Q&A: Dr. Shivani Khetan, Author of 'Tarot: A Healing Tool in Modern Times'

Dr. Shivani Khetan has done her PhD, and also Doctor of Science in Therapeutic Expressive Arts for the Healing Hearts from Inner Wisdom. She is a certified UNESCO-CID (28012) Art Expressive Therapist. She is an artist, lifestyle Tarot coach, mentor, energy healing holistic worker, and writer. Her book Tarot: A Healing Tool in Modern Times is about empowering others by making them connect to their inner wisdom from the core, and this is achieved with Mantras and Tarot Guidance that helps in the process of Transformation.

I chat with Dr. Shivani about her book, Tarot guidance, her inspiration for writing the book, book recommendations, and much more.

Hello, Dr. Shivani! Tell us a bit about yourself!

I have done PhD and D.Sc. I am a Spiritual facilitator and Expressive Art Therapist. I believe in the power of healing, energy, art, crystals, stones, and intuition. I help people reach their full potential of mind, body and soul, and to bring serenity in their personal as well as professional life. I do this through Numerology, Tarot Cards, Reiki, Crystals healing, Graphology, and Art Therapy Meditation combined with Aromatherapy and water healing. More information about me and my work can be found on my website https://www.drshivanikhetan.com/.

Which authors and books were your early formative influences?

I have been influenced by the authors Napoleon Hill, Sun Tzu, J. Krishnamurti, Brian Tracy, Mitch Albom, and Norman Vincent Peale.

Please tell us more about the book Tarot: A Healing Tool in Modern Times.

The book Tarot: A Healing Tool in Modern Times is a journey. It’s about thinking, acting on, and achieving your goals. I always found Tarot a mirror to our lifestyle. My book is about understanding and taking responsibility for self awareness in healing yourself. I’ve been on a personal journey for some time now and have been introduced to many modalities that are healing, peaceful and filled with energy. This journey has been a progressive one and I learn something new with every step.

This book is the first coffee table book on Tarot and has been acclaimed in Golden Book of World Records. In the book, we have 21 workshops on healing, combined with the amazing power of chanting beej mantras for healthy mind, body and soul. Since in this book, we are not teaching Tarot, therefore when a card comes up, it encourages readers to look inside themselves and look for areas where it may resonate. The book comes with its own set of Tarot cards with major Arcana journey of 22 days. There is also a deck that I have created, Shivani’s Healing Touch Tarot Card Deck, which is about self-discovery and self-development each day.

What inspired you to write this book?

In my work with Tarot for the last 12 years, I have worked on many cases. Then I did a case study of more than 200 cases to actually come to this conclusion that Tarot is a tool that helps in self-healing and self-development. I practice Tarot myself every day, and it’s a part of my lifestyle. By practicing Tarot for self-discovery, one can build levels of self-awareness and develop their intuition. I noticed that when you do this regularly, you get to know yourself on a deeper level and you feel more connected to the choices you make and the path you take.

Another thing I do is that I practice keeping a Tarot journal. Doing this has helped me to increase the self-discovery aspect of Tarot even more because it really encourages me to reflect on a deeper level. Thirdly, I have kept it as a practice of meditating on the guidance card. I have, in the course of time, realised that sometimes the relevance of a card may not be immediately clear, but when you meditate on it you are able to tune into your subconscious and reflect on how this might resonate. The fourth thing I do is to let the tarot card guide you.

Doing this requires complete surrender and trust in the wisdom of the Tarot, which can be surprisingly liberating. Using the Tarot in this way will allow you to develop and follow your intuition deeper. Understandably, this can be very difficult at first, but with practice you’ll be able to surrender your faith to the Universe and let your intuition and the Tarot guide you to your higher purpose. I want to empower others to connect to their inner wisdom from the core. This all inspired me to write this book.

'Tarot: A Healing Tool in Modern Times', published by Createspace Independent Publishing

Can you share with our readers some things that you found out while researching for this book?

In my research, I found that Tarot is a beautiful tool that can be used as a treatment to ease stress, anxiety, depression, etc., and it helps one understand that many sudden or chronic illnesses/pain have no real physical cause. They come from emotional imbalances, caused by our own thoughts and emotions that are rooted in our limiting beliefs and conditionings. Our emotions have a huge impact on our nervous system, either in a positive or negative way depending on the kind of emotions one is feeling.

Tarot helps us observe our thoughts, analyze our beliefs and conditionings, and inquire into how they all relate to the kind of emotion one is feeling and what impact it has on the health and chakras of the human body. It helps us to understand a lot about what causes emotional and physical pain, and that our body and mind must work together always, because whenever one of them is unbalanced, it unbalances the other. Tarot is a tool to listen carefully and provide supportive feedback with its counselling exercises.

Working with Tarot on my clients, I have witnessed symptoms vanish. This is commonplace with headaches, nausea and phantom pains, but during our systemic solutions, some physical symptoms have also faded in slow-time. Diet, family support and lifestyle changes are an essential part of treatment. Finding the right treatment begins with the proper identification of the root cause of the ailment. This is how Tarot comes in the picture, which identifies what the root cause is behind such behaviour of the patient.

In the book, you postulate Tarot as a healing tool and talk about Tarot Guidance helping in the process of life transformation. Please tell us more about it.

Think about the story of your life, where you want to go, and where you have been. Then pull a card. This one card tarot approach lets you put the card into your story. The questions you ask about where you are in life and where you want to go provide a type of focus. This focus is roughly the same used in meditation and centring mantras. The idea is to be where you are so you can see where you’re going. You choose how to interact with, overcome, and adapt to each situation. Throughout your life, you learn and change and strive and triumph. You transform from the fool of your own story into the magician, empress, hierophant, or, sometimes lovers of another fool. Each of us holds many stories inside of us from our life experiences. Every person is a natural story teller. All of us tell stories about our lives so that we know ourselves better as well as to seek understanding from others.

We remember ourselves and our lives in narratives. These narratives, according to Carl Jung, become the personal mythology we live by. But there are times we become stuck in our stories/myths. Using the creative process through a Jungian expressive arts and multi-arts approach, we are able to create a new mythology for ourselves through our imagination. Our story can change and thus open pathways to alternative ways of seeing, feeling and experiencing our lives, freeing us from the past and opening to what is universal in us through the arts, myths and ritual.

I use expressive arts in combination to the tarot card workshop activity to release directive that focuses on body image and/or mental health issues and is associated with the theme. These directives may be used in individual or group therapy sessions or as self-help activities. Sometimes the activity itself is nothing new or brilliant but the objective of the directive is unique and specifically tailored to exploring issues related to understanding one’s feelings and emotions. Using the universal language of the arts, called expressive arts, and the power of play and the imagination, participants will explore the myth they live by currently. Using imaginal play, visual arts, movement, music, drama, poetry and storytelling, participants open up to the potentials untapped inside of them to explore alternate ways of seeing themselves and others. This is a Transformational experience for the participants.

What is the main message that you want readers to take away from this book?

This book multiplies the avenues by which a person in question may seek meaning, clarity, and healing. It deepens and transcends traditional talk therapy by acknowledging that each person’s process is unique. While one individual may like talk therapy, another person may prefer to use journaling, movement, art, or a combination of different experiences during the session. The book encourages one to work on and heal their emotions everyday and not live with unnecessary baggage of other’s thoughts and emotions. Remove clutter of emotions everyday and act for yourself to grow and live a life of bliss.

How have you been coping with the current pandemic and what will be the new normal for you post it?

During the pandemic, I have been doing my online sessions in hypnotherapy and programs for self esteem coaching. Also I have been busy writing two books which will be releasing by the end of 2021. I have been working in my healing centre ‘Mudita by Dr. Shivani Khetan’. We have experimented on dementia and have got so many breakthroughs. My mother who was diagnosed with dementia is now living a very healthy and normal life due to hypnotherapy sessions. She is now the ambassador of ‘Mudita’ and a great inspiration for people to live and enjoy life fully. On our page ‘Mudita by Dr. Shivani Khetan’, she is followed a great deal because of her positive approach to life. Also, I have been doing strength training with trained fitness coach Mangal Singh from K11 Academy and with his guidance; it has done wonders for my health.

Lastly, are you currently reading anything and do you have any book recommendations for our readers?

I am reading Man and His Symbols by Carl G. Jung these days.

The book ‘Tarot: A Healing Tool in Modern Times’ is available online and at your nearest bookstore.

From Jammu, J&K; Studied in DPS, Jammu.