When we talk about medicine, we are talking about “the science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease (in technical use often taken to exclude surgery)”. This is the exact definition according to the Oxford dictionary. Which is all well and good when it comes to the physical form (the mind and the body), but what of the soul? When we feel physically or mentally unwell, we seek doctors, therapists, and counselors, but who guides us when it is the spirit that feels weak?
Some of you may say turning to therapy in times when we need emotional and spiritual support is a great place to start. I agree and encourage those types of resources first and foremost. Spiritual practices are NOT an alternative to essential medical care; however, I encourage you to consider turning to the Tarot as an additional tool in your healing journey. A tool with encourages self-exploration of the emotional/spiritual body.
The Tarot is a deck of 72 cards; 72 archetypal energies who provide space to reflect and contemplate our spiritual state. If medicine is the practice of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, the Tarot presents opportunities to reflect on, perhaps “diagnose” the state of the soul, and seek “treatment” AKA the understanding of ourselves through the lens of Spirit. It is often that the Soul feels most empowered when we find understanding and compassion for ourselves.
The Tarot is divided into two sections, the Major and Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana cards represent larger life lessons, karmic experiences, and grander evolutions we all must surrender to, while the Minor Arcana cards consist of four suits: cups, wands, swords, and pentacles. Each suit is representative of an element; water, fire, air and earth respectively, as well as aspects of our human experience/emotions. As an example of how to use The Tarot in a healing way, let’s reflect on the swords.
Before I go on, it’s important to note, for those who are new to the Tarot, there are those who view the Tarot as a tool of psychic wonder and those who view it as a lens of self-reflection and healing. If you want to ponder the difference, we encourage you to read our previous blog post on Traditional versus Healing Tarot.
The swords equate to the air element which represents the mind or intellectual body. For example, the 3 of swords, is traditionally depicted as a heart with 3 swords placed through it. The striking depiction may be confusing to some who first meet this energy, as there are expressions of this card which relate back to rejection, betrayal, and deep discouragement. This way of viewing the cards does not supply our spirits with much other than an acknowledgement of what may be happening on the surface. In my personal practice if I were to draw the 3 of Swords, I would sit in reflection on how I allow my own mind, my own thoughts, and my own ego to perpetuate and create continued heart ache via rumination. In my own interpretation and way of connecting to this energy, when the 3 comes forward, I understand the medicine here to be quieting the mind; the much-needed permission for my intellectual body to step away so I may sit with my tender heart and release the need to understand, dissect, or contemplate the pain any longer.
This is just one of 72 examples of how the Tarot can be viewed through a lens of healing and soulful guidance. If you are interested in learning more about interpreting the Tarot as healing soul work, I strongly encourage you to follow the teachings of Lyndsay Mack, and Tarot for the Wild Soul. Lyndsay is a pioneer in the healing practice of Tarot and one of the first teachers I ever came across who viewed the Tarot as I do. Additionally, I offer readings both remotely and, in the office, and am always happy to guide you. Those of us who know that the wisdom and love of Spirit that is available through the Tarot, are out there ready and willing to be a guide and offer assistance to your healing path.
editing by @bluelacebaby_