One of the fascinating parts of my job is my “Tarot & Tea” group. This is mostly people with a sound, often advanced, knowledge of Tarot looking to explore. There are beginners too- but it is an explorative group rather than a teaching space.
Each month I create a new spread- and they get to play! They read for themselves, but with lots of talk and chatter- learning by seeing how the cards are creating different stories for each person there. Usually I create the spread based on something that has been asked for- and the last spread that was requested was “soul path”.
I was a little taken back at first. What did I think a “soul path” was? Do we have one soul path, or many? That took a little thinking about. As I considered my life, my experiences I decided we often have many various soul paths- some may be completed in a short time, others in many life-times. My spread may well pick up on a shorter soul path, or a longer one. Really tune into to see how the reading reflects your life.
The next decision was how to structure the spread. I decided to use the kabbalah as my inspiration. I must add I am no scholar of the Jewish Tree of Life- I have read a few books in the past and found it fascinating- but I claim no deep understanding. For me I liked the idea of a source, then the two pillars of Severity and Mercy, and then a manifestation. I felt that really fitted the soul path concept.
We are incarnated with a purpose ( or collection of purposes) life brings challenges “severity” and gifts & opportunities “mercy”. Often when we are in the middle of a “challenge” .
I always try the spread out on myself- usually I tweak it, try again, and have rather a nice time (full coffee pot at the ready). This time the first spread I did for myself was spookily accurate.
I have used a photo of my first reading with this spread as an illustration.
Card 1- the source. I consciously found and used the Fool for this card. This tries to keep the soul path to this lifetime- which I think makes the spread slightly more manageable. Depending on your world view you may want to choose a different significator, or shuffle and lay a card chosen by the deck.
Then you have the two pillars- challenges (cards 2, 3, 4) and gifts (5, 6, 7). These can be read as pairs (2 &5, 3&6, 4&7) as well.
In my reading- which I feel is a whole life reading- you can see the wheel of fortune comes up as a challenge. When I was 29 my life felt as if it was spiralling out of control. My health, house marriage and job all seemed to be in free fall. The gift from this is the Hermit. I found my shaman guide as a result of this chaos- and I found shamanism, myself, and the life I was really craving. In turn I became a shaman guide myself. I strongly identify as a “shaman guide” and with the card The Hermit, but if my life hadn’t collapsed at that point, choices seemingly taken out of my hands, I would never have had the training I did which led me to this point in my life. My role as a Shaman guide.
The High Priestess is a card I associate with Hel (Queen of the underworld, and Goddess of duality), and my personal patron. Working with Hel has been one Hel of a challenge (excuse the pun) she is not an easy Goddess. But she has taught me well- and yes her relationship is the basis of my financial success as a shaman and tarot reader (9 pentacles). The added advertising of being so tightly tied with the rather amazing book “The Twisted Tree” by Rachel Burge- which has the most amazing portrayal of Hel that I have ever read is an interesting point.
Card 8- this represents your highest potential. Now obviously I was delighted to get such a feel good card as the Ace of cups- and this is the card that always represents my shamanic work. I feel that when I am with a shaman client I am offering them unconditional love for that time. A very ace of cups kind of feeling.
If this is a more traditionally “negative” card then you need to find the potential of that card. Each and every deck in the card has a fantastic potential (even the 9 of swords!)
Cards 9,10 & 11 represent how you are to best manifest your potential in this lifetime.
I have the king of swords, devil & the Hierophant. To me this is all about teaching people how to release themselves from self limiting blocks and illuminate their shadows so they can live life more completely- which is the main focus of my shaman work- and this year I have started teaching others how to practise shamanic healing.
The king of swords- I’m still contemplating that. I tend to think my main role in this life is facilitating other holistic & shaman healers- being a wise counsel (through my intuition & tarot rather than myself) to others on this journey. But perhaps time will tell.
This spread was simply to reflect my overall “soul path” I have since repeated it for myself as a tarot reader, mother, and then as a more personal reading. Each time it has subtly changed- and each time I have learnt a little more about myself.
I am not saying it is any way perfect- I share it because it has really helped me, and it was fascinating to see others read with it in my tarot group. I hope you enjoy exploring it too.