How to Use Tarot For Pregnancy
A Bruja's Guide to Tarot Card Readings For Pregnancy
Image Source: Unsplash/freestocks
If you're into tarot and from a Latinx family, you may have been advised to stay clear of the cards because of negative connotations. Add pregnancy to that, and the warnings come on stronger. This is a direct result of colonialism and how European colonialists tried to abolish our Indigenous traditions under oppressive rules. Although Indigenous religions and cultures existed before and after the colonizer's arrival, the oppressor insisted that Christianity was to be the only religion or spiritual practice observed because anything else was considered the devil's work. Our ancestors were killed, maimed, and enslaved if they didn't follow the rules.
Now, as tarot is being embraced by more and more Latinxs, the taboos around pulling cards at any stage of life, but especially before, during, and after pregnancy, are beginning to wane. Furthermore, in Black and Brown communities, the cards have been used to break through white supremacist and patriarchal impacts on pregnancy and postpartum, and to connect with ancestors. It's a way to regain and reclaim your power and create a pregnancy journey all your own, not one dictated by oppression.
Still, there may be some hesitation with using tarot as a tool during pregnancy. Brittany Carmona-Holt is the author of "Tarot For Pregnancy: A Companion For Radical Magical Birthing Folks," and in her work as a tarot reader and doula, she comes across people that still second-guess whether it's a good idea to use tarot during their pregnancy journey.
"For some folks, it's not because they didn't think of it, but they were actively avoiding it. They know that there are things like the death card or the three of swords or things that might be scary or indicative of loss," she tells POPSUGAR. She shares that this is one of the things that inspired her to write her book. "It's an extremely sensitive and vulnerable time, so just any tarot guide might not be appropriate."
Carmona-Holt's mission behind the book is to break through the taboos or hesitation around using tarot cards during pregnancy. "I wanted to help folks have a safe, trauma-informed source to consult so that they felt comfortable using their tarot deck as a tool, because it's like a more personalized pregnancy book," she explains. "It's like, what are your ancestors seeing that you're going through, and what guidance is specifically needed?"
Whenever you consult tarot cards for guidance, divine messages, and direction, you should always take it with a grain of salt. After all, it's a tool used to support your spiritual journey, not an all-determining factor of life's outcomes.
Image Source: Brittany Carmona-Holt
What Is a Pregnancy Tarot Card Reading?
"The ace and the 10 coincide both numerically and energetically perfectly with conception and fertility in the ace, through the nine months of pregnancy, to birth and postpartum in the 10," Carmona-Holt explains. And because her clients often tell her they're expecting before revealing it to their families, it gives her a unique perspective when reading for them since it's so early on into the pregnancy.
"I can really track what they're experiencing energetically," she explains. "So I can see around month five is when a lot of people are really struggling. Around month six is when a lot of people are finding their way back to their sexuality, and a lot of things come up in the sixes. They all make so much sense."
Sometimes a card appears, and it isn't immediately apparent how it relates to pregnancy. During those times, Carmona-Holt says, it's about sitting with the card and really dissecting its meanings. "For the eight of cups, for example, I always joke that that's the breakup card," she says. "So how does this apply to pregnancy? It absolutely applies for when you need to break up with a [healthcare] provider who's not aligned or things like that."
What Is a Pregnancy Spread?
Carmona-Holt says she reads intuitively, so it could be a very different spread from client to client, whether they're pregnant or not. "I do have a certain spread that I like to use when it's my first reading with anybody," she says. "That's the Celtic Cross spread, because it gives me as much information about their whole life and surrounding factors."
In the book, she does include some specific spreads, but they are intended for self-readings and reflection. "I have a spread specifically around the justice card and how you are meant to be infusing your purpose toward the aims of justice throughout your pregnancy and the decisions you make about your prenatal care and birth," she explains. "Also, what you need to be thinking about in terms of furthering the pursuits of justice through your parenting, and ancestral healing."
In the book, Carmona-Holt, who is white and has a son who is part Mexican, writes about the justice card. It reads: "If you are a person who holds white privilege, class privilege, or any other kind of privilege that has increased your likelihood of thriving in this world, you have the opportunity to use your journey to and in parenthood as an opportunity to become antiracist so that you do not continue to pass on the dangerous legacy of white supremacy to your lineage."
Which Tarot Cards Represent Pregnancy?
If you search this question online, you may see things like the empress or the star or any of the aces. But Carmona-Holt feels it's so much more than just focusing on just a few cards, although she does have a few personal favorites.
"[Pregnancy] is such a big life experience, so every card applies," Carmona-Holt says. "As far as fertility, the ace of pentacles is a great sign. That's like a seed in a card," she adds, admitting she's partial to the pentacles suit. "Pentacles is one of my favorite suits because it's not just the earth element, and it's definitely not only the financial element, although it can mean that. But the five points of the star are all of the elements, earth, fire, water, air, and the fifth point is you and the human spirit and the magic that you bring to the world. So, to me, that's the ultimate manifestation of when you're making a child."
Carmona-Holt also loves the magician and the 10 of cups. "At one point I was going to name my business 'The 10 of Cups' because to me that's like growing your family card," she says. "It's a beautiful symbol for folks who are wading through this journey, and it's always like a beautiful beacon of your family is coming. In my book, I consider that to be birth and postpartum because it's a 10. So it's really speaking to a new family being born."
How Can You Ask Tarot Cards About Pregnancy?
Carmona-Holt says it starts with trust in the person you're reading for. "I trust even if [my clients] aren't telling me the whole story that it's going to come through regardless," she says. Communication is key. She wants the person she's reading for to ask questions, make statements about their journey, and be as communicative as possible to get the most out of the reading.
"I do not consider myself clairvoyant and I'm not psychic, so please converse with me, I can't read your mind," she says about how she consults with clients, adding that the readings "are only enriched by people having a conversation with me."
What Do Twin-Pregnancy Tarot Cards Look Like?
All the twos in the tarot could indicate twin pregnancy, but there are so many other meanings around those cards that it's difficult to say. "I personally would never go as far as telling anyone [they're having multiples]," Carmona-Holt says. "Two of cups comes up a lot for people during pregnancy, so I definitely don't want to tell people that that means twins." In fact, she says she sees two of cups come up a lot in readings for pregnant clients, but she feels that's because the card means to see yourself reflected in relation to other people, not necessarily as an indicator of twins.
"The relationship you have with your baby and your kids is the biggest mirror," she says. If she had to choose a card that could possibly refer to a twin pregnancy, Carmona-Holt says it would be the lovers card. "The lovers card is one that I can see playing out that way in terms of partnerships and twin flames," she says before cautioning, "I'm a super-careful tarot reader, and I like to cover all my bases and never tell people super-definitive things."
A gentle reminder that the tarot is a tool you can use to support your journey, not rely on it for definitive determinations about your health or life at any point, especially during pregnancy.