By | Intuition | One Comment

It’s 5:15am on Thursday, November 10th, and this is the second night in a row that I’ve been unable to sleep. My body feels heavy, exhaustion weighing it down, but my mind refuses to shut off. It’s still reeling from the emotions that this election has brought.

Yesterday, I rose from a sleepless night of lying in bed, heartbroken. My country has elected a narcissistic sociopath to the presidency, and our nation is terrified. We have made a cyber bully the most powerful man in the world. And both sides are frozen in their fear.

It’s childish, but I can hardly say his name. It’s like Voldemort in Harry Potter, where everyone mutter He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Again, it’s childish and feeds into the fear, but it’s how I feel.

Yesterday, after the election results, I got together with a friend for coffee. We’d planned on going over some branding designs that she’s creating for me, but we spent the first hour just sitting, our confusion and vulnerability laid out on the table. Another friend joined us. I cried, just as I’d been crying all day.

While I’m afraid for many reasons, I recognize that it’s my white privilege that allows me to not fear for my life. I called it “luck” today, but it doesn’t make me feel lucky. It makes me feel numb.

Unlike so many of my friends and community members, I do not have to worry about having hateful things spat at me for just existing. There is a lot of hate towards women, but it’s nowhere near what others in the country are going to be facing in the upcoming years.

My friends are scared, my country is scared. Everything feels completely out of control, which makes me feel even more vulnerable, were that even possible.

But in all of this vulnerability, I remember my readings of Daring Greatly, and know that the only way to combat this fear and shame and vulnerability, is with gratitude and love. The one thing I do still have control over is my actions, and so this year is about making my aspirational values my practiced values.

Instead of mourning the mistake of millions of my fellow Americans, I’m going to do my best to fight the fear and hatred with love.

Pay it forward, as much as you can. Don’t speak about doing something, do it. Don’t just pray for peace, speak up when faced with injustice. Travel with an open heart, and absorb as many perspectives as possible.

These are the things we have control over. These are the things we have the ability to impact. These are the things that matter.

Over this election season, there have been so many beautiful bits of wisdom shared, but the one that I believe most is that love trumps hate. There will be a lot of hate in the next few months. The way to combat that isn’t with more hate, but with love.

Now that the election is over, and the media will (maybe) stop showing us so much emotional political media, we can finally remember what we have in common. Instead of despising our neighbor for his/her beliefs, we can remember that they helped shovel our driveway last winter, or fed the cat while we went on vacation.

I’m starting to ramble now, so I’ll cut this off. But know that there is hope, that this world is not yet going to hell-in-a-handbasket, as much as it might feel that way.


Halloween Tarot: The Devil

By | Intuition | No Comments

Happy Halloween everyone!

I decided to get a little spooky with today’s post, because on Friday I pulled the most appropriate Halloween card ever: The Devil.

Now, before you go getting all freaked out on me (which I get, this card gives me the creeps too!) I just want to say that in tarot, the devil is not as awful as he might seem.

Bridget over at Biddy Tarot describe the devil as this:

“The card of the Devil represents the hidden forces of negativity that constrain you and that trick you into thinking you are imprisoned by external forces ultimately out of your control. The Devil is an inner force within each of us. He represents our fears, addictions, and other harmful impulses. He is a master of deception and creates the illusion that you are involuntarily bound to him. However, the figures in this card are free to remove the chains from around their necks, indicating that they have freely given the Devil any power he has over them.”

I didn’t say this was a pleasant card.

Its unpleasantness comes from the fact that our situation might seem scary, uncomfortable, out of our control, and makes us feel vulnerable. But all of that negativity that we’re placing on the situation is usually coming from inside ourselves.

Friday, the day I pulled this card upright, I had plans to drive to Lansing and speak with a mortgage officer at my bank. Owning my own home is something I’ve always dreamed about, and I realized that I’m finally in a good place to start making that a reality in my life. But that morning I woke up terrified of making the drive to the bank.

I was having all of these ridiculous conversations in my head about why I would get turned down, or why this was going to be a ridiculously embarrassing situation – as in the bank would look at my finances and laugh me out of the building. But of course I didn’t want to admit any of that.

So, as I sat down at my coffee table to do my morning card draw, I knew the question that was eating away at me, How can I work at combating these limiting beliefs about my finances? But instead I asked, “What do I need to know for today?”

This is where things get spooky with tarot, in my opinion.

Regardless of the card you draw, you’re going to project your subconscious thoughts onto that illustration. And sometimes, the cards are really fucking spot on.

So I shuffled my deck, spread the cards, and pulled the devil, upright. I actually laughed out loud, because it couldn’t have been more fitting.

Here I was, basically having an internal panic attack about the fictitious conversations I was having in my head, and how my entire future rested on these conversations, and the devil appeared.

In my situation, the devil is my anxiety and fear of vulnerability. I hate talking to people about my finances, especially people who have access to my bank accounts and credit scores. They know what’s up, and they can see where I’ve been, and how shitting my finances have been in the past. And this anxiety, in all of its trickster and illusionist glory, concocted these ridiculous stories and played them on repeat. The devil in my head was doing everything it could to get me to cancel the meeting and just stay home and binge watch Netflix.

Pulling this card, allowed me to immediately recognize what I was doing. I do this frequently after all, and can’t always catch myself. But as soon as I could register those habits, I knew I had to stop. So I pulled out my tarot journal, wrote my question and the card, and then started spilling my guts on the paper about what this card meant for me. I wrote about my fears about talking to the loan officer. I wrote down the real worst case scenario, which isn’t even that bad, and I wrote down all of the good things that could come out of it. And as soon as I was done, I felt relieved.

Because like the chained lovers in The Devil, I feel restricted by the chains around my neck. But they’re actually not that tight, which means all it takes is acknowledging the situations and realizing that I do have the power to make a difference and to not blow this small situation out of proportion.

The brilliant Elizabeth Gilbert says in Big Magic,

“I have no great love or loyalty for my personal devils, because they have never served me well.”

I love this quote because it resonates so hard with me.

For far too long I let my personal devils weigh me down and keep from living in my life’s light. But that has never served me. It has never propelled me forward, brought abundance to my life, challenged me to be creative or innovative. It has never let me blossom into the human being I have the potential to be.

The Devil is a scary card to pick up, it always sends a shiver down my spine,. But from here on out, I will keep it associated with that Big Magic quote in my head, and never let it freak me out again. With a little more practice, I’ll be able to recognize those chains and illusions, and bring myself back into the light a little quicker every time.

How I Use Tarot to Listen to My Intuition

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As someone who is very technical and logically minded, listening to my intuition is not something that comes naturally. I struggled for years with trying to “go with my gut” and listen to what my body was trying to tell me, as opposed to the story my mind was making up about the situation.

For some people yoga and meditating is where it’s at. But I’ve never been very good at sitting still, so those haven’t had much luck with me.

It wasn’t until I started exploring the idea of tarot cards that I really began to understand the whole intuition thing everyone was talking about.

Now, tarot isn’t for everyone, I get that. It’s a little too “woo woo” and out there for some people. But I grew up with a family that didn’t shy away from mysterious and misunderstood things. I remember some of my family members owning ouija boards and runes, so the idea of tarot never scared me. However, I didn’t really understand what it was about until I started doing more research.

Tarot often gains the reputation of being used for fortune telling and psychic readings. And while it is somewhat along those lines, it’s not exactly fortune telling. It’s more of using pictures (the cards) to create a story, which a person can project their current situations onto.

For example, my favorite spread to do, is a three card pull about Obstacles, Opportunities, and Outcome. Each card represents one of these, and I’ll ask a question that has been on my mind a lot.

Now the key is not to take the cards literally. When I look at the card, for example “Death”, I don’t assume that I’m going to die.

Instead, I look at every aspect of the card, the minute details of the image, and let my mind project its thoughts onto the card. Like any piece of artwork, each person is going to see something different. Often times, those interpretations are based on real life experiences and what’s going on. Which is how you can start to use the cards to understand yourself a little bit more.

Usually I know I’m feeling some sort of way, but I can’t always place why I’m feeling that why, or how I might be able to work through it. Obviously, those answers are in me somewhere, but it takes a little story-weaving of the cards and admiring the images in order to pull it out of my logical, to-do list creating brain.

Since grabbing my first tarot deck (the Rider Tarot Deck) I’ve made it a habit to check in with my intuition every morning. I’ll usually pull one to three cards while I’m eating breakfast, and journal what the interpretation in relation to my question is. It’s been an amazing tool for keeping myself from getting too hung up on things, and for making sure I’m in a good place with my thoughts and how I’m really feeling about various aspects of my life.

So here are the quick steps that I go through every morning when I practice my tarot readings. (A lot of my process comes from listening to Bridget’s advice over on Biddy Tarot.)

1. Shuffle the cards thoroughly. I made the mistake of only doing this once or twice and had a few cards show up too frequently.

2. Decide what question you’re going to ask today. It can be about money, relationships, work, family, whatever. It can also be something as simple as “What do I need to know before moving forward today?” This is a good one for checking in with how I’m feeling before my day begins.

3. Decide if one card will be enough or if you need multiple. I usually pull one, but my favorite spread is the 3-card Obstacles/Opportunities/Outcome. Biddy Tarot has a lot of super easy three card spreads if you want to explore.

4. Pull each card and assign it a position before you look at it. Then flip them over.

5. Study each of the cards, one at a time.

Describe the actual image you’re seeing. What does the card look like? What sort of emotional descriptions can you use?

Go back to your question/position. What did you need to know with this card?

Describe the image as if you/whoever it represents was in it. Are they climbing a hill, struggling to carry something, happy and frolicking? This will start to connect the card to your life.

5a. If you pull a card and it’s upside down or “reversed”, first take the time to look at it as if it were upright. Craft that story. Then take the time to reverse that story for what your pulled card is suggesting. Reverse meanings are often times just the opposite of what the upright meaning is.


6. Now, taking all of those descriptions, combine them into a paragraph-like answer to your main question.

Another really awesome resource I use, specifically surround my creative projects, is the book, The Creative Tarot: A Modern Guide to an Inspired Life, by Jessa Crispin. She has a ton of insights on applying the cards to your creative thinking and craft as opposed to life as a whole.

Is tarot something you’re interested in? Do you already have your own practice? What sort of techniques do you use for getting in touch with your intuition?

P.S. If anyone wants to talk tarot, send me a message! I’m all about getting my “woo woo” on. 😉