How to Use Tarot to Take the 12 Steps

My version of a gentler, more holistic approach to recovery work

Intuitive Amanda
4 min readJun 21, 2022


12 Steps Tarot Spread by Amanda M. French
Photo by Edz Norton on Unsplash

There are a TON of sayings floating around the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. But I heard “One, two, three, and out more than the rest.

That was the old-timers' smug little way of saying that most people who come into AA won’t make it past the first three steps of the program.

Which to me, was another version of being told I was never going to be as good as anyone who had “real time” under their belts.

To me, it was just another way AA set me up to fail at sobriety.

I was scared, broken, and desperate for help. And I was told that I would most likely end up a statistic. Yet another unfortunate soul who’d been trampled under the heel of alcohol addiction.

Even after that introduction to the 12-step program way of life, I still wasn’t ready to toss in the towel and keep drinking. There had to be a better way

In case you need a refresher (or you’re brand-spanking-new), I’ve included the old-school steps according to Bill W and friends.

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I was confronted by this list at every meeting I attended. There was a time in my life when I could recite them by heart. But they didn’t keep me sober.

Being in a meeting and seeing those steps looming down over my head made me feel small. Like I’d been squeezed and pummeled into a ball. Like I was a bad child on the way to the principal’s office, yet again.

And of course, they didn’t help. Even when I wrote out my version of the first three steps (“I can’t. God can. I’ll let him.”) and pasted them on my door. Even when I begged and cried out to anyone or anything who would listen.