Lessons of Loss: Tarot Spread for Grief

Lessons of Loss: Tarot Spread for Grief

By Sterling Moon

In the waning days of Scorpio season, we are confronted with lessons of Death. The 13th card in the tarot reminds us that endings are inevitable and that even the most painful lessons make room for eventual growth. We all experience grief and its source takes many forms. Literal death. Loss of love. Injury or illness. Victimization. Loss of stability. Deceit. What triggers grief matters less here than the process of how we deal with it. I’ve had more than my fair share of loss and I’ve spent close to 20 years working in a field that allows me to walk with people who have experienced immense trauma. What I have learned along the way is that when it comes to grief, the only way out is through. If we don’t actively take steps to process our experience and our emotions at a pace that works for us, it will come out sideways. In other words, if you don’t deal with grief, it will eventually deal with you.

This doesn’t mean this is some kind of race. Grief is not linear and there is no finish line. There will be days that you feel like your “old self.” There will be triggers that send you back to the moment your life changed. What I can promise you is that what you have experienced doesn’t have to define you. The only constant in life is change and you can get through this. It will take effort and a lot of support, which you may have to reach out for, but you can be happy again.

Tarot can offer immense support during your grieving process. It is definitely possible to over-read your situation, so I am offering two ways you can use your cards.

When we are in the throes of grief and loss, we feel unmoored. Everything seems surreal and we may not feel like we are fully in our bodies. Taking five minutes to ground prior to working with your cards will allow your readings to be clearer.

Here is a simple technique that I use before every reading. Close your eyes and take two or three deep, slow breaths. Scan your body from toes to crown, allowing yourself to become still and calm. Take another 2-3 breaths, envisioning a ball of light forming in your chest. Any color that comes to your mind is perfect. Simultaneously, the light spreads down through your legs and out the soles of your feet, connecting you to the earth, while also traveling up the torso and out the crown of your head. You are rooted to the earth and connected to the heavens. Take two or three more breaths as you feel the light within you grow brighter. In your mind’s eye, draw a circle of light around your body. It arcs overhead and underneath you, creating a beautiful, crystalline bubble. Say either out loud or in your mind, “I have created a protected space where only that which is for my highest good is welcome.”

Card a day
Sometimes surviving from moment to moment is the best we can do. When you are in that space, I recommend pulling one card per day and doing the spread below once per week to start. Start with the grounding exercise above. Ask out loud for your guides, ancestors, and highest self to bring you a single card to guide you through your day. Thank them in advance for their assistance. When you feel settled, shuffle your cards and pull a card from your deck. If the card triggers a negative reaction, sit with it. Don’t discount it. This could offer a suggestion of things to avoid or an area that you need to switch your thought patterns.

Tarot Spread for Grief

This tarot spread is intended to be repeated regularly and it hits on a few common points in the grieving process. We often have difficulty having compassion for ourselves and others when we are in pain. We may experience a crisis of faith in humanity or in our spiritual beliefs. Most importantly, it can be hard to remember that what you are feeling will evolve. Your relationship with grief will change as you create a new normal.

I recommend doing this spread once per week to start. As your grief becomes less acute, perhaps you will use this once per month or simply revisit it as as triggers come up. Find what works best for you. If you are in a particularly bad space and find that your cards are reflecting back negative messages, back off for a few days and focus on nurturing yourself. You can also ask a trusted person to pull the cards for you and you can interpret them together.

Ground yourself and ask out loud for your guides, ancestors, and highest self to bring you guidance. Thank them for their help. When you feel settled, shuffle your cards.

Card 1: Where can I show myself more grace?
Card 2: Where can I show grace to others?
Card 3: How can I get through the week, month, etc in the best way possible?
Card 4: How can I strengthen my faith?
Card 5: How can I best survive, and even thrive, during this phase?


Regardless of your circumstances, I send you love on your journey.