Tarot for Troubled Times is a treasure trove of exercises, affirmations, tarot prompts, meditations, and tarot spreads that assist the seeker in how to not just only to confront the shadow self but to heal old traumas. One of the things I love most about this book is that there is no toxic positivity, no spiritual bypassing (the tendency to use spiritual ideas in order to avoid facing emotional issues and traumas. Instead, the authors goes straight into the heart confronting our shadow in a way that is a wonderful balance of compassion and support. 

The authors talk about various types of spiritual reclaiming; in other words freeing oneself from old negative thought processes or traumas. One of those techniques is the EFT or the Emotional Freedom Technique, which is outlined in the text.  Metta meditation, journaling and crafting ceremonies and establishing sacred space are also ways to work with trauma. There is also great advice on how to cut negative cords, sever ties with psychic vampires and narcissists. But what does all of this have to do with Tarot?

Many seekers find comfort in archetypes and the Major Arcana is mostly just that; archetypes. If the seeker finds themselves empowered by, say the Strength card, that card could be used for meditation practices or as a journal prompt, or perhaps even a ritual or a spell. I have used tarot in spell work to great effect. 

If the seeker does not feel a connection with any particular card, a birth card can be used and there are instructions on how to calculate that. Further, there are tarot spreads that are designed to suit the seeker's needs, or can inspire the seeker to create a personalized spread that speaks to them directly. 

The simplest spreads are the body-mind-spirit spread which is a  three card spread that most of us are familiar with. There is a simple two card spread that is useful when the seeker is experiencing a low point in their lives and needs clarification. There are brilliant spreads for dealing with grief, a twelve step spread for dealing with addiction, or if your loved one is an addict and one for relapse.

Miro and Reed really covered the bases with this marvelous book. Although no book can take the place of a reputable therapist, Tarot for Troubled times is a forthright, yet positive and inspiring work that instructs the seeker to how to deal with their darkest shadows and deepest anxieties without dishing out trite or overly sweet platitudes that are at best ineffective. Everything in this book is highly useful and meaningful and well worth keeping by your side. 
~review by Patricia Snodgrass

Authors Shaheen Miro and Theresa Reed
Redwheel/ Weiser, 2019
$18.95, pp. 288