You should never go to the grocery store hungry. You should never go to bed without brushing your teeth first. You should never clean up after a child who is perfectly capable of doing so herself (or himself). And you should never look for an answer from a deck of tarot cards while you are still upset about your question.
Well, never say never.
Of course it’s better to wait a few days, hold off on your question, cool off, chill out, meditate, gain some perspective, and generally ground. And that is usually the best approach.
But what if you are having trouble getting a sense of perspective? What if your question feels uber-urgent and it’s giving you such a case of the fidgets that you can’t even sit still to meditate? What if you are desperate for advice and have no one to turn to and you just feel you have to, have to, pull some cards? Is there a shortcut? Are there any tarot practices that can pull you back to earth in and of themselves?
The answer is no and yes.
No — nothing will help you the way time and breathing will. Sorry.
But yes — there are tarot practices that can calm you down and help to jumpstart your grounding and balancing practice. Here are three:
1. Ask your question using an oracle deck or angel card deck, instead of a traditional tarot deck, if possible. Oracle and angel card decks tend to be very positive and uplifting, and no matter what card you draw, you will likely find advice that is grounding and balancing. If you don’t have such a deck, you can find one online. One option that I really like is the Angels Teach website’s Ask the Angels page.
2. Use a regular tarot deck, but don’t ask your burning question. Instead, break your question down by asking the questions that lie around or that lead up to your “real” question. Ask what you are meant to learn from your current situation. Ask how the situation is affecting your state of mind. Ask what your next step should be. Ask why your particular burning question pushes your buttons so incredibly hard. By asking questions like these, you give yourself the chance to grow and develop as a person, which is what time and meditation (and maybe a little psychotherapy) would also do for you. You reorient yourself along spiritual lines — and that can’t help but be grounding.
3. Approach your question backwards — as if this were a game of Jeopardy. Ask “what is the real question here?” Or, do a two-card spread in which you ask “what is the answer I most want to receive?” and “why do I want to receive this particular answer?”
Any one of these three approaches can be very grounding and calming.
As a test, let’s apply this technique to my burning question: are the changes that I’m making to my business (shifting my focus away from science textbook writing, to concentrate on more spiritual and energy-related topics) right for me, and will these changes work out in the long run?
Approach #1: Angel/oracle card decks. I’ll try two in case you are not familiar with this kind of deck. First choice: Toni Carmine Salerno’s Universal Wisdom deck. I drew a card I’ve never drawn before from this deck: Power. These cards come with a booklet that has two pages related to this card, but the part that speaks the most to me are these words:
You can create the life your heart desires….True power is simply to stand in your own truth and take full responsibility…..True power is to have the courage to just be who you are regardless of what others may think. True power is to have the courage to speak your truth without judgment or fear of being judged.
You can see that I’m not getting a clear yes or a no from these cards, but a strong answer that essentially tells me that I already know what the answer is without even asking the cards. Yes, oracle cards will do that to you! See what I mean by grounding?
Okay, just for fun, let’s contrast with the angel cards that you can find online at the link above. Ask the Angels lets me choose one or three cards. So as to not keep you reading all day, I will choose one. Ask the Angels pulled up a card from another Toni Carmine Salerno deck (Angels, Gods, and Goddesses) in response to my question:
Goddess of the Unknown. The caption under the picture reads: “A new chapter in your life is around the corner. Remove fear and embrace the unknown.”
Again, a very grounding response. Not a totally clear answer (though I view it as positive, one could interpret it as a “no answer will be forthcoming at this time”), but a clear message to set aside fear, stop worrying, and know that all will be well either way.
Approach #2: Using a traditional Rider-Waite tarot deck, I’ll pull three cards:
1) What am I meant to learn from my present situation? Answer: The Tower
2) How is this business change affecting my state of mind? Answer: reversed Six of Swords.
3) What should be my next step? Answer: The Devil.
I wasn’t exactly thrilled with these three cards! But they do show the cards’ ability to take your perspective on a matter and turn it around or give you a different angle. Question 1: The Tower: so am I meant to experience a sudden flash of realization that blows my world apart? I love that kind of learning, but, um…
Question 2: Reversed Six of Swords: my state of mind is such that I need some distance to to try to sort things out, but at the same time, I may be getting too distant. I may be procrastinating and avoiding jumping right into this, or I may be packing along some baggage that is slowing me down (or if I want to interpret this card literally, a little person may be slowing me down, as always, but someone else is helping to push me forward with a pole).
Question 3: And The Devil as my suggested next step? I had to really think about this one, but I view this as several messages in one. My first thought was that it was a warning to set good working habits right from the start, and avoid addictive bad habits (or possibly a warning that I shouldn’t be doing this at all and may suffer from a tarot addiction!). My next thought, though, was that to make a business work, you almost have to become obsessed with your work. In some ways, starting a new business or new type of business is one of the few times when a neurotic obsession with a particular area is actually productive. I view this card as a call to dive in even further and allow myself to be somewhat obsessed for a while.
Approach #3: Again I used a Rider-Waite deck. What is the real question here — the question I should be asking? Answer: The Devil. Again with The Devil! Well, I said this was my burning question, and there are actual flames on this card. Is my interpretation of this card above enough, or is there more to ponder? I think there may be more (a lot more), but I won’t bore you all with it — I think you get the general idea. When you ask questions about your burning question that are not the burning question itself, you inevitably wind up with serious food for thought that can take the ache out of the question and, basically, cut out the work of grounding for you — and by cut out, I don’t mean take it away so you can skip it — what I mean is to cut it out as if it were a sewing project so that you can calm down and get to work on it.
Don’t skip meditation. But if you are too agitated to meditate, try using a tarot grounding strategy first to bring peace and balance back into your mind so that you can really get down to business doing whatever it is that you need to do.