The narratives we create for our lives shape who we are and who we become. If where you’re at is not where you want to be, you can use the power of the narrative to shift that paradigm and create a future aligned with your desires. Remember that tarot can tell us a story, suggest an outcome, but we’re in control and can write–and rewrite!–destiny (to a certain extent).
I’ll be using the 3 card spread that most people are familiar with–Past, Present, Future–as a map to guide us through our personal narratives. So, grab your tarot cards, your journal of choice, and get ready to develop a personal narrative.
1. The Past
Pause for a moment and reflect on past events of your life. You can dig back as far as you like, but I suggest starting with childhood (your formative years of life). Briefly jot down five defining moments of your past. As you are doing this, notice and look for any recurring themes. Once you’ve done this, take a look at your cards. It may help to set turn them over in a way that they’re all visible. Examine the cards closely, and your past defining moments, and assign each moment a card.
For me, it’s a traumatic childhood (the tower), a mental illness diagnosis (9 of swords), losing my children (3 of swords), overcoming adversity (the chariot), meeting my partner (the lovers).
2. The Present
Next, examine where you are in life right now. What are the events and themes of your present day? You can choose 3 key focal points for this period of life. And, like before, assign each point a card. Also think of your overall mood, or mental state, for the present. How would you rate your level of satisfaction with where things are at right now?
For me it’s feeling successful in my career (6 of wands), my loving relationship (2 of cups), and introspective soul-searching (The Hermit), with an overall mood of happiness/contentment (the 9 of cups).
3. The Future
If you could describe your desires in 3 cards, which would they be? Take a moment and reflect on your priorities and your desires. Look back on where you’re at, where you came from, and figure out where you want to go. It can be drastically different from the present, or a continuation of the good times. Doing this step will set your desires out into the universe.
For me: Self actualization (the world), financial independence (9 of pentacles), and a strengthened sense of spiritual wisdom (The High Priestess).
Bringing it together with a reading
Shuffle your deck, and pull 3 cards: stop, start, continue. Ask it something like, “What actionable steps can I take to manifest my desires?” In this advisory spread, the first position represents actions you are doing that you should stop. The second, actions you need to start. The third, actions you need to continue. Write it down as you once again reflect on the meanings of those cards.
Example results (taken from my journal):
Stop: Death- I have a tendency to give up on goals when times are hard. I feel this is a reminder to stop continually seeking transformation, and instead continue on the path I’m headed.
Start: 10 of Wands- I think this is one of those moments where tarot is telling me start putting in the work it takes to get going.
Continue: The Empress- I’m taking this to mean that I should continue to show myself compassion, as I nurture my inner child, so I can give birth to the future I desire.
How did it go for you?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below!