Forgiveness: A Tarot / Oracle Card Ritual & Spell
Have you ever found yourself at odds with someone without imminent hope of resolution? Perhaps you’ve had an altercation that has lit so many triggers that a distance spell has been cast. Perhaps a conversation needs to be had, and you’re not quite ready to have it. In any case, you must be graceful and mindful of timing.
How does one stay active in healing when some wounds require isolation in order to mend? Luckily, card reading provides proactivity and ritual space for processing.
Forgiveness is always in our tool belt. There is a spell for every malady, including lack of resolve. The key is remembering to be sovereign. To quote the serenity prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
The following spread is intended to help you organize your thoughts and feelngs. It’s ideal for managing the pain that comes with communication breakdowns, particularly between friends. I’ve included a spell for keeping the magic alive after the reading is complete.
Tarot and/or oracle cards
Pen and paper
A comforting scent (candle, incense, oil, etc.)
An evergreen plant such as an herb, tree or house plant (indoor or outdoor)
Use Dark Days or a single deck for the entirety of this spread, or integrate a second Tarot or oracle deck to serve as the “other” in the reading, as I have. (Created by my pal Steph Parrish, my Indigo Corners Oracle cards are wildly expressive, easy to read, and gosh darn cute.)
Begin by lighting your incense or candle, setting the mood to read cards, and getting situated with your deck(s), paper and pen.
Shuffle or riffle the cards as feels good, and deal out five cards in a pentagram shape. The top card is the seed of forgiveness, the left cards represent the heart and the right cards represent integrity. They are to be read in the following order:
1. Bottom Left Card - Your Heart's Message
This card tunes into your heart. Your heart holds your authentic emotions. It infuses each blood cell with the love it requires to live. It holds space for love and it feels empty when love is removed. Let this card reveal and cradle your heart's message.
Queen of Cups (Dark Moon/ Upside-Down): This card is telling me that an old pain has been triggered. The dark moon position of the card tells me that this has happened before and is about to begin again, either with the same or similar people, for life teaches in cycles. Unresolved heart and love issues have a way of showing up again no matter what.
2. Top Card / Seed of Forgiveness:
This is the connection card. What do you both need to be forgiven for? The practice of relating to foe is a very potent practice that tends to have positive effects. Remember that the action suggested by this card is forgiveness and nothing more.
Six of Swords (Waning Moon/ Right-Pointing): We both need to be forgiven for experiencing pain in a way that has had a negative impact on others.
3. Bottom Right Card - Where You Are Out of Integrity
Thanks to card two, you have already started to think about your own part in the negativity. This simple reflection will show you where you have actionable choices now and in the future.
Hierophant (Dark Moon/ Upside-Down): I have the responsibility to be authentic, despite messages that tell me to stay quiet and small. While my instinct is oftentimes to run away, I silence others by not being present to listen. What matters is having a healthy sense of self, not merely self-regulation.
4. Middle Left Card / The Heart of the Other
This card is the other’s heart. It speaks of their desires and yearnings, openings and blockages, bravery and safety requirements.
Snow Lamp; Intimacy: Closeness is desired, and safety is required for intimacy to thrive. Strong allies are allowed in while others are not. Life has been showing its underbelly as of late so there is healing to do and pain to manage. Kindness, compassion and safe space are of paramount importance.
5. Middle Right Card / Where the Other is Out of Integrity
This card guides you to tune into the responsibilities held by the other; the things you can’t change no matter how much you want to, yet you are able to observe for your own awareness. Where is the other out of integrity? It’s okay to notice judgemental thoughts about the other while reading this card. Be sure, however, to note where the shortcomings you perceive in others run might run parallel to your own performance.
Ice Queen; Courage: I notice that I judge based on fearful reaction. The moment that I notice and name the very fearful response I see and judge in the other, I see that fear within myself and my own actions as well. I notice that I expect myself and others around me to act with exceptional bravery despite discomfort. This is something to notice and sit with now.
After reading each of the cards, write a simple request for forgiveness–based on the insight gained from card two–on a small piece of paper. Fold the piece of paper toward you an even number of times. Now, using your hands, insert the folded piece of paper into the dirt somewhat near the roots of your small plant. Place it in an area where it will get daily attention.
Each time you water the plant, notice time passing and things feeling easier with regards to the forgiveness work you're doing.
Let the smell of the incense, candle or oil waft into your olfactory, then thank your lucky stars you’ve made it this far, and go do something fun.