reconstructing faith

Reconstructing Faith (with Tarot Spread)

reconstructing faith

Recovering from religious trauma is a deeply personal journey that often requires immense strength and resilience. I have shared what I personally learned during the past 15 months of active RTS-recovery in a previous post. As we begin to heal, the process of reconstructing faith can be both challenging and transformative.

Go to the Reconstructing Faith Tarot Spread

Some might argue that we don’t need to reconstruct faith but I believe even atheists have faith in something (their theory if nothing else). For someone who is deeply spiritual and who found comfort in many of the more spiritual elements of their former religion, there is an added layer of complexity. The question becomes, ‘Do you throw the baby out with the bathwater?’

I believe that sometimes, complete distance from anything that even remotely acts as an RTS trigger is not only smart but necessary. You need a chance to get to know yourself apart from the indoctrination in almost perfect self-isolation as you navigate your RTS-induced Dark Night of the Souls.

When I started my Wyld Godde Tarot art project for trauma recovery over a year ago, I couldn’t imagine just how much the Tarot would act as tool for trauma recovery. It has done so in a diverse and multi-layered way by providing spiritual insights and clarity, allowing me to uncover more of my blind spots through shadow work.

I recently acquired The Biblical Tarot to gauge where on my journey I was. Would it act as a trigger or would it help me do what I longed to do deep down, i.e. put my faith back together, free of dogma, on my own terms? I hope that the Reconstructing Faith sample reading below answers that question without further commentary from me.

Reconstructing Faith After Recovering From Religious Trauma

1. Acknowledge the Trauma

Recognise and accept the impact that religious trauma has had on your life. This acknowledgment is the first step towards healing and can help you understand the depth of your experiences.

2. Seek Professional Support

Consider seeking guidance from mental health professionals who specialise in religious trauma.

For me this took the form of reading a book written by an RTS specialist. However for those lucky enough to have local access, therapists can provide tools and strategies to navigate your emotions and support your healing process.

3. Explore Different Beliefs

Allow yourself the freedom to explore different beliefs and spiritual practices. This exploration can help you discover what resonates most with your inner values, beliefs and experiences.

I spent a large chunk of the past 15 months doing just this.

4. Connect with Supportive Communities

Find communities that are inclusive and supportive. These groups can provide a sense of belonging and understanding as you share your experiences and insights.

Other than the rare supportive from individuals in other countries, I have not been able to receive the support of a community. Yet, just knowing there are so many of us out there is helpful.

5. Reflect on Personal Values

Take time to reflect on your core values and beliefs. Journaling or meditative practices can help clarify what aspects of faith are essential to you as you rebuild your spiritual identity.

I found that my Tarot art project helped a lot with this. Clarity has to come from the heart, not the head, when it comes to matters of faith and this is where the language of symbols excels.

6. Cultivate Self-Compassion

Be gentle and compassionate with yourself throughout this journey. Understand that it is a gradual process, and it’s okay to take small steps.

Quite surprisingly, the biggest mentor for me when it comes to self-compassion is Mother Mary. She continues to have an active presence in my life as an avatar of Divine Sophia. She is the one ‘Element’ of my Christian faith that I never ever wanted to let go of.

When everyone and everything else made me feel judge or made me judge myself, just thinking of her warm embrace and unconditionally loving heart is what kept bringing me back to place of unconditional love and acceptance for myself.

7. Explore Spiritual Practices

Incorporate spiritual practices that bring you peace and comfort. Whether it’s prayer, meditation, or spending time in nature, these practices can help strengthen your newfound faith.

Having allowed myself to experiment without judgment, I find that I keep coming back to my devotion for Mother Mary as the bedrock of my faith. I also have a lot of love for Gnostic Christianity and all of the teachings of Yeshua in the Bible, as well as the magic of the Psalms.

8. Set Boundaries

Establish healthy boundaries with individuals or groups that may trigger distressing memories. Protecting your mental and emotional well-being is crucial as you navigate this path.

That’s what the ‘block’ and ‘delete’ buttons are for, my friends. And yes, I have used them with gusto! I’m also becoming increasingly aware of the negative impact on my mental health of social media in general and have recently taken myself off a couple of the platforms I used to be on.

9. Trust Your Intuition

Trust your intuition and inner wisdom as you reconstruct your faith. Listen to your heart’s guidance and follow what feels authentic and true to you.

This step can only follow mastering a certain level of self-compassion. Trusting our intuition means harmonising our minds with our hearts and the heart is too easily overpowered without an basic amount of healthy self-love in place.

10. Celebrate Progress

Recognise and celebrate your progress, no matter how small. Embracing each step forward can empower you to continue on your journey with confidence and hope.

Reconstructing faith after religious trauma is a unique and individualised process. Through patience, compassion, and exploration, it is possible to rebuild a spiritual foundation that brings healing, growth, and a renewed sense of purpose.

Reconstructing Faith Tarot Spread

Here’s a Tarot spread that can help you on your journey of reconstructing faith after experiencing religious trauma. This spread consists of seven positions, each representing a different aspect of your path towards healing and rebuilding your spirituality:

reconstructing faith, a 7-card tarot spread for healing after religious trauma syndrome
  1. Where I am on my Trauma Recovery Journey
    What the central healing theme for me is at this stage
  2. Reflecting on Personal Values (Core Beliefs)
    What are my fundamental values and beliefs that I want to uphold?
  3. Cultivating Self-Compassion (Self-Love)
    How can I show more compassion and kindness to myself during this journey?
  4. Embracing Spiritual Practices (Soul Nurturing)
    What spiritual practices will bring me peace and comfort?
  5. Setting Boundaries (Protection)
    What boundaries do I need to set to protect my mental and emotional well-being?
  6. Trusting Intuition (Inner Wisdom)
    How can I better trust my intuition and inner guidance?
  7. Celebrating Progress (Affirmation)
    How can I acknowledge and celebrate my progress, no matter how small?


  1. Prepare your space: Find a quiet and comfortable place to perform the Tarot reading.
  2. Set your intention: Take a few moments to center yourself and set an intention for your reading.
  3. Shuffle your deck: Shuffle the Tarot cards while focusing on your intention.
  4. Lay out the cards: Draw a card for each position in the spread and lay them out in front of you.
  5. Interpret the cards: Reflect on the meaning of each card in its position and how it relates to your journey of reconstructing faith.
  6. Journal your insights: Write down your thoughts and insights from the reading in a journal for future reference.

Remember to be patient with yourself and embrace the journey with compassion and openness.

Reconstructing Faith Sample Tarot Reading

1. Where I am on my Trauma Recovery Journey – The Emperor

The Emperor signifies structure, stability, and authority. In the context of your trauma recovery journey, you are at a point where you are establishing a strong foundation for your healing. This card suggests that you are taking control of your life and creating order out of the chaos that religious trauma may have caused.

I love the owl inlays in this card. Owl is one of my animal guides.

2. Reflecting on Personal Values – The Chariot

The Chariot represents determination, willpower, and forward movement. As you reflect on your personal values, this card indicates that you are focused on overcoming obstacles and staying true to your path. Your core beliefs are guiding you forward with a sense of purpose and direction.

3. Cultivating Self-Compassion – Ace of Cups (Chalices)

The Ace of Cups symbolises new emotional beginnings and the flow of compassion. This card encourages you to open your heart to self-love and kindness. Embracing self-compassion will nourish your soul and provide the emotional support you need during this journey.

While I love the Woman at the Well correspondence for the Ace of Cups in the Biblical Tarot, I equally love the association with Mother Mary in the RWS Tarot. Either way, this is my favourite card in any deck and seeing it here is making me feel supported on my self-love journey.

4. Embracing Spiritual Practices – 8 of Wands (Candles)

The 8 of Wands represents swift action, progress, and movement. In terms of spiritual practices, this card suggests that activities which bring quick and dynamic change will be beneficial to you. Light language springs to mind as a valid correspondence for the 8 of Wands.

5. Setting Boundaries – King of Pentacles (Grains)

The King of Pentacles embodies stability, security, and groundedness. Setting boundaries is essential for your mental and emotional well-being. Focus on your physical health and practical boundaries to protect yourself and to maintain a stable environment. Your body will tell you if anything is causing you distress.

6. Trusting Intuition – Queen of Cups (Chalices)

The Queen of Cups signifies intuition, sensitivity, and emotional depth. Trusting your intuition is about listening to your inner voice and embracing your emotional intelligence. This card encourages you to connect with your heart’s wisdom and let it guide you in reconstructing your faith.

7. Celebrating Progress – Judgment

The Judgement card represents rebirth, renewal, and awakening. As you celebrate your progress, you now find yourself at a crossroads. You are ready to level up but do you have the courage to leave the past behind completely?

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