I love tarot cards; I always have, so figuring out how to use tarot cards as a spiritual guide was a huge undertaking for me.
At first, I thought I had to memorize the meaning of every single card before I could begin to use them.
I took a class in San Francisco at this great little occult shop led by an intensely witchy woman from a long line of tarot card readers.
And then I got frustrated.
How could I ever possibly memorize the entire 78 card deck, upright and in reverse, in a way that would be meaningful for my daily spirituality?
Then I realized I didn’t.
Surrender to the Divine
A constant reminder in my life, and in anyone’s life who is on a spiritual journey, is the reminder that we must surrender.
Again and again and again.
The entire point of tarot is to connect to the divine.
Connecting to the divine is not something we can force, and using tarot as a spiritual guide to connect to the divine should be a joyful and abundant experience.
Not something riddled with frustration.
A great indicator of whether you are on the road to connecting or way off course is in fact if you are frustrated and upset.
The divine will never meet you there.
The Universe is a joyful and purely positive loving place that is constantly raining love and joy down on you and always guiding you toward the light (not that light, don’t worry).
But you pinch yourself off from the divine every time you let your ego drive.
You get angry, and the Universe says, “we’ll be over here.”
You get frustrated, and the Universe says, “we’ll be over here.”
If you want to meet the Universe, you will have to go over there.
Into the light.
Into calm and joy and abundance and gratitude and pure positive love.
The Universe is, in a word, love.
So we must surrender to it.
That was my lesson, the most important thing.
Before I could hope to connect with the divine through tarot, I would have to surrender to the divine.
Which meant I would have to surrender to love.
Again and again.
So, I went home, and I followed the advice of wise psychologist and speaker Jordan Peterson.
I put my house in order.
First Put Your House in Order
Before you can hope to build and maintain a solid connection with the divine, you must abandon all of your habits that pinch you off.
It is profoundly difficult, near impossible, to connect with God when you are stuck in negative energy.
Any tarot reading is going to be driven by your energy, whether it is done by yourself or by a professional.
I had a trusted medium friend tell me once to get to the doctor in a hurry because she sensed a major nervous system disorder like MS or Parkinson’s brewing in me.
I knew even when she read me that she was reading my fear not my health.
I had been fixated on the possibility that I might be dealing with a nervous system disorder as I was in my early forties, had been suffering from panic attacks and anxiety, and had not seen a doctor in many years.
I did end up seeing a local family nurse practitioner who assured me that I was in excellent health and told me to take some Vitamin D for improved mental health.
I don’t blame my friend, nor do I doubt her ability to read energy from the Universe.
I do however have no doubt that she is human and therefore prone to her own filtering process and reading my energy.
Which she did.
If you attempt to use tarot cards as a spiritual guide without first cleaning and clearing your energy, putting your house in order, you will be picking up on all the issues with which you have not dealt yet, and you will be doing it from a place of fear and anxiety, not from a place of love and faith.
Of course, you will still be confronting your issues through tarot, but when you shift your position to one of love, you can interpret from a helpful and healthful perspective, not a gloom and doom one.
Remember, the Universe does not speak in negatives or cautions; there are no evil spirits out to get you, and no one can curse you without your permission.
Your work with tarot is to help you find your path and maintain a steady spiritual alignment with it.
So, how do you put your house in order?
First, you will have to cut toxins out of your life. If you are taking illicit chemical drugs (cannabis does not count), stop.
If you are on pharmaceuticals, consider weaning yourself off under supervision of an expert.
Try to find a functional medicine doctor who can help you treat whatever ails you naturally, from the root cause.
If you drink alcohol excessively (and only you know what this means to you specifically), work to get that under control.
I had to cut alcohol out of my life pretty much completely because, even though I never really drank a lot, I found it made anxiety worse, it made me sluggish the next day, and I generally did not feel good about drinking anymore.
This includes toxic people. If you have friends or family who only bring you down, sucking your energy and making you feel unwell when you are around them, create distance.
It also includes excessive social media.
I had to get off Twitter and eliminate a ton of accounts from my Facebook and Instagram. It was just making me so angry, and I did not want to be angry.
I wanted to be joyful and light.
Treat Your Body Like a Temple
Move your body every day.
Eat whole foods as close to their source and their original state as possible.
Sleep 8 hours a night.
Walk in the grass barefoot.
Your body is your vehicle in this world, and a large part of how you feel and connect to the Universe will have to do with how you feel in your body.
Treat it like a temple.
Clean Your House
Evidence shows that people feel more depressed and anxious in a messy, cluttered space.
Clean your house!
Keep it fresh, organized, and feeling like a sacred sanctuary as much as you can.
Of course, don’t drive yourself crazy cleaning baseboards every day.
But maintain a clean, lovable home for you to feel safe and light in.
Finally, the best way to prepare to use tarot cards as a spiritual guide is to build in a daily meditation practice.
First thing every morning, rise from your bed, make it, face the sunshine as early as possible, drink a full glass of water with lemon juice, brush your teeth and scrape your tongue, and sit to meditate.
For 20 minutes, practice clearing your mind of all thoughts.
I like to work my way down from my crown chakra to my root chakra, pausing over my heart chakra and allowing the energy of the Universe to fill me up with love and compassion.
And surrender your ego, your anger, your frustration to the Universe.
Let God hold it for you.
Sink into your higher self and allow yourself to be held.
Using Tarot Cards as a Spiritual Guide
As you come out of meditation, commit to good thoughts, good words, and good deeds for the day.
Then, get out your notebook and your tarot deck, and begin.
I like to journal my thoughts first, anything I am clearing up or working on, and anything going particularly well in my daily life.
The next step is to shuffle your cards several times, flipping them upside down, cutting the deck, really working all the cards through your fingers and hands and getting yourself into a mesmeric like state.
Finally, take a deep breath, put the deck down, face up, cut the deck, and deal yourself three cards exactly as they come off the deck.
This three-card spread in a daily tarot card pull, represents tarot spreads, in order from left to right, of where you have been, where you are, and where you are headed.
Before you do any investigating, see how they feel to you when you look at them.
Remember they are merely guides from the Universe as to where your energy is in this present moment as you pulled the cards.
The meaning of the card is much less important than how you feel about those cards.
Major arcana cards are big issues in your energy, and minor arcana cards are smaller, more immediate things to think on.
A tarot card reading is completely open to interpretation, so I am in favor of any professional tarot reader or website that allows for multiple perspectives.
When I pull my cards, I go straight to my favorite site, Biddy Tarot, where they explain in great detail the meanings of each card both upright and in reverse.
It helps to start with the rider-waite deck as it is the most commonly used and easiest to read.
As you pull each day, your inner wisdom will get stronger, your daily routine will change according to your wisdom, and the energy of the cards will come clearer to you.
And don’t be afraid if you get a fool card, the devil card, a tower card, or, heaven forbid, the death card. The cards are merely revealing to you your own energy, your own current situation, in your daily draw.
Each card is deeply metaphorical, not literal, and is helping open you up further to the divine. There is no wrong way to listen to your own intuition.
Surrender, allow, and above all, have fun.