A Self-Care practise for the Secular Soul by Backyard Banshee

Many years ago I remember going to a little local holistic shop and sitting above it to learn the Tarot with the owner each week. It was a practice I really enjoyed learning about, although I’m not sure I could remember much now. So when I was contacted by Lizzie to see if she could share some of her insight into tarot with you all I thought it would be an interesting post to share.

Tarot has been around for centuries as a form of divination, used to gain insight into the future. But tarot doesn’t have to be relegated solely to those with spiritual inclinations. In this blog post, we’ll explore what tarot is, and how you can use it as a self-care practice even if you don’t consider yourself particularly “spiritual.” Tarot can help you check in with yourself on a monthly basis, and provide guidance during times of stress or transition.

What is Tarot?

Selection of tarot cards on a red table setting with a cluster of crystals.

Tarot can be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with it. There are 78 cards in a tarot deck, divided into two sections: the Major and Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana are the 22 “trump” cards that represent major life events or archetypes, while the Minor Arcana are the 56 “suit” cards that represent the day-to-day ups and downs we all experience. Tarot decks will also usually include a few extra cards, called “Wildcards” or “Jokers.” When I do a reading for myself? I often feel like I’m the Joker in the deck, and get given a lot of sass sometimes!

Most tarot decks follow a similar structure, with some variations in art and symbolism. The tarot can be traced back to 15th century Italy, where it was used as a game for the richer societies before it became associated with divination. Tarot has been used by many different cultures over the centuries for a variety of purposes. There are lots of French occult fanatics who sped up this process but in short, it was Court De Gebelin who decided that the tarot depicted universal messages of wisdom passed down from the Egyptian god Thoth to be spread amongst the world in secret – disguised as artwork to prevent persecution and so that knowledge wouldn’t fall into the wrong hands.

What can the Tarot be used for?

Tarot cards in a pile with a few on show next to it

The tarot can be an incredibly helpful tool for self-care, providing monthly check-ins and guidance during difficult times. If you’re new to tarot, start by doing some research on the different decks available. There are tarot decks for all kinds of interests, from Harry Potter to Jane Austen. I’ve recently invested in a Schitt’s Creek tarot deck that I cannot wait to use! Runaway David as the Hermit had me instantly “adding to cart”. Once you’ve chosen a deck, take some time to familiarize yourself with the meanings of the cards. Many tarot decks come with a guidebook that can help you get started and there are plenty of ways to learn tarot online.

Once you’ve chosen your deck, why not interview it to see how it’s going to help you? Just like getting to know a new acquaintance or friend, there are ways to place cards to answer questions, called tarot spreads. I have an entire collection of various fun and unique tarot spreads for you to try on my website. I have a Moonchild Tarot that when I read this spread, showed me it would be there to spiritually support me and nurture me when I was feeling drained. I have a Drag Race Tarot deck that showed me that it was going to deliver curt, frank, and honest answers – and I loved that. 

And I have a Goddess Guidance Oracle deck that showed me it was going to show me support, encouragement, and lots of love. You don’t have to use tarot spreads just for tarot – oracle, Lenormand, angel cards, affirmation decks.. they can all be beneficial!

Tarot is a long term practice

tarot cards and crystals on a wooden backdrop

When you are having a bit of a low-energy day, or when you are in a situation you’d like some introspective insight.. pull a card. The meaning will be there for you, even if it’s not what you wanted to hear. Tarot is a great way to get in touch with your intuition and connect with yourself on a deeper level. One benefit of tarot as a self-care practice is that it can provide monthly check-ins. 

By taking some time each month to shuffle and draw cards, you can get a sense of how you’re progressing and what might be coming up for you in the near future based on your current behaviours. Tarot can be the tool to provide you with accountability and honesty when you don’t feel like having your friends do this for you. Tarot is a great way to explore what you need, and what you should incorporate more into your practice; believe it or not, Tarot has cards that have associations with good cooking, getting out in nature, or going on holiday/taking breaks with family, and of even meditation.

If tarot isn’t your thing, that’s okay! It took me multiple attempts to connect with tarot, and I only connected when I found the right deck artwork for me, as well as when I explored other methods of divination such as Numerology. If you’d like to know more about tarot, come and check out all the tarot spreads + and information we have provided on our website!

Thank you so much for reading and happy exploring! X

This article was contributed by Lizzie. “I’m Lizzie from Backyard Banshee, a secular witch and divination provider who enjoys big chats over tea, biz triumphs and tarot. You can find me on backyardbanshee.com

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Are you looking to find out more about the Tarot, then this post by Backyard Banshee will help you see how to use it as part of your self-care.

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