The other day, I came across one of those top 10 lists that are so popular in the world of Tarot and glib metaphysical advertising. I’ve been guilty of creating a few of those top 10 lists myself… but this one got me thinking. It was labeled ‘Top 10 Healing Cards.’ My brain instantly went ‘No such thing!’. Healing is found in the balance between the Elements and through working through each of the lessons in the Major Arcana. No one (or ten) card takes precedence of the other cards as a card of healing or indicative of a need for healing.
I stated how I felt about this in the comment thread under the original post and unleashed the inevitable shit-storm for even having an opinion. Tarot readers can be a right prickly lot. Apparently, we should all be grateful that someone puts these lists together to help beginners learn the Tarot. I’m sorry. I’m not going to be grateful when someone bastardises the Tarot as the tool par excellence for holistic healing. But I promised everyone who commented to write an educational blog post on the matter. So here we are.
Let me break it down for you:
The Major Arcana contains all the spiritual lessons the incarnated soul must navigate on Earth in order to return to a whole and innocent state of being. This process is called ‘soul alchemy’ or ‘the Great Work’ by some. The journey through the spiritual lessons of the Majors also relates to what is known as Tikkun Olam in kabbalistic thought, i.e. the work of repairing the world we live in.
The Minor Arcana represents the four classical Elements of Fire, Water, Air and Earth. Any disease is indicative of an imbalance of these four elements and their corresponding humors (liquids), i.e. yellow bile, phlegm, blood and black bile respectively.
Thus in a reading, a seemingly positive card, such as the 9 of Cups could be indicative of too much phlegm building up on a physical level and a lack of boundaries on an emotional level.
When you start learning to read the Tarot, you will end up confusing yourself if you associate only a few of the cards with healing. It will also lead to an erroneous understanding of how the Tarot works as a holistic system of healing. If you tear it apart and make it smaller than it is, in order to use it for fortune-telling, you end up paying a heavy price in terms of a perpetual (though thankfully reversible) lack of wisdom and understanding.
Is this simplistic view of the cards what Tarot educators should encourage in beginners to ‘help’ them… or should we help them understand all that the Tarot is capable of by giving them an overview from the very start? I know which approach I prefer!
I do all I can to continuously educate people about the almost limitless potential of the Tarot when it comes to healing. On this page, I have put together many free Tarot resources, such as tools, tips and Tarot spreads suited for every level, from beginner to advanced/pro.
However, I’m not allowed to share these free resources in the Tarot group on Facebook where the Top 10 Healing Cards list was posted because it would be considered advertising according to the group admin, even though this group is supposedly a group for learning Tarot that has attracted a fair few beginners (there are many Tarot groups for beginners on FB), so I’m sharing it here.