The 8 Card Life Map Spread
The Life Map Spread serves as our "intake" session in Tarot Therapy, and helps an individual or client get to the root of their challenges so that they can identify what to focus on first.
It can also be done on an annual or semi-annual basis to help a person get to the heart of what is going on in their lives and discover if there is anything hidden that they may not notice or may even be trying to subconsciously or consciously try to avoid or push away. I recommend doing the 8 card Life Map Spread once every 3-4 months. In between these longer 8 card spreads, Tarot Therapy clients are encouraged to do weekly Life Map Self-Assessment ratings.
The Life Map Overview
The Life Map consists of 8 sections that cover different aspects of your life. By focusing on each of these areas, you can start to get a good feel for where your biggest challenges are (it may not always be what you think), as well as to see growth and patterns over time.
The Life Map Consists of these 8 areas:
Physical Environment - includes the city, state, and country where you live as well as your individual home. This area also includes your home work space if you have one.
Self-Care and Recreation - includes taking care of yourself, resting when you need it, as well as doing things and having fun. Self care is not all bubble baths and binging shows.
Health Care and Wellness - includes eating well, exercising, and taking care of your body. Many spiritual people especially lack focus in this area, but it's important to bring awareness back to the body.
Love and Romance - includes your current romantic relationship if you have one. This area also includes past relationships and can help you see patterns in your communication and needs.
Career and Business - includes what you do for work as well as if you own a business. If you are a stay at home mother, include this as your work.
Spiritual and Personal Growth - includes your daily practices, rituals, connection to Source, focus on bettering yourself, learning, and growth.
Family and Friends - includes your biological family and those who raised you as well as your chosen family and the friends you surround yourself with.
Finances and Wealth - includes how much money you have, your investments, debt, ability to make money, as well as your beliefs about money and if you have been told that it is "bad."
Each of these 8 areas also correspond to one of the chakras. If you do energy or chakra work, you can find out more about this in Tarot Therapy 101.
Preparing For Your Reading
To prepare for your 8 Card Life Map Spread, it's important to be in a relaxed state in a place where you can focus on the cards. If you have a private place to do your work, you might want to light a candle or some incense.
- Your Tarot Deck
- Tarot Journal
- Pen or Pencil
- 30-45 Minutes
Silence your phone and turn off any computer notifications.
Take a moment and take a few deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Imagine your whole body relaxing and letting the cares of the world drift away. Connect with your Core Self, the heart of your Inner Knowing and connection with the Divine.
Next, center yourself into your core. This is about an inch or two below your belly button. You may wish to place a hand on your core as you continue to breath deeply.
Drawing Your Cards
Begin to shuffle your Tarot deck and think about your physical environment. As you shuffle the cards, ask the Tarot, "What is the most important thing that I need to know about my physical environment right now?"
Pay attention to anything that comes up for you. Do you immediately think of the mountains outside your window or how you wish you had time to decorate for the upcoming holiday? Are you upset because your spouse keeps messing up the kitchen or that your home feels cluttered or cramped?
You can make a note any of these thoughts in your Tarot Journal as you continue to shuffle the cards, or just notice them and let your mind wander.
When it feels right, choose a card and turn it face up. Go through the 5 Minute Tarot Process and write down what feels significant to you.
Give yourself about 5 minutes for each card.
Once you have finished the physical environment, shuffle the remaining cards in the deck and focus on Self-Care and Recreation. Ask yourself, "What do I most need to know about the Self-Care and Recreation of my Life Map right now?"
Write down what comes up for you in your Tarot Journal.
Repeat this process with each area of your Life Map, shuffling the remaining cards and asking, "What do I most need to know about [the specific area of your Life Map] right now?"
If Your Reading Goes Too Long
If your reading starts to go longer than 45 minutes, and you still have several cards left, you can stop the reading and continue another day. It is better to break up the reading than to go longer for many people. It is easy to get overwhelmed with too much information and to stop using your Tarot Therapy resources if the sessions feel like they are too much.
Instead of trying to do a longer session or doing a 2 hour Therapy Session one day, then skipping it for 2 months, break your sessions up.
This is specifically referring to your own Life Map Reading. If you are working with a client, we plan this slightly differently as an intake session, as described in the Tarot Therapy Alliance.
Purpose of a Life Map Reading
The purpose of your Life Map Reading is to help you gain clarity in each of the 8 area of your Life Map. This can help you choose which area or which specific problem you would like to focus on first in your Tarot Therapy Sessions.
The Life Map Reading can also help you see patterns over time, where you are improving your life, as well as problems that come up again and again.
This can also be related to the time of year or specific anniversaries that are challenging, such as a divorce, a specific holiday, or the birthday or death of a loved one.
Getting Help With Your Life Map Reading
If you're having trouble with your Life Map Reading, aren't sure of the meanings of your cards, or would like support on your Tarot Therapy Journey, Amethyst does Life Map Readings as well as private client Tarot Therapy Sessions. If you are interested in working together, you can purchase your Life Map Reading here.
About The Author
Amethyst Mahoney, PhD is the founder of Tarot Therapy and Spiritual Badass. She helps people learn to use the cards in a way that accesses the subconscious so that they can overcome trauma. Amethyst is passionate about helping people overcome religious trauma and start their own online businesses. She has a goal of helping at least 1,000 people become Certified Tarot Therapists so that they can help more people all over the World with Tarot Therapy. Amethyst is the author of several books as well as the best-selling yearly Tarot Therapy Planner. You can find her in her forever home near Nashville, TN with her husband Brent and their fur babies.