Tarot has many uses, and one day I intend to write a blog post detailing the ones I go to most commonly, but today, I want to tackle just one - communicating with spirit.
Before we get into techniques, I first want to distinguish this method of using tarot from regular spirit-chat when it comes to divination or reflective readings. When I'm doing a reading, especially for others, I often refer to the messages received as having "come from spirit". So, when I send email reports out, I'll have lines that read "spirit says..." or "spirit wants you to know...". This is not me specifically communicating with a deceased loved one, for example, but simply put, I use the word "spirit" to describe a large body of otherworldlyness - i.e. your spirit guide team, your higher self, the divine source etc.
But, that doesn't mean you can't get more specific with this tool and actually approach it with the intention of direct contact. Before I move forward, let me point out that I am not a medium. That doesn't mean I don't have medium-like moments, or conversations with those who have passed - but these occurrences are not well tapped or controlled, so I cannot call myself a medium and I would never make claim to or sell medium-like services. This is a whole other gift and skill-set that would be best left to others to fill you in on. And the good news is, you don't have to be a medium to use tarot to connect and communicate. Just like you don't need to be a medium to use an ouija board. You simply need to be present, set the intention, and know your tool - tarot being our tool of choice for the purpose of this article.
So, how does one use tarot to communicate with their ancestors, crossed loved ones or spirit guide team specifically? There are different ways you can approach this, but first you should start with intention. Who are you wishing to connect with?
If you are looking to connect with a loved one who has passed, then I would hold that intention in my awareness to start. Secondly, I may want to ground the session by isolating a card from the tarot deck that I feel represents this individual. If it's a grandmother for example, maybe one of the queens or kings (remember, traits are more informing than gender when considering the court characters). You could also achieve the same effect by grabbing a picture of them or an object that is somehow meaningful.
With the card (or object) isolated and the intention set, it's time to ask questions. You can either have a set of pre-formulated questions and pull the cards in a spread like formation. Or, you can start with one question and then depending on the answer you receive, shuffle and ask another. This is my favorite method because it allows some flexibility and ultimately feels more conversational
Let me give you an example. This week, I found an envelop my grandmother kept for my filled with a bunch of pictures from old modelling gigs. In this envelop, I also found a picture of the two of us, so I used this to ground and anchor the reading, similar to the method described above where you select a card from the deck to represent the individual you're reaching out to. Below I will share some of the questions I asked, the cards I received and the messages I intuited so you can get a sense of how a session like this may go.
What card do you feel best represents you from the tarot deck? King of Pentacles
I would have picked the Queen of Cups for my grandmother, but then it occurred to me that of course I saw her this way. I came to know her obviously late in her life but before me, there were a whole other set of circumstances that dictated who she was and ultimately, who she ended up feeling like. Yes, she was warm and all that, but she was also very practical and grounded. On top of that, she worked her ass off her whole life. My grandfather was troubled (he'd stopped drinking by the time I knew him) and left her with two kids to raise on her own. She had to work multiple jobs and it meant my dad and his sister were alone - a lot. So, she really had to be both the mother and the father figure and keep it all together. After talking myself through this one, it made a lot more sense.
What was your passing like? 3 of Wands
This is like looking out into the great unknown; full of possibilities. There is almost a sense of eagerness here too - to get going and embark on the next leg of the journey. This fills me with a lot of hope that the very end was a more positive experience than what we sometimes fear it will be.
What is something you're doing now? 2 of Wands
Interesting flow here. I read this as her still having a hand in helping others here on Earth make a similar transition. The character in the 2 of Wands overlooks a landscape with the world in their hands. It's like she's watching, plotting, helping others plan their exits and entrances.
What big lesson did you learn in your incarnation? 4 of Wands reversed
Before I pulled this card, I felt a deep pull in my gut that signaled some sense of discontentment, boredom or lack of excitement in regards to life. When I saw the 4 of Wands reversed, my sense was that the lesson was about not letting these feelings overwhelm and to make an effort to find something to celebrate. To cultivate the life you want, do the things you enjoy and love the space you're in. And if you don't - do something about it.
What advice do you have for me right now? 7 of Pentacles
I've pulled a lot of shadowy cards the last couple days, all telling me I need to wait to get what I want; telling me I need to put plans on hold and trust. Now, the 7 of Pentacles straight from my grandmother reinforces the universe's intentions for me. I need to stop rushing to find it and figure it out. It is in the process of unfolding, but it's not ready to be picked just yet.
That right there was a snapshot of the conversation - not the whole thing, but what I felt most comfortable to share. In the session described above, I did not shuffle the cards back in the deck after picking them, but you certainly could. You could also use multiple decks or bring oracle into the mix as well.
While that was an example of reaching out to a passed loved one, you could also use this method to tap into your spirit guide team. If you wanted to hold a conversation with a member of your team who you are not familiar with, you could do so in the same way as described above, however, the first couple questions might be framed around who they are and aspects of their being, to help you acquaint yourself. Here are some example questions to get started:
- How would you describe yourself?
- What type of work do you do as a guide?
- What are your strengths as a guide?
- What are you currently helping me with?
Connecting with our loved ones or guides doesn't have to be complicated and we don't need to have any special abilities. We simply need to be open and show up - they're always there anyway, might as well reach out every now and then and say hi!
If you'd like to learn more methods for connecting with your spirit guide team, check out my course Spirit Guides: Bridging the Connection. It's got the 101, a guided meditation, plus a 30 day immersive to really take your relationship with one special member of your team to the next level.
And if you have any questions about my processes or want to share your own, hit me up in the comments!