Soul Journey Tarot Spread

The Soul Journey Tarot Reading, from Rachel Pollack, seeks to help you understand, through the Major Arcana, what journey your soul has been undertaking during your dreams, and other trance-like states. It’s a little different to regular dream interpretation as it doesn’t seek to find what your dreams are about, rather it seeks to find out where your soul travels to and what it’s doing while there. As Rachel explains:

Soul Journey Reading

“Many traditions have an idea of the soul, or an aspect of ourselves, journeying to other realms without our conscious knowledge. This spread helps us look at where our soul has gone. Following widespread custom, I refer to the soul as “she”, but you can say “he” or “it” as it makes sense to you. (This can be done with the whole deck, if desired. Alternatively, this might be a good one for several cards per question.)”

  1. Where has my soul been?
  2. What has she done?
  3. What does she bring back?
  4. How do I welcome her?

I have shared the tarot reading I did with this spread to illustrate how profoundly deep it can permeate through your soul and into your waking life. While you don’t need to read on to successfully carry out this reading yourself, doing so will help you to see what depths, and heights, this tarot spread can take you.

I decided to use the beautiful and deeply spiritual Majors only, Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess, and kept to the single card version of the spread.

While shuffling and reading through Rachel’s intro to the spread, the Death card jumped out. This was a very personal card for me and speaks volumes about where I feel I currently am with my spirituality and my life in general. I put Death to one side as to me, it’s an integral part of this reading.

The cards I drew for the reading were:

  1. 12 – Hanged One
  2. 5 – High Priest
  3. 3 – Empress
  4. 21 – World

Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess is a deck rich in symbolism but is also a very spiritual deck designed to help you find yourself, your divinity and your connection to the Divine. As you might imagine, the cards contain affirmations on them, relevant to the card and its deeper spiritual message. The affirmations on the cards I drew are:

Death: I surrender my ego and no longer let fear rule my life. I have love, faith and hope.

  • Hanged One: My sacrifice will strengthen my devotion to the Divine and deepen my compassion for all beings.
  • High Priest: I am transcendent of time and space.
  • Empress: I see the sacred in all beings and myself.
  • World: I am One with God.

So you can see I have themes of surrender, sacrifice, transcendence, the sacred, divinity, and the relationship between myself and others, and as of late, other beings. There is a stripping away of what is present but outdated, unnecessary & restrictive with the arrival of a new vision of myself, how I live and interact with others.

Reading Notes

See how the Hanged One and the World hold strikingly similar poses? If we transpose either one, they look remarkably like the other. Being the Alpha et Omega of this reading, it’s one of many indicators of the prohphetic nature of this reading. We can also see how the numbers of these two cards are related too. Lay these two cards side by side and you will see how.

If we take the numerology of this reading a little further and employ the techniques of reduction, we will see that the Hanged One and the World are also related through the sum of their numbers: 12/3 and 21/3. The Empress is also a 3, so we have 3 – 3 – 3, which adds to 9.

The High Priest is 5 and if we sum the numbers of the four cards in the reading, they also add up to 5. The High Priest, or Hierophant, has always been a difficult card for me but here in this reading, he, or she, appears to be the way to finding my divinity and transformation.

If we sum 13 from Death (4) and add it to the High Priest (5), we get another 9.

If we add the sum of the numbers of all five cards present in this reading, they also come to 9, a number of completion and preparation for the next stage of life, rebirth and renewal. It’s also the number of the Hermit, the archetypal soul searcher and mystical seeker, and the tarot card associated with Virgo, my sun sign.

Note: Seems the 9’s continue for me today, from

Your Number of the Day is 9 | Wednesday, June 1, 2011: Today brings with it a grand opportunity for healing your mind and body. Get rest, and treat yourself to a massage or some other rejuvenating ‘time out.’ You may have a conversation later in the day that helps you strengthen your bond with another.

Closing Thoughts

Death is the theme of this reading, my spiritual transformation. As the Hanged One, I am surrending to the process, and as the High Priest I am transcending the ordinary to find my soul’s purpose. The Empress is how I will live in everyday life with this new spirituality and the World is how I will maintain my connection with Divinity. This has indeed been my Soul’s Journey.

Addendum: In one other twist of fate, or perhaps Divine Humour, in creating the header image for this post, apart from overlapping the edges of the four cards of the reading, they fit the exact size required for the header image to fit into its pre-alloted slot at the top of the post, no clipping, no adjusting. That has never happened before on any post. To date, there are over 140 posts on Tarot Elements, with over 20 other pages. Today is a Partial Solar Eclipse and a New Moon in Gemini too – is there a portal open to the heavens that has made this reading so amazing?

Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess by Pamela Wells is available to US readers.

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17 thoughts on “Soul Journey Tarot Spread”

  1. Catherine –
    Excellent post! I love Rachel’s work, and this spread on soul work is exceptional! What a beautiful deck to use to illustrate it!
    BTW – Kudos on the header! Synchronicity at work!

    • Thanks Bonnie!
      The whole process has been amazing, from doing the spread with Rachel at the Readers Studio, to doing it again just now – the cards are still on my desk! I was profoundly moved and just wanted to share how wonderful the Soul Journey Spread is.
      Gotta love syncrhonicity eh?!

  2. Wonderful reading, Catherine, and with a beautiful deck.
    I’m so glad you found this spread valuable. It’s based on an experiment I did of doing the same spreads every Friday and Saturday night for a year.

    • Thank you, Rachel!
      It’s been a very profound experience, and I’m still taking in the messages and details of the reading. There’s a fine line in deciding whether to publish your own readings, but this reading I felt I just had to share as it shows the beauty and depth of the spread. I’m so very glad you shared it with the world.
      Thank you for your comment, Rachel, and welcome to Tarot Elements

  3. What a beautiful & informative spread. A real affirmation of where you’ve been, who you are & where you’re heading. The images are just lovely! I can’t wait to try it out on myself!
    Love, Stacy

    • Hi Stacy,
      We did this reading in Rachel’s workshop at Readers Studio – it was quite something then too! It’s a very deep and far reaching spread, though I think part of its brilliance is its simplicity. Rachel just seems to know the right questions to ask. I’d love to know how you get on with doing this spread, email me when you have.

  4. Great post, Catherine!
    I wonder where my soul has been going? I am eager to try out Rachel’s spread & I’m sure it will be quite illuminating. The message you received goes very well with a message I channeled from Archangel Michael just yesterday – the day of the partial solar eclipse. Coincidence? I think not. Besides, I don’t believe in coincidences

    • Hi Nefer – it seems yesterday was very special for many people. A veil was certainly lifted and messages came through loud and clear!
      Rachel’s spread is beautifully deep, she formulates the best questions of anyone I know. I hope you do try it out – I would love to hear where your soul has been going to…
      Thank you for your comment, and welcome to Tarot Elements :)

  5. Catherine:
    An intense soul journey! You can go back and recreate it using lucid dreaming or active meditation techniques. The cards suggest a long travel in time – dark and light – experiences, initiations, harvest and wisdom. Thanks for sharing the spread and your reading.

    • Hi Aurora – wasn’t it just?!
      I’ve been using meditation and working on some lucid dreaming techniques, no success as yet… I’m planning on journeying into these cards to see if there is any more of the message of the spread there for me. I’ll let you know how it goes.
      Thanks for you comment and your suggestions.

  6. This is a really good spread Catherine. Thanks for sharing it and thanks to Rachel for creating it. Now to try it out for myself. :)

    • Thanks, Helen! It’s also a great spread to repeat. As Rachel said, she used it every week for a year to see where her soul went – that’s total dedication! I haven’t done that, but I have revisited the spread since I first tried it, it’s always enlightening.

  7. What a fabulous spread! I can’t wait to try it out today. My dreams are richly vivid — and it will be cool to see what the cards have to say.
    That deck is gor-geous, Catherine! Thanks for giving me the heads up — I’m going to have to add that one to my collection. The Goddess Tarot is by far the favorite deck with clients — and I love the symbolism in this one.

    • Thanks Raven!
      This is a Majors only deck, just to forewarn you… though the accompanying booklet is very detailed and spiritual. It does border on religious but as you say, it’s so richly symbolic that it’s a gem regardless.

  8. Wow! Both this spread and deck are phenomenal. I think I will do the dream interpretation spread every day and this spread every Monday. I will report back how I got on with it. I am setting up my dream alter right now with mugwort oil, mugwort tea, 78 Nautical Tarot and Winged Enchantment Oracle, and some crystals (ocean jasper, rainbow moonstone, serpentine, and merlinite) and starting my dream journey tonight with the new moon

    • That all sounds great – and a lot of fun too! I love preparing for rituals, sometimes more than the ritual itself.. Can’t wait to hear how you get on.

  9. Hello again! This is AdAstra again. Just wanted to let you know that this became my most used spread of the year; it is great for shamanic work and hedge crossing. I have recommended this spread and this site to many people over the year. Thanks again

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