out in front of us (literally you’ve put all your cards on the table) is cathartic. And suddenly things become clear when you’re no longer in the midst of them. Perhaps your deepest fears come up, but you’re not alone – we tackle each thing together and emotional safety is always at the center of the reading.

Sometimes you just need to be reminded of your strength. Over and over again, no matter what shows up in a reading, there is always a card that reminds you of your strength. It says “you’ve been here before, you have the tools, you can do this,” or “rise up, you’re going to be okay,” “rely on yourself, you are all you need.”

You can begin to fit your story into a larger picture. Everybody experiences pain and joy – you are not alone. The cards speak to everyone’s experience, so somebody has been here before. Look at the bigger picture of your life, this is just one part of it even if it is a big part.

Tarot is a radical form of healing and self-care. Tarot is all about community-based healing. It’s done in the context of where you live, who you are and who I am. You are in control of your own healing – there are no milestones you’re expected to reach, no boxes to check, no personality test, no list of pathologies you’re plagued by. We hold you, as you. You are enough just as you are – I won’t try to fix you, or tell you that you’re doing it wrong. It’s radical because there is space for queerness, magic, personal narrative, fluid identity, mental diversity, blackness & brownness, diverse physical ability, oppression-based trauma, social justice, historical context, community, complex families, body dysphoria, Indigenous ways of knowing, and the intersections of your experiences. I recognize and will tell you about my positionality and I will hold you, however you show up. It’s up to you where we go.

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