A collaboration between Juno Lucina (Author) & Monica Knighton (artist), The Healing Tarot: 78 Ways to Wellness, is – as far as I know, a unique concept. The deck can be used two different ways: as a straightforward typical Tarot deck following the traditional Rider-Waite interpretations, or as a method to read on your health specifically. The guidebook runs 192 pages & contains both traditional Rider-Waite interpretations as well as health interpretations of every card in the deck that are based upon medical astrology.
There is an interesting health orientation to every card. Body parts and clues to various maladies are included in the card imagery. All card images are presented as black and white sketches with a pen and ink look to them. If you love brightly colored decks, as I do, you are going to be sorely tempted to color in the images – however, due to the sturdy, yet light laminate coating, I don’t recommend you attempt it. I don’t believe anything but gel pens would adhere to the cards and over time with repeated shuffling that color may erode. The black and white sketch style to the deck lends a certain charm and it also allows for much easier visibility of the finer details of each work of art contained within The Healing Tarot. In fact, the minute details included in the images is quite outstanding & the lack of color makes the finer details more pronounced, in my artistic opinion.
Schiffer deck packaging has been changed and the focus has moved away from the longer box to a shorter box that measures 9 X 6 X 1 1/2″. The box is still made from thick & sturdy cardboard with a heavy laminate. The lids remain with the nice flip magnetic closure. The great thing about the new size of box is that it fits very nicely on a bookshelf since it’s the same size as a typical 9 X 6 X 1″ paperback book. The magnetic closure allows the box to be stored on its end and you do not have to be concerned about the box falling open while on the shelf.
The size of the Guidebook is also very nice at 5 1/2 X 5 1/2 X 1/2″. It’s easy to hold and personally, I prefer the smaller size. Within the box for The Healing Tarot there are separate wells for the cards and book that are housed side by side. The Guidebook includes a 3 – 5 page discussion of each major arcana card and a 1-page discussion of each minor arcana card. Card interpretations include the traditional Rider-Waite for non-health related questions as well as the interpretation based on medical astrology & the Qabalistic Tree of Life that pertains to specific health issues and parts of the body. Cards are also discussed in terms of being positively or poorly aspected, depending on surrounding cards in the spread. Astrological associations of the cards and how they combine with one another in a reading are important, as well as elemental friendships, dignitaries, & the planets’ traditional relationships with one another. Three spreads are included for The Healing Tarot: Acute Illness, Healthy Zodiac, & Diet/Fitness. All cards are depicted in the Guidebook in 3 X 2″ for the major arcana and 1 X 1 1/2″ for the minor arcana. The cards themselves measure 5 X 3″ with a lovely shiny laminate and are easy to shuffle due to being relatively flexible, but without being flimsy.
Sample Reading: Seeing the Cards in Action.
I suffer from repeated sinus infections, and have ever since I moved to the Gulf Coast of Texas 17 years ago. It’s clearly allergy-related since plants bloom here almost year-round and with the high humidity levels of the Gulf Coast area, there is also mold to which I am highly allergic. The question I posed to The Healing Tarot is: what can I do to avoid repeated sinus infections (which have now progressed to also include throat & ear infections, neither of which I ever suffered from in the past).
I used the Acute Illness Spread since this is basically a chronic condition, plus, when it’s at its worst, I do become acutely ill. Last October I caught strep throat, which went into a sinus infection that progressed into an ear & throat infection. My GP had to take me through FIVE rounds of antibiotics before all the cooties were finally killed off. Needless to say, my stomach wasn’t such a happy camper either, not even with probiotics. The Acute Illness spread consists of 4 cards.
- Card 1: Nature of the Illness: King of Pentacles.
- Card 2: Cause of Illness: 4 of Swords.
- Card 3: Way Through Illness: 3 of Cups.
- Card 4: Outcome of Illness: 2 of Swords.
A quick glance at the imagery tells me that I may be pretty much screwed when it comes to my sinuses. Card 1, the King of Pentacles, depicts a crowned skeleton laying out on the beach. Well, that to me would be the Gulf Coast! He has his hand on a clock, which represents the long-term aspect of this condition that has gone back 17 years. So the nature of this illness is definitely related to the beach, or in my case, specifically the Gulf Coast. So right off the bat I see there’s no real way around the issue since my family isn’t moving in the foreseeable future.
Card 2, the 4 of Swords as the cause of the illness, again, based only on imagery & not even looking at the interpretations in the book, here we have a healer
who is working on a client. I find this very intriguing because when my husband and I first moved to the Gulf Coast area shortly after that I learned about reiki and began undergoing the 4-step attunement process. I am now a reiki master-teacher. Coincidentally or not, my sinus issues began after I completed my reiki training. Therefore, in my case, this card is a timing indicator. The first card identified the location, the second card narrows in on the time the health issue began to be a major problem for me.
Card # 3, the Way Through the Illness, is the 3 of Cups. So, does this mean I’m supposed to throw parties for myself & celebrate continuously? Sounds like fun,
right? When I examine the finer details of the 3 of Cups I realize that the food depicted is the key. The three dancing figures are holding (from left to right) an ice-cream sundae (wow, do I LOVE ice-cream!!), a glass of wine (I’m allergic to sulfates & nitrates so I stay away from wine because I get drunk on just 1 glass!), & a carbonated drink. I love Coke Zero, but do limit myself to 2 cans a day. Now, looking at the nude man laying on the ground he has his back to soda, chips, candy, cake, cheese (dairy – I am lactose intolerant), beer (again, I don’t drink), while in front of his feet there is a pot visible that says “chick ..” on it (the rest of the wording isn’t visible due to the way his feet are positioned. The pot contains what looks like vegetables and a chicken leg, so I can only assume the text on the pot should read in full, “chicken soup.” This man has his back to all this yummy stuff while the chicken soup is in front of him. That tells me I should turn my back on a big chunk of my diet and eat more healthy foods. That’s a major bummer, but it makes perfect sense because these foods contain sugar, which can create more phlegm in your system. Dairy definitely creates phlegm so these are things I should avoid. I have been doing much better lately eating less foods containing processed sugar, but ice-cream? Could I ever give that up? Only time will tell.
Card # 4, the Way Through the Illness, is the 2 of Swords.
This is the typical woman with the 2 swords crossed over her body. In the background is a castle that is mostly in ruins. What caught my eye is the large chunks of roof missing from the castle tower behind her In dreams, a house represents your body. A castle can therefore also represent your body, which is how I take this. The large chunks missing from the roof would indicate an existing problem in the head region, well, your sinuses are in your head, so that makes perfect sense to me.
Summing up my interpretation, I’d say that moving to the Texas Gulf Coast was a HUGE mistake that will no doubt have lasting repercussions on my health. However, if I avoid sweets & dairy foods, that will help, but lasting damage has already been done so I can probably expect the sinus infections to recur over the years. Well, that stinks, doesn’t it!
Now, based on the book, this is how the health interpretation pans out:
The King of Pentacles represents the skeletal system, including the teeth. It also advises to approach health in the same manner I do my business. I am very methodological & goal oriented. I am not that way about my health, but should be, so that’s good advice. Regarding the nature of the illness, which Card Position 1 represents, the skeletal system to me would represent something deeply rooted, perhaps even impossible to remove. Allergies certainly do qualify.
The 4 of Swords in Card Position 2 represents the cause of the illness. This card in The Healing Tarot is connected to partnerships & when poorly aspected it can represent always doing for others, draining one’s own energy, and therefore having a difficult time recovering from an illness. Well, that’s me in a nutshell. When I am sick I seldom rest due to my business & needing to take care of my family.
The 3 of Cups in the position representing the Way Through the Illness indicates that I’m surrounded by many pleasurable choices and I may have difficulty choosing. Given the depiction of food on this card, I am sure this is connected with having a teenage child. There are a lot of snack foods in our house & they are easily accessible to me during the day while my daughter is at school. In the 2 years she has been a teenager I’ve put on 6 pounds. I have cut back recently on how much I have in the house at any given time so hopefully that will help me since I don’t have a great deal of willpower when it comes to bypassing snacks.
The 2 of Swords represents the Outcome of the Illness. The 2 of Swords in The Healing Tarot indicates that I will feel better temporarily, but the underlying health issues will not be fully resolved. I already know the underlying cause is allergies. I cannot treat them with injection therapy because it only makes me sicker, so looks like I’m stuck and this conclusion matches my original one. In other words, I’m just screwed <sigh!>.
As you can see, The Healing Tarot offers fresh insights into health issues. The deck worked very well to address my health concern and I was even able to surmise a great deal just by examining the imagery before I even consulted the interpretations from the Guidebook. Personally, I enjoy using this deck and have found it quite useful. However, I do NOT recommend that anyone purchasing this book use it in lieu of consulting with a health professional. Always seek out professional medical attention first and do not attempt to diagnose health issues on your own. Throughout the Guidebook the need to consult with a doctor is stressed repeatedly within the individual interpretations of the cards. It’s good advice. Combined with care from your doctor, The Healing Tarot offers valuable insights into the physical, emotional & spiritual causes of illness, plus it gives you excellent ideas as to how best to approach the illness in order to facilitate healing and recovery. I highly recommend The Healing Tarot, but please remember to consult with your doctor as well.
Nefer Khepri, PhD.
Egyptian Lenormand (only 18 copies of my self-published deck remain!)