Nobody likes it.
Yet it is a largely unavoidable part of life.
Despite our best efforts, it’s inevitable that we’ll get stressed sometimes.
There’s plenty of ways to cope with stress. One way is to better understand it: Why does it happen? What causes it? Is there anything we can do to minimize it? Or at least change how we feel about it?
Tarot cards are known for telling the future and are used as a psychic divination tool. However, we can also use it to learn about ourselves, the world and our lives. How? Each card symbolizes a specific part of the human journey. By looking into how it relates to us, we can begin to see situations in a different light. These insights can help us into calmer people.
In this post, we’re sharing 3 tarot spreads you can use to learn about your stress or stressful situation.
How to Use Tarot Spreads for Stress
Although you’ll layout the cards and interpret the meanings in the same way, you can use a tarot spread for stress in 2 main ways:
- As a divination tool to gain insight on the future
- As a self-development tool to gain insight about yourself
As a divination tool, you can use the cards to learn hints about your past, current situation and future situations with stress. You may learn whether your situation will naturally subside or if you’ll need to take action to minimize it. You might also use it to learn sources of unconscious stress that you didn’t know about before.
As a self-development tool, you can use the cards as symbols and see how they apply in your own life. You may know that a deck of tarot cards is actually a journey of the human experience. This is related to the “Hero’s Journey” often used to write books and tell stories in a familiar arch. Every tarot card represents a point on this journey, whether challenging or celebratory, sad or happy.
Even if you don’t believe tarot can tell the future, you can look at the cards you pull and consider how/if they relate to your life. For example, you may not understand what one card means toward your stress. But when you look at the symbolism on the card and perhaps read explanations on it, you may learn new meanings. These insights may lead you to change your thoughts and behaviors, which could mean less stress.
Tarot Isn’t a Solution for Stress Though…
Of course, tarot itself isn’t a solution to stress. If it gives you insight on stress, you still need to consider how you’ll put that advice into action. They can’t make changes for you.
Further, if you’re looking to tarot as an alternative to therapy, don’t. If you’re dealing with chronic, long-term stress or anxiety, a doctor or therapist can teach you coping skills that will improve your condition. If you cannot afford help, see if there’s free community services near or if you can find peer support online.
Either way, tarot can help us learn about our stress, but it can’t help us cure it.
3 Tarot Spreads for Stress
Looking for tarot spreads for stress to help you gain insight? Here’s 3 options that look at your situation from a different angle.
Stress Box Tarot Spread
This simple tarot spread gets to the basics of your stress: what’s the biggest cause? But it also addresses solutions, like the best way to cope with your stress, lessons learned and how to avoid similar stresses in the future. This is a good spread to do if you want to know how you can move forward while dealing with, instead of ignoring, stress.
#1 The biggest cause of my stress
#2 Best way to cope with this stress
#3 Lesson learned by my stress
#4 How to avoid this stress in the future
Stress Smile (3 card tarot spread)
This simple 3 card spread is a great one to use if you’re having a hard time separating what you can and can’t control. Similar to the Serenity Prayer, it can help us accept the things we truly don’t have power over. But it can also help us take action on the things we can control. Sometimes, we already know what we can control but have trouble moving forward. This tarot spread helps answer why you’re having trouble taking action.
#1: Things I’m stressed about that I can’t control
#2: Things I’m stressed about I can control
#3: What’s preventing me from taking action on things I can control
Need a Hug Tarot Spread
This stress tarot spread is a great one to try if you feel like you just need a hug. Sometimes, we want advice and we want to learn about our situation, but we want to do so gently. This spread goes through your current stresses and sources of conscious and unconscious stress you may be ignoring. It also addresses lessons you’re learning through the stress and what simple action you can take to feel better today. Of course, you’re in a sensitive state, so it helps to have something to look forward to. That’s why this spread ends with one thing you can be hopeful about that will happen in the future.
#1: Your current situation
#2: Sources of conscious stress
#3: Sources of unconscious stress
#4: First step to make you feel better
#5: Major lesson you’re learning through this
#6: Something to feel hopeful about in future
Summary of Tarot Spread Layouts for Stress
Tarot spreads for stress are great to try out when you want to learn more about your sources of stress, how you respond to it and what you can do about it. Whether you believe it can tell the future or are just looking for self-development insight, you may improve your situation by looking for meaning in it. Of course, tarot is not an ideal stress coping mechanism and you should contact your doctor for advice about therapy and/or medication for chronic stress or anxiety.