Hello all and welcome to the first Tarot for Collective Healing! This series is meant to be an eclectic one; sometimes we’ll discuss certain cards, sometimes we’ll focus on a spread, sometimes we’ll address hard cards and how the prevent healing and sometimes we might focus on a queer tarot community member or deck who’s doing beautiful work for collective healing. Anything goes so long as it contributes to the healing that marginalised people and communities need.
Before we dive in, some quick about me! I’m Cassandra Snow and some of you may know me from my Queering the Tarot series on the now archived Little Red Tarot or from my Instagram where I do a free almost daily collective tarot reading. My guiding principles as a tarot reader are that tarot is ultimately a tool to lead us to empowerment and liberation. To do that though, sometimes we have to wade through piles of healing, which the tarot can also do. To get to THAT point, sometimes we do need to jump ship from a bad job, relationship, or city. Sometimes before we can even think about healing we need find good routines, habits, and support systems in our daily life that will prop up and support our healing and ultimately, liberation. For this series though, we’re focusing on that midpoint: the healing.
2019 has been weird (as predicted by a number of online tarot readers, astrologers and witches) already. 2018 was having the world’s worst hangover and it lasted the better part of a month as January slung more of the same at us at every turn. As we settle into February, we see new things starting to manifest and old things finally being put to bed. Years are not perfect markers of time, as much as we would like them to be, and though we’re a month and a half into the year by now things are just now starting to shift. That’s okay! As humans we should let the energy shift and move naturally and work with it instead of trying to force that process’s hand. As we ease into a new year, whatever that month breakdown ends up being, let’s look at some tarot cards that can guide our personal healing practice for the year.
Using your cards as a guide in a process is a little bit different than just jumping in and reading with them. You CAN just read your cards normally and if the highlighted cards show up in a reading then the reading is trying to work you through the process indicated. You can also pull one or more of these cards out of the deck, set them on top of the reading and let that card guide or filter the rest of the reading. You can use these cards to create spells or altars for healing. (I always have at least one deck that isn’t for reading and is used like this instead). You can, if you want to be dramatic about it, tape the cards to your mirror or above your bed so you’re reminded of your healing process at every turn.
As a side note, there is no end to the list of tarot cards you can use to set or guide a healing process. The examples below are just the ones that after years of working with the tarot and specifically Queering the Tarot, I have found to be most relevant to the topic at hand.
The Star traditionally represents hope, a sense of renewal or spirituality itself. Because of the card’s connection to spirituality and hope there’s a message of faith within this stunner of a card too. As queer and/or otherwise marginalised people faith is hard to access, especially faith in ourselves. Yet The Star is meant to be a positive card that reinspires your optimism. So often when we’re going through a healing process of any type, finding that faith in yourself is the most important thing you can do. For that reason I use it frequently in collective healing work as well as in my personal journey.
10 of Wands is a little bit of a gloomy choice for this article but when we’re talking about collective healing we need to address the burnout that advocates and activists often face and the codependence that can run rampantly through our queer relationships and chosen families. For those new to tarot, the 10 of Wands is a card that is someone totally broken or about to be from the burden of carrying too much. This often represents a seeker who is carrying too much of other people’s problems to be healthy, someone who just can’t say no to new ideas or projects, or, in our case, a group of people who desperately need and desire change and our spreading ourselves alarmingly thin trying to create that change. The 10 of Wands is not so much a card that promises healing so much as a warning of what happens when we don’t take our own needs and healing processes seriously. It’s so crucial that you take the time you need to heal in between projects and especially during stressful periods of time within our social justice movements. Otherwise, warns this 10, you’ll end up too exhausted to do anything at all.
6 of Swords is a card that most clients are delighted to see. In most decks we see someone moving (often, though not always, over water) away from a dark cloudy time and into something bright and beautiful. Swords are so often the suit of patriarchy and trauma, and this six is a brilliant reprieve from the onslaught that the suit can otherwise be. It’s a great suit to guide your healing process at any time, but is most relevant and important to those still living or working in toxic environments and trying to heal from within them.
Ace of Cups is a choice for this article that comes from a very personal place. I had a bad year last year. Like, really bad. I started the year with a brain injury and ended it with some childhood trauma screaming to the surface. Nothing that happened in between was great either. At some point I started disassociating wildly just to try to get through the day. As 2018 was winding down I asked the tarot what my word for 2019 should be, and pulled the Ace of Vessels from the Slow Holler Tarot. The word that jumped out at me was “Heart.” Cups (or Vessels) indicate water which is the element that directly correlates to our emotions and our emotional state. The whole suit could arguably be about emotional healing. Water cleanses the things that needs cleansed and nourishes the things that need nourished. The Ace in particular is brimming over with cleansing, nourishing water eagerly waiting for you to take it in. As my 2018 really for real actually ended, I was able to come back down from a place of constant dissociation and put my heart into my work again. “Work” here means my spiritual and emotional work too, and as I wade through 2019 my goal is to not peace out of my own life again. That requires heart, but it requires healing that heart too.
I want to end with a practice that empowers you to choose your own healing marker. Even if you’re a total beginner to tarot, grab your deck and rifle through it. Look at the pictures for a moment or so each. After a few minutes of doing that, shuffle them back together. Ask the cards three questions, and pull one card for each. The first question should be “Where do I need to heal the most right now?” Think about the way you usually read the card, and think about the places in your life that have been blocked or hurt lately. Take note of the answer to that question then, and move on to question two: “How can I heal where card one says I need to?” This should be a pretty straightforward advice placement giving you the next step that you need. The third question you ask can be something to the effect of “Which card should I hold in my heart to inspire healing or release from the things that are hurting me?” If it’s a card you read as positive: great! That’s your inspiration for how rad your life can be as you heal and recover. If it’s a negative card, don’t fret. It’s simply letting you know what is holding you back from healing and what you can release in this time.
Next time on Tarot for Collective Healing we’ll be going through the suit of Cups and understanding them as a journey of emotional healing. It might get weird. I kind of hope it does.
Blessed be until next time y’all.