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It used to be that people thought Tarot cards were only for psychics. Now therapists and counselors of all types have started to use them to better connect with their clients.
The truth about the Tarot is that it is fascinating and holds a lot of allure from a wide range of people from all walks of life. Whether you believe in psychic abilities or not, you probably still enjoy learning about the cards and their meanings. Developed from repeated usage over more than two hundred years, the definitions have become a part of our own mythology. They can help give us insights into who we are by interpreting each card's imagery.
The symbology of the Tarot evolved over time. The deck wasn't initially created as a divination tool but as a means of recreation. Eventually, a Frenchman, Jean-Baptise Alliette, back in the late 1700s added elements of astronomy and the four elements within the deck. Over time this transformed into broader interpretations into what we now primarily call the Rider-Waite deck.
More decks have popped up over the last forty years by various artists, psychics, and spiritual healers. These decks also have their unique meanings and values, but none of them hold the psychological hold as the Rider-Waite deck.
Tarot as Memory Exercises
For therapists working with people who are struggling with memory issues because of depression, Tarot serves as a great and fun memory exercise for them. Interacting with the cards allows them to recall details with each new day they review the cards. Clients dealing with depression can do an auditory recall with their therapist of each card's meaning and what the cards look like. As they strengthen their ability to recall information, they begin to evolve their perspective and become more aware of their own personal narrative. Tarot then serves as a way to enhance their neural pathways and re-ignite a passion for the purpose at a time where they may feel lost. It becomes a map out of the maze of darkness.
Tarot as Archetypes
The Major Arcana is filled with archetypes that help us understand our roles in the world around us. Psychics who regularly use Tarot understand the archetypes even better than therapists but won't use them in the same way. When a therapist uses Tarot as a way to understand Archetypes, it's more for inner growth to understand the Self rather than trying to predict a timeline of events or connect with their clients' ancestors. Taking apart the deck from a Jungian perspective, we begin to see the Wands are intuition, Cups are our feelings, Swords are how we are thinking, and Pentacles are for physical sensations. Working with archetypes in this manner can assist people in understanding their emotions which may be blocked due to trauma. Creating a dialogue using this as a baseline can transform revealing therapeutic conversations that the client can take with them after a session has ended.
Tarot as Storytelling
Storytelling has long been a way of healing, and using it with Tarot cards is no different. With Tarot, the ability to tell stories is comprehensive with no limits. With an expansion of the use of archetypes, clients can interact with a group of cards to help them unravel and understand past events and relationship patterns. This becomes not just an exercise to do within the therapy session but a means of therapeutic expression outside of the session for their continued growth and awareness. As the client further engages with their subconscious mind, their creativity and sense of joy become heightened. Curiosity and playfulness with these cards can play a significant role in boosting one's mood while helping one cope with life and traumatic events.
Tarot as a Journaling Exercise
Using an individual Tarot card a full reading spread is a great journaling exercise to help one process and make meaning out of their life and how they see themselves and their place in the world. Psychics will often do journaling exercises with Tarot as a way to develop their third eye and engage with the spiritual realm. Still, it can also be used for personal development. When we journal, we engage in the process of self-discovery. Journaling helps us uncover patterns and reveal things hidden in our subconscious mind. When Tarot is used as a part of a journaling exercise for therapeutic purposes, it can also be combined with dream journaling for a powerful combination. Anyone who uses Tarot for journaling is on a serious journey for soul growth and spiritual evolution.
Tarot as part of Behavioral Therapy
As part of Behavioral Therapy, Tarot can serve as a way to open up new ways of thinking. Sometimes when therapists and social workers work with clients, the goal isn't always to get them to do intense therapy but to find creative ways and outlets to help them gain new perspectives. By interacting with one card a day, clients can make meaningful connections with the imagery and meanings associated with the cards. What they decide to do with those messages is up to them and gives them control over their behavior choices and attitudes for the day.
Tarot card reading has benefits outside of seeing your future. It's a tool for spiritual enlightenment and personal growth that can be used outside its' intended or well-understood purpose. Psychics use Tarot cards for spiritual growth and psychic development, but all kinds of therapists and counselors are now using them to assist with client's mental health and wellbeing.
It can be fun and encourage social interaction. People love having a tarot card reading done, even if it is just for entertainment. Being able to share that knowledge and gift with others is a way to connect with others and make new friends, which has become increasingly important these days.
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