Tarot and Clutter: Why in the World Would You Link the Two?

March 12, 2011

For the past six years I have been reading my clients’ Tarot cards to plum the deeper reasons for their clutter. The pictures on the cards allow us to peek into our subconscious. We hold a boatload of thoughts and feelings in that space. Not all of them are loving, supportive or useful for moving ahead in life. In fact, they can be downright subversive.

If we can catch a glimpse of what we are holding in our subconscious, we can begin to understand how we sabotage ourselves. All of us have dreams of one sort or another, and yet many of us can’t realize them. Nebulous fears, regrets, and resentments hold us back. We repress them so adeptly that we’ve convinced ourselves we’ve dealt with them completely. The cards let us know we haven’t and that more work needs to be done if we are going to free ourselves from our self-imposed shackles.

A Real Life Example

I have created a Tarot spread to explore the subconscious reasons for clutter. Below is a subset of that spread. Each position in the spread has a question or issue attached to it. After a client shuffles the entire deck, she chooses a card for each position. It’s important to note, all the cards are face down when the cards are picked.

Many believe it’s chance as to which cards are picked. I believe it’s the Law of Attraction at work. Otherwise, why would they be spot-on, as seen below? I recently read the cards for a woman who underwent back surgery more than 10 years ago. A couple of years ago something went wrong. Ever since she suffers chronic back pain and cannot sit for more than two hours at a time. We looked at her clutter issue through the cards using the Rider-Waite deck.

Position 1: Why Does She Have Clutter?

When we turned the first card over, my eyes shot open! She picked the Ten 0f Swords. The card shows a man lying on his stomach with ten swords in his back. It’s no coincidence that swords are piercing her back, rather than another part of her body.

A complex card, the Ten of Swords indicates the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one. To step over the threshold into the new, my client needs to liberate herself from old patterns of behavior and drop her emotional baggage. She wouldn’t have picked this card if she wasn’t ready to do the necessary work to cross the threshold at this time.

Swords represent thoughts. After years of living with her pain those thoughts have etched a deep fissure into her self-image. Holding onto label clutter, she may see herself as a disabled victim unable to fulfill her life’s purpose. All the while this is happening, resentment may be building on the subconscious level. My client thought she had dealt with these issues, but the cards indicate more work needs to be done.

Position 2: The Current State of Her Clutter

She picked the Knight of Wands for this position. This Knight is full of energy and passion, and so is my client. She admitted a strong desire to move beyond her clutter, but how to do that is her challenge.

In this card, the handsome knight rides a cantering horse. Applying this image to my client, you would think she is ready at a moment’s notice to do her necessary de-cluttering work. But, wait a minute! The Knight is charging left and I interpret that as making a beeline to her past, not her future.

What if she were to slow down and get more comfortable with where she is? It sounds ironic knowing she wants to move beyond her clutter. Yet, getting peaceful, grounded and quiet right where she is will more likely allow her to turn right than rushing like the Knight of Wands to the left.

Position 3: What Blocks Her from Clearing Her Clutter?

Once again the swords have re-emerged. This time she picked the Nine of Swords. Not as physically brutal as the Ten, this card depicts mental and emotional agony. Key words often ascribed to it include “guilt,” “worry,” and “overwhelmed by feelings.” Clearly a lot of painful, burdensome thoughts, like blame, worry or doubts, have occupied my client’s thinking.

The good news is that the number Nine indicates action. Even though this card appears in the “blockage” position, my client is ready to explore why she has these thoughts. Doing that may then catapult her to dig out their root cause. She’s on the verge of making a change and wants to at least straddle the threshold.

Position 4: Her Strategy for Clearing Her Clutter

Wouldn’t you know—the Death card appeared. Don’t gasp or gulp. This is very good news because it means change and transformation. Death appears as a skeleton knight. Wow! Another knight on a horse, but this time the horse faces right and has one leg lifted to indicate stepping forward. For my client, this could mean stepping out of her clutter and into the future.

At first my client wasn’t happy when she saw the card. Granted, a skeleton isn’t cheery. I assured her that by letting go of the past (what the skeleton represents), she could begin to embrace the present. Her well-ingrained, but damaging thinking has her stuck, but if she sees it for what it is—an illusion, this will enable her to move forward, albeit reluctantly. Not knowing what lies ahead is scary, but taking one step and then another will gradually erase the fear and shift her focus to new and exciting enterprises.

Position 5: Her Next Step to Clear Her Clutter

The final card was the Nine of Pentacles. A beautifully dressed woman is surrounded by a grape vineyard and nine pentacles. In this case, pentacles represent her body and the foundation of her physical being. What a sharp contrast to the Ten of Swords in the first position. Here a self-confident woman is standing with a hooded falcon perched on her left hand. The hooded falcon represents her ability to control her feelings and demonstrate that she is not ruled by her unconscious doubts and fears.

The card’s message is for my client to start seeing herself as the Nine of Pentacles—healthy, enjoying life’s finer pleasures, and knowing she is in control of her life. This takes discipline. After years of thinking otherwise, it may take her awhile to embrace this new line of thought and self-perception. The good news is that her thinking is something she can control. What a great way to start this transformative process. It costs nothing but discipline and time.

My Concluding Remarks

Before we started, my client thought the cards wouldn’t reveal anything of great merit. She didn’t expect them to strike at her core issues like they did. By her picking the two nines (Swords and Pentacles), the one ten (Swords) and the Death card, she got confirmation that she is ready to change. Had she picked ones or twos in the same suits, the cards would have reflected a longer journey to get to where she wants to go.

Even though some of the cards aren’t happy, they hit the mark. She can see where she is in her de-cluttering process and readjust her compass. Of course, she doesn’t have to if she doesn’t want to, but that’s not likely in this case.

If you are feeling stuck in your clutter or any other issue for that matter, you might want to get reading with me.  I offer readings on the phone and in person, if you’re close to Northern Virginia.  On the phone you’ll need a deck because you’ll be the one picking your own cards.  Readings last an hour and cost $85.00.  Check out ALIGN’s website for more information.   The cards are a useful tool and can help you navigate the vicissitudes of life if you let them.

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