Make yourself a cuppa and get comfy as we dive into telling our life story with the cards – a super empowering activity designed to support us in recognising our role as author of our own story, past, present and future
Welcome to the third instalment of Ancestry & Tarot – I’m so happy to have you here!
Whether you're a tarot newbie or something of a seasoned card slinger you're very welcome to pull up a chair, pop open a pack of cards and join us as we anchor into our roots in order to develop an empowered understanding of ourselves, our loved ones and those who came before.
Read on for details of today’s adventure and be sure to click on the video above to join me for a more detailed chitchat and examples of the activity ahead.
Storytelling with the cards
So far along our Ancestry & Tarot journey we’ve constructed our family tree and explored family core beliefs and values with the help of our trusty tarot cards, bringing us into greater awareness of family dynamics, the relationship we have with ourselves and the relationships we have with family members.
Today we’re going to use the landscape of the cards to create our life story – a visual timeline of key events, experiences, relationships, inner and outer moments of transformation stretching from our very first breath to where we are now.
Taking time to put together such a storyboard helps facilitate an exploration of the way in which we perceive and interpret events, bringing to light the kind of language we use when reflecting upon challenging times or circumstances; enabling an embracing of our ability to re-write the script with a more compassionate tone should we feel called to do so.
We are, after all, a part of our ancestry and a part of our present day family and of our descendants; it makes sense to take some time to really dive into our personal journey before reaching further back and connecting with those who lived many moons before us.
Today’s activity (or, adventure – much more appealing!) will also create a foundation for the inner child work and family relationship healing we’ll soon be exploring.
Creating a timeline of events
Begin by gathering together your sacred tools – your tarot deck of choice, a pen and a notebook/sheet of paper – and settle into the present moment with a few deep breaths.
This is your time to go within and honour whatever it is you experience throughout the journey ahead.
When you’re ready, put pen to paper and begin constructing your personal timeline – any and all significant events, experiences, relationships, choices, accomplishments, disappointments and moments of inner and outer transformation throughout your childhood, adolescence, early adulthood and beyond.
No need to worry too much about forgetting things – you can always add and rearrange events along the way if you need to (I know I did!)
Timeline good to go? Spread the cards face-up in front of you and take a moment to observe the scenes unfolding on each.
For every entry on your timeline, intuitively choose a card/s (whatever calls to you, without worrying about traditional meanings – there’s no such thing as wrong or right!) that you feel best describes the moment in question.
Build your visual timeline gradually, really sinking into the cards as you go.
When you've got your finished timeline in front of you, take a moment to review your life story – are there any patterns or themes that stand out to you?
I noticed that difficult times seemed to be followed by joyful encounters and events, something rather reassuring to witness and remember. While difficult times may feel overwhelming, we always manage to find a way through and to experience something wonderful again.
Employing compassionate language while exploring our life story
Hone in on one or two events, phases, choices, moments in which your inner narrative tends to adopt a critical, harsh or cruel tone – moments that perhaps trigger thoughts of shame, regret, guilt, failure.
Consciously acknowledging the language of our inner storytelling enables us to begin experimenting with a kinder, gentler, more compassionate voice and re-telling of events should we feel called to do so.
Using the remainder of your tarot cards, or gathering together all of your cards so that you have a full house to choose from, intuitively select a card/s that you feel best matches the current narrative at play for the moment in time you’ve decided to further explore (click on the video below for a detailed example taken from my own timeline).
Write down and/or speak aloud the words you’d usually use when recalling this period of your life story. If you’re feeling a little vulnerable, that’s ok – take your time and of course only continue if you feel able to.
Surveying your cards, ask yourself how you might begin introducing a more supportive, understanding, empowering narrative as an alternative to the one expressed above.
How might a ‘failure’ be seen now through kinder eyes? What lessons and realisations did such experiences birth within you?
Of course, if there are actions and choices we realise weren’t the best paths for us to pursue, or challenging situations we experienced that were beyond our control (as well as those that were perhaps within our control), this process isn’t about pretending that such decisions or experiences were the best thing ever.
Rather, this is an opportunity to offer ourselves, and perhaps others if we called to do so, forgiveness, understanding, patience - whatever it is we may need - and a compassionate perspective moving forwards.
What might you say to yourself now, as an empowered storyteller and weaver of words? What might you say to younger you, who very much still lives within?
This is our chance to re-tell elements of our life story in kinder tones, a chance that is always open to us in the present moment.
Creating non-linear timelines
W can of course approach our life story in a non-linear way (I’m very much a believer in time as cyclical - involving phases, ebb and flow, energetic cycles).
If you feel called to do so, perhaps have a go at creating a timeline using phases of energy or repeated patterns/lessons as ways of grouping your experiences.
Using the cards in a similar way as described above, enjoy crafting multiple versions of your life story, perhaps offering new ways in which to explore storytelling, narrative and language.
Preparing for inner child work + relationship healing
Moving forwards, we’ll be exploring inner child work and relationship healing so it’s worth taking a moment to identify a time in your childhood you feel called towards revisiting, as well as a family relationship (whether family by DNA or otherwise) you’re keen to understand in greater depth and begin bringing your healing attention to.
If you have any questions about today’s activity or about Ancestry & Tarot (or ancestry/tarot as separate subjects!) do feel free to get in touch as I’d love to experience this journey together and to connect more deeply along the way.
See you soon for our next adventure!
With love, gratitude and so much joy,
Browse all Ancestry & Tarot posts here.
DISCLAIMER: All information, guidance and advice given throughout Ancestry & Tarot is not equivalent to, or a substitute for, professional medical advice. You are advised to consult an appropriately qualified healthcare professional should you have any concerns about the nature of the activities shared throughout this series. Your health and wellbeing are paramount, sweet friend.