This blog goes along with Ep. 36: Healing with the Healer Archetype + Healing Decks + Review of the Harmony Tarot - I’ll be discussing how to heal with the Healer Archetype, and I will share a custom spread for this type of work. I also discuss tarot and oracle decks that are great for healing work, and I will review the Harmony Tarot by Harmony Nice.
The healer archetype is one of the oldest archetypes. Every culture has a connection to this archetype because illness and wounds are so common in all cultures throughout time. There has always been a need for individuals who are skilled in healing the mind, body, and spirit. Healers can be nurses, doctors, counselors or psychologists, caregivers, intuitive healers, energetic healers and more.
We’ve already covered the witch archetype and in that episode I mentioned that witches and healers overlap in many ways. In fact, many women were persecuted as witches for their healing practices from tonics, tinctures, herbal remedies, or healing teas. We’ve come a long way since then and you are seeing more people talk about their ties to witchcraft openly, which I think it a good thing. Now we even see healing spells advertised online if you are in the mystical online groups. I equate healing and magic still to this day. There’s something so magical and mysterious about healing. I think it is the most dazzling style of magic that exists.
I, of course, see it as a positive connection whereas centuries ago healing was seen as witchcraft if not practiced by a trained medical doctor. People were very suspicious of sages and witches who practiced an art they knew nothing about. They feared what they didn’t know or understand. And women were often subjected to interrogation, torture, and even death for something as simple as helping a neighbor cure a cough.
For millennia shamans have been revered in their cultures as wise healers who consulted their nature spirits and animal spirits for answers and guidance for healing. So, here we see how different cultures treat their healers. Some persecute their healers while others revere theirs.
We are now seeing a huge surge in alternative medicine and holistic medicine practitioners who address health and mental health issues that would respond well to acupuncture, reiki which is energy healing, herbalism, homeopathy, and food as medicine. I value modern medicine, so I think the ideal model is a blending of western medicine, knowledge, and approaches with holistic practices WHEN they would be beneficial. Holistic medicine means they focus on treating the whole person and not just a symptom. It makes sense to me to treat the whole person meaning mind, body and soul rather than just a symptom.
Often, when prescribing a medication for an ailment, the issue is not resolved because you are only treating the symptom and not the root cause of the issue. This is where a blend of psychology and holistic medicine could elevate the medical model because psychology can identify the root cause, and holistic practices can help treat the mind, body, and spirit in combination with any help that western medication could also offer in the mean time as the patient is healing at all levels. Otherwise, if we continue to ignore the root causes and only treat the symptom, the patient’s suffering will continue and can manifest into more symptoms requiring more medications. And for each medication there is a list of possible side effects that have been introduced. The goal should be on true healing, not symptom alleviation only.
Deepak Chopra is a well known physician who has highlighted the successful blending of modern medicine and science along with spirituality and natural treatments. This is a blend of a scientist and healer, and it can work quite well. My hope is that in the near future modern medicine expands to include a more holistic approach and treats the whole person instead of the symptom.
Since we are covering the healer archetype, I want to talk about the concept of a wounded healer. Carl Jung came up with The Wounded Healer archetype – he borrowed this from Greek mythology. And Rumi said “The wounds are the places where light enters.”
A wounded healer is someone who decides to become a healer due to their experience of being sick, wounded, or broken in some way. This would be the case for those with a severe health crisis, a childhood disorder, deep childhood wounds, near death experiences, or chronic pain. These healers understand pain and distress more than most and feel called to heal others using their intimate relationship with their own wounds. Wounded healers often feel that they heal each time they help others heal. Their wound is a part of their identity, and it makes them very relatable to those that seek their help. Patients are drawn to those who understand their plight. And it reassures them that aren’t suffering alone. The wounded healer can understand the stress of illness and pain and can empathize. This helps create instant rapport and a deep level of trust.
In astrology, there’s a wounded healer named Chiron, and you will notice his symbol on your birthchart – it looks like an old time key or like a circle with the letter k sitting on top of it. In Greek mythology, Chiron is a child born of rape who is rejected by both his mother and father. Orphaned and outcast, this centaur is raised by Apollo and masters the healing arts and sciences in an effort to heal himself. Unable to heal his wounds, he turned to healing others. Through his own suffering, he found his truest gifts of healing and shining light since he had lived a life steeped in emotional and physical pain and deformity. Through his good works and his furthering of medicine, he became known as the Wounded Healer.
I was so moved by Chiron’s story that I created a Chiron wounded healer spread for my Healing and Mental Health Spreads ebook vol. 2 (<- click here to purchase). The spread I created helps you unpack your own wounds and their impact on your life along with any lessons, strengths, or healing gifts gained from that experience. For further details on your wound, find which house and sign Chiron falls in your birth chart.
Our wounds are our teachers. It’s up to us what we do with them. If I went through all of this pain, I’m sure gonna turn it into my strength. At least I can turn pain into something good that can help others. That way it won’t be wasted time and energy.
Turn your wounds into healing and see how your life transforms.
There are also what we call intuitive healers who can identify the source of an ailment without understanding how they know that information. It’s their sixth sense – think medical intuitives or medical psychics. These healers can also be reiki healers, which is another word for energy healers. They heal through their hands and often use crystals, oils, tuning forks, singing bowls, and pendulums. For me, Jesus is a great example of an intuitive healer using love and a high vibrational energy through his hands to heal all who suffered in his presence.
This energy healing is the type of healing I found most beneficial when recovering from my pancreatitis in 2015 after the doctors determined that they could only offer time as a method of healing. With their blessing, I then turned to alternative healing modalities and found my way to reiki which also led to a spiritual awakening and to an introduction to tarot, which has since changed my life in every way imaginable. This is one of the reasons I don’t regret my health crisis. I can’t fathom how I would be working with tarot now had I not had this detour on my path to lead me there. I’m grateful that I took that path every day.
Psychologists/Counselors/Therapists are healers focused on healing the mind using behavioral and cognitive therapy, emotion focused therapies, humanistic approaches, and psychoanalytic interventions, etc. I fit many of the subcategories of healers, but obviously the counselor is a major one for me given that I am a licensed clinical psychologist and have been for 14 years now. Everything I do in life is filtered through my understanding of how our minds work and why humans behave the way we do. This type of healing is different than the medical approach because what we diagnose and treat is invisible and even hidden from the client’s view in the unconscious mind.
We have to probe beneath the surface into the subconscious and unconscious mind to unearth deep emotional wounds that have been repressed as a self-defense mechanism. We explore the shadow self carefully in order to not cause the patient to retreat when faced with this deep pain but also with the intent to bring the shadow self to the surface to process these hidden aspects and slowly integrate them with the known and accepted aspects of the self. This is known as shadow work. Not all therapists include the heart and soul of a person in their treatment, but some like myself do because we understand that the soul is an integral part of our human experience. We also understand that the heart and soul need to align in order for the individual to feel they are on track with their life path. If they are not, that can lead to a midlife crisis, existential depression, hopelessness, anxiety, and suicidality.
Shadow of the Healer
Healers can often be described as compassionate, empathetic, caring, giving, generous, loving, and nurturing. But there is a shadow side to this archetype. Healers can get so lost in caring for others that they often overwork and over-worry themselves to the point of depletion, exhaustion, and burnout. Their needs are always at the end of the line, and they put the needs of their friends, family, neighbors, and patients at the top of the list. Unfortunately, no one can sustain this level of overwork, and they can’t provide adequate care and healing to anyone when they are depleted. In this case, boundaries are extremely important to avoid burnout, inappropriate relationships with patients, and unsolicited advice when people did not ask for help or want it. These are issues to work on when healing with this healer archetype, especially if you identify with the healer.
10 of Wands from The Way Home Tarot - represents burnout!
Clues that you are burnt out due to taking on too much or caring for others while neglecting yourself – you pull the 10 of Wands (shown above from The Way Home Tarot), 2 of Pentacles reversed, 6 of Pentacles reversed or the 4 of Swords. These cards are telling you to take a break, rest, and smother yourself in self-care STAT!
Healers often have savior complexes as well and feel drawn to help everyone around us. We feel like it is our job to sacrifice our own lives and health to heal others. This is a slippery slope and can lead to resentment, physical illness, mental breakdown, and chronic illness. This shadow version of the healer archetype can include feeling gifted in the area of healing. There can also be a God-complex in the shadow version of the healer archetype. This can result in feeling a high when they heal others with their special gifts and powers. I always think of Dr. Gregory House from the show House as the shadow element of the healer with a God complex. He would pull the Magician card reversed for sure – that’s the God card and shows someone drunk on their own power.
An aspect of healing that we are seeing more and more of these days is self-healing. Much of what I do now is teach others that they have the ability to heal themselves on many levels. And even in the cases when modern medicine is warranted like surgeries, treatment for illnesses or injuries, we each still have a role in helping our bodies and minds heal through self-care practices, positive thoughts and attitudes toward recovery, and belief that the body is capable of total healing. Studies show that cancer patients receiving treatment have better results if they have a positive attitude and outlook versus a negative one.
After suffering from anxiety for so many years, I finally realized that my problem was that I was either dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. One day I finally realized that the most magical place was the present. The present moment is the only time we can create and manifest from. The past is over, and the future is created from what we choose now; so it is the present that I need to work within instead of waiting around for things to progress or line up in the future.
The present is where we can make the most difference. No more waiting on the perfect conditions to arrive in order to heal. I realized I could heal myself right here and now. And when I was writing this down the other day for this episode, I saw a quote online that summed it up nicely
Healers in Pop Culture
When we look at healers in pop culture, I think of Dr. Quinn medicine woman and Doogie Howser from the 90’s and Claire from Outlander in current times as well as Meredith Grey from Grey’s Anatomy. As I mentioned earlier, I think of Dr. Gregory House as the shadow of the healer where boundaries are non-existent and he has quite a God complex, which is great for television ratings but not what you want in real life.
Healers in the Tarot
There are several healer cards you can use in the tarot to help with your healing through the healer archetype. In the majors you could use The Empress who is a natural healer and nurturer. She heals with love and a mother’s touch. I gravitate to Temperance and The Star. Being a Sagittarius moon the Temperance card is one of my favorites. This is the alchemist and a powerful healer. This card oozes slow, gradual healing that lasts. This card urges moderation, taking things slowly, and restoring balance. The Star is such a soothing, hopeful card. It comes after the Tower and always promises a recovery after a tumultuous ordeal. Honestly, the only way I can stomach The Tower card is knowing that The Star comes right in to nurse our bodies and souls back to health. This card is one of my favs.
In the court cards, the tarot queens are the obvious healer choices. Each has a way of healing that is unique to their personalities, traits, and strengths. I've constructed healer profiles for each of the tarot queens to show you how to use them when healing.
Remember, if you identify with the healer archetype, you still have healing to do. Don’t assume that because you embody this role that you are past that stage. We all have healing to work on in each stage of life. It is a never-ending journey. The best healers are the ones who dig deep to find what’s under the surface to heal and embrace. If you haven’t completed the 3 part shadow work podcast miniseries I posted from March and April 2022 that’s a great place to start. Those are Healing Thru Tarot Episodes 33, 34, and 35.
US Games, Inc. sent over the Harmony Tarot for me to review. You might know the creator of the deck as Harmony Nice from her popular YouTube channel. This beautiful deck came out in 2021 and consists of gentle, pastel colors full of flowers, sunshine, and beautiful, healing nature elements. This is a great deck for healing, self-acceptance, self-love, positivity, and improving wellbeing. There’s an innocence and quiet, comforting voice to this deck that whispers nurturing messages of comfort and self-love.
In the guidebook, Harmony talks openly about her struggles with depression and mental health. She reveals that she created this deck after a rough struggle with her mental health, and she infuses rich messages of healing and self-care practices that could be implemented to improve mental health. She talks openly about changing her life by surrounding herself with positivity and acceptance.
I use this deck to heal with a little TLC, and it would be a great deck for teens and for connecting with yourself especially after a rough time such as an illness or a mental health struggle. This deck would offer a gentle guiding hand to get back on track smoothly.
The minor arcana follow the theme of nature and each suit represents a season with spring representing wands, summer as cups, autumn for swords, and winter as pentacles. I love the idea of using this deck for timing questions since the suits are clearly marked seasonally.
Harmony changes the major arcana drastically so you really could work with this deck as an oracle versus a tarot deck if you wanted to. Her meanings are geared more toward advice and guidance in mental health and self-care practices to engage in. It’s unlike any other tarot deck in that regard. This heavy focus on self-help, mental health and healing makes it an ideal deck to work with for healing the mind, body, and spirit.
Thank you to US Games, Inc for sending over The Harmony Tarot for review. This beautiful deck has become a valuable and loved addition to my healing decks. I think this deck will be very popular with younger readers and healers.
Other decks that I consider healing decks include my soul deck, The Light Seers Tarot, The Heal Yourself Reading Cards by Rockpool, Self-Care Cards, Mystical Shaman Oracle, and the Chakra Reading Cards.
The Light Seers Tarot
The Light Seers Tarot is the deck I relate to the most as a lightworker and a healer. The use of light and dark in this deck leaves me breathless still after over 2 years of working with this deck on a daily basis. I fell in love with this deck from just a peak at 5 of the cards. It was so stunning. I knew then that it was my soul deck. It speaks to me in a way that no other deck does. The vivid colors are so striking that they draw me in every time. I use the images from this deck often to teach others about self-healing. I find that the cards themselves offer so much healing just from the emotions and lessons portrayed in the stunning images created by the creator, Chris Anne Donnelly. This deck is perfect for healers, self-healers, lightworkers, and any creatives and artists. And the depth of the meaning in each card is astonishing. This is the deck I recommend with the highest praise. This is a deck I will continue to reach for the rest of my life.
The Heal Yourself Reading Cards
The Heal Yourself Reading cards by Inna Segal are so rich in healing messages and healing guidance through exercises offered in the guidebook for each card to help you work through healing of wounds, self-deception, rejection, procrastination, and self-sabotage. It’s great for shadow work too since the imagery uses dark colors and scenes that are very evocative. This deck doesn’t shy away from the darker elements that need to be explored in shadow work. Therapists could easily use these cards with clients and utilize the self-healing exercises offered with each card. This is a deeply transformative tool to use for building up self-confidence, self-worth, courage, inner strength, and intuition. It's a great deck to use along with journaling to help you drill down to the heart of the matter for long lasting change. This deck is helpful when tackling trauma stored in the body, and it is very effective at helping you reconnect with your body through exploring sexuality and inner and outer beauty. If you are willing to take a long hard, honest look at yourself this is a great oracle to use.
The Mystical Shaman Oracle
The Mystical Shaman Oracle has a healing shamanic vibe and offers guidance on a deep spiritual level. This healing deck has comforting earthly tones, nature-based images, advice from animal and nature spirits and healing cards such as the medicine wheel, sweat lodge, soul retrieval, tree of life, the holy mountain, the mystical shaman, and the serpent, which is a symbol for healing. Each card has 3 meanings: an essence meaning that helps to explain the symbol in the image, the invitation that tells of the gifts that Spirit is extending to you now, which is a call to action and is meant to be read with upright cards, and the medicine, which tells you the area of your life that needs balance and work. This meaning is for reversed cards. If you relate to the shamanic healer archetype, this is the perfect healing deck to work with.
The Chakra Readings Cards
The Chakra Readings Cards by Rachelle Harman (shown above) is an oracle based deck with 36 cards divided into 9 chakras so each chakra has 4 cards dedicated to them. Rachelle uses the 7 main chakras plus the Soul Star chakra above the Crown chakra and the Earth Star chakra. These cards are very colorful and categorized to help give you ideas on specific techniques to use to work through blockages with your chakras. For example, if you pull the family card this clearly states that you have issues with your root chakra and need to heal old family wounds, forgive family betrayals, work on releasing outdated family beliefs, or find a way to reconnect and clear the air with family to feel more secure. It is also a sign to work on releasing ancestral karma. This is a great deck to just pull one card to identify which chakra is currently blocked, and the card you pull will identify the activity you could use to balance that chakra. OR you could pull a card for each chakra for a full spread. This deck has beautiful healing energy and is a great way to learn more about each chakra.
The Self-Care Cards
The Self-Care cards by Cheryl Richardson is a 52 card deck that offers practical ways to honor your self-care. Each card offers inspiration and self-care quotes, suggestions, and specific actions to improve the quality of your life. This is a simple but effective deck to identify areas where self-care would be beneficial. There are cards dealing with setting boundaries, trusting yourself, listening to inner wisdom, increasing self-respect, and setting priorities. There is no guidebook to worry with. The cards have a simple keyword and image on one side of the card and a short message on the back side of the cards with suggestions for self-care. These self-care cards are great to pull from regularly either once a day or once a week to see which areas of your life need more care and attention.
Links for all the decks discussed in this blog are below at the end of the blog.
I created this 9 card spread to help us heal with the healer archetype. If you throw this spread for yourself, I would love to see the photo of your spreads. Please tag me on Instagram @healingthrutarot and please use the hashtag #healingthrutarothealerarchetypespread
Upcoming Shadow Work Tarot Challenge for October 2022 on Instagram
I’m hosting an October shadow work challenge on Instagram. I created a prompt for each of the 31 days of October for us to delve into our shadow. You can pull a tarot or oracle card for each prompt. Feel free to tag me on instagram @healingthrutarot if you pull cards. We start on Oct. 1st - Please use #HTTOctoberShadowWorkChallenge2022 to follow the challenge.
Upcoming Release of Healing Thru Tarot's Shadow Work Spread ebook
And since late fall and winter are ideal times for shadow work, I am releasing a shadow work spread ebook on October 5th. It will contain spreads like diving into the shadow, hidden shadow aspects spread, breaking through resistance, shadow-related fears, self-deception, and the unconscious motivations spread and many, many more. This ebook has 20 shadow work spreads. This will be the 4th spread ebook in my Healing Thru Tarot line of spread books. I’m really proud of these healing books that help you heal from old wounds and step into empowerment. Once that ebook is released, you can purchase that new spread ebook on healingthrutarot.com or click here where you can find all my spread ebooks.
A list of the 20 custom shadow work spreads is below.
Book 1 of The Divining Sisters Series: The Call of the Cards released over the summer. You can buy my new book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Google Play, Kobo, etc. Click here to purchase. Find out all the details on my site heatherhardisonauthor.com
The Call of the Cards Book Blurb
Books and Decks shown in this blog or recommended: Chakra Reading Cards, The Harmony Tarot, Heal Yourself Reading Cards, The Light Seers Tarot, The Mystical Shaman Oracle, Self-Care Cards, The Way Home Tarot, The Wild Unknown Archetypes
Link to Podcast Episode 36 on Anchor click here
Other relevant Podcast Episodes - Click below to listen.
Ep. 32 : Healing With The Witch Archetype + Review of Seasons of the Witch: Samhain and Yule Oracle Decks
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