Overwhelmed Physically? Emotionally? Mentally?
Oracle cards can be a fresh pair of eyes gazing at your aches and pains however they manifest. Sometimes we just need to have the courage to ask, "What is at the root of this pain (or issue)?" Maybe it's time to take a deep breath, find a quiet space and lay out some cards? This spread may take you several days or even weeks to complete. I strongly recommend that you give each card the time it needs to share what it has to say. Take time to journal along the way.
Decks that work well with a Chakra Spread will be more intuitive, have a spiritual or energetic feel. Unless your intention is to ask about the shadow of each of your chakras or do some very deep work, I would not recommend using a dark or heavily-themed deck. Modern decks that have images based in this world and stray far from traditional decks may be challenging to read with this kind of spread. When you are doing healing work, it's best to use a deck you know well and feel comfortable with. Another option would be to use several decks for this spread as some decks speak more to certain chakras than others. If you are not sure what I mean by this, here are some considerations:
Muladhara: Try an earth-based deck, a deck that feels like "home", warm and safe, a deck that speaks to family and family issues.
Swadhisthana: A watery deck or one with strong moon or goddess energy will work well here. You could also use a deck that speaks to creativity and/or stirs emotion. It's a good idea to choose a deck with a devil card that resonates with you as addiction is connected to this chakra and if you are in self-sabotage mode, it's likely to come up.
Manipura: A deck with strong fire energy or one that will help you claim your power may be what you need here. From another perspective, this chakra teaches us to trust in the divine and learn to balance my will with thy will, so you may want to look for a deck that moves you spiritually.
Anahata: Air is the element of the heart chakra, which means that the swords in the deck you choose will serve best if they seem to create a strong connection of mind-body-spirit. If you have a hard time wrapping your head around anahata as air element then choose a deck that is more about air than swords. Another way to choose a good anahata deck is finding one that speak to unconditional love and will allow an exploration of grief.
Vishuddhi: Ether/spirit-based decks that have a "voice" or will give you your voice is what you are looking for to help with issues around learning to speak your truth.
Ajña: Choose an intuitive deck or a deck that you'd feel comfortable meditating with.
Step 1: Clear and Prepare This spread is a bit of a project, so take time to clear your space and each of the decks that you will be working with. Once all the cards are on the table, it may become confusing which card represents which chakra, so you could make little signs, pull chakra cards from another deck you have or select a crystal for each chakra. Then take as much time as you are able to sit quietly, meditate, practice yoga nidra or give yourself some reiki. If you're eager to just get to it, then 11 slow inhales and exhales is a start.
Step 2: Ajna (Third-Eye) Chakra
Pick up the deck you have selected or the one for this chakra. As you shuffle, think of your question. This chakra is about discernment. What do you need to release so that you can see the big picture more easily? What do you need to focus on so that you can better trust your intuition. This is a very important card to work with as it will help you see the more challenging issues of the lower three chakras with a fresh perspective. Draw one card and spend some time with it. You may want to pause your reading here or do a two or three-card draw to really hone in on the chakra. If you have physical symptoms with your eyes or nervous system, it is strongly recommended that you work with a qualified yoga therapist or seek medical advice.
Step 3: Muladhara (Root) Chakra
Reshuffle the deck minus the cards you used for ajña chakra or shuffle the deck you selected to represent the earth element, hearth and home. As you shuffle, think of your question. What have I not resolved about my family? family issues? What is it that draws me back to my tribe in an unhealthy way? How can I have a more balanced relationship with my parents? Why do I not feel safe? Why am I constantly in fight or flight mode? What steps do I need to take to resolve financial issues or release scarcity? Draw one card and spend some time with it. You may want to pause your reading here or do a two or three-card draw to really hone in on the chakra. If you have physical symptoms with your anus, colon, vagina, perineum or sciatica (to name a few), it is strongly recommended that you work with a qualified yoga therapist or seek medical advice.
Step 4: Swadhisthana (Sacral) Chakra
Pick up your deck less the cards already placed, or the deck you selected for this chakra. As you shuffle, think of your question. This is the most challenging chakra for many people as many unconscious issues and karmic patterns reside here. Decide which issue related to this chakra you would like to work with (rather than leaving it open-ended). You may wish to focus on what is at the root of your uncontrollable desires (addictions). This chakra is also about joy, so if you are having a challenging time finding joy, you may want to explore what is behind that. Swadhisthana is the centre of creativity, where all new "babies" are birthed. Find a question that feels comfortable in exploring your ability to create. Draw one card and spend some time with it. You may want to pause your reading here or do a two or three-card draw to really hone in on the chakra. If you have physical symptoms with bladder, kidneys, ovaries, testes or adrenal glands (not an all-inclusive list) it is strongly recommended that you work with a qualified yoga therapist or seek medical advice. If you have been sexually abused, have sexual addictions or other sexual issues, please seek professional help.
Do you need another deck to continue? At this point, if you have placed 9 cards and it was your intention to only use one deck, you may wish to use a second deck or take a photo of the cards and put all the cards back into the deck. If you prefer, carry on with the one deck and see where this reading will take you . . .
Step 5: Manipura (Navel) Chakra
Once you have decided which deck to use for manipura chakra, shuffle the cards thinking of your question. Once again, focusing on a single issue will help you in interpreting the card(s). Will you focus on nurturing yourself? self-esteem? confidence? perfectionism? anger issues? This is your power centre, the place where you claim or give it away. And eventually, it is the place where you bring your will into balance and learn to live humbly realizing that you are not the doer. It is the final chakra that deals with third-dimensional reality. It's a lot to process, I know (that's why working with a yoga therapist can really help with these lower three chakras!). So shuffle the cards, focusing on one issue. What is it I need to understand about my digestion? What am I unaware of that is behind my perfectionism? When you are ready draw a card, proceed as directed with other chakras.
In the previous chakras, I listed physical body parts associated with emotional, mental or psychological issues related to the corresponding chakra. It is likely that if you are reading this blog that you are looking for alternative ways to understand recurring problems. For manipura chakra, one of the best bits of advice I received was "remember Sadhana, how you are digesting your food, is how you are presently digesting life". Another piece to remember is that (physical) symptoms are not always related to one chakra. For example, anger is connected to an imbalance in manipura chakra, but it may manifest as a skin rash or implode as depression. So understanding how the chakras interact and how the senses are perceived in chakra psychology will go a long way in understanding your journey. I have been actively studying and working with the chakras since 2012 and still call upon my teacher regularly.
Step 6: Anahata (Heart) Chakra
In anahata, we bring together the lower three and upper three chakras. This is the chakra where worldly issues meet spirit. My anahata story is about a cat. I never used to like cats. I'm not sure whether it was an aversion to indoor cats and litter boxes, being clawed as a child or what? When I was deep in yogic sadhana staying with my teacher at Ishtadev Niwas, there was a cat (maybe cats), that would not leave me alone. Every time I found a spot to meditate or journal (outdoors), a cat would be mewing at my ankles or on my lap making it very difficult to focus on the task at hand. When I mentioned this to my teacher, she told me to love every creature that came to me. And so, I decided to embrace the cat's presence and not resist what its energy had to share with me. That simple shift in perception made meditating or journaling a new experience and opened my heart to a whole realm of possibilities. The energetic heart space is one of unconditional love and where you will find jyoti - the eternal divine flame that represents our luminous consciousness. To find it, we must be open to allowing the presence of grace.
Shuffle your cards, close your eyes and go deep into the space of your heart and ask what needs to heal? What is underlying the ache you feel here? Is there unprocessed grief? How can I purify my heart? Or if there are any unresolved issues that you would benefit from becoming aware of at this time.
Step 7: Vishuddhi or Vishuddha (Throat) Chakra
If your reading of swadhisthana was challenging, look to this chakra for clarification. Vishuddhi will mirror the issues in swadhisthana. As you shuffle the cards, feel the cool air swirling in your throat. Contemplate your truth - especially those truths you have been unable vocalize. What may also arise here is unprocessed forgiveness either towards yourself or others. This is a very important step in healing and purification. The gift of releasing the energy associated with the stories surrounding what needs to be forgiven, is freedom. (There is also a hint of manipura energy here in thinking that you have the control over these things.) Learning to speak authentically, to speak your truth is one of the main lessons here. So as you shuffle the cards, ask yourself what you have not been able to utter aloud. Is there some part of your truth that you have not shared? You will know what needs to be revealed. Then ask the cards for a next step if you need help.
Step 8: Sahasrara (Crown) Chakra
There is much work to be done in the previously mentioned six chakras. If, by the grace of god or goddess, you happen to complete your work, your crown chakra will naturally be opened, clear and accessible. What I have learned, is do the work - your practice, and all will be forthcoming. So for this chakra, the intention of the reading is different. Shuffle your deck and formulate a question in your own words similar to either of following. What is the final message from spirit about this reading? For my greatest good, to stay on my path, which chakra is the one that needs the most care and attention? For the latter question you could simply draw one of six chakra cards (from a deck that contains chakra cards) or if you are continuing with the same deck, here is my interpretation. Where cards are mentioned in more than one chakra, it would depend on surrounding cards, the reading as a whole and intuition. This of course is a fluid perception and will vary slightly depending on the deck used as well.
Pentacles, 0 The Fool, I The Magician, XVI The Tower, Fours
Cups, III The Empress, XI Justice, XIV The Devil, XVIII The Moon, XX Judgement, Aces, Twos, Queens Manipura
Wands, I The Magician, IV The Emperor, VII The Chariot, VIII Strength, XIII Death, XVI The Tower, XIX The Sun, Knights, Kings
Swords, VI Lovers, X The Wheel, XIV Temperance, Vishuddhi
IX The Hermit, XII The Hanged Man, Pages, XX Judgement
II High Priestess, V Hierophant, XVII The Star, XXI The World, Threes
Mini Sample Reading
Please see the image at the top. Sorry it's so dark. It was late at night and I was very much in the mood of this personal reading. I hadn't done a chakra reading for myself in a long time. I chose to select a different deck for each chakra plus an oracle deck for two final messages. If you have questions about the messages that came through or why I chose the decks I did for each chakra, please ask. I am an open book. Namaste.
Ajña: Eight of Pentacles (Guardian Tarot), Clear Quartz
How can I continue to improve my perception, the way I view stories . . . In my work as a healer, is there anything I need to now right now?