A POWERFUL TAROT RITUAL FOR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Tarot is for more than just divination. I also believe that the Tarot is a powerful tool for personal development.
In today’s episode, I’m sharing a powerful Tarot ritual that you can use for your own personal development and deep soul work. Each time I do this ritual, I have had such an enriching experience on a very personal level, so I wanted to share it with each of you.
In today’s episode, you’ll learn:
- How I developed this personal development ritual when I was in Spain with my family
- The exact process I take, and questions I ask when conducting this ritual
- Ten ideas for how you can use this process for yourself
Learn how to develop your own personal Tarot retreat
Get free Tarot tips on the Biddy Tarot blog
You’re listening to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, and this is Episode 81: A Powerful Tarot Ritual for Personal Development.
Welcome to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, where you'll learn how to connect more deeply with your intuition and live an empowered and enlightened life with the Tarot cards as your guide.
Listen as Brigit and her guests share their very best tips and strategies to help you read Tarot with confidence. Now, here is your host, Brigit Esselmont.
TAROT FOR PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Hello, and welcome back to the Biddy Tarot Podcast. As always, I am absolutely delighted to be talking with you about Tarot. Now, today, I’m sharing a powerful Tarot ritual that you can use for your own personal development and deep soul work. It’s a ritual that I have put into practice a couple of times—perhaps I’d like to do a little bit more of it. Each time I’ve done it, I have just had such an enriching experience on a very personal level, and it’s a ritual I want to share with you today.
Now, before we get into today’s episode, I want to say a huge thank-you to everyone who sent in a review for this podcast and shared their feedback and comments. Remember: If you love the Biddy Tarot Podcast, I would be so appreciative for you to pop on over to iTunes and leave a star rating and a review. It really helps us get Tarot in front of the right people and lots of people.
This first piece of feedback comes from Angelica2650 from the U.S. She writes: “I attempted to learn Tarot years ago and quickly gave up trying to memorise the cards. I busted out an old deck back in September and tried to work with it again. But I knew I had to do it differently if I wanted to learn. Lo and behold, I found and binged listened to the entire catalogue of Biddy Tarot episodes in the fall, and I’m already much more of a proficient Tarot reader than I could ever have imagined. I cannot stress enough—listen to this podcast!” Thank you so much, Angelica. I really, really appreciate it very, very much.
Now, the second review that I want to celebrate and say thank you for is from Anna at ThePoshBody.com. She is in the U.S. I actually had the delight of meeting Anna when I was in Portland with her partner, and they were just an absolutely gorgeous couple. Anna writes: “This amazing free resource is perfect for when you're learning Tarot or when you're interested in developing a Tarot business. Brigit is down to earth, funny, easy to understand, and gives you action items from each episode. Her interviews are thoughtful and interesting, and I’m always very inspired and excited about all things Tarot after listening. Thank you, Brigit.” Thank you, Anna. I truly appreciate it.
Again, if you would like to leave a review, I would be very, very appreciative, so just bump on over to iTunes and leave your review there. Let’s get into today’s episode.
A POWERFUL TAROT RITUAL
As I said at the start, this is about a very powerful ritual that you can do with your Tarot cards, your intuition, your soul, to really dive deep into where you’re at in the present and how you can connect with your soul, your soul work, and really develop yourself on that personal level. I think Tarot is just incredibly powerful when it comes to using the cards for yourself and going beyond just the simple “Oh, I’ve got a question. I’ll do a reading and find out what the cards mean.”
Instead, this is about really connecting to something much deeper, and it's not really where the Tarot cards are a focus. The Tarot cards support the process, but they're not the main focus, I suppose. So, let me just tell you first about an experience that I had a couple of years ago when I incorporated Tarot into this ritual.
BACK IN 2015, I WAS IN SPAIN WITH MY FAMILY.
We had been travelling for about three months—absolutely beautiful. We were in this really beautiful, mountainous area in the north of Spain. I had been really focused on doing work, taking care of the family, and travelling around, and I just felt like I really needed to have some time to myself to connect, and knowing that I was in this absolutely beautiful, sacred space… I can't tell you—the energy there was just amazing.
So, I felt called to just go out into the wilderness for an afternoon with my Tarot cards, my journal, and a bottle of water, to be honest—really simple stuff. All I needed to do was just go out there and reconnect with my soul, using the Tarot cards to help.
So, I said to my husband, “I’m off for the next few hours. I’ll be back before the sun sets.” I let him know kind of where I was going. I didn’t really know where I was going myself, but I said, “I’m probably going to be around this area.” Off I went, into the car, through the mountains.
I eventually stopped at a little car park at the foot of a mountainous area. I walked along the path a little bit. I had my Tarot cards in hand. I didn’t really need to walk far, but I found this little valley, and I thought, “Yeah, this feels really good.”
I started walking around for probably ten minutes, just feeling out this space and this earth, to find what place was really calling me. A place that was going to be comfortable. A place that had a beautiful view of the mountains. A place that was in the sun to keep me warm. And a place that just felt like it was in resonance with my feeling at that time. I eventually found this little place, laid out my blanket, got my water out, got my cards out. Yes, I have to admit I got my iPhone out, so I could take photos of my cards as I went. I really started to settle in.
The first thing that I did, once I had laid out my little space, was I felt like I need to connect with nature first and almost have the land’s blessing for me to be there. I collected some beautiful things, like little rocks, some flowers from the immediate area. I laid out a circle around me. I placed the stones and the flowers, laid the circle around me, and I sat in the middle. I set the intention that this was now my sacred space, and I was sitting in my sacred circle to do this sacred work.
I sat there in this little place, and I felt like, “Yep, this feels good. OK, what do I feel like is coming next?” The next thing that I did was just close my eyes and ground myself. I brought myself back into a centred place and connected with my breathing and sat there, with the intention of clearing my mind and becoming really present with where I was at.
I started to become more aware of the ground beneath my bum, where I was sitting, the ground underneath me. And the smells that I could smell—the grass, the earth, the trees, all that beautiful stuff. And then the sounds that I could hear—the birds, even the people. There were people hiking through the area a little bit further away, so I didn’t feel disrupted. I took in all of these different senses really, again, just to become present with where I was at.
When I felt like I had done enough of that, I was like, “OK, yep, good.” I opened my eyes. Amazingly, when I opened my eyes, everything just seemed so bright and colourful, and I really just drank it all it just to add to that sensory experience that I was creating for myself. I noticed the mountains and the changes in the landscape, the sky, the trees. And then I was looking down in front of me and just noticing all those fine details in front of me—the grass, the little ants crawling on the grass, a little spider here and there, all of that good stuff—again, with this intention of just bringing myself into the space.
At that point, I was just so filled with good feelings that I felt like the next thing that I wanted to do was just express gratitude for this space allowing me to be there and for all of this beauty to be created around me. So, I just expressed the gratitude for that, and then it felt like it was time to go into the Tarot cards and use the cards to connect in with my intuition.
So, the first thing that I asked my Tarot cards was:
WHAT DOES MY SOUL WISH TO TELL ME?
It’s a pretty basic question—something nice and light! Just kidding. So, I shuffled the cards, and the card that I drew for this question was the Nine of Pentacles reversed. My brain kind of switched into Tarot gear and said, “Oh, that cards means this around worth,” and so on. But I thought, “No, no, no—I want to go deeper. I’m not here just to regurgitate Tarot card meanings.”
I really just drank in the imagery of this card, and then I closed my eyes, and I meditated on the card, and I connected in with the energy of the card. I allowed this card to come up into my mind’s eye, and I explored the different elements of the card. I explored what it felt like to be the woman in this card, in this beautiful garden with the bird on her arm, surrounded by beautiful plants—even that little snail that crawls through the Nine of Pentacles. I was just taking in all of this energy.
Then, when I felt full, I opened my eyes, and I opened my journal, and I started writing.
I was free writing, so whatever was coming to me, I was writing it down. It didn't really matter if it was deeply insightful or if it was just something small; I just wrote it down. I spend a good ten or fifteen minutes just writing and writing, just allowing it to flow and unfold because I find that's what happens. When we free write with the cards, it's just this gentle unfolding, and we allow ourselves to go even deeper into not just the Tarot card but our intuition. It's this unfolding process that takes us so much beyond what's in the Tarot book.
I came to a point where I felt like, “Yes, that feels good. I’m done there. My work there is done for now.” I felt that before I needed to get into the cards again, I wanted to do something that honoured the spirit and the message of this Tarot card.
For me, at that point in time, it was about creating beauty and beautiful things.
Again, I stood up, and I found some more beautiful things, and I placed them all in front of me, and I spent a good amount of time just looking at one of the wildflowers that I had picked, looking deeply into that flower and just noticing its beauty—and this was all inspired by that Nine of Pentacles reversed. It was almost like a ritual within a ritual to honour the card and the message that I had received. So, I did this for a little bit of time, and I journaled my insights as I was going through this process.
Then I felt like it was time to switch the focus a little bit. When I was going through the journaling process, I felt like something was wanting to emerge and come through. So, my next question for the cards was:
WHAT IS EMERGING?
I drew the Temperance card. Again, same kind of process. I went through free writing with this card. In fact, let me just share with you some of the things that came out. I’m not sharing this because it was so deeply profound but just to give you an idea of what was flowing at that time.
“Being in flow, from one side to the other. Never quite in perfect balance or harmony, but that is not the idea. Gently moving through light and shade, ebb and flow. Nothing is in perfect balance, and that's OK. Ebb and flow lead to the chosen path. A bit of this, and a bit of that. Stay connected to the universe, and you'll always be guided towards your path, navigating the bumps along the road. And it is bumpy, but that's OK.”
These were these beautiful messages that were just coming out through my intuitive self into my journal. They didn’t have to be way out there, but they were important to me at that point in time. Even just this very act of writing down the words was like the medicine. The medicine was working.
I really see this process as if it were a medicine because when you go and take a tablet, you don’t have to take that tablet and go, “OK, well, this chemical is now doing this in my body so that it can work,” right? We just take the tablet. We know what it’s going to do, and we let it do its work.
It’s the same in this journaling process or this Tarot ritual. We do the work, or we make it happen, and then the rest of it just unfolds as it needs to. You don’t necessarily need to be there going, “OK, well I’ve got to take this insight, and I’ve got to make it happen over here.” Again, it’s this gentle unfolding that happens.
So, back to this ritual, what I did was, again, a similar process with the Temperance card—the free writing, connecting in with my soul and my intuition, and really honouring that process. I’m just trying to recall… I may have drawn a couple more cards inspired from those, but it was really about just taking it moment by moment and following my gut and my intuition about what I needed to do next.
I come to the end of this process. I felt full, so I spent a few more moments in meditation by just closing my eyes and re-centering and then giving thanks to nature, to the universe, to me, my intuition, to everything for allowing this experience to unfold and emerge.
Again, once I felt like I was done, I opened my eyes. I closed the circle mostly by literally picking up the stones and throwing them back into nature in their beautiful, random way, and then packing my bags and walking back to the car and going home. Nothing really out there, but it was an important process just to acknowledge and honour that it was now closed.
I can’t tell you how refreshed and rejuvenated I felt after that experience.
It just felt great that I had finally made this time to honour what my soul needed in this process. It was just really enriching. Now I’m sitting here two years later, thinking, “Man, why don’t I do this more often?” So, maybe this podcast episode is a good prompt not just for you but also for me to do more of this kind of work.
IDEAS FOR YOU TO USE
I wanted just to take that experience that I had and share with you some ideas of how you could make it work in your life.
1. Make sure you give yourself at least an hour (or more, ideally) for this kind of process to happen.
Ideally, you might take half a day or even a full day or even a few days. You could totally integrate this into a beautiful retreat. I know many of you really enjoyed the previous podcast episode that I did on retreats. Let me see if I can find you… When was that? Which one was it? Ah yes, nice—that was episode 64, which you can find at BiddyTarot.com/64. That’s all about how you can use Tarot for a personal retreat. Make sure you make yourself the time to really dive deep into this process.
2. Choose somewhere that you're going to feel comfortable but also in a natural setting.
When I say “comfortable,” I mean a few things. Make sure there is somewhere comfy that you can sit. If you’re not great at sitting on the ground, take along a little chair or a cushion—whatever you need to feel really good and comfy because you're going to be sitting there for at least an hour, maybe two, maybe three hours.
You also want to choose a place where you don’t feel like you’ll be disturbed or watched or anything along those lines. I really like to be away from where people are because I get a little bit self-conscious. Maybe you feel the same. Or maybe you don’t mind being somewhere where others will see you, and that’s OK as well. Again, just find a place where you feel comfortable.
Ideally, this is somewhere in nature, away from manmade things, if you can. It might be a forest, a beach, possibly even the botanical gardens—a little bit manmade, but hey, I get it. If you’re living in a city, it’s a little bit more tricky to find those special places. It might be near some water—wherever it might be.
3. Take along a notebook, a pen, your Tarot cards, Oracle cards, crystals—whatever you feel will add to your process.
Also, be practical and take some water with you, and take some food. After we do this kind of soul work, it’s really lovely to have some nourishing food, luscious food, some chocolate! Your favourite raspberries—I think raspberries are divine. Take this food along with you so that after you finish your work, you can then nourish yourself and your soul and ground yourself.
4. Finally, once you arrive at this place that you have in mind, feel your way around the place.
There will be a certain spot that is calling you, so give yourself time to find where that place is, and then, eventually, settle there. Lay out everything that you need. Have everything within arm’s reach. And then you can start to create your sacred space.
It might be like I did it with setting out little rocks. You might find sticks. You might draw something in the ground. Whatever feels good to you, and whatever you feel intuitively led to. You might also like to call in the four directions, your guardian angels—whatever connects you to this sacred space.
5. Now, when it comes to the actual ritual, what I want you to do is just be intuitively led.
There is no step-by-step process. This ritual will not be the same every single time that you do it. You don’t have to follow certain rules and so on, but instead, be so present with yourself that you know and feel where you are in the process and what you need to do next.
And that’s certainly what I experienced when I was doing it in the Spanish mountains. I didn’t know what this whole ritual would look like from start to finish. I just got in there and started going and feeling my way through it. As a side note, this is what will help also strengthen your intuition, and it helps connect you even more to your intuition as well.
Ideally, move intuitively through the ritual, and trust your intuition to show you what it is that you need from this ritual. Create a full-sensory experience for yourself. Make sure that you're paying attention to what you can see, to what you can hear, to what you can smell, to what you feel, maybe even to what you taste. Salty air, perhaps, if you're by the ocean. Use that sensory experience to really ground yourself and become present with where you're at.
6. You might also like to incorporate other modalities into your ritual.
A guided visualisation that you love, perhaps shamanic journeying, drumming even. Perhaps you want to use Reiki, or there are other things that you have in your spiritual toolkit that you want to integrate. By all means, bring it all in! This is all for you, and this is all designed to enrich your soul.
7. Once you’ve experienced this ritual as you need to, and you feel that your cup is full, then make sure that you do close it out.
Again, you're grounding yourself. You’re bringing yourself back to where you are, and you’re physically letting go of that sacred space and returning everything back to normal and then jumping in your car and driving home. Again, just be careful that you are fully grounded before you are driving your car.
8. Along the way, record your experience.
You might be recording it during the ritual, or you might find that there are times where it makes sense to do it outside of the ritual. It’s completely up to you and your intuition to tell you what to do.
9. Finally, just know that, again, this is like medicine.
So, you don’t necessarily have to do anything after the ritual. You don’t have to take specific action. You don’t have to go, “Right, well, what were the main insights here? What can I do with those?” A lot of it is about being implanted into your subconscious, your soul work, and it will continue to unfold as it needs to. You don’t necessarily have to do anything, have to push anything.
You may just notice that over the next few days, these insights begin to expand even more, and you are just intuitively led to what comes next. Just trust the process. Surrender into it, and allow yourself to fully experience it.
So, there you have it.
This is really what I feel is a very powerful ritual that you can use with your Tarot cards and other things to really help you connect with your soul work and your personal development. This might be something that you only do when you feel called to do so. Maybe you choose to do it on a new moon or a full moon. Maybe you do it once a month, once a quarter, once a year. Just go into it with the intent that it will call to you when you need it most.
And look, sometimes we may need to just actually set aside the time in our calendar and just go because things like household chores and work and so on often seemingly take priority, and they don't have to. So, just put it into the calendar, and just go for it. Commit to it. Do it.
I would so love to hear your experiences. You can head on over to BiddyTarot.com/81 for both the show notes for today plus the transcription, but also for the opportunity to share your comments about how you might have incorporated Tarot into a ritual such as this and what experience you had and what the results and the impact were. I would love to hear.
All right, well, it’s always been a pleasure to have a chat with you about Tarot, and I really do hope that you experience this ritual at least once, if not many, many times. And, of course, if you love this podcast, I would love so much for you to leave a review on iTunes and a star rating (5 is always good!), and also make sure that you subscribe on iTunes so that you can get all of the latest podcasts downloaded to your iPhone or your computer or wherever you're listening to this podcast.
Thank you so much, and I look forward to connecting with you again in our next podcast episode. In fact, I am interviewing Michelle Tea, who is the author of Modern Tarot. This is set to be a really great interview, and I hope that you can join me for that very soon.
Bye for now!