Tarot Spread for Trauma

This tarot card spread for trauma is for discovering what happened during a traumatic period of your life. It does go alongside working through childhood traumas with a pendulum. Although, this spread could also potentially stand alone. It’s a simple 4 card spread with the shadow card read. Once you’ve done this tarot spread for trauma, you’ll be able to figure out how to move forward with your life so this trauma doesn’t hold you back.

It is originally based on a situation-action-outcome spread. This tarot reading is meant to give you a better idea of what happened to cause the trauma, how you reacted to it in the moment, what happened following, and how this trauma currently affects your life.

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It’s important to recognize both the trauma and how you currently respond to it, so that you can move forward. Figure out a way to leave the pattern this has caused and create a brighter future.

*This post is meant to act as a guide, not as the only tool you can use. It is not a substitute for professional help. Don’t hesitate to seek further assistance from a professional to work through trauma.

Prepare your space. Set the mood with crystals, candles, and maybe music. If you’re working alongside your pendulum, have that out and ready. Remember to write down what you’ve learned so the past doesn’t have to be repeated once again!

tarot deck, crystals, and pendulum with notepad

I’ll go over the tarot spread in general, and then at the bottom you can find an example of one of my spreads for further clarification (if needed).

The Tarot Spread for Trauma

tarot spread for understanding past trauma

Shuffle until you feel prepared to choose cards. Lay them out in the order as above. The shadow card is the card at the bottom of the deck, so you flip over the deck to find this card. The shadow card is not required for this spread, but highly suggested for an idea of overall meaning behind this trauma.

My Example

This is an example of the tarot spread for trauma in action, using one of my childhood traumas that I’d previously discovered using my pendulum.

I already had an idea of what this trauma was, but wanted confirmation and to see how it was relating to my day to day. What happened with this tarot spread is it’s actually showing me the other person’s point of view more so than mine. This trauma relates to a parting of ways of friends. The only card that relates to me and my actions is the knight of wands.

This tarot spread in my example is using The Rider Tarot Deck, and I have assistance in understanding of the cards using the Tarot book by Kim Arnold.

  1. Situation – knight of cups, relates to emotions. It is allowing emotions to rule when they normally don’t, and a discussion on relationships.
  2. Action – knight of wands is all about speed and going at a quick pace. It can represent moving too quickly, or entering relationships too quickly. Using my pendulum to determine, this is the only card that is specifically about me. Me and my actions regarding this trauma.
  3. Outcome – ace of pentacles, is a fresh start. It can represent the change for the better once obstacles have been removed. It’s reminding us that a little extra effort will go a long way.
  4. Present – page of pentacles, ambition. It reminds us to get our heads out of the clouds and create action in our lives.
  5. Shadow card – 10 of cups, which represents happiness and family.
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This spread is reminding me that this was a trauma in my life, but it needed to happen. If this didn’t happen, forward movement would not have occurred on either end of this, since it had multiple people involved. It was time to split ways, for the betterment of their life at that moment especially.

Tried this tarot spread for trauma? Tag me @moonofgemini or #moonofgemini on Instagram! You can find other tarot spreads here if you’re curious about others as well.