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Tarot cards Tarot, the high priestess card in the foreground.

Tarot Cards As A Recovery Tool

We certainly don’t judge anyone on the methods they use to get clean. And though the fortune teller-based tarot cards have their critics, they apparently have worked as a recovery tool for many. So much so, that the website covered the trend and the growing use for “mystical treatment.”


Vox writer Mike McClelland shared his personal experience with tarot cards (or properly known as The Wild Unknown Archetypes Deck) and addiction treatment. This type of recovery blends seamlessly with meditation and the ability to take yourself to a clear-minded place. As McClelland explained, understanding the meaning behind each unique character is crucial.


“The tarot guidebook is small and watercolored, and the cards come in an attractive circular container,” he wrote on the site. “My first card, my Root, was Kairos, the image on the card a wolf’s eye surrounded by sky-blue scales. When I meditated on the card, my mind kept going back to the forests and cemeteries of my youth. But they weren’t just safe places in nature; they were the last time I’d felt safe at all. They’re stuck in mythic time, the time before my love for my hometown was crushed under the burden of being bullied too long, back to where I was before I’d started drinking.”


As you can tell by his writing, McClelland is a recovering alcoholic and explained in his article that he has gone through many methods to remain clean. The cards supposedly get you more in touch with your body and nature. The order in which they are picked has a big significance in the way you handle your recovery meditations. “Root” cards, as described above, are the first drawn and represent your grounding moment.


“Heart” cards are the second to be pulled and represent longing in your life. For McClelland, that happened to be the tarot Stone; which, for him, symbolized a need for stability and tranquility. The final card pulled in this process is the “Crown,” which reflects aspirations. In his article McClelland described getting the Shaman for this. In his concluding paragraph, McClelland explained how this final choice suited him quite well; emphasizing that tarot and meditations could indeed work as a tool for maintaining sobriety.


“These cards didn’t allow me to read the future,” he concluded. “What they were able to do, though, was to pause the cynic in me. Not only did the images in my head have meaning, they had good, positive meanings. Any alcoholic will tell you that ours is a disease that finds you at battle with your own mind. With this new tool at my disposal, my mind became less of a burden and less of cliché.”