Today I will be discussing the use of tarot with anxiety and which decks I use specifically to help alleviate fear and anxiety. Tarot is a very effective tool for lessening anxiety. Just the act of shuffling alone helps to slow your mind down and mimics meditation for me. And the cards themselves offer a healing and therapeutic application of tarot through instant feedback, insight and guidance. They also have a way of shifting the perspective; so you can get another viewpoint on your situation. Often when we are in our situation, we can’t see the path forward clearly. We tend to get sidetracked on the challenges and obstacles that we keep running into, and we can’t see all of the options that are further down the road. I find that the cards can help lay out different avenues for us to choose from that we may not have seen previously. They take you out of the valley and help you see the situation from a higher vantage point, like a mountain top. Only then can we see far enough ahead of our current circumstances to understand the meaning of the trying times that we are enduring. The cards also help us to learn the lessons that each hardship is teaching and how they will benefit us in the future.
A large part of why fear and anxiety are so gripping is the factor of the unknown. We always worry about what we can’t see coming and fear the worst outcome is headed our way. For me, tarot helps shine a light on what is hiding in the dark or lays those fears to rest, if the cards reveal all is really ok at the moment. Tarot doesn’t sugar coat anything, but it does tend to put everything into perspective in a way that I can at least see the reason for the events that are unfolding. Even in times when things are uncomfortable or downright painful, it is a tremendous help to have that insight into the purpose of the pain and the lessons that will be learned from those hard times. Without this insight, it can be so easy to slip into depression and desperation while in the midst of those struggles. It can seem like you are rowing upstream against the current and becoming so exhausted from the constant strain that you feel there is no lifeline to hold on to. For me, tarot is that lifeline. I find it so comforting to pull cards on situations that are stressing me out and causing anxiety; so I can examine what the root causes are and get some perspective on what this situation has to teach me. Also through this process, I find that due to exploring these issues with tarot I can often learn the lesson faster, which aids in helping solve that situation so I can move on to calmer waters. So, when I see that Hanged Man, I am quick to throw a new spread to dig deeper into what perspective shift I need to make to help move the issue along. It feels so empowering to be able to quickly work through these layers and find some action items that I can take today to regain control over the issue and my mental state.
I’ve spent too many decades in the grips of anxiety, and after turning 40, I decided I was done living in a fearful state. The world may be swirling around me and things on the global stage may look chaotic and toxic, but I have the ability to steady myself, if I keep focusing on what changes I need to make internally. When I found tarot, I had just turned 41, so it came into my life at the right time. Being an empath in 2018 was seriously some of the hardest times I have lived through, and without the spiritual awakening I was having, I doubt I would have come out of it in a stable condition. Finding tarot at that time helped give me the tools I needed to navigate these unprecedented times. Tarot offers wisdom, perspective and guidance. Knowing I could grab this tool at any time to work through the thoughts in my head, steadied me through this chaos. In the past I would have been overcome with the grief in the world and the angst that I was soaking up from those around me. Right now, everyone is so fearful, and as empaths we feel all of that emotion magnified. We have to equip ourselves with the tools we need to guide us to the shoreline, or else we really face the risk of drowning in the emotional turmoil out there. I am grateful everyday for finding divination. It tethers me to a purpose and to a much larger plan than I could see without it.
If you are an empath listening to this, I urge you to find a way of grounding yourself and shielding your energy field from those around you. It is in those moments that anxiety and dread can really consume you. It creeps up faster than you realize too. Tarot always warns us when we are taking on too much from those around us, when we need to firm up our boundaries or set new ones and when to be aware of those that will take advantage of our giving natures. I can’t tell you how many times I pull that 7 of swords as a warning to watch those around me who have no problem overstepping boundaries and draining my energy. These are not normal times. We are facing so many unprecedented events and challenges on a daily basis, often with absolutely no relief, no time to process all of what we are witnessing. I hear from so many people about stress and anxiety levels that are significantly higher than any other time in their lives. I feel it too. The collective is going through a purging of all kinds of emotions and wounds that have been buried for decades and centuries in some cases. This is not something that is completed overnight or even within a few months. This is something that is playing out over the past several years and most likely the next 5-10 years. If you are sensitive to energy changes, you have already been feeling this for years. With that profound change comes turmoil, angst and grief as these unhealed wounds and past traumas rise to the surface to be processed and healed finally.
Universe Has Your Back Deck (card below)
We are all doing this at the collective level; so empaths and highly sensitive people will feel this intensely. And that can present itself as anxiety, panic, insomnia, nightmares, depression and even suicidal thoughts/urges. Many empaths I know describe it as feeling as if they have PTSD, which is post traumatic stress disorder. In psychology we usually see PTSD from war experiences, sexual assaults, child abuse and sexual abuse. But in this sense at this time period, people are using that term to describe what they mean as feeling triggered on a daily basis by anything that reminds of the trauma they have experienced over the past several years. They usually mean heightened senses, intense emotional mood swings, triggering of bad memories and instances where they felt threatened or attacked. It can feel as if your nerves are fried, as if you can’t handle even a small amount of stress anymore because you don’t feel emotionally stable enough to hold yourself together to function like you did before. This comes after years of living in fear of what other shoe would drop that day. We all have experienced one tragedy after another after another every day and sometimes every hour in 2020. Collectively, it feels as if we are at the point where we can’t handle one more thing going wrong. People can’t even watch the news anymore because it is so unnerving and upsetting.
It has been a chaotic year of a global pandemic, lengthy quarantines and isolation periods all across the world, rising tensions in many countries around the world, tragedies and violent deaths unfolding on camera for all to see and grieve so intensely. And if you are listening to this podcast, I would assume you are a very caring person who wants to help heal yourself and those around you. When you take on that responsibility, it can feel like you are shouldering more than you might can carry. So, it is absolutely normal to struggle with anxiety, if that is how you are feeling right now. Almost every single client I have worked with in therapy over the past decade and a half has reported feeling anxiety in their life. This is something almost every person on the planet feels but few talk openly about it. My clients usually tell me they can’t let others know when they have felt that way because they thought it was something to be ashamed about. That is what we have to de-stigmatize. I am very open about my own struggles with anxiety and depression because the only way we are going to normalize these emotional struggles and de-stigmatize mental health issues like anxiety and depression is to talk openly about our own experiences with our life struggles and obstacles we have had to overcome. That is how we learn, heal and grow TOGETHER.
Pythia Botanical Oracle Deck
When I worked as an intern at a VA hospital in the Southern US, I often had veterans walk stoically from the receptionist desk down a long hallway to my office and then fall apart or start crying as soon the office door closed. Then after an hour of crying and wringing their hands, they would stand up, straighten their back, throw their head back and completely shut off all emotion; so they could walk back out in the hallway past other veterans and never give the impression that they ever felt anything other than total courage and bravery. I was saddened by this ritual because it meant that they didn't feel safe enough in society showing how they truly felt inside, and many told me that they wore that same false brave mask at home with their spouse and families. They didn't think it was appropriate to show what they would label “weakness.” I actually see it in the opposite way. I think it takes amazing courage to show vulnerability to those closest to you and to the world. It is never easy to show our faults or struggles openly, but it is much more rewarding to do so because it helps others feel that they are not alone. And that is what I want to tell you today. You are not alone in this. At this point on Earth at this current tumultuous time, we are in this together. No matter how divided we seem at the moment. We are not alone.
In order to heal we need to open up to each other and reveal our true selves, and let's face it none of us are happy all the time, none of us are strong 100% of our life. That needs to be acknowledged because if we don't acknowledge it, that causes more anxiety for those that start to think that they are abnormal for feeling sad, depressed, suicidal or anxious. We then start to feel less than and withdraw from others. All of that can create a cyclical pattern leading to even more anxiety and can turn into other severe anxiety disorders like OCD, phobias or panic disorder. We need to drop our masks and show our authentic selves. Only then, do I believe we can heal. And I feel strongly that we can heal the world, if we heal ourselves. If everyone did this inner healing work, the world would see more love, peace and joy.
That brings me back to tarot because divination as a whole is one tool we can use to work on that inner healing. Tarot is especially effective because of its use of archetypes and major life lessons and journeys that we all as humans share. I am going to share with you some of my favorite tarot and oracle decks that I use in my personal inner healing work to process anxiety and stress and even depression.
Light Seers Tarot
For me the Light Seers Tarot has been my soul deck. As a lightworker I connect so strongly with the use of light and dark in this deck. The images are so striking and beautiful that it reminds me of the light in the world and the light within myself. In a time of darkness, this deck was my lighthouse guiding me to shore. When I use this deck, I know things are going to be ok no matter how dark things may be right now. It gives me hope to keep focusing on healing myself so that I can shine my light out into the world to help others that are struggling and in search of any light they can find.
In times of darkness, it is normal to feel like you want to hide away and just bury your own light but I encourage you to find even small ways to shine your light. It can be as simple as paying someone a compliment, reaching out to a friend or maybe pulling a card or two and sharing that message on social media. I find that the universe has a way of getting that message in front of those that need to hear it most. That is always my intention when I record a podcast or write a blog or share a simple card reading. I ask the Universe to spread those messages to whoever needs to receive that information at that time.
When I am really anxious and shaky, I pull the Monstarot out to soothe my inner child. It is a fun, cute deck that has a calming nature for me. Things can’t look too scary through the lens of this colorful, silly deck. I also use this deck when I’m feeling particularly vulnerable and unsure if I want the full weight of the tarot wisdom to reign down on me at that moment. Some of my decks can hit quite harshly, if it is a very sensitive issue. Tarot will call you out, and if I don’t feel up to a dressing down from my cards at that moment, I reach for a deck that can help ease me into the message I need to hear. I’m not often in that state now, but it helps to have a deck at the ready that I know I can still pull cards from for advice that isn’t too browbeating. There are just some days that you have already been put through the ringer, and you just don’t have it in you to hear any more painful truths. I see this deck like an old friend who will just sit with you when you are dealing with something really heavy and is mainly there to offer support and not add to the burden you are facing.
Everyday Witch Tarot
The Everyday witch is similar for me, as I see this deck as an old friend too. One that I know really well. The images set my mind at ease and help me see things clearly but in a gentle way. This deck isn’t too harsh. It speaks to my inner witch; so there is a lot of wise counsel in these cards. And it is a deck that I never doubt the readings from. There are just some decks that I own that I know the readings will be on point. For me, that is the everyday witch and my original tarot deck, the rider waite smith original. Those never fail me. And it is so calming for me to just sit and shuffle those decks when I am anxious since those are my oldest decks, and I have a strong connection with them. When I am anxious, sometimes I just want to shuffle the cards and not pull cards for any questions. If I have jumpers as I am shuffling, I will read those and just count those as comforting messages from my guides.
Work Your Light and Starseed Oracles
For oracle decks, the Work Your Light and Starseed oracles are soul oracles for me. The pastel colors are soothing, and the messages really do feel channeled from a higher wisdom. The messages seem to always be onpoint and what I need to hear at the moment. The celestial images are so calming. It is hard to be anxious when you are staring at these gorgeous cards. I use these cards as reassurance about my life path and to connect to that starseed energy, mission and messages. A lot of the cards are about ascension and anchoring the light and lifting up planetary vibrations for all to heal. I read these oracles together as if it is one deck.
The Lightworker Oracle is an oracle deck I turn to when I feel the source of my anxiety is directly related to my life purpose or lightworker mission. This oracle is so perfect for pinpointing what is going on at the soul and purpose level whether it be related to ascension and leveling up, breaking karmic cycles or past life patterns continuing to play out.
Messages from the Light Meditation Deck
Pulling a card from messages from the light meditation deck can help give me an image or concept to focus on which helps to anchor me to help the anxiety pass. The paintings used for the deck are beautiful and easy to focus on. Use any deck for meditation that you feel connected to emotionally or that you feel you can get lost in. The Earthly Souls and Spirits by Terri Foss deck does this for me too. The colors and the witchy images pull me right in and immediately raise my vibration.
Earthly Souls and Spirits Oracle
The Heal Yourself Reading Cards are great for digging up the shadow work issues that I need to take a good look at that could give me an idea of what is stirring up the anxiety I am feeling at the moment.
Heal Yourself Reading Cards
One of the decks I really recommend is the Power of Surrender cards. These are so good at identifying what you need to let go at the moment. They are scary accurate. I often pull one of these for readings for people that are really struggling with anxiety and depression. They are simple but to the point. I just pulled a few cards to give you a taste for the deck.
Power of Surrender Cards
These cards are so easy to read with too because they just give you a short message on the front of the card and you don’t have to dig a book out to see what the card says. And this card on trust that I pulled goes really well with this topic we are talking about which is anxiety in this uncertain time in the world. Trust is so crucial to working with anxiety. We tend to have more anxiety when we aren’t trusting ourselves, those around us or trusting that things will work out for us in the end. It all goes back to the fear of the unknown. It’s all connected.
Postcards from the Liminal Space
If your anxiety seems to be related to your spiritual awakening, the postcards from the liminal space oracle are so enlightening. Bakara Wintner did such a good job when creating a deck that would offer a helping hand to someone feeling lost in the dark night of the soul. This is another deck that is a comforting friend that you need in the middle of the night because you just need to know you are not alone and that you can hold on until morning. Everyone needs a deck like this. Bakara announced recently that Postcards will no longer be available for sale, but if you missed out on it, she has another oracle coming out that is from the liminal space around the Holiday season in 2020. I will definitely be buying that one too.
Way Home Tarot and Postcards from the Liminal Space
I almost always read The Way Home Tarot with Postcards. They go together so well. I have only had these decks for 3 months, but I use them daily, and they have quickly moved to the top of my favorites right now. Some of my favorite cards from Postcards include Magic is immediate, Magic is either everything or nothing, and This is not how the story ends. Such profound wisdom in this oracle.
Sacred Creators Oracle
If I have any anxiety related to creative projects or business, I turn to the Sacred Creators Oracle by Chris Anne Donnelley. This oracle really speaks to me. The messages are perfect for the situation every time. The colors are gorgeous and look like watercolors. These cards focus on inspiration, creativity, blocks that are restraining you, aligning with your purpose and dream. I also use these cards as a pep talk if I need to hear positive messages to motivate me to continue creating.
Pythia Botanical Oracle
If you just want a few cards with really simple messages but an immediate calming effect pull cards from the Pythia Botanical Oracle. This was one of the first oracles I was really drawn to and had to have. I display the cards for several days to keep the good vibes going. Some examples of themes in this deck are the cards Release; Unspoken, Unsummoned; Reflect, Emit; Forgo, and Quell. The color pallet is a beautiful light pink, beige and white. So calming and nurturing. I love pulling a few of these cards and displaying them around the house.
I created a custom spread for this episode called the Mastering My Anxiety Spread. Hopefully this spread and the content in this blog helps you to start to free yourself from the anxiety in your life. If you throw this spread for yourself, I would love to see the photos. Tag me in your post on instagram. I’m @healingthrutarot on instagram and use the hashtag #healingthrutarotmasteringmyanxietyspread so I can see all your healing spreads.
Books and Decks shown in this blog or recommended are below: click on title to go to the product. Some of these are amazon affiliate links and it helps me out if you use these links. Thanks for your support.
Light Seers Tarot Mass Market Deck
Messages from the Light Meditation Deck
Decks included in this blog post: The Everyday Witch Tarot, Light Seers Tarot, Work Your Light Oracle, Starseed Oracle, Heal Yourself Reading Cards, Sacred Creators Oracle, Power of Surrender Cards, Way Home Tarot, Postcards from the Liminal Space, Messages from the Light Meditation Deck, The Universe Has Your Back, and Earthly Souls and Spirits Oracle.
Link to Podcast Episode 8 click here
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