How to Use Tarot For Self-Reflection

Knowing how to use Tarot for self-reflection can blow personal development wide open. We are so disconnected from the self in these modern times, Tarot allows us to come back home to who we are at our core. It illustrates the soul. It shows you what you can’t see. It allows you access to the deepest parts of your psyche. 

But, how do you go about interpreting the cards? What do you need to be aware of and what are the practicalities of it? Do you need a daily draw? 

Use the Major Arcana to Understand Your Reactions 

The first 22 cards of a Tarot deck are the major arcana. These cards are the archetypal energies we come across as we move through life. These archetypes can make us face aspects of ourselves, ask questions and help us see the reality of a situation. 

You can use the major arcana for self-reflection by stepping toe to toe with its energy. Challenge it. Think about what you would do if this energy was a physical being in front of you. How would you confront it? What conversations would you have? Would your opinions differ or align? 

When we use the major arcana in this way, we can start to see how we would react. For example, you have just been offered two different jobs, both of which will take you down two different paths in your career. For guidance, you pull The Hermit major arcana card. 

The Hermit in this instance could be asking you whether you are thinking about what will benefit more than just your bank account. It may help you realise that there is actually a very clear and obvious answer to this tough decision. You go with the option that not only makes you feel like you’ll have a purpose but also the one that supports you in all areas of life. 

Maybe one of these options offers you more flexibility with your time, allowing you the freedom to pursue more personal interests. Maybe the same option is in a sector that interests you more. 

The self-reflection that comes with the major arcana is the reflection of our options. We can easily become blinded by tunnel vision. Something often created by fear, doubt and limiting beliefs. The archetypes in the majors, therefore, come up to us to help us confront those things and move past them. 

Use the Minor Arcana to Plan and Execute Your Actions 

When using Tarot for self-reflection, we can use the minor arcana to pull a plan together. After the major arcana has shown us the truth of our reactions, the minors can help us see what actions we’re willing to take. And, more importantly, which ones we aren’t. 

Too often people use self-reflection as a tool for procrastination. Endless introspection does nothing to move us forward or allow us to grow. It’s the actions we take after these moments of reflection that really get the work done. 

The minor arcana helps us reflect on our plans, strategy and actions. It helps us understand what to do and in some cases, why we’ve already done what we’ve done. 

The four key elements, air, fire, water and earth, are the tools of creation. So there’s no wonder they are present within the minor arcana in the Tarot. Laying out these four tools for us, we can get a better idea of what tools we’re most drawn to. 

If we use the example from above about the job decision, we can now apply the minors to it. Doing so, we are offered a number of different tools we can use to get the job done and get that job accepted and underway. Which tool you decide to use can say a lot about you as a person. For example (and these are just my feelings, yours may be different):

  • If you feel more drawn to the fiery energy of the wands, you are a person of action. You don’t like to wait around or dilly-dally, you want to get shiz done. 

  • If you feel more drawn to the gentle energy of the watery cups cards, then you will probably lead from the heart. Making decisions based on how they make you feel and what your intuition is telling you to do. 

  • If you feel more drawn to the gusty air cards of the swords, then you are a planner and strategist. You’ll never take action without having a roadmap first to go off.

  • If you feel more drawn to the very stable and comfortable earth energy of the pentacles, then you’re not a risk taker. You like to use the skills you’ve already mastered and stay in your lane. 

Not only do your feelings towards the minors allow you to self-reflect on what type of person you are, but they can also identify imbalances. For example, if you are more drawn to the air energy of the swords, but in the past, this approach hasn’t worked that well for you, there may be a need to rebalance and use more grounding earth energy this time.  

Use the Court Cards to Step Into a Different Perspective 

As well as the major and minor arcana cards, you can also use the Tarot court cards for self-reflection. The way that I read the courts is as dual energies. This is based on Tarot reader Melinda Lee Holm’s teachings. 

When we’re sitting down to use the Tarot for self-reflection, we are coming to the reading already embodying one of the court cards. Should we get a court card in our Tarot reading, then we have to then ask the question “Is this me now? Or is this who I should be?”. 

Really immerse yourself in the energy of the card and see how it fits. A bit like trying on a new coat. Does it feel comfortable and familiar? Then it might just be a perspective and approach you are used to embodying. 

If it doesn’t fit quite right, it may be something you haven’t yet explored. Sometimes allowing ourselves to experience these new perspectives can help us see new ways to approach something. Sometimes it just confirms our original ideas and strategy. 

How to use the Tarot for Self-Reflection: A Tarot Spread

Tarot spreads are a great way of offering context and structure to your reading. So, to help you better understand how the Tarot can be used for self-reflection, here’s a ready-made spread for you. 

You will need to cut the deck and split out the majors, minors and court cards.

  • Your first card will be the major arcana card. This will tell you what archetypal energy you are dealing with or moving through right now.

  • The middle card will be your minor arcana card. This reflects your actions back to you so you can better understand them.

  • The last card on the right is the court card. This shows you the perspective that you are taking and can help you understand how to see things differently in order to find solutions.

How to use Tarot for Self Reflection Tarot Spread