Tarot + Self-Care: How Does It Work?


I know there's a lot of buzz about Self-Care (capital S, capital C) these days. I was listening to The High Low, a podcast hosted by Pandora Sykes and Dolly Alderton, and they were talking about how everyone's making such a big To Do over "self-care" when the whole idea of looking after yourself is pretty basic. Isn't it?

I just came from a Simple Self-Care Meditation Retreat hosted by my friends at Flow Retreats and life coach Aurora Suarez. I was having a rough couple of weeks when I saw the post about the weekend away, and decided immediately that I needed to join.

Now, I feel I'm actually pretty good at self-care. I pull a tarot card for myself every morning, do a reading from Ethony's moon guide every time a full or new moon comes around, I do yoga, I sit still for a couple of minutes to watch my breath and feel my prana a few times a week… but all of that wasn't enough to settle me down.

A weekend self-care retreat got me to a 6 of Swords mindset.

A weekend self-care retreat got me to a 6 of Swords mindset.

Through Aurora's life-coaching and the self-care activities put together by Flow, I was able to get back to some quiet and peace. It helped that Aurora is a dabbler in the tarot too—we were able to talk through my emotions and circumstances by comparing them to the many archetypes of the tarot.

The weekend got me thinking about the many ways the cards can be used to encourage self-care—from superficial self-soothing techniques that take a couple of minutes, to deep dive explorations you can use once a month.

  1. Shuffling. There's something calming about shuffling a deck of tarot cards. Ask any seasoned reader—at one time or another, they've fiddled with their cards far longer than necessary. Think of the cards as a stress ball or fidget spinner replacement. 
  2. Reordering. This is one of my favorite self-care techniques. Sometimes you need an absolutely mindless activity to turn that monkey mind off. One of the reasons I always put my cards back to order after every use is because it calms me down. The few couple of minutes I take to put things back from Ace to 10 to King offered me some precious silence. It's the equivalent of knitting, crochet or cross-stitch—your hands flow into movement and your mind immediately quiets down.
  3. Daily Draws. Going a little deeper, I believe self-care has a lot to do with mindfulness. And what's more mindful than focusing on a theme every morning and approaching the next 24 hours with that idea in mind?
  4. Moon Draws. Full Moons and New Moons can send you into a wild sh*t spiral. But if you find a way to connect with nature (the moon!) by pulling some cards, you are giving yourself a little bit of space to breathe in the midst of all the lunacy.
  5. The Deep Work. It sometimes takes a crisis to realize that you're in desperate need of self-care. If you're brave enough to call up your favorite tarot reader for some confrontational guidance, or are willing to journal your way through some difficult card pulls, then you're doing the real work. Self-care doesn't just come in the form of massages and spa days, after all… sometimes, taking care of yourself means pulling all those thorns out of your most tender spots and letting those wounds air out to heal.

How do you practice self-care? Has tarot become part of your practice? I've turned the comments on (brave step for me!) so we can get the ball rolling. :)