Oftentimes, people turn to the Tarot at a point in their lives when they feel vulnerable, confused or uncertain about their present circumstances. It is not uncommon, then, for the Tarot cards to highlight potential mental health issues such as depression, addiction, bi-polar and anxiety.
As Tarot readers, we need to be prepared for what Tarot cards may indicate these mental health issues.
In this post, I share with you my top 10 Tarot cards for mental health issues. But first, a word of warning about engaging in Tarot readings that may involve mental (or any other) health concerns.
Important! Read This Before You Start
As many of us Tarot readers are not trained psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health practitioners, please do not ‘diagnose’ a mental health issue using your Tarot cards. Don’t say, “Oh, it looks like you’re bi-polar. Yes, definitely bi-polar.” This is unethical and can have a very detrimental impact on your client, even if you are right.
Instead, suggest that it is a possible indication of a mental health issue and recommend that your client sees a professional mental health practitioner to investigate further.
Also, never assume that just because you have drawn one of the following cards that there is definitely a mental health issue present. Use your judgement and your intuition and look at the other cards in the reading. Remember that these Tarot cards also have many other possible meanings so consider if the card is actually pointing to a different issue instead.
And finally, if you do see a potential mental health issue, be very mindful of the way you explain this to your client in the reading. Your client may be very sensitive and vulnerable. (Jenne Perlstein wrote an excellent guest post on counselling and the Tarot here that is good background reading for working with these clients.) Suggest that it is a mere possibility that there is a mental health issue and recommend that they seek out professional help to delve deeper into the potential issue. (Always use language such as, “a possibility”, “a potential issue”, “an indication of a mental health issue”, etc.) I also recommend drawing another card to understand what the client can do to overcome the mental health issue and/or what the client has to look forward to in their life.
UPDATE: For more caveats and warnings, please read through the comments provided in the Comments section. A number of people share very relevant and valid points of view that you need to take into consideration before using the Tarot for highlighting potential signs of mental health concerns.
Now with all that said, here are my top 10 Tarot cards for mental health.
Moon reversed – General mental health issues, including fear, anxiety and depression, that haven’t yet been explored or resolved. Recommend that your client works with a trained professional (possibly a hypnotherapist) to uncover some of these deep, subconscious concerns.
Nine of Swords – Anxiety and depression that is spurred on by very negative self-talk. It can also point to insomnia as a result of stress and anxiety and the constant ‘mind chatter’ about everything that is going wrong.
Devil – Devil – Addiction and unhealthy attachment. The addiction may be to an actual ‘thing’, such as drugs, alcohol or sex, or to certain situations such as abusive relationships or material wealth.
Nine of Wands reversed – Nine of Wands reversed – Paranoia and feeling as if the world is against you. If accompanied by the Nine of Swords, your client might be hearing voices that contribute to the paranoia.
Star reversed – Star reversed – A lack of faith and a general feeling of hopelessness that may lend itself to depression, deep sadness and anxiety.
Five of Cups reversed – Five of Cups reversed – Depression, often due to a loss of some kind. Your client may be finding it difficult to get out of a rut following a loss or deep regret.
Five of Pentacles – Five of Pentacles – Anxiety, perhaps as a result of job loss or financial hardship. This card may also point to feeling isolated and unsupported, or not wanting to accept help.
Nine of Cups reversed – Nine of Cups reversed – Discontentment and depression because emotional needs are not being fulfilled.
Temperance reversed – Temperance reversed – A possible indication of a chemical imbalance which may lend itself to bi-polar or other mental health issues that are related to the body and brain’s chemical balance.
Tower – Tower – A major break-down or crisis, or a series of panic attacks. It may be as a result of a major life change that was unexpected or sudden.
What Tarot cards do you associate with mental health issues? Leave your comments below.