Karmic Spread

I made this card spread up the other day, during a session with a client who asked for some karmic insights into a situation she was struggling to make sense of. We talked for a while about our respective definitions of karma, because I wanted to be sure she wasn’t using this word in an overly simplified, ‘punishment/reward from a higher-power’ kind of way. It can be so dis-empowering to think of karma in this way. Luckily, we were on the same page. We agreed that karma can be about natural cause and effect, as well as the corrective measures we ourselves make to bring ourselves peace of mind and a sense of deep balance and justice.

I used three positions in the spread:

Karmic Debt

Karmic Lesson

Karmic Reward


The Karmic debt position explores how the past has given rise the the current scenario. What action, situation or event in the past is linked, in a cause and effect manner, with the clients query about the issue at hand?

I often use past-life story-telling with my clients, not just because they are open to it and enjoy it, but because it’s such a brilliant way to explore archetypes and relationship dynamics in a less personal or confronting manner. The story gives the client breathing space but still acts a mirror within which they (or more often, their subconscious), can see themselves. Archetypes are larger than life and the stories can have a mythological feeling to them. Both archetypes and myths are the language of the subconscious and a client is often more willing to explore aspects of their own psyche when it is presented in this less personal manner.

Karmic issues are often best explored within this broader scope of ‘past life story-telling’ because people who believe in karma usually also believe in past lives.

Problems can arise when we use the caste-based punishment/reward thinking so often associated with past lives and karma. It isn’t psychologically healthy to believe that the reason why X, Y or Z is happening or happened in your life is because you were ‘bad in a past life time’. Not only is this a very simplified, black and white way of thinking, it can be depressing and make you feel as though you deserve whatever is currently happening in your life. While it is important to take responsibility for the consequences of our own actions, I hardly think punishing ourselves, or believing that God (or some other higher power) is punishing us, is healthy. To me this always reeks of some left over hang up from childhood- the idea that we must ‘be good’ or we will be punished… it’s more a childhood fear, associated with overly punitive parents, than a reality.

Is it healthy to believe in a punitive God/Universe/Higher Power? I think not. Our sense of morality ideally needs to come from within, from compassion and empathy, rather than fear. Fair healthier to believe in an unconditionally loving God. Better for your psyche, better for your brain. The punitive God is just a replacement for the punitive parent. As adults, we need to be replacing this childhood archetype with more nourishing authority figures!

The concept of Karmic Debt is less about punishment/reward, and more about love. We may feel that we owe a debt because someone made a very loving sacrifice for us and we want to return the favour. We may feel that we have wronged someone and it pains us to have this on our conscious, so we fin a way to repair the damage we have done. We may have harmed ourselves, or been harmed, and the debt in this instance is simply a natural consequence… the wound is expressing itself physically, or in our life as some kind of problem. Another way of thinking about this is to recognise that wounds will make themselves very visible and uncomfortable so that our attention will be drawn to it and hopefully, we will heal it. The debt here is about loving ourselves now, when we weren’t loved by ourselves (or others) in the past. We owe that to ourselves!

Sometimes the debt being paid is one someone is a favour someone else is returning us. A person can repay a debt by being a beautiful person who helps us believe in ourselves, or someone who role-models a skill. They can even be a difficult person in your life who, by their very presence, is teaching you patience, tolerance and a non-judgmental acceptance of the faults and imperfections in others. Even when people are repaying debts, they are unlikely to be some kind of perfect angel who never does anything wrong by you.

Sometimes stuff just happens in our lives and there is no debt, or reason or cause. But this can be really disturbing for some people. It can make them feel lost. I have been amazed at the depth of healing that can come when I use past life story telling to provide context and meaning that people are otherwise unable to find. If you do your story-telling well and with intuition, you can provide a sense of meaning for even the most crazy, meaningless or random wounds in a person’s psyche. Having said this, I’m often encouraging people to make peace with a lack of meaning. Us spiritual people can tend to go overboard with our need for deeper meaning! Sometimes shit just happens and the best way to deal with it is to accept this and get on with it.


The Karmic Debt brings with it some kind of lesson. Again, there can be a kind of thinking left over from childhood (and sometimes the schooling system), that makes us think of lessons in terms of punishment. ‘Let this be a lesson to you!’

I prefer seeing lessons as gifts. For my personally, beside the love I have for myself and my loved ones and this planet as a whole, I also deeply love and appreciate the lessons I have learned and are learning. They are more precious to me than any possession I own. They cannot ever be taken from me and they are often hard won, making them all the more valuable.

A Karmic lesson is:

*The insight, revelation, or understanding we need to arrive at in order to step off the karmic wheel and move on. Karmic lessons are repeated until we grasp them, just as debts stand until they are paid. A karmic lesson is often linked to certain qualities or skills we need to develop within ourselves in order to become more balanced and whole. Keep in mind that the learning of lessons doesn’t necessarily have to be painful; it can be joyful and delightful, and always liberating.


A karmic reward is the wonderful sense of wholeness and grace we arrive at when debts are repaid, balance is restored and great lessons are learned. The reward is the wholeness and liberation that comes from growing spiritually!



Karmic Question:

“What is the Karmic purpose of my career?”

(Other questions might be ‘What is the karmic purpose of this relationship, or this tragedy, or this illness’ etc)

I’m using my Aura Cards for this.


The first card is Maturity. This is a sunset pink colour. Here are some possible ways I could interpret this:

*My career is a ‘coming of age’. I have been on a long journey, when it comes to the skills I have been developing and gathering over my soul-life. My current career is a culmination of this- the next logical step. There is a definite sense of having earned this career…. maturity pink is about maturing into a role you have earned through years of study, practise and specialisation.

*I need this career to help me mature as a person.

*The career itself is a turning point; a way of mastering a soul-lesson.


The card I have drawn for this one is Boundaries Blue.

My lesson I need to grasp, or my challenge in this career, is all to do with boundaries eg

*Setting boundaries with clients

*saying no to unreasonable requests, being assertive and verbally direct

*Knowing that it isn’t always all up to me to ‘rescue’ others

*Protecting myself from unrealistic expectations (my own and others)

*Being clear with myself and others able who I am/am not professionally (What I can/will vs cannot/will not do)


This card is White. Here are some ways I could interpret this:

*In karmic terms, white is about wiping the slate clean of all debts (being debt free, no strings attached, a sense of balance and wholeness and freedom)

*Enlightenment, spiritual evolution (White is Spirit/God, all colours combined as One)

*White is the capacity to “let go and let god”, the ability to surrender and flow with changes, adapt etc

*Raised frequency, higher frequency