Do you regularly set goals, and work to achieve them? Tarot can help you to set goals which are right for you: goals which you will work to achieve because they matter to your complete self, to your spirit as well as to your ego.
What matters most to you?
Take out your tarot deck. With the cards face up, go through the deck and intuitively pick ten cards which show aspects of your ideal self. You can pick any card you wish. If a card feels as though it belongs with your set of ten, then include it. Disregard card meanings, if you know them.
When choosing your ten cards, feel free to include ostensibly negative cards. For example, in the Rider Waite deck, the 5 of Swords shows a figure in the foreground holding three swords. Two swords are on the ground. The main figure is looking gloatingly at two defeated figures slinking away. The traditional meaning of this card is “Defeat”. However, if you feel you’d like to stand up for yourself more, be more competitive, and more of a winner, then include this card in your set. Identify with the main figure: it shows you as a winner.
(By the way, the 5 of Swords is an excellent card to meditate on if you’re involved in negotiations. Contemplate yourself first as the winner, and then as the defeated, in your particular situation. In this way, you’ll be facing your fears of both success and of failure. Having faced the best and worst, you’ll be more relaxed in the negotiation.)
Put the rest of the deck aside, and lay the ten cards out on a table, or on your desk, and look at them carefully. Don’t strain, or argue with yourself as you look at the cards. This is a completely calm, focused and meditative inspection of the cards.
Take your journal, or a piece of paper, or create a new file on your computer. Do some freewriting for ten minutes on the cards you’ve chosen. (Freewriting means to write whatever comes to mind for a set period, in this case, for ten minutes.)
Your freewriting doesn’t have to make sense, and it doesn’t have to be written in complete sentences. It can be a list, sentence fragments, or single words. Simply write continuously without pausing.
At the end of ten minutes, take a highlighter pen, and mark all the words in your freewriting which seem to be especially powerful, or to have a special resonance for you.
Complete this sentence (write it down): “Five things I need to remember when setting my goals, are:____________”.
Put your set of ten cards back with the rest of the tarot deck.
Did you learn anything important from this exercise? In a single sentence, write what you learned about yourself that was important.
Keep in mind what you learned from the exercise above. Now write down ten to fifteen goals you’d like to achieve within the next five years.
Write them quickly, without thinking too much about each goal. Don’t worry if a goal seems to be impossible. If it’s something you want to do, have or be, write it down.
Put the list away for a day or two.
When you come back to your list, if you’ve hit on new goals you’d like to include, or goals you’d like to remove, do that first. Study your list. Are any of your goals contingent? That is, do some of them depend on the accomplishment of other goals? For example, you may have a goal to produce a feature film, and another goal to go to film school. Although you could produce a feature film without going to film school if you had the experience, you might like to make your “produce feature film” contingent on going to film school. Put all contingent goals in a group, headed by the primary goal.
Next, rank your goals in order of their importance to you at this moment. You can change your mind at any time. It may take several sessions for you to decide on your real goals. Sometimes we’re so scared of not getting what we want that we refuse even to think about it, much less make plans to get what we want.
Are the goals you picked right for you?
Usually when you decide on a goal, it’s from an ego perspective. For example, you might have a goal to lose twenty pounds so you look more attractive. While there’s nothing wrong with this, if your goal is not in alignment with your deeper drives (of which you may be unaware) it will be very hard work. So hard in fact that you’ll give up long before you achieve the goal. This will make you feel bad. It’s best to make sure that your subconscious as well as your conscious mind wants the goal.
Take out your tarot deck, and with the cards face upward, pick five cards to illustrate the first five goals on your list. Your intention is to discover what influences surround each goal.
Shuffle the deck face down. Now, with the cards still face down, select five cards, and lay them on top of the goal cards.
Turn the face down cards up one at a time, and look at them in conjunction with the goal cards. The second card may give you a completely new perspective on the goal. Write down your insights.
Take a break for three days. When you come back to your list of goals, study them again. How do you feel about them now? Pick the five goals you would most like to achieve in the next five years.
We’ll continue with “Goal Getting” in a future article. In the meantime, write down the steps you will need to work through to achieve each of your five goals. Start working on at least one of your goals in the next week.