Tarot Spreads: Past Life Reading



For me, the very best way to get to your past lives is through either past life REGRESSION (where a Certified Hypnotherapist or Certified Regressionist takes you back in trance to your own past existences) or past life RETRIEVAL (which is what I do: working with a specific life challenge, I am the one who peruses the Akashic Library and brings you back the specific information and details you need to know in order to complete the challenge in this incarnation).

Still, there is something to be said for the usefulness of a Tarot card spread or oracle card draw for looking at past lives when a more in-depth/trance-based past life reading is not available. In doing my own research, I find most of the spreads deal with things like “karmic debt owed” and influences in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual realms. That’s not how I view past life information. Remember, there is no such thing as “karmic debt.” There are unbalanced energies; challenges we choose to work with; and our chance to serve, heal or look at things in contrast. (For LOTS more on past lives and Karma, go to the Soul Plan section for several articles.) And it is being able to bridge that life with this one to unravel and solve the challenges that will prove most valuable.

With that in mind, and after working with my own Guides to set the informational parameters, I’ve created a different kind of Past Life spread for you to work with.

1. What challenge connects the two lives? In this position, each suit plus the Major Arcana have been assigned specific meanings: the Majors will indicate unbalanced energy, Wands will indicate service, Cups will indicate healing, Swords will indicate contrast and Pentacles will indicate healing of beliefs.
2. What were my life circumstances then?
3. Age at the point of our investigation
4. Gender
5. My characteristics
6. How long ago?
7. What characteristics should I look for to recognize the person in my life now who was most influential then?
8. How can the two of us work together this time?
9. What is the single NEW personality aspect I’ve brought in this time that will help with this challenge?
10. What is the most important thing to clear this life challenge now?

Let’s look at this with our subject Vivian. Here is her past life spread, and how it can be interpreted.

Connecting Challenge: 8 of Pentacles. This card often talks about work and craftsmanship, or higher education. It is a pentacle: therefore we are dealing with the healing of beliefs.

Life Circumstances: King of Pentacles. More than likely, was in a wealthy merchant-type family, with material comforts and security. Vivian was probably expected to follow in the family business, either by taking it over or marrying someone who could.

Age: 10 of Wands: early thirties (This is computed by starting with the Majors, then running the deck through Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. 22 majors + 10 of Wands = 32).

Gender: XXI/The World: Female. (This is computed by even-numbered cards being male, odd-numbers being female. On the rare occasions the Fool comes up, the cards are saying gender is immaterial or was disguised.)

Characteristics: Prince of Swords. This indicates someone who got what they wanted or look out! She thrived on what modern day people would call stress: she never took no for an answer, and found a way to get what she wanted no matter what it took.

How long ago? 7 of Wands: seven incarnations ago. Remember that some incarnations are very short – childhood sickness and death, dying in childbirth, dying in a war. For this spread we use an average of forty years per incarnation, since people lived far shorter lives before the 20th century. Therefore, we can estimate this life to have taken place roughly 280 years ago, or somewhere in the mid 18th century.

Characteristics of someone in your life now that signals they were in your life then: Justice: Look for the person in your life now who is most concerned with fairness, equality, or legality – and this can be either positively or negatively. It doesn’t necessarily mean a career in the law field, but someone who sees life as either fair or unfair, and makes it a core part of their lifeplan.

How to work with them this lifetime: The Hermit. This card signals the search for truth, and teaching others its value. Whether you are the teacher or the student does not matter; there is a mentor-aspirant relationship here to be nurtured.

The new personality aspect brought in this time: 6 of Cups. Note that this is the opposite of the Knight of Swords! Children play. Children create. Children know joy. So this time, it’s clear that there needs to be playtime and happy curiosity in the mix, rather than simply galloping ahead no matter what.

Action to Clear Challenge Now: Queen of Swords. I always say that the Queen of Swords is in her head, not her heart – logic, not emotion. Be logical, clear, and objective; don’t let emotions of greed and vindictiveness win out over truth and authenticity.

Now – how to put this all together?

In the mid-18th century, Vivian was a female in a wealthy merchant family who was indoctrinated into the idea that business and wealth meant everything. She married someone who joined the family business but it looks like she pushed him rather than supported him. Why? Her belief was that money and wealth was the purpose of life; by doing so, she sacrificed fairness in the relationship, the give-and-take that can make a good marriage, and failed to see the intrinsic worth of anyone who was NOT wealthy or good at business. In this life, there is someone who is much more concerned with fairness, justice and equality that she knows now, and she can learn to heal those beliefs and find a way to bring economic equality into the world with a more honest vision of what we all need.

The cards have provided Vivian with a very brief “scenario” for this particular past life. There is so much more she can learn, and more than likely that will involve doing a regression or a retrieval at some later date. But here Vivian has a clear picture of some of the Karmic challenges she came in to solve in this life, and she has a good handle on how to begin.