I’ve already shared a tarot spread to help connect with your body and its unique needs and wants. With the new year well upon us and all the stress that it can entail, this feels like a good time to give that same treatment to the mind!
Now, full disclosure: I am much more familiar with physical challenges than mental ones. I’m pretty confident I have some undiagnosed sensory processing issues (I’m working on the whole diagnosis thing this year) and I am diagnosed with generalized anxiety. But I’ve had much more experience talking to doctors and peers about chronic pain and fatigue than I’ve had talking to doctors and peers about mental health conditions or neurodivergence (ND). As the blog continues to find its footing, my plan is to interview witches with all manner of disabilities, chronic illnesses, mental health conditions, and neurodivergences. But in the meantime, know that this is a very general mind-focused tarot spread, created by someone who’s operating in the overlap that we all share (in other words, that our brains and bodies function very differently than abled and/or neurotypical folks’ brains and bodies). And if there are ways that I could be doing better here, please do feel free to reach out and let me know! As I’ve said before, disability/ND is an enormous category that covers a dizzying variety of conditions and limitations. I want this to be a space for all of us to come together and share our challenges and the resourceful ways we might address those challenges.
With that gigantic disclaimer out of the way, let’s take a look at the spread of the day!
As in the case of our body needs tarot spread, first take a few minutes to connect with your mind and your thoughts in whatever ways are comfortable/safe. A few possibilities:
- Set a timer for five minutes and free write, doing your best not to stop your pen, just writing down anything that comes to mind. You could also do this by recording a voice memo.
- Spend a few moments outside or at a window, just noticing anything that catches your attention
- Meditate in whatever way works best for you
- Do an activity that is somewhat tactile and repetitive, like needlework, folding laundry, etc. As you go, pay attention to what thoughts and feelings arise
- Talk to a friend or family member about whatever might be top of mind at the moment.
Once you feel ready, grab your tarot deck, shuffle in whatever way you prefer, and lay out five cards in the following positions:
- What is weighing me down? (Fatigue, depression, burnout, etc.)
- What is overloading me? (Anxiety, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, etc.)
- What else is on my mind?
- Who can I ask for help?
- What gift can I give my mind today?
As always, here is a sample of the spread that I did for myself.
(Not my best work, photo-wise, but I was in a coffee shop. What can you do.) I used the Sasuraibito Tarot for this reading.
What is weighing me down and what is overloading me? Both of my “what’s going on” positions at the top here have Wands, which is pretty interesting. I interpret that to mean that I’m pushing myself too hard to be creative and active when sometimes I need to let myself rest and recharge–not just from a physical standpoint, but a mental standpoint, too. Page of Wands weighing me down suggests that I’m trying to BE the Page of Wands–creative, sparky, always flitting from one idea to the next–but when I’m overwhelmed, this inspirational image of myself becomes heavy and makes me feel guilty that I’m not living up. And similarly, the Seven of Wands is spinning me into anxiety and overload because I’m trying so hard to be unique and prove to the world that what I have to offer is special and worthwhile. I don’t need to prove anything.
What else is on my mind? We have Four of Cups, which is often a harbinger of apathy or boredom. Because I am currently focusing all my energy and time on this blog and my writing endeavors, there’s a fear lurking in the back of my mind that I’ll grow lethargic. I’ll rest on my laurels and let my creativity go stagnant. On a more positive note, this is a card that often pops up for my relationship with my partner E (not in a “this is a boring relationship which you’re apathetic about” way, but in a “we are each other’s comfortable places” way). It’s a good, warm, affirming relationship, and the fact that it’s on my mind is a bright spot to focus on.
Who can I ask for help? Sometimes this can bring up more of an abstract suggestion, like “here’s the type of person you might need to reach out for” or even “here’s an energy you need to cultivate in yourself.” In this case, though, my cards gave me a very concrete answer: for me, the King of Cups is always, always my dad. I unfortunately can’t go directly to him, being that he is an ancestor and not a tangible person in my day-to-day. But I haven’t done any tarot readings specifically for him recently, so this might be a nudge that he’d have insight to share if I intentionally opened the line of communication.
What gift can I give my mind today? Again, this is a dang clear response from the cards: Four of Swords means REST. Rest is not the same thing as apathy or lethargy, and in fact it is intentional rest (both physically and mentally) that gives me the oomph to keep doing the creative things. Also, Four of Swords is another ancestor card for me; my dad’s dad, Grampa Bennie, likes to use this card to say hello. Could be another reminder that ancestor work is a space for rest and reconnecting, too. But most importantly, I need to stop seeing rest as a fail state and instead see it as important and productive. And just because I’m not physically exerting myself, I may not be resting my mind, too. That is equally important.
As in the case of the “what does my body need” spread, if you draw a blank as you look at your cards, consider jotting down some notes or taking a picture of the spread. Things may click later on, and you’ll want something to refer back to at that time. And feel free to drop questions or spread-related thoughts in the comments–I’d love to chat!
And meanwhile HOLY HECK MY BOOK COMES OUT IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS! I’ve heard pre-orders have started going out already, so now is a great time to order your copy!