The Time to Heal
Take the time to come home to yourself every day.
Linking to a timeless rite:
holistic healing, tarot, and you
TIME Magazine estimates that Americans spend $30 billion each year on alternative health practices. With the start of the new millennium, attitudes toward health and healing are changing. People are beginning to take an active role in their own well--being. Many are trying Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, herbal remedies, and natural medicines. Some hospitals are now offering massage, healing touch, reflexology, aromatherapy, chakra balancing, Reiki, acupressure, and hypnosis.
Modern medical science excels at repairing broken bones and organs, inventing prostheses, and using diagnostic technology. It successfully doses conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Perhaps its greatest contributions are preventing childhood illnesses such as polio and eliminating contagion----small pox is an example.
Medical science falls short in treating chronic stress--related illnesses: migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel, gastric ulcer, insomnia, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Yet these conditions respond well to "alternative" types of therapy such as meditation, acupressure, reflexology, massage, biofeedback, aromatherapy, herbal remedies, and healing touch. "Alternative" treatments focus on the mind--body connection, as both a cause and a cure of illness. The emphasis is placed on the total well--being of the person--body, emotions, mind, and spirit are inseparable and interdependent.
Good health depends on many factors: emotions, psychological makeup, heredity, health habits, lifestyle, financial support, social support, and diet as fuel for the physical body. Each plays an important part in our ability to live well--what affects one affects all.
Healing is an ancient tradition based on the feminine, spiritual qualities of empathy, nurturance, and intuition. The most sacred tool we have for healing is the intuitive ability to listen to the still small voice within that tells us what health and happiness mean to us. When you use tarot for healing you are linked to a timeless rite. Wellness is mind, body, and spirit in balance. Tarot reveals areas that are out of balance and gives advice on the best ways to restore order.
Healing heart tarot offers a way to step outside ordinary consciousness and discover a connection between you, the healer within, and a universal healing force. The cards' images are filled with healing energies that direct you toward wholeness, and this book guides you step--by--step through the process. Holistic healing, including the use of tarot for healing, is more than a vague philosophy--it's a way of being fully alive every single day.
Tarot for the Healing Heart shows you that powerful healing does not emerge from laboratories and technological advances. Instead, it is the use of self, in a loving and compassionate way, which provides you with your most powerful tool for healing. Healing is a timeless rite, and health and happiness are "in the cards" for you.
The time to heal
Illness is a puzzle. Many pieces fit together to give a complete picture. Healing is not an all--or--nothing proposition. There is no one "right" way to heal and no two healing experiences are the same. The amount of time you spend with the activities in this book depends upon your personal goals for healing. Be as elaborate or simple as your intuition tells you to be.
Activities include ten original tarot layouts for healing; tarot card meditations for releasing the healer within; exploring healing as a lifestyle; keeping a healing journal; creating an atmosphere for healing; breaking the pain cycle; and developing psychic ability through sacred play with tarot cards. "When Spider Webs Unite" focuses on using the energy of tarot to form your own circle of support. The time you invest in any of these is your choice.
Tarot for the Healing Heart helps you find solutions to life's challenges. Every tarot card has actions to support the healing process--practical hands--on suggestions to activate the healing energies of that card. Journal questions spark inner wisdom (see chapter 2). No prior knowledge of tarot is required.
A word about chronic pain
"I'm sorry, there's nothing more we can do for you." If you suffer from long--term pain and have heard this line before, please don't give up. Keep searching. It's not that you have intractable pain--it's that you haven't found a way to relieve it yet.
With long--term pain, however, it is important to note that relief can best be measured in increments. For example, if you rate your pain on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the worst, you may first notice a comfort shift from nine to seven. With regular use, the methods of pain reduction described in this book (such as centering and meditation) will offer you gradual improvement over several weeks.
Getting the most from Tarot for the Healing Heart
Healing is a process. Take your time. Each chapter builds upon itself and is best understood if taken in order. This is not a basic tarot text, but rather, a way to use the cards for healing.
If you want more information on traditional tarot, visit a bookstore and let your inner wisdom guide you. Many wonderful books are available on the subject. Use any deck that appeals to you. The healing heart tarot layouts found throughout this book may be photocopied for repeated use over time.
In chapter 2, "Clearing a Path," important preliminary steps are covered to create a healing atmosphere. These include creating sacred space, centeredness, affirming the intention to heal, meditation, keeping a journal, and dream work.
Chapter 3, "The Broken Heart," gives an overview of illness and provides you with tools for understanding your personal patterns of dis--ease. A meditation called "Choosing Your Karma" focuses on finding your personal power.
The defects and flaws that keep us from health are not personal failures, but wounds. Chapter 4, "The Heart of Dis--ease," examines the choices you are making, not as defects, but as wounds exposed. Here you will find your personal meaning of dis--ease, or life lesson, and explore things that go bump in the night.
By listening to the message of dis--ease from your body, you start to hear your own life wisdom and create a healing cycle. Emphasis is placed on the fact that physical handicap and permanent injuries do not interfere with our ability to give and receive love. By understanding your body's messages, you begin to learn life wisdom.
Health attracts health. Chapter 5, "The Open Heart," begins by looking at the important role of healing as a lifestyle. You gain awareness through an activity called "The Inner Healing Journey." Finally, you awaken the healer within; a meditation with Temperance, the healing angel, offers a visualization for self--healing.
Chapter 6, "The Heart of Healing," looks at activities that support the healing process. Methods of pain reduction are explored in a meditation with The Hermit called "Going Within to Stop Pain." You will learn to hear your own wise counsel through activities with the King and Queen of Cups. Practical suggestions give you ideas on how to find continued support for the healing process.
Because we want to help others, there is a tendency to become healers before we ourselves are healed. Chapter 7, "Horizons," explores using Tarot for the Healing Heart to heal others, and concludes with a prediction for the new millennium.
Chapter 8, "Healing Heart Tarot," explains how to use an entire tarot deck for the express purpose of healing. It begins with important preliminary steps to take when working with the cards.
You are the healer/doctor
Think back to a moment in your childhood when you knew that magic was real: it could have been looking at a butterfly, serving tea to all your imaginary friends, or being barefoot on lush, green grass. Remember that wonderful time when you knew God, Goddess, Spirit, or Source existed (whatever this personally means to you), and being alive was a natural, holy experience. So natural, in fact, you didn't give Mother/Father God a second thought. You just floated into the peaceful, loving arms of a creator/creatrix.
As a child, you probably let yourself go into whatever task was at hand. You naturally, without conscious thought, put your full energy into your activities, whether it was making mud pies, helping your mother set the table, or keeping score at a Red Sox game. You didn't think about being playful or creative--you just were.
Now think to a time in adulthood when you felt that same sense of magic: being given over to the life energy that flows out of you from an internal source. Maybe it was at the birth of your child, the first time you fell in love, or in completing a creative project. Do you remember the abandon you felt? The colors were brighter, the air more fragrant, the tastes sweeter, and all was right with the world?
Perhaps your best ideas come to you when you least expect them. You're taking a shower, looking at a cat, or watching the sunset and, suddenly, you have a wonderful idea. It has emerged from deep within you. Perhaps you have struggled with a solution to a problem and, after a good night's sleep, the answer appeared from nowhere.
All this--a sense of magic and wonder, good ideas, hunches, intuition, and solutions to unsolvable problems--comes from a deep source of inner knowing central to your being. It is your divine inner spark and I call it the healer within. It comes from an awareness of our common source.
All of us can learn to tap into this deep source within us. We have experienced the healer within at random moments all our lives, whether we recognized it or not. A good example is the ability to perform incredible acts of strength during moments of crisis, such as lifting a car off a loved one after an accident. Another is the mother who awakens moments before the smoke detector goes off and is able to rescue her family from a fiery death because of it. The creative force is always with us and available to us. It takes practice to become fully aware of it--and even more practice to release the creative, healing energies at will.
The healing process is more involved with getting obstacles out of the way rather than pulling up creative energy. The activities in Tarot for the Healing Heart are designed to remove blocks. Once the blocks are gone, creative, healing energy flows up from inside us like a bubbling spring. Much of illness is a result of blocking our creative energies. The process of healing is the process of dissolving blocks and releasing our creative force for health.
Another way to look at healing is as a process of letting go, surrendering, fully feeling and releasing pain, fear, and blockages. If we are willing to feel the depth of our emotions for even a moment, we will release the block, much like the release of air in a blown--up balloon with a pin.
It can be frightening to believe we are able to heal ourselves by listening to our spiritual, creative inner voice. We begin to hope, and we begin to fear that hope, because healing carries with it the responsibility of personal choice. When we choose to behave differently, we change, and it is the change that causes fear. For most of us, learning to trust the inner voice is the most difficult aspect of healing.
The real key to healing and change is to feel all our feelings, surrender, let go, and to relax. It is in this state of relaxation that the healer within can emerge. You are the healer, the doctor. All healing comes from within. Absolutely everyone can learn to contact and direct the healer within because we all carry the divine spark--but it takes honest intent and practice to contact and direct the healer within at will.
Mystical energy is limitless and connecting to the endless supply of spiritual energy through the use of the tarot cards is the focus of this book. Using nothing but your personal energy for healing is draining and less powerful. For now, accept the fact that a common well of unending healing energy is available to you--and always has been.
A word to the wise
Tarot for the Healing Heart complements, but does not replace, standard medical care. Changes come from within an individual and the activities here are accessories to healing. Tarot work supplements professional care, bringing the unconscious mind into harmony with the physical self to assist the healing process.
Treatment is your choice. Tarot for the Healing Heart can help you understand the reasons behind dis--ease, but it does not diagnose, treat, or prescribe; and it is not intended for primary medical intervention. If you have symptoms, contact your health professional of choice before proceeding with any activity in this book.