A tarot reading can quickly uncover a sitter who is dealing with anxiety, especially if that anxiety is impacting or blocking the event that the client wishes to look at in a Tarot session. Often, our dreams for finding the right mate, a great job, happiness and general prosperity and success can be greatly hindered if personal anxiety has too much power. *
Anxiety can be a good thing if it is in balance with the other aspects of ourselves; anxiousness is the self protective feeling or inner voice that urges caution, that gets us to reexamine our personal plans, it is the warning light on our inner dashboard, “something is not quite right.”
However, anxiety out of balance can be an insidious and painful side effect of our hectic, materials-obsessed society. Anxiety is the ghost in the machine, it can fill us with fear and discomfort so great that it can greatly impact our lives; but its just that-- a ghost-- it isn’t truly ‘real’ in any sense of that word, it is thought run rampant that effect our bodies, minds and our quality of life.
Using Tarot as a tool for self development, anxiety specifically appears as: 5 of Pentacles, 9 of Swords, the Moon and the Devil. When sitters tend to get these kinds of cards in a reading there may be a significant anxious feelings that are blocking contentment and personal growth.
Below, I have outlined what I call my "anxiety cards" and how they can operate within a person if they are out of balance. This is the first in a series of articles I will present on Tarot and anxiety but first let’s explore how anxiety appears via Tarot and how each card shows the expression of anxiety in its own way.
The Devil often shows up when the source of anxiety is based on a strong inner critic response. If we have thoughts that reinforce feelings of inadequacy then that can be a source of strong anxiety.
The resultant feeling after this critical thought can often be anxiety, worried that others might also think we look like a hippo in a dress and as a result we are thinking about this rather than the fun night we are about to go out and have.
Sometimes, the Devil’s power over us is so strong and the message is so loud it will keep us from actually going out, connecting with friends, or seeing ourselves in a clear and loving light.
The Moon- The Moon often shows us when there is anxiousness that resides from discomfort around feelings of ambiguity. Our society has trained us very well to be in control in managing all aspects of our lives and when we are in a place where we do not know the answer, we may feel uncomfortable, unhappy and questioning our self worth. Sometimes we might even shut down in the face of ambiguity, or we may go in the other direction and attempt to hyper control our relationships, our food, or work and so on. Either way, we are unhappy and uncomfortable with the pervading sense of ‘not knowing’ and can create more damage trying to rectify it as a result.
5 of Pentacles--
5 of Pentacles can often appear when the anxiety is either resource based or there may be abandonment issues that feed the anxiety beast. Hoarding can be an issue for many and at its heart is an anxiousness that feeds it. Hoarding is a side effect of general anxiety around needing something later on, not having an item when needed, not wanting to be wasteful or because there is a memory tied to that item. Often, hoarding issues are dealt with but the anxiety connection is ignored resulting in re-occurance.
Also, anxiety that arises out of abandonment fears means that we stay in relationships that do not serve us, continue to engage in familial relationships with people who wreck our personal boundaries and put up with all kinds of shenanigans because the anxiety of feeling left behind is greater than the real and true pain of hurt.
9 of Swords--
This card often appears when general anxiety is being expressed as physical symptoms such as sleeplessness, waking up in the middle of the night and an inability to rest well. We know they are anxiety worries because usually in the bright light of day we realize how large and frightening they felt, but in the morning how strange and dramatic they were. This card has also presented itself to me when there are panic attacks and a heightened adrenalin response due to anxiety.
Also, this card can appear when the sense of anxiety and its source is not yet concious.
When we can identify where our anxiety truly comes from we can then begin to reprogram ourselves to minimize the effect anxiety has on our lives. We can also create lives that support the rebalancing of anxiety as a natural aspect of protection rather than overstepping into every aspect of our lives.
The next series of Tarot and Anxiety I will discuss each anxiety Tarot card in turn along with tools, technuques and resources to help address anxiety out of balance. While there may be 4 anxiety cards, there are far, far more healing cards which we will uncover later in the following articles. I do hope you come along for the journey.
Want to begin the important work of managing your anxiety instead of it managing you? I offer a series of different Tarot Life Coaching packages suited to all levels of intensity. Check them out and if they resonate with you, talk to me.
*Please note that a true diagnosis for anxiety can only be officially supplied by your medical and mental health practitioner, while tarot is an invaluable tool for self discovery and personal growth, it can in no way replace the methodology of traditional methods to diagnose and treat anxiety.
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