Earth-Centered Practices for Everyday Mystics, Healers, & Creatives

Why You Should Always Trust the Cards

in Healing, Tarot

Gaian Tarot Child of WaterDo you ever draw a complete blank when you turn up a card in a reading?  You might even think to yourself: “Well that card is just wrong. Let me put it back and pull another.” It happens to all of us . . .

A few weeks ago an artist friend of mine asked me to pull a card for her and do a short reading.  She had just been diagnosed with gout in her feet, a very painful condition.  She was distressed, not only because of the pain, but also because she wanted to treat it without allopathic medications. (She wasn’t, of course, asking for medical advice, which I would not have given in any case. She just wanted some comfort and a little spiritual direction.)

So I grounded and centered, shuffled my deck, and pulled . . . the Child of Water.  And my mind went blank.  What the heck? I thought to myself.  What can the Child of Water possibly have to do with gout?

Then I noticed the Child’s feet in the water. And I wrote this to my friend:

I pulled the Child of Water for you, as the card that ushers in the New Moon in Pisces.  Oh so watery, for the Pisces New Moon!  The first thing I notice is her feet, in the water . . . and makes me wonder if there isn’t something literal there for you, about soaking your feet in warm salt water.  I don’t know, just a thought.

Another literal level . . .  go to the seashore this month, even if it’s freezing, as you will find a piece of the puzzle there, and have some healing for your heart and toes.

On a more metaphoric level . . .  the Child of Water, I think, is that young, tender part of yourself, your heart that is open to intuition and love and healing.  Your inner child, the little girl you once were.

And the Children are always about being a neophyte, a beginner, learning something new . . . this could be about learning new things about the foods you’re eating, or maybe it’s about starting a new art project of some kind . . . maybe the intersection of healing and art.

Does any of that resonate for you?

I was just following my intuition and free-associating when I wrote that to her.  I really don’t like to do email readings, as I prefer a “conversation” with the person I’m reading for.  I half-expected my friend to write back and say “Well that just doesn’t fit at all!”

Instead, she wrote this:

Oh, Joanna, this is perfect! Thank you so much.

Gout =  kidney issues = the water element in qigong as well as the obvious biological element of the urine-producing kidneys.

Child = learning a new thing about how to care for my body PLUS I woke at 4 this morning and instead of worrying about this medical stuff (as I did the night before) I started having images and ideas for new work in the studio, where I’ve been stalled for weeks . . . months. I just came downstairs from finally getting up there and folding some paper and making some roughs . . . distracting myself with some art therapy.

AND, I HAVE been soaking my feet in Epson salts to try to bring the swelling down!

AND, I did go to the seashore last month and it was a warm day and I DID put my feet in the water (photo attached). It had been SO LONG! It was my day of self-loving for the month of February’s Farther Shore. I will not let so much time go before I go to Santa Cruz again.

AND, I have been thinking it’s been months and months since I went to the physical therapy pool, and maybe it’s time to go back and see how that feels. (Not sure about whether I want to scratch my swollen feet on the pool bottom though, but could find some pool shoes, maybe, if they would fit over my BIG toes) . . .

And finally, YES, my young self, being scared, and having to mother myself, or let myself be mothered by those who will help me, and ASKING for help.

So you see this really was the perfect card, on many levels . . . Isn’t it amazing how the cards are? New Moon in Pisces. Oh my GODDESS.

And I know this is Gracie, your beautiful granddaughter. And my own Gracie is the healer in our retreat circle, and probably a go-to person for me right now.

Joanna, thank you so much. I’m so glad I asked. It is confirmation that I am on the right path, that I can follow my intuition, that I can learn how to put in the work to make the magic happen to make myself better. I’ll put this card up on my altar for a while and remember its messages.

I couldn’t stop grinning when I read her response. If the reading was a confirmation for her, it was also one for me.  Always trust the cards.

(Thanks to my friend for allowing me to share her reading with you.)

bare feet in the sand
(Update, May 2014: If you liked this post, you’ll probably love my ecourse, Gaian Tarot for Tarot Beginners. Registration is now open, and I’m giving away Module 1! Come check it out!)

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Loran Fri - Mar 25th 2011 9:08 am

    Joanna, I love your deck. I pulled some cards before going into a sweat lodge a couple of weeks ago that really resonated for me. There are times, though, that I wonder about the card being “right” until I study or think or intuit a little more. Great post!

    Reply

  • Rebecca Fri - Mar 25th 2011 2:36 pm

    This is terrific advice. A friend and mentor of mine told me once that the cards don’t lie. Sometimes you might have to look within yourself a little deeper to find what that card means and how it’s relevant (I’ve found that to be true sometimes when I journal with the cards) but search long enough, and the meaning will come through.

    Reply

  • Jezanna Fri - Mar 25th 2011 4:27 pm

    Thank you for this. I hope I remember it next time I feel like something just isn’t speaking to me…. it’s really because I’m just not listening properly (yet).

    Reply

  • Anna Sat - Mar 26th 2011 10:11 pm

    Wow! That is just so powerful!

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  • Joanna Sun - Mar 27th 2011 9:38 am

    Another way to look at it is, “there ARE no wrong cards,” as my friend James Wells says. Any card will give you the counsel you need at the moment you’re asking. You just need to go on intuition, instead of looking the meaning up in the book or being too invested in the meaning you’ve memorized. It’s open-ended tarot reading! 🙂 So glad you all liked the post.

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  • Karen Tue - Mar 29th 2011 11:33 am

    That card is Pisces to me. Pisces rules the feet. I would have thought this card was confirmation that her feet were bothering her and then be stuck with what else to say. Like ‘Well, duh, we know it’s her foot that’s the problem, so what else?’ It’s so true that if we relax and say what comes, it ends up being just right. I am always amazed when it works!

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  • Julia Wolfe Tue - Mar 29th 2011 11:41 am

    Cherries!!! Either the Cherry Extract Capsules or Cherry Juice or Cherries by the handful! Seriously, my son had Gout and it went away and stayed away as long as he took Cherry Extract Capsules. He took a heavier dose (something like 3 pills at a time several times a day for several days?) when the Gout flared, and a smaller maintenance dose when it was under control. Please advise your friend to try this. I don’t know what cherries have to do with water, but perhaps she can see a connection.

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  • Joanna Wed - Mar 30th 2011 7:39 am

    Karen, good call on your astrological associations. 🙂 Yes, this is why I teach how to read the cards intuitively and not just with memorized meanings. Plus, it’s so important to get feedback from the person you’re reading for!

    Julia, thanks so much for the tip about cherries! And. . . she already has that info. There’s lots of stories out there about how helpful cherries are for this condition and I believe she is trying that. Excellent!

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