My Go-To Spread (III): The Four Bodies

One of the biggest takeaways I'd gotten from one of my yoga mentors, Dona Tumacder-Esteban, was the Four Bodies meditation. Before class, we would have a sit, and she would ask us to imagine a body of water for every aspect mentioned: Mind, Heart, Body and Spirit. Dona attributes the guided meditation to Angeles Arrien, a cultural anthropologist who wrote "The Four-Fold Way."

We would then go through our asanas and after our final savasana (corpse mose), we would move into another sit and guided meditation, taking us through the bodies of water again. The point would be to notice if anything changes or stays the same before and after the yoga practice.

 Order the Practical Magic Starter Deck at  bit.ly/practicalmagicdeck  :)

Order the Practical Magic Starter Deck at bit.ly/practicalmagicdeck :)

I like how the four bodies—Mind, Heart, Body and Spirit—all correspond to the Tarot's four suits: respectively, Swords, Cups, Pentacles and Wands. It's a meditation I connect with pretty easily and deeply, so when I'm strapped for time with my tarot cards, too lazy to do a full Celtic Cross spread, or am trying to help out a client who can't really figure out what questions to ask, I fall back on the Four Bodies.

It's simple enough and accessible for most people since everyone's got some idea of what their heart or head space are, or what state their body's in. And while a lot of times, spirit can be quite out of reach, it's helpful to know you can pull a single card and be guided somewhere.

 

 Deck used:  The Illuminated Tarot  (Caitlin Keegan)

Deck used: The Illuminated Tarot (Caitlin Keegan)

I also feel this works because numerology-wise, four is the number of stability. When we strike our own unique blend of Mind, Heart, Body and Spirit, we're able to come into a secure place, even for just a couple of minutes! Seeing how one aspect affects the other, and how we can manipulate our own energies of Mind, Body Heart and Spirit so they work together instead of oppose one another, we can (fingers crossed!) come into a better sense of balance.

 Decks used:  Ritual Oracle  and  Illest Tarot  (Kristi Prokopiak, Ritual Tarot)

Decks used: Ritual Oracle and Illest Tarot (Kristi Prokopiak, Ritual Tarot)

I like playing around with tarot and oracle combinations when it comes to the Four Bodies too. When you're tossing around cards and experimenting, know that there isn't a science to this! Intuition works best. 

Here's a sample reading for the photo above:

  • Mind: The Hierophant. Realize you're not the be-all and end-all of that thing you're into. Be open enough to receiving guidance from someone who's been in the game far longer than you.
  • Body: 45, "I must become the lion-hearted girl." Challenge yourself. Like at the gym.
  • Heart: 75, "Collect reminders." Go through that time capsule you've been keeping under your bed since high school. Pandora's Box may have some beautiful surprises for you.
  • Spirit: The High Priestess. Have faith in your inner wisdom.

Hope this spread helps you out in your readings! If you're posting some photos of your own Four Bodies pulls, don't forget to tag me on Instagram @practical_magical ;)