Healer Cyndi Dale has written a wonderful article about the different types of spiritual empathy: Empathy as a Spiritual Power: What Type of Empath Are You?
Most people associate empathy with emotional sympathy. But empaths can also have poor psychic boundaries and take on other people’s emotions. Cyndi identifies six basic types of empathy. Each type can cause discomfort when out of balance. While reading her article, I noticed the connection between the different types of spiritual empathy to the four elements/suits and trumps in tarot. I’ve been doing card readings for myself and others based on her ideas.
Here are the five basic types of empathic experience and their relationship to the elements in the tarot:
Earth element (Pentacles)
Natural or physical empaths receive information directly from physical objects, the natural world, or another person’s body or health issue.
An imbalanced empath might feel overwhelmed by the suffering in nature or feel the symptoms of another’s illness in their own body.
Water element (Cups)
Emotional empaths are attuned to another person’s emotions or can sense the type of person he/she needs to be around.
An imbalanced empath can confuse other people’s feelings with his/her own or feels overwhelmed when around people who are unhappy.
Air Element (Swords)
Mental or verbal empaths access their inner knowing by “downloading” information or hearing accurate guidance.
An imbalanced empath might be overwhelmed by a rapid flow of ideas or hear messages from “dead people”.
Fire element (Wands)
Spiritual empaths are attuned to another person’s life purpose, future self, or aura.
An imbalanced empath might become depressed when people don’t act with integrity, see “dead people”, or see a future illness in a stranger’s aura while waiting in line.
All elements (Major Arcana)
Shamanic empaths are attuned to all empathies. They combine more than one ability to create “big picture thinking and spiritual connection.”
An imbalanced empath feels overwhelmed by this combination of spiritual empathies.
Cyndi Dale asks: “Which empathic gift has ‘boundary weaknesses’ or is overused?” So I grabbed my copy of the Mythical Goddess Tarot and asked this question a few weeks ago.
Which type of empathy is out of balance? 3 of Seas/Compassion
I wasn’t integrating my empathic abilities very well on that particular day. I was having trouble detaching from other people’s upset emotions. I even felt better when I was away from people. So a very accurate picture from the cards and helpful to explore in more depth.
Which element will bring me back into balance? 9 of Earth/Community
Fortunately, it was a weekend day and I was able to spend time in one of the local state parks near my home. It was a great day for a hike and I was surrounded by abundant wildlife. I saw deer, vultures, and alligators as well as my favorite wildflowers. By the end of the hike, I was no longer affected by other people’s emotions.