Turns out I'm not the first to look at this. I found this guy's attempt: The 12 Steps of the Tarot, which appears to have been written in 2009, but I don't think he got past step 8. I don't know if he ran out of steam or what. I am not 100% with him on some of his points, but it's worth looking at. He says it is the work of someone called Antony Oliver Smith, but I can't find anymore about that. Tori Hartman has written an e-book called '12 Step Tarot' which correlates tarot cards to the 12 steps, focusing on the minors. I haven't read it and don't have the money to buy it just out of idle curiosity, so I will just have to wonder what her thoughts are. I don't think it's what I had in mind anyway, as she uses the 12 steps as a framework for learning to read tarot, rather than fitting the 12 steps to actual tarot cards (as far as I can tell).
So first let's just take a look at the 12 Steps. They began with Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939, and it's good to look at the original wording:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Many people are put off by the God talk in AA/12-step language, and I can understand why that rankles. There are many variations available online, I found this version at 12stepsource.com which seems acceptable: