This is an intense and time-consuming tarot spread that identifies the specific ways we hold ourselves back and the emotions we feel when we keep ourselves small. It can be emotionally draining, but the result will be clarity, awareness, and at least one action step for growth.
Our bodies hold more wisdom and guidance than we usually allow. As you complete this spread, you will be feeling strong emotions. Please find a quiet, safe, and private place where you can focus on yourself completely, and be compassionate with yourself and what you uncover.
Reading the Tarot Spread
For the tarot spread, shuffle the cards any way you’d like and lay out five cards in the order shown in the image above.
If you are pressed for time, choose only one of the first four cards based on the question that feels most important right now and pair that with the fifth card. This will become a 2-card spread. Focus on FULLY feeling the emotions in your body as you consider the cards and your answers.
IMPORTANT: Lay the 5th card face down. Answer the questions for the first four cards BEFORE turning over the last card to answer that question.
CARD ONE: Which memories from the past are holding me back?
This card represents the memories, situations, and choices from your past that still haunt you today.
CARD TWO: Which worries about the future are holding me back?
This card represents the anxieties, worries, and fears about the future that regularly weigh on your mind.
CARD THREE: Which choices or bad habits are holding me back?
This card represents the choices, bad habits, patterns, and activities that (over the long-term) add more stress to your life. They may be stress-relieving, emotionally-satisfying, or feel-good coping mechanisms in the short-term.
CARD FOUR: Which people or which unhealthy relationships are holding me back?
This card represents the people, environments, and relationships that do not enthusiastically support your growth.
Pause to answer those four cards before moving on. Answer these additional questions or journaling prompts before turning over Card Five:
- “What comforts or benefits do I get by having these energies in my life?”
- “If the rest of my life contains only the energy from these four cards, what will I be sacrificing or missing?”
- “When considering these energies, how do I currently FEEL?” (Scan your body to really feel where your emotions are living and see if you can identify them. For example, frustration might feel like a fluttering heat in your upper stomach, while comfort might feel like a warm weight pulling at your fleshy belly and pelvis.
- Once you identify your feelings in your body, let yourself FULLY feel them for 90 seconds or so. Then ask, “What would my body feel like if I could release this feeling and this energy completely, right now?”
CARD FIVE (FACEDOWN): How do I release that energy and become free?
Use this card to identify ONE action step you can take within the next 24 hours to release the energy that you are holding within your body. Carry this card around with you as a reminder until you take that action step. Once you’ve taken that step, scan your body again to see what emotions your body is feeling. Feel the feels FULLY for at least 90 seconds and compare the experience to what you felt earlier. You can repeat this action step and body scan as many times as you need to feel comfortable with your new reality.
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