Can Tarot Predict Past Lives? The short answer is YES! It is a remarkably interesting idea and though it’s not the most usual use of deck, it’s been called one of tarots hidden mysteries and it can provide an exquisite amount of detail.
How Tarot Works
If you are an avid tarot reader, you know that once you become familiar with your deck, you and the deck develop a sort of shorthand of communication. I approach my deck and the individual cards as living entities, each one with a story to tell. I respectfully ask the cards questions, and they talk to me and reveal the answers hidden in the imagery on the querant and the situation.
It is up to the practitioner to use their knowledge of tarot card meanings combined with their own intuition and inspiration to gain insight. There have been so many times where I had no idea how a single card contained a certain meaning or conveyed such oout of the box information, but it did, and it was spot on correct.
The longer I look at the card and surrounding cards, the more I take in its colors, its sound, its story, the more my intuition sparks. The more I allow myself to stretch beyond the written meanings, the more it primes the pump facilitating the flow of my own personal intuition. When I trust my intuition, it allows a beautiful unfolding of discovery. That is the wonder of tarot.
Even if you are not an experienced reader, this is an opportunity to explore and discover the many ways tarot can “speak to you.” Just be open and you will be surprised what your intuition can do.
Divination Tools are Just That - Tools
We in the psychic world refer to divination tools - tarot, astrology, I-Ching, etc. as “permission slips.” To borrow from computer lingo, they act as an interface for the operating system of our inner knowing. They allow us an efficient hack into the collective unconscious, which may not be otherwise revealed as easily.
Think of it this way: You want to open a jar because you want the contents inside, but it’s stuck or hard to open. Through a lot of effort, you can open it, but you also strain your wrist twisting it. You can break it open, or pry open the lid with a screwdriver – or you can cleverly run it under some hot water, tap the side and it pops open easily with little exertion allowing you to get directly at the content. Psychic tools work much the same way. They are the hot water that loosens the seal and opens the jar so what we want to explore remains undamaged, and neatly intact and easy to access.
Tarot itself is a particularly well-organized system with layers and layers of meaning - imagery, symbols, colors that will spark just the right “knowing.” The Tarot is divided into two arcana’s (secret mysteries). The Major Arcana (the archetypes or trumps, 22 cards) and the Minor Arcana (4 suits of 56 cards). Also attributed to each card is a letter, number, zodiac sign, direction, and many other esoteric meanings.
The Benefits of Past Life Exploration
According to the various theories of reincarnation, a past life is a previously lived life in a different body. It is based on the idea that we are eternal souls who have bodies, rather than bodies who have souls. If you've ever experienced déjà vu or met someone you're sure you've known before, you may be experiencing details—and proof—of your past life.
Even if you’re not fully convinced of the existence of your own past lives, it’s worth exploring the questions. Before we go into using tarot as a tool for past life exploration, let’s discuss some of the benefits.
Come to Terms with Fear and Trauma
Even the most well-adjusted people have survived untold trauma and weathered crippling fears. When it comes to dealing with fear and trauma, most people find that suppression only leads to more problems down the road. In contrast, addressing and understanding these experiences and sensations can lead to a more fulfilling life. A past-life reading gets to the origin of issues you’re experiencing and can help you forge a path forward.
Harness Your Talents and Abilities
A past life reading can offer insight into your talents and abilities. You can gain a better understanding of why you have the abilities you do and how you can best use them to your advantage.
Gain a Better Feeling for Relationships
Even relationships that feel as though they constantly cover uncharted territory have firm roots in the past. A past life reading can prompt a more meaningful awareness of the many layers of your being.
Enhance Your Life Purpose
A past life reading can be a window into what you might become. Use it to gain deeper and more meaningful knowledge of your purpose in this life.
Understand How the Past Influences the Future
You might have noticed a series of patterns that define your life. From feelings to behaviors to thoughts, these patterns can be difficult to overcome if you don’t understand them fully. Exploring your past lives elevates these feelings, thoughts, and behaviors to a conscious level so you can leave behind those that no longer benefit you and embrace the patterns that give your life a positive meaning.
Remember that when recurrent themes of the soul that need to be amplified or healed are revealed in a past life tarot reading, the knowledge would not be accessible to you if you were not meant to do it in this lifetime.
Using a Tarot Spread to Predict Past Lives
Now that we’ve explored how Tarot works, and why exploring your past lives can enable you to integrate or reconcile the past with the present, I’m going to show you how to use an 8 card tarot spread to decode clues to the question “Who was I in a past life?”
8 Card Past Life Tarot Spread
The eight-card past life tarot spread is one that examines the most basic questions about a past life such as: “Who was I in a past life?” “How did I live? and “How did I die?” It is a particularly good starting place and can be expanded upon in any area if needed.
The spread does not have to be read in one sitting. I encourage you to come back to it over and over as more information reveals itself and you work with and meditate on its meaning. The cards have an interplay that happens where one reinforces and indicates more about the other.
Take a deep dive into the symbolism and elemental information. Whatever pulls your interest is what you need to explore. This layout is a snapshot of one life and like a snapshot captures a moment in time. Each card can be further explored in its own individual reading. For that I would use a traditional Celtic cross layout or a 3-card pull for a more yes/no style of Tarot reading.
How to Start Your Past Life Tarot Reading
Get in a receptive and open state of mind. Sit quietly and ask your guides and higher power to reveal to you the memories and information about a past life that you need to know and understand. It should be one that you can learn from and be of assistance to heal ancestral traumas going forward.
Once in a quiet state, shuffle your tarot cards however you like until you feel ready. From the deck select 8 random cards in any order that you feel guided and lay them out face down as shown in the photo above. And as you turn each one over, allow the story to unfold as the question that corresponds to each card as described below.
Your Past Life Tarot Spread
Card One: Your Gender – This card should be interpreted as the gender the card symbolically suggests. Today we recognize that for many people gender can be fluid, but in this position the card would indicate your outward appearance of gender and not your inner knowing of gender.
Card Two: Your Family – This card will indicate the type of family relationship you were in and what is important to note about your family situation. It may indicate a feeling or atmosphere in your family. It could indicate your station in life or socio-economic situation. This is just one snapshot of your family life.
Cards Three and Four: Personality Traits Outer and Inner – These cards will talk about your overall personality. The outer personality is how others saw you (for example “He was a giver” “She was kind” “He was ambitious,” etc.) It can also indicate what you spent most of your life doing. As it’s only an indicator, later you would want to pull more cards to see what led you to develop these traits, what supported, nurtured, or caused these perceptions of you. Your inner personality card reveals what was your true nature and that which others did not see. For example, were you highly motivated to leave a mark on the world? Would you never let go of anger? etc. Again, this can require more exploration with a separate spread.
Cards Five: Significant Life Event – This card is a meaningful moment that shaped your life. It is only one moment but trust the Universe to bring you the information that is important for you to know about that lifetime and might be relevant to your current lifetime.
Card Six: Impact – How the significant event affected you in your lifetimes. For instance, you could have been an Emperor or King (either literally or in stature), but your impact card is the nine of swords, meaning loss and ruin. This could you mean you were a powerful person but due to your personality traits, choices, or circumstance you lost everything or caused others pain.
Card Seven: Life Lesson – What did you learn in this particular past life? In this instance the life lesson will be taken from the significant life event and impact. You may or may not have learned this life lesson, and it may be showing as it is an identifiable theme in your current life. The reading is telling you that the time to learn the lesson is now.
Card Eight: Death – This card will reveal one of several things, either how you died, the situation that caused your death or your state of being at your death. Keep in mind cards can indicate mental emotional, physical, and spiritual states of mind and being.
Sample Past Life Tarot Reading
Let’s do a quick sample reading to show how I would interpret one of my own past lives. This is not a life previously known to me and I am sharing the information in real time as I would if giving someone else a reading. This is just what came to me in flow, but it's clear to me that there are sections I would like to build out as I am sure there will be for you too.
Summary: As I did the reading a picture started to form in my mind of who this woman was and the stage in her life that the reading picked up. I started to get flashes of how she carried herself and thought about her life. In my mind’s eye, she was of European origin, most likely English. Her name feels to be something like Elizabeth, but she was called Eliza.
Based on the card readings, she was married and was a woman of some means, both socially and financially. She was a patron of the arts or involved in charity. She had a spiritual awakening that led her to want to bring about social change. She needed to learn her own power to act so that she could do the things and support the causes she found important. I see her as remarkedly independent and sovereign for the time. She hopefully died peacefully of old age.
Based on some conflicting images of her appearance and the timeframe, I would need to further explore this vision through meditation and additional past life tarot spreads.
I would encourage anyone as they do the reading to trust the visions you receive as you work with the cards. Your vision might change and that is ok. What is important are the themes of the life lived and how they can help you to gain understanding and healing in your current life.
In A Course in Miracles there is the quote that talks about how we will all go through the journey of the soul. When it comes to past lives, the choices we’ve made and lessons we learned or did not learn in our past lives will continue to play a role in our soul’s journey until we learn. Tarot can be a powerful way to uncover these lessons. Sending you so much love and wish you success with your journey to the past! Let me know how the reading works for you!