For me, self-care is more than carving out a little quiet time for myself daily/weekly/monthly. It’s a way for me to self-reflect and self-soothe. When I’m feeling a bit wild and out of control, my self-care practices help ground my energy and view my situation from all perspectives. When I’m lost in my own sea of sadness, my self-care practices are a gentle reminder that I already have everything I need when I open my heart to myself.
A lot of these practices start with some simple self-reflection. And at its core, tarot is a tool for self-reflection. For those of us who find it difficult to just sit down and write in a journal, the tarot becomes a mirror for our experiences and lays a foundation where we can start to inquire more deeply. That’s why tarot has become such an integral part of my own self-care practices.
Today I want to share with you five ways you can include tarot in your own self-care practices too.
Self-care with tarot, five ways:
Pull a daily card
Simple, right? You can think of this as a daily meditation practice for those of you who “just can’t meditate” (which I basically call B.S. on, but that’s another rant for another time). This practice is perfect for tarot newbies to help them learn the cards in relationship to their own experiences (as opposed to rote memorization from tarot books). What my daily draw looks like: First thing in the morning, before I even get dressed and ready for the day, I sit down in my office and light a candle. I close my eyes and sit for about five minutes as a way to ground and center myself. Then I ask the question, “What card am I going to deepen my understanding of today?” and pull a card from the deck. Sometimes I’ll prop the card up on my desk so I can look back on it throughout my day while other times I’ll put it in the notebook I carry around in my tote bag if I’m on the go. Later, when the day is through, I’ll sit back down at my desk before bedtime and reflect on my day and the card I drew. I’ll notice if there were any correlations or similar threads and take a few minutes to write about what medicine that card held for me. Not only does this practice help me understand my deck better, but it also creates some structured self-care time in my day.
Include tarot in your monthly rituals (full moon, new moon, bleeding time, etc)
Milestone moments give us structure to see where we’ve been since the last milestone, where we’re at currently, and give us opportunity to dream of where we might be going in the future. Recurring events such as new moons, full moons, bleeding times, solar returns (birthdays), equinoxes and solstices are all perfect for tarot - the list goes on and on. There are hundreds of tarot spreads already created for milestone and ritual moments which make it an easy place to start for tarot newbies. One of my favorite resources for finding tarot spreads is Little Red Tarot. It’s a collective writing space that focuses on queer, non-binary, and femme voices and it’s creator, Beth, teaches the Alternative Tarot Course (my personal fave for beginners). When I was first starting with tarot, I would pull three cards on every new moon: past, present, future. I would track my card pulls from month to month and allow the patterns and messages to come through as I wrote about them.
Keep your deck with you on-the-go to soften difficult situations
Self-care is most needed when we’re going through something difficult. Maybe we’re struggling to communicate with our partner, just had a difficult conversation with our boss, or maybe we’re feeling lots of anxiety while out and about in our daily life. Keeping a deck on hand to pull a card or two in those moments can be a grounding and supportive practice to bring you back to center when everything feels like it’s falling apart. A few questions I like to ask in these sorts of situations are:
What am I not seeing right now that can help me feel better about this situation?
What medicine might this situation hold for me?
What can I do in this moment to soften my fear/worry/anxiety/anger?
Pull cards to help choose herbal allies
Sometimes we pull cards as a way to open up a conversation or ask deeper questions. But sometimes we pull cards with the hope that they’ll just exclaim the answer to us loudly and clearly. (We wish, right?) When it comes to self-care, there’s a super fun tarot deck called the Herbal Tarot Deck (by the well known herbalist Michael Tierra) that does just that. Each card is represented by an herbal ally and I love playing with this deck when I’m feeling pulled to working with plants more. Of course, make sure you always work with a certified herbalist before taking herbs internally, but there are many other ways to work with these plants safely on your own too: You can find the plant out in nature and sit with it in meditation, include it in a bouquet of flowers in your home, work with the flower essence version (if it has one), or even read up about it in a materia medica. Get creative and have fun with it!
Spend time meditating with a specific card to connect to the medicine it holds
Sitting for twenty minutes while thinking about “nothing” can be extremely difficult for a lot of people (myself included). Our minds are curious creatures - they want to learn and expand and grow. That’s why one of my favorite ways to meditate is to sit and have a conversation with a tarot card. Sometimes this will look similar to traditional meditation (seated at my altar with a acard). After I ground and center I’ll start to ask the card questions and see what answers bubble up in response. There’s no “right” or “wrong” answers to these questions - it’s more about getting in conversation with the card and seeing what feels true to you.
Another way I’ll meditate with a card is through Breathwork. When I’m deep in my Breathwork practice I feel more connected to the all-knowing of the universe than ever - and answers to my questions come easily and without judgement. I love connecting to the archetypes of the tarot through Breathwork because it deepens my understanding of the cards in a way that prioritizes love, healing, support, and deep medicine as opposed to fear or anxiety. This is especially helpful when working with traditionally “scary” cards such as the Devil, the Tower, or Judgement.
If this way of connecting to the cards sounds up your alley, I invite you to join me for a series of group Breathwork circles where we’ll be connecting to the first four archetypes of the tarot: The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, and The Empress. Each week we’ll use the breath to deepen our relationship with these cards and harness the power of trust, creative manifestation, intuition, and embodiment.
To learn more and sign up about Embodying the Tarot with Breathwork series, click the event photo below.
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