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Forgiveness card in Sonya Shannon's Transformation Oracle

9 – Earth
Guide Book – page 18 and 54
Artwork – “Le Bain de Desert (Wilderness Bath)”

The past cannot be changed.
Release old grudges and free your heart.

The chart on page 65 of the Guide Book shows that FORGIVENESS comes long after we start our journey in the EARTH element. To truly forgive, we need to have worked on ourselves.

Forgiveness does not mean giving a perpetrator permission to continue abusive or unacceptable behavior. We still need healthy boundaries between ourselves and harmful people. Perpetrators of crimes still deserve proper punishment. Simply put, FORGIVENESS means to understand and to accept that even the worst people are humans—even though they act in deeply mistaken, diseased, addictive, or ignorant ways. Each us is capable of behaving badly. When we forgive ourselves for our transgressions, we become able to forgive others. The saying, “There, but for the grace of God, go I,” helps us remember that if we had been born into the perpetrator’s circumstance or limitations, we might behave they way they do—or worse… Forgiveness is an equalizer, in which we are all permitted human failings. Forgiveness is not the same as allowance, condoning, or looking the other way. It is a truthful and spiritual acknowledgement of human imperfection.

In Western tradition, it is said that we need to forgive each person, “seventy times seven.” In other words, we need to forgive ourselves and others continuously, as long as we live! Even the small, daily transgressions of others can get under our skin and kindle our infuriation. One of the best ways to forgive another is to pray for him or her every day for at least fourteen days. If we pray for that person to have all the things we desire for ourselves: friends, love, success, happiness, health—and if we realize that they, like us, are learning about life and simply wanting the best—our hearts soften with forgiveness and we feel deep relief.

Forgiveness is the portal to inner freedom and the best way to restore ourselves to wholeness, happiness, and compassion. Nothing brings relief in such great measure as forgiving others who caused us harm. Yet resentment, hurt, anger, and fear often hold us back from forgiving.

Reversed Meaning

If the FORGIVENESS card appears upside-down, there is still work to be done before you can forgive. This card appears in the EARTH element, because lack of forgiveness is stored in our bodies and can make us literally sick and vulnerable to disease. Check for cards in the WATER element to see the areas you need to work on before finding true forgiveness. Pull another card or look more deeply into your spread.

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