Best Tarot Cards for Grief and Healing

Understand and overcome feelings of loss with guidance from the Tarot

the star tarot card

Loss is a devastating feeling. Whether from a breakup, a death, a job ending, or a burned bridge, the feelings of grief that come from a major, irrecoverable loss can completely take you over, putting a negative spin on the way you see things, darkening your relationships, and giving you a general feeling of hopelessness. In these times, it feels nothing will EVER get better.

But that's simply not the way the universe works. Everything in nature is a cycle. It will take time and it will take active participation on your part to overcome these feelings and get back to a positive place. And that's where Tarot can be your greatest guide.

Throughout the whole Tarot deck there are cards that hold very important messages in times of grief, to help you gain perspective on your situation and heal in an enlightened way. In fact, the entire Swords and Cups suits of the Minor Arcana deal with challenges and emotions, and can provide the advice you need to move forward in your healing process.

See which cards can help YOU find hope in hard times below...


Strength is one of the most straightforward messages in a grief Tarot reading -- you are strong, and passing through these feelings of loss will make you even stronger. When the Strength card arises, have confidence -- even if you feel at your least confident -- that you CAN do this. Dig deep into your heart and muster up all the courage you can. Once you reach a greater point of healing, you will look back on this moment with pride and see how far you've come.

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The Hermit

The Hermit is a sign that you must pull away from the world for a while. Whatever loss you've encountered, healing won't come from getting out and trying to get your mind off things. When The Hermit arises, the message is to retreat, to find a place of solitude, to feel your feelings and connect with your inner wisdom, all in the interest of healing. Only when you do this will you be able to truly overcome your feelings of loss or sadness, and re-enter the world with strength and an understanding of your situation.

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Death seems like an obvious message here, but that's not really so. While it looks ominous, the Death card is not about literal death. In Tarot, the Death card is actually about cycles and rejuvenation. When Death arises in your reading, you have surely been dealt or will be dealt a loss. But the message of the Death card is not to focus on that loss with grief, but with understanding. Just as in nature, old life must die back in order for new life to grow. When dealing with heavy feelings of loss, Death helps you find perspective by reminding you that there was no way around this -- in order to get where you are meant to be, this had to happen. Accepting this fact and being open to filling that space with something better will help your healing process.

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The Star

One of the most positive cards you can receive in a grief Tarot reading, The Star card is the ultimate symbol of hope and healing. When The Star arises, she is a reminder that better times are ahead, and you must persevere. Perhaps your thoughts are becoming too negative, perhaps you're feeling so lost -- let The Star guide you. Her message urges you to keep a positive perspective on life as a whole. It's very easy to wallow in sadness, but The Star urges you to be open and willing to heal, to want to feel good again, and to know that you will.

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Ace of Cups

The Ace of Cups is a very inspiring card to receive in a Tarot reading about loss, grief, and healing. All the Aces symbolize newness, but the Ace of Cups represents a new phase of emotion, feeling, intuition and understanding. When this card arises in your reading, have faith that feelings of loss and sadness are not forever -- that you're reaching a point of closure on your emotions and a fresh start is very near.

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Three of Swords

Grief can feel like you're heart has been pierced. It's a very real feeling, and it's the feeling the Three of Swords acknowledges. When the Three of Swords arises, you are surely experiencing emotional trouble. Yet while you probably want these feelings to end immediately, to have things back to the way they were, or to be to be beyond this -- that is not the message of this card. The Three of Swords tells you you must go through this. There is no way around -- the only way out is through. By passing through this situation, you are growing, strengthening, and understanding more about yourself and the world. Your healing process is not about the destination now, it's about the journey.

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Five of Cups

The Five of Cups is perhaps the card most closely related to the emotions of loss. A dark man stands, head down, amid scattered cups, emotions spilling everywhere... But if you'll look closely, you'll see that of the five cups illustrated on this card, three are tipped over, yet two are still upright, full. The message of this card is clear. When struggling with grief, you must not lose sight of the good things that are still in your life. If you spend all your energy focusing on your upsetting situation, you neglect the positive. All is not lost, and there are good things right in front of you -- opening your eyes to the goodness you do have will help put perspective on feelings of trouble.

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Ten of Swords

Sometimes the hardest part of dealing with loss is not knowing if you've really lost it forever -- either being in denial about your situation, or having false hope that something will change. When the Ten of Swords comes up in your Tarot reading, it's a signal that it's OVER. This person or situation will not come back to your life, and you will be in limbo until you accept that. Only when you accept this truth can you begin your process of healing.

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