~ “Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it” ~
— Tori Amos
This spread, like most spreads that I create, came to me via a flash of inspiration. In this case, I was inspired by a wonderful blog posted by Oracle Speak, that struck a chord deep within my heart. I call this ‘The Healing Cross’ spread, primarily because like the traditional ‘Celtic Cross’ spread, this spread gets to the root of the issue with which we need healing, as well as, shows us the path we need to take in order to heal. The beauty about this spread is that unlike most healing spreads that are either based on a spiritual healing philosophy (the chakras, reiki, yoga, etc), this is spread is ‘universal’, and can be applied by anyone and everyone no matter what their philosophy regarding health is (or even reading style), and thus allowing us the liberty to interpret the positions in a way we feel best.
****** 7 ******
****** 6 ******
*** 4 **** 5 ***
****** 3 ******
****** 2 ******
****** 1 ******
CARD ONE: The Root cause of my issue.
CARD TWO: Why am I faced with such an issue within my life?
CARD THREE: What can I do to heal it?
CARD FOUR: What’s helping me heal it?
CARD FIVE: What’s the major obstacle in my path of healing?
CARD SIX: Advice and Guidance.
CARD SEVEN: The Result of my healing journey.
Now as some of you may already know, i’ve dealt with body-image and weight issues throughout my entire life. Being born as ‘the fat kid’, I spent a good chunk of my life facing physical, mental, psychological abuse from the world around me, and most of all, from myself. As of August 2006, I weighed 333.96lbs, and well, after 3 years of working on myself, I now weigh 191 lbs. However, I still haven’t reached my goal weight, cause of those pesky last 20 odd lbs (the ones that never seem to go away no matter how much you work on it), and that has lead to numerous frustrations, and even breakdowns of sorts, causing me to binge and totally get demotivated from my path of healing. Plus with my own tendencies towards Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), I tend to become exceedingly critical and depressed with myself regarding my weight. So much so, that my inability to reach my ideal weight and acheive and ideal ‘fit body’ has become quite a crippling influence within my life. And thus, I decided to read on that.
CARD ONE: The Root of my Issue – The Emperor
Gosh, talk about ‘Daddy Issues’! Could my issues with my weight be anymore Freudian? (LOL… just kidding). Well, in a way, I’ve always sought approval all my life; not only from my dad, but from other authority figures in the past. And since I’ve never really received the approval that I sought so desperately as a child, I’d end up doing things to self-sabotage my own progress in various areas of my life. In the case with my weight and other body issues – eat and eat all the more as a means of passive-aggressive rebellion.
Along with all that, now that I look at this card, it all has to do me not being able to take an ‘active’ control of my life. At the end of the day, this is MY body… this is MY life… if I’m not able to take an active responsibility for it, then who will? And well, come to think of it, in the past, I have behaved pretty irresponsibly with my body (and other aspects of my life) and on some occasions, I still do. I guess throughout the years I kept blaming everything else – from ‘daddy’, to childhood traumas and dramas, and a whole lot of other things – that I never really stopped to ask, ‘What am I doing about it?’
Plus, since the Emperor is also about ‘stability and structure’, I guess a whole part of my life is so structured on my issues with my weight and body, that perhaps on a subconscious level, I’m holding onto the extra weight (those last 20lbs that just refuse to go) because a part of me is scared on what will I base and structure my life about once I reach my ideal weight? Will there be no major life-goal after that? What will I strive for? What will I yearn to be?
Come to think of it… Isn’t that just silly of me?
I mean, imagine being so obsessed about trying to lose weight and get a fabulous physique, that once it happens, you’re like, ‘Now what do I do?’
Damn my Libra rising for making me so vain (and there I go, blaming away again – must stop the vicious cycle of blame and avoiding responsibility).
Speaking of Libra rising – that would make Aries (The Emperor) my descending sign; i.e. the sign that cusps my 7th Astrological house of relationships and partnerships. And looking back at the past, maybe my issues with my weight were a primal reason for majority of my relationship issues. A shaman friend once explained that relationships work only because both partners are willing to ‘give’ to each other and ‘share’ their lives together. And in my case, everything was so focused on me and my own issues, that there was no room for sharing (Aries is the sign of me-me-me), and hence I’ve come across men who were emotionally unavailable and had too many issues of their own as well, which brings us back to all the seeking daddy’s approval issues again.
In fact, now that I think about it, I’ve always sought after men who were ‘powerful’ and ‘strong’ and would just ‘take care of everything’ for me, while treating me like a princess. And isn’t that just me being unwilling to ‘take responsibility’ of my life?
I guess it’s high time that I start taking responsibility for not just my weight, but for my overall happiness and well being within my life. After all, if I’m not able to ‘take care’ of myself, who will?
CARD TWO: Why am I faced with such an issue within my life? – 6 of Wands
Well, the first thing that came to my mind was ‘to discover I have the strength to overcome it, as well as, anything else’. Now that I ponder about it further, my weight and body image issues have in a way paralyzed me from doing a whole lot of things within my life. I guess in a way, this card is also reminding me that more than anything, I need to believe that I’m not just capable of healing my weight and body issues, but I’m also have the ability to achieve everything I desire. Perhaps the weight and body is just the channel through which the Universe is helping me develop my strengths and abilities. And once I’ve managed to heal them, I’ll be all the more motivated and ‘pumped’ to take on any challenge life throws my way, and ‘ride through life’ with my head held high. So in a way, my ‘battle’ is merely the ‘training ground’ for me to discover and ‘develop’ my ‘light’, and once I’ve done that, I can shine my ‘light’ with joy and pride, and not be plagued by things like guilt, fear, or just plain old ‘irresponsibility’. And if we think about it, health (physical, mental, psychosomatic) should always be a prime concern, if we’re not able to take care of ourselves, how can we possibly take care of anything else? So once I’m able to take care of something as ‘basic’ as my body, I’ll feel all the more liberated and empowered to live life to the fullest.
CARD THREE: What can I do to heal it? – 3 of Coins
Going just by the ‘image’ of the card, take it nice and slow and ‘focus’! This is so fitting for me, because I’ve been through gawd knows how many fad diets n stuff. Not to mention, I go through these bouts where I work out like a dog, pushing myself further and further, and then just crash and burn and not even wanna wake up in the morning. Moderation has always been an alien concept whenever it’s come to my own personal goals. Plus this being a 3 (Empress) of Coins (Earth/Nurturing element), I gotta start learning to nurture and nourish my body with good ol fashioned TLC. So often I’m so quick to criticize and whine about it, that I’ve never really thanked or acknowledged the fact that despite all the things I put my body through, it’s always been good to me. If I truly wish to heal well, and heal wholly, I guess the most important thing for me to do is to be patient with myself along the process. I clearly have all the ‘tools’ to heal, now all I gotta do is apply them with love and patience! Easier said than done? Perhaps so, but hey, I need to start somewhere right?
CARD FOUR: What is helping me heal it? – The Magician
Wow! Well, when I have The Magician on my side, how can I not heal? After all, isn’t Magician ruled by Mercury, the planet of health and healing among other things? I guess this is again a reminder, that I already have all the skills and abilities to overcome my issues with my weight and other things, I just need to channel them in a productive and empowering manner. Along with that, most importantly, TALK about it. Communicating can truly be a powerful force in the healing process, for once we’re able to ‘voice’ our issues, only then can we identify them clearly, as well as, help our loved ones understand what we’re dealing with, and thus win their love and support. Bottling things up only tends to make things worse, but the more we are able to let things out, and express ourselves freely, the more we’re releasing so much pent up stress and angst that just eats us away to our core. I guess maybe this is why I’m being very candid in my interpretation of this spread. Hopefully my expressing such a deep issue that’s affected me throughout my life, I could gain some source of love and support from all of you who are reading, as well as, maybe even help others who are going through similar issues such as I find comfort that they are not alone, and that by expressing themselves, they’ll find the love and support they need to help them with their healing process.
CARD FIVE: What is the obstacle in my healing journey? – King of Wands
Fucking Courts! (lol). Oy, trust a court card to appear here!
Well, now that I think of it, this card in a way could indicate my ‘daddy issues’, as highlighted by The Emperor (plus my dad is a fire sign – go figure) coming in up as obstacles. And boy, do they ever! Especially the bit with self-sabotaging my own progress out of the fear of not being able to handle life without obsessing about my weight and body. And since courts are also aspects of our own psyche, this card indicates that my falling back on the old destructive patterns would be quite a major hindrance in my healing journey. Furthermore, the King could also represent me having extremely high expectations of wanting to achieve the most ideal weight and the perfect 10 body. I so gotta be realistic, and remember that at the end of the day, my own personal health and well being is what matters, not some superficial ideal I try my best to live up to, only to end up losing more than what I bargained for (and not the weight). Also, my need to ‘rush’ through things and see ‘fast results’ would just end up being an obstacle rather than a boon to my healing journey.
CARD SIX: Advice – 6 of Coins
The minute I saw this card, for some reason, I was reminded of the song ‘No one is alone’ from the musical Into the Woods. I now realize that there are people who are willing to help me along the way, to give me the love and support I need, and that I don’t need to be alone in all of this. After all, I’m not the only person in the world with weight and body image issues. Only through sharing, can I not only relieve myself off all the burdens that are more or less self-imposed upon me, but also open myself to receiving a helping hand. And sometimes we can receive the help we need from the most surprising sources.
Along with that, I feel this card is also telling me to be more ‘balanced’ with myself. Taking extreme actions and drastic measures wouldn’t really help me, as they would only throw me off. Starving myself only to binge later on, or working out excessively only to crash and burn later; they just deter me away from my path, making it all the more hard for me to heal. As mentioned earlier, the key is to nurture and nourish myself with love, and lovingly encourage myself rather than be self-critical and exceedingly harsh. Since when does self-criticism ever get anything accomplished?
Furthermore, I just noticed that there is no ‘water’ in this entire spread. Come to think of it, I am mainly an emotional eater, and majority of my binges and other self-destructive habits arise due to various emotional triggers. And even though I’ve come across so many ‘Moon in Taurus’ people who are anything but ‘emotionally balanced’, I need to start becoming all the more ‘practical’ and not let my emotions get the better of me. Exercise plenty of self-discipline within my life, but not in a harsh manner. Self-discipline can be inculcated through loving and nurturing means. Just need to figure out how to do so.
And finally, and most importantly, I need to believe that I deserve this! I need to believe that I am worthy of having a healthy body, as well as, I am worthy of leading a healthy life. Only when I do believe this, can I allow myself to manifest it.
CARD SEVEN: Result of my Healing Journey – Ace of Coins
Wow! I guess there is hope for me after all. After all, the Ace is the spirit of the element of ‘earth’, which among other things, rules the body. If I’m being extremely optimistic, I would say this card would mean that I will achieve that perfect body I’ve only dreamed about. However, being a realistic Capricorn, I feel this card is saying that once I’ve managed to get over myself and taken full responsibility for my life (especially my weight and body issues), I will achieve a spiritual connection with my body like I never had before. I’d finally enjoy the body I was born with, and finally feel ‘connected’ with it, and most importantly, love it wholly. In a way, this would also indicate me being able to begin a new chapter in my life, where not only am I able to take active responsibility for every area of my life, but where I feel comfortable, nourished, and secure within myself, and not feel the need to seek validation or approval from anyone else. I’d finally be free to be me, and live my life to its fullest potential.
If we check out the elemental balance of this spread, there is an excess of Fire and Earth elements along with a deficiency of Air and a complete absence of Water. The excess of Earth represent things like getting stuck in a rut, lack of stimulation, heaviness, sluggishness, and to some extent, even melancholy. The excess of Fire represent things like burnout,and stress due to excessive pressure. In a way, it’s a combination of the two that cause me to get demotivated along my healing journey. Like mentioned before, I go through bouts where I not only eat scarcely, but also work out excessively. And due to all the self-imposed pressure to be thin and have an ‘ideal body’, I ‘burn out’ and then get all sluggish and lazy, and binge feeling all the more heavy and ‘eh’ about myself and everything else. I try snapping out of it, but it’s like a constant cycle, which now I realize I need to get out of.
The deficiency of Air represents listlessness, fatigue, dullness, stagnation, blocked communication, as well as, an inability to express oneself. As mentioned in the reading, I need to learn how to communicate my issues, and just NOW, I realize that part of the reason I find it hard to ‘talk’ about it, is because I feel a deep sense of shame and guilt regarding my struggle. Why? Well, part of it could be that I was raised to believe it’s not the done thing to ‘air dirty laundry’, as well as, displaying vulnerability is a sign of weakness (all part of my ‘daddy issues as represented by The Emperor). I realize now that such thought patterns and belief systems are truly limiting me, as well as, blocking me all the more further from my own ability to heal. Along with all this, the absence of Water represents me being ever so harsh and critical with myself about every little mistake I make. I so need to relax and be easy with myself and learn to flow with life.
Numerically, the number 6 has appeared twice within the reading (6 of Wands and 6 of Coins). 6 being a number of Harmony and Balance, while Wands and Coins, represent Fire and Earth, the excessive elements within the reading. This clearly indicates a need for creating an ‘inner balance’ in all things ‘excess’ within my life. Also, in Ayurvedic Astrology, Venus (which is number 6 according to Chaldean numerology, and the ruler of my own astrological chart) represents the constitution of Kapha (Water +Air) – the elements that are absent within the spread. So in a way, the presence of the two 6’s represents a need for me to balance and harmonize all four elements within me – Fire, Earth, Air, and Water.
Not that I doubt the messages of the cards, nor do I have any qualms with the way I’ve interpreted them. But sometimes, the heart just wants a ‘confirmation’ of sorts from the Universe that we’ve ‘got’ the message it’s trying to give us through the cards. Especially when an issue is so important and close to us, we just need that sense of affirmation! So in this case, I divine the Quint card, i.e., the Major Arcana card derived by adding all the numeric values of the cards. Since there is a ‘Court Card’ within the reading, I do not include a numerical value for it. Primarily because there are conflicting theories regarding the numeric value of a Court Card (one would make Kings 14, while the other would assign 2), and that would just end up confusing me all the more. So to make life simpler, I choose to follow the belief that courts are ‘beyond’ numeric values, and thus do not include them while calculating my Quit Card. (Yes, I promise in the future, I will post a complete post all about Quint Cards).
So in case of this reading, we have – The Emperor (4) + 6 of Wands (6) + 3 of Coins (3) + The Magician (1) + 6 of Coins (6) + Ace of Coins (1) = 4 + 6 +3 + 1 + 6 + 1 = 21 = The World. And well… A picture can speak a thousand words 🙂
What could be a better ‘confirmation’ from the Universe than this?
I hope you’ve enjoyed the reading, and I hope The Healing Cross spread helps you as much as it has helped me.
Love and Blessings
All images are from the Legacy of Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti.