Tibetan Book of the Dead Spread

365 Tarot Spreads: Revealing the Magic in Each Day - Sasha Graham 2014

Tibetan Book of the Dead Spread

On This Day

After the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949, over 6,000 monasteries were destroyed. It is estimated that one million Tibetans have died as a result of the brutal Chinese occupation continuing to this day.

Today in Tibet is the memorial festival of Tsongkhapa, a well-known Tibetan religious philosopher. Lamps and lanterns are lit and left on windowsills, and contained fires are lit on monastery roofs. His image is carried in processions.

Summation of Spread

The Tibetan Book of the Dead, like all books of the dead, describes the soul’s journey to the afterlife. The entire major arcana could be viewed as an afterlife journey, with each card representing a lesson or challenge for the soul.

Ready for enlightenment? According to the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the best opportunity for liberation of the soul happens as death occurs. This is when the soul encounters the five primordial expressions of ultimate cosmic energy, called the Dhyani Buddhas. These are the five principles of a fully awakened consciousness. Each principle informs a question of this spread.

Cast Your Cards

Cast the cards in a sacred circle:

1. Empty Buddha: direction and time.

How do I slow time?

2. Immovable Buddha: wisdom.

How do I become wise?

3. Buddha of Precious Birth: human realm, earth, fertility, and wealth.

What am I here to do?

4. Buddha of Infinite Light: compassion.

How can I help others?

5. Buddha of Unfailing Success: karma.

How do I heal myself?