Continuing Education

Trust What Calls to You: Exploring Healing with Tarot

Healing with Tarot instructor Michelle Bloom says she has always been a healer. “Being a healer is a calling you feel within. You tend to be the person everyone goes to when they are troubled as you empathically share the feelings of everyone around you. You are the person in your family who sees the issues and wants to work on them. You tend to be sensitive, Imageemotional, compassionate and introspective. You feel a desire to help others or help the world. I knew I was a healer when I had a spiritual awakening about twenty years ago where my intuition and connection to spirit burst open very quickly.”

Bloom first discovered the curative aspects of Tarot cards as a freshman in college. Picking up her roommate’s deck for the first time, she felt an instant connection to it, a resonance that was somehow familiar to her.  “I began reading for myself and my friends constantly,” she recalls. “I studied and memorized the meaning to each card. I was already on the healing path before Tarot came into my life and I used the cards as a medium for healing instinctively and immediately as a result.”

As a psychology student Bloom was intrigued to discover the interconnected aspects of tarot and mental health practices. “I feel as a tarot reader I have always been and always will be a therapist,” she says.  “I have never considered myself to be a fortune teller even if I do share predictions that sometimes show up in the readings. My readings focus on the psyche of the client and helping them to heal so that they can be more of their true self in the world. The two disciplines have always been interwoven for me.”

While Bloom’s skills as a Tarot reader grew, she came to value the volumes of self-discovery the cards offered her personally. However, a clear call to be a reader was long in coming. “(I)t took a few years to feel the call within my soul,” she recalls. “I don't believe coming into our soul’s purpose is a logical process—it’s an illogical, feeling process. Often times the call to be a healer is resisted by the ego for years or decades because it is not an easy job and comes with heavy responsibility. Every Tarot reader by profession that I know is a healer and the two are never divided. I know there are readers who use the cards for fortune telling only, to make a buck, or for fun but it is more rare and perhaps a more stigmatized version of Tarot fabricated by television.”

With the interweaving of her two key disciplines, Bloom discovered each area complemented the other, allowing for greater support for her clients. “After becoming trained as a therapist my tarot readings did not change but I was able to articulate the card meanings with more specific psychological insight,” she recalls. “Bridging therapy and tarot reading as a profession is always a work in progress. I see clients solely for Tarot and clients solely for therapy.”

Indeed, Bloom has found herself tailoring sessions to meet each client’s needs. “Even though there is a distinct difference in the title, the sessions are the same,” she says. “Due to therapy being a more legitimized healing profession in our culture, it is mostly my therapy clients I Imagework with regularly, giving us the opportunity to go deeper into the healing journey. Tarot clients tend to come only once, monthly, or seasonally.  Due to the infrequency of the sessions, I am more of a messenger with Tarot clients.”   

Bloom says no experience is necessary to enroll in Healing with Tarot, and all a student needs is a curiosity and willingness to open up to your intuition, imagination, and healing abilities. “Using the right brain qualities of imagination and intuition to tell stories based on pictures is a skill every human being possesses and no experience is required,” she says.  “This is the basis of the class. The healing aspect of this class is rooted in these stories being about our internal experience, feelings, thoughts, and desires. Every one of us knows loss, pain, happiness, hope, fulfillment, etc. Every one of us has a sense of being authentic and inauthentic, playing roles or being true to the self. The process of reading Tarot for healing is very natural. Beginners will discover how the process of healing with Tarot can be playful and creative.”

Bloom believes there is no right or right or wrong way to go about exploring the Tarot. “Often the most insightful readings are given by those who have never looked at a deck in their life,” she says. “You don't even need to know the meanings of the cards to read them. I have had many beginners give me incredible readings based on their own interpretation of the images on the cards. The way we develop the right brain qualities of intuition and imagination is through practice, practice, practice...and more practice.”

According to Bloom, finding a Tarot deck is a very personal, intuitive venture. “I always advise others to go with the deck that calls to them. Maybe it's the art work you like or the name of the deck or just a feeling. Trust what calls to you for whatever reason it is. I do recommend the Mythic Tarot for those seeking to learn Tarot for healing, specifically through the path of depth psychology. The book's interpretations are so brilliant that I will still read directly from it with clients. I still read from this book for myself. The images stem from the Greek myths and the story of these myths are used to take you through the journey of the major arcana Image(archetypes) and of the suits (cups, wands, swords, and pentacles). I found this to be incredibly helpful when I was a beginner. Often decks only come with key words. This deck not only comes with fully fleshed out interpretations but each card in each suit is also told as one seamless story that relates myth to the psychological process.”

Though her aim is to guide those in an exploration of healing, Bloom also looks forward to creating a space where students will have fun learning about Tarot.  “I want them to dive in and practice without worrying about if they are doing it right,” she says.  “My hope is that they surprise themselves with their own abilities. I would like everyone to leave having more trust in their intuition and giving more life to their imagination. I would like to demystify the Tarot card's reputation of being an occult or fortune telling tool only. I would also like students to take away with them more clarity and understanding about themselves and to learn that the healing journey can be a creative and experimental process.”

Learn more about Healing with Tarot.