The Spiritual Tarot
Using Tarot Archetypes as A Path of Light
By Geraldine Amaral



"The Tarot is best described as an initiation into a secret metaphorical language --
a language that leads each of us to our own spiritual center."
Carl Rohrig


The Truth About Tarot

Are you ready to learn the truth about Tarot – what it really is and how it can help you be more spiritually grounded and aware?  The 22 cards of the Tarot Major Arcana symbolize the life lessons we need to learn as we progress on the path of our spiritual growth.  You can use the Tarot to illuminate your path, tune in to your inner guidance and wisdom, transform challenges into opportunities for growth, and connect with your Higher Self.  I hope that this article will demystify some of the confusion and mystery around this powerful tool and offer a more spiritual approach to the Tarot.  I will show you ways to access the spiritual center within as well as explore ways to communicate with the spiritual energies around you.  

The 78 card Tarot pack has many uses and one of the things I love the most about working with the 78 card Tarot deck is how versatile it can be.  For example, the Tarot can be used for creative visualization, meditation, introspection and self-understanding, personal empowerment, divination, spiritual development, building and developing intuition, and for fostering creativity.  The list is almost endless because the Tarot cards portray the totality of human experience (both the earthly and spiritual aspects)!  It can also be used in conjunction with other esoteric tools and systems such as Feng Shui, crystals, the I Ching and astrology. 

People often ask me, “do you really believe in Tarot cards?”  And truthfully, the answer is “no!”  The cards are just paper or cardboard; they have no intrinsic worth.  But what I do believe in is the power of the mind and the power of Spirit to work though us and through the universal symbols and images found in the cards.  That is because the information found in the unconscious mind is in images, symbols and pictures – similar to what we see on the Tarot cards.  Thus, the cards are a visual expression of the wisdom found in the unconscious.  Further, many believe that the deeper we go within ourselves, the closer we come to God.  That is to say, our bodies are the temples, or the "housing" for the spirit within.

The unconscious mind is a vast resource – it contains the answers to many of our questions and the solutions to our problems.  It is the creative, inventive part of our psyche.  In the simplest terminology, the cards are a way of communicating with this unlimited resource in its own language.  That is the key – communicating with that armory of information in a language that it understands.  Further, each one of us has unlimited potential available to us through the unconscious mind.  Scientists inform us that the average person is using only about 3% of the brain power.  So think about everything you know, everything you learned in college and high school, all the books you’ve ever read – this is only a small fraction of the wisdom locked inside of you.  The Tarot is one tool that allows you to unlock some of that potential. 

The Tarot is a way of exploring energies and vibrations.  In particular, the Tarot helps to reveal the unconscious with its immense storehouse of knowledge and the associated energetic processes of the human psyche.  The Tarot helps us to go beyond our limited, human, rational, linear way of thinking by guiding us towards a symbolic and supernatural perception of life.  I like to think of the process of using the Tarot as borrowing the eyes and mind of Spirit.  Not only is the Tarot able to access the wisdom that is buried within the unconscious, but it also allows a way to enlarge our scope of vision.  

Tarot cards can also be viewed as visual expressions of Carl Jung's archetypes, also found in the unconscious.  An archetype is a universal human behavior or pattern.  The cards enable us to examine the inner terrain of our knowledge from the view of the archetypal energies that are working themselves out in our lives.  As archetypal energies, the cards are able once again to help us speak to our conscious and unconscious mind in the most potent way possible – as images and symbols that capture the meaning of the archetypal “template.”

Pathworking with Tarot

Of all the many ways to use Tarot, my personal favorite is for pathworking, such as meditation, spiritual centering and even spiritual healing.  Using the images in this way is actually a form of creative visualization which simply means placing a mental image of something you seek in your mind’s eye or your third eye, as if you had already achieved it.  Perhaps you’ve heard stories of successful creative visualization practices – basketball players who visualize the ball falling into the hoop, or runners who envision themselves crossing the finish line, or baseball players “seeing” the ball going over the fence.  One of my favorite examples is a story from Norman Vincent Peale.  He described a couple he was counseling who were trying to sell their house, but having no luck.  Peale advised them to imagine a “sold” sign plunked on their front lawn each day for 10 minutes.  Shortly thereafter, the house was sold.  

The Hermit Card

You can use any Tarot card for creative visualization since the cards capture all of our life experiences – the physical, the mental and the spiritual.  But my favorite card for meditation and visualization for all things of a spiritual nature, is the Hermit card.  I have a little joke about the Hermit that I often tell my classes:  Whatever your problem, whatever your question or issue, the answer is the Hermit because this card is about giving it to the light.  What I mean by that is that the light of the Hermit symbolizes the light of Spirit, or the light of the divine realm.  Perhaps you have heard or used one of these expressions yourself: “Give it to God,” “Give it to the Light,” or “Let go and let God.”

Perhaps it will help you to think of it like this: The Hermit’s lantern symbolizes the bringing of light and clarity to our problems, to our personal darkness.  The Hermit offers direction, guidance and healing, but he is also inviting us to get in touch with our Higher Selves.  We look to the Hermit’s light to attune our earthly, mundane selves with our higher spiritual selves.  By acknowledging a higher force operating in our lives (the Infinite Consciousness) and by attuning ourselves to that concept, we allow our own inner light to be realized.  And taking the analogy of the lantern one step further, we could say that this light illumines both our own divine purpose and direction, but also can be an inspiration to others who are drawn to the light.  The light within each of us is reflected outward to touch the lives of others.

You can practice tuning into your inner light anytime.  Take a moment right now.  Think of a situation in your life in which you could use some divine or supernatural help, some spiritual guidance.  Or, picture a person in your life who needs supernatural intervention.  And if you really want to accelerate your spiritual evolution, think of your enemy, someone you are having a conflict with, someone that you don’t like or get along with or even someone towards whom you feel jealousy. 

Now imagine the Hermit card and picture the light from the Hermit’s lantern surrounding you, your issue or the person you are thinking of.  Breathe in that light – imagine its warmth and healing.  Imagine the light illuminating all that was previously dark or hidden.  Finally, imagine the light changing any negative energies or thoughts into positive thoughts of a higher vibration.  (Note:  At the end of this article you will find a guided meditation that you can use to practice utilizing the symbolic healing light of the Hermit.)

The Course in Miracles and the Light

The Course in Miracles1 teaches that it is through forgiveness that we can truly find our own inner light, that is how we discover the truth about ourselves - that we are the light.  So, whenever you do the light meditation at the end, I might recommend that you think of someone that you need to forgive (and that someone could very well be yourself!)  When we forgive, we are spreading the light; we are entering into the light.  Jesus said, "I am come as a light into the world."  According to the Course in Miracles this statement represents his desire to share his light with each of us, not to separate himself from us.  The Course also says, “Who is the light of the world except God's Son?  Each of us is the light of the world, and by joining our minds in this light we proclaim the Kingdom of God together, and as one . . . Let us join together now, for my message is Light.”  The Hermit card is a symbolic way to "join our minds in this light."  The Hermit's invitation extends to each of us:  You can carry the image of the Hermit card in your heart, let it be your role model for sending healing energy and illumination to all whom you encounter.

The Spiritual Path and Challenges Spread

Below is a Tarot spread that can shed some insight on your own personal spiritual journey.  As you can see, it is a small spread, but it packs a lot of punch.  Take your deck in your hands, say a prayer that invokes the highest spiritual energies.  Ask for guidance and wisdom.  Thoroughly shuffle the deck and then choose and lay the cards out.  I always recommend that you keep an important spread like this out for a few days, week, months (or even years!).  Let it work on you, as you work on it. 


Your Spiritual Path and Challenges
By Geraldine Amaral

                1              2              3 
         4         5

1. The spiritual challenge(s) of the past

2. The spiritual challenge (s) of the present

3. The spiritual challenge(s) of the future

4.   The gift(s) you are being given to deal with the
5.  The spiritual gift(s) you have to offer others


Your Daily Card for Spiritual Wisdom

The cards you select for a Tarot reading represent some morsel of knowledge that has bubbled up from your own unconscious.  It represents Spirit offering you insight, light and wisdom.  Choose a card each morning for guidance for that day.  Look at the card.  What do you think it is trying to tell you?  Whether you know anything about the cards or not, you can simply look at the images on the card and ask yourself what you think Spirit is trying to tell you about your current spiritual path.  And remember:  There are no wrong answers!  Don’t worry about what the cards mean – just let the images, the symbolism and the metaphors on the cards communicate to you -- see what they stir up.

You can use this same daily technique anytime you want some spiritual advice.  Ask Spirit to show you a way that you can heal yourself spiritually and then pull one card from the deck.  Keep this card with you – let it be your totem, your reminder as to the divine, supernatural energies that are around you and available to you for assistance.  Put the card in your pocket or your purse and look at it every now and then.   Remember, this process is about the power of the mind and the power of those spiritual forces around us.  It is also about how symbols can help you access that inner subconscious mind and power.

A Card for the Path of Light for the World

You can also pull a card for the healing of the world.  Let this second card show you what you can do to help the world heal or achieve peace, to send light to the planet we share.  Carry this card with you as well, or place it on your altar.  Let it remind you that you can make a difference in the world, right now, today.  Send out the energy that you sense from this card; send it out to the people sitting next to you in the subway, your neighbors, your colleagues, your city, your state, your country and eventually to every human being on this planet.  Send it with love and hope and confidence that you can make a difference.

Margaret Meade said, ”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  We can start right now, today, each one of us, in changing the world with the power of our minds, the power of Spirit, and tools like the Tarot.  Imagine what would happen if everyone in your office, school, church, or neighborhood, or all of your friends began to picture the symbolic light of the Hermit being directed to the entire world.  Marianne Williamson says, “When an idea reaches critical mass there is no stopping the shift its presence will induce.”  Now look at your world healing card again – let it remind you that you can make a difference in the world.

Now there is a powerful thought!  Each one of us can change the world by the actions and thoughts we think this very day.  What are you holding in your consciousness?  Do you really believe that you can make a difference?  Mother Teresa says, “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”  If you have doubts about this, or if you are not holding the light in your consciousness, take another look at this Hermit card and see if you can partake of his light, even if it is for a day, an hour or even one minute.  Use this imagery as a reminder to send out your light and love today, right now.  This is really the work that those on a spiritual path are doing on the planet now – this is the spiritual path we are all on – accepting and acknowledging that we ourselves are spirits and that we have the ability and power to commune with Spirit through our mind and hearts.  The Tarot is simply one container that enables that communication process with Spirit. 


Light Meditation with the Tarot Hermit Card:

Take a few minutes to center yourself within.  Take some nice deep slow cleansing breaths.  Slowly now, imagine the light coming from the Hermit’s lantern, which is the light of Spirit, coming towards you and around you.  Let it engulf you.  Now imagine it now coming into your heart and then radiating our from your heart, illuminating everything that it touches.  Now imagine it going out to all the homes in your neighborhood, then to all the residents of your town, your state; then imagine that light traveling across the US, then up into Canada and down to South American.  See it traveling across the oceans, into Europe, China, Asia, the Middle East, India and Australia.  See that light touching each person, in each country everywhere, bringing peace and love and healing.  Now imagine that divine light from the Hermit’s lantern encircling the globe, spinning with the earth on its axis, permeating every part of the world, every heart and every soul of each person.  Now hold that image in your mind and silently visualize that image in your heart of the Hermit’s light engulfing the world, bringing peace to all.  


Geraldine Amaral is the co-author of Tarot Celebrations:  Honoring the Inner Voice and creator of “Tarot 1-2-3,” an instructional video.  She fell in love with the Tarot about 30 years ago when she had her first reading and has been using, studying and writing about the Tarot ever since. She utilizes Jungian/archetypal psychology and Divine Metaphysics in her work and is a respected/gifted intuitive counselor and nationally-known teacher.  She focuses her work on how to apply the Tarot's esoteric principles in pragmatic ways as well as for insights and personal transformation.  Her classes provide a unique blend of spirituality, psychology, philosophy, humor, literature and personal empowerment methods.  She can be reached at 703-671-7421 or and website

1  The Course In Miracles, Inner Peace Foundation, 1975