A friend of mine, let’s call her B, came to me recently for a Tarot reading. She had been having severe migraines for the past few years. They had gotten so bad recently that she had to start taking prescription medication to bear through them. We decided to use the cards to investigate potential root sources of these migraines. I chose a simple five card spread with an additional “shadow card” that revealed latent forces that could “make or break” the situation at hand. I will now discuss each card and its position and how it helped B reflect on how to meaningfully treat her migraines.
The first card revealed B’s current state. How she was feeling about her situation. The Hermit, a part of the major arcana, intimated that she was feeling alone and perhaps isolated by these episodes. The migraines were so painful that she had to shy away from people to treat herself. The Hermit also carried another message. His presence seemed to suggest that her seclusion was somehow self-imposed. Hermits are hermits because they choose to retreat from society. Perhaps B did not intentionally afford herself enough alone time to reflect on her life path and so her body manifested a physical ailment that would force her to spend some time alone. Unfortunately, in manifesting it this way she was unable to really utilize that alone time, instead she was distracted by the pain and thus looked to medication to help assuage the pain.
The second card indicated the root of B’s problem, the foundation of the issue at hand. The Three of Cups reversed highlighted a pattern in B’s childhood. From a very early age B understood that her household was not conducive to expressing her views. She spent years without the ability to express herself, effectively bottling up her own creative potential. This bottling would later continue, effecting her relationships and her perceived possibilities. In effect, this is where her “constriction” began. Notice the joyful image, when reversed, is literally “turned upside down” and the contents of the glasses spill out.
Card three, the past influences on the matter at hand, was the King of Swords reversed. Here we see immaturity and/or lack of preparation. When she was in her early twenties B started to develop some of her latent psychic abilities. Through Tarot and Candle Magick rituals she felt herself becoming more intuitively and psychically aware. Her dreams became prophetic. Then, she had a dream that effectively predicted the attacks on 9/11. She was so shaken by this experience that she immediately stopped actively developing her psychic abilities and also intentionally shut out her dreams and ignored her intuitive awareness. The results of this psychic trauma caused her body to constrict, much like she experienced as a child. In effect, fear of the unkown and fear of not being accepted for her abilities left her closed off from her higher awareness, or sixth sense. This constriction occurred because she was not emotionally or psychically mature enough to handle the gravity of her expanding consciousness. To put it simply, she was not prepared to be “psychically aware”.
The fourth card explored her speculations influencing the matter. A reversed Queen of Pentacles would indicate a disconnect from nature, or Mother Earth. B would benefit greatly from the healing powers in nature and her own innate ability to heal herself through Reiki, meditation, and yoga (all of which she had previously practiced at one point or another). At the moment, however, B has been ignoring her inner voice and instead has been listening to society, which tells her to visit a physician who then prescribes medication for these types of “physical ailments”.
The fifth card is the probable outcome. The reversed Six of Cups hinted at the possibility of history repeating itself. Her childhood lessons in holding back her emotions, coupled with experience shown by card 3, may make it difficult for her to face the real causes of her migraines head on. To admit that she needs to once again open up the pathways that had previously frightened her may be too difficult for her to deal with at this time. It would seem likely that she may continue to repress her innate abilities and dreams and thus continue to have the headaches. This would seem to be a sad outcome if not for the shadow card I previously mentioned. Here we see latent forces at work, and when I saw the Eight of Pentacles I was eager to share the positive news with B. She did have some hope of breaking the cycle. The message was simple, do what you love and do what you’re good at. If you do these two things you will find fulfillment and meaning in what you are doing, and will develop any senses you require to be more successful at those activities.
We have now been discussing all the possible ways to treat her migraines holistically. Understanding the root of the problem and all the many factors (past, present and future) influencing the situation has helped her to explore new ways of approaching this problem. A renewed self-confidence and enthusiasm for life is observable in my friend’s behavior. I hope she will continue to share her growth and understanding with me as she progresses further.