Happy New Year!
If you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll know all about the many ways I’ve been planning for 2018. In this post, I want to share with you one of my favorite ways to prepare for the new year, new quarter, or even just a new month: tarot spreads.
It’s not a secret that I use tarot a lot in my everyday life. I use it as a daily journal prompt. I use the Golden Thread Tarot app to pull a daily card or gain clarity when I’m on the go and don’t have one of my decks around. But I haven’t before talked about how I use tarot in my business. So here it goes.
How to set awesome business goals with heart and intention using tarot.
My Tarot Practice
I haven’t been using tarot long, only about two years, but it has had such a significant impact on how I respond to and process my life. For me, tarot is a form of self-administered therapy. It’s being able to ask questions of myself and let my subconscious project what’s going on in my head into the card illustrations.
Everyone uses tarot a little bit differently, and there is no right or wrong way. Tarot is a tool for tapping into your intuition, something that every person has.
When I started using the cards to sort out my head, I was following Biddy Tarot’s interpretations, and I still do occasionally. But the best advice I can give to anyone who is looking at the cards for the first time is to focus on the illustrations. Describe, out loud or by writing it down, the story that is in the picture. And gradually start pointing out how this relates to your life.
At first, I pick out the obvious stuff. For example, the three women in the Three of Cups almost always speaks to me of my group of business besties. Eventually, as you begin to weave the story together, you’ll notice smaller, seemingly less significant symbology that is relatable.
If you’re not ready to dive into your own interpretations, there is no shame in following along with a guidebook or other resource. Biddy Tarot and Jessa Crispin’s book The Creative Tarot are my favorites.
Now that you’ve got an idea of how to read the cards let’s get into the spreads I use for planning.
Yearly and Monthly Themes
First, I owe credit to finding this spread to Maggie Gentry. (The picture above is from The Wild Unknown.) I first saw her doing this over the holidays on Instagram, and I thought it was just a lovely way to start the New Year. Since this was still relatively recently, I haven’t incorporated this spread 100% into my goal planning, but I want to, so I’m sharing it with you now so you can see how thing progress in future blog posts.
This 13 card spread picks a card for each month and then one at the center for the year as a whole. While 13 cards is a lot and can be intimidating at first, it is very insightful.
Below is a picture of my yearly spread for reference.
Step 1: Shuffle your deck. I always do some deep breathing while I do this.
Step 2: Choose your 13 cards, laying them out one at a time, until they’re all select.
Step 3: Flip them over, and take a few minutes to just sit with the pictures. Jot down notes about your initial reaction to each one.
I’m not going to lie; there are cards that I see (ahem, The Tower) that immediately make me anxious. But remember, there’s always more than what sits on the surface, it’s just a good gut check to see how you initially feel towards a card.
Step 4: In a journal, Google doc, or whatever method of recording you prefer, make a note of that card, which month it represents, and any keywords associated with it. I use Biddy Tarot to remember these keywords.
Step 5: Now go deeper – start looking at each month’s card and figure out what it means to you in the coming year.
Like I mentioned previously, I always pick out the obvious stuff first, then I start to narrow in on the little things that I didn’t notice at first. Go through them all, making a note if you’re still confused by a specific month/card.
Step 6: Once you’ve looked at all the months individually, we can look at them in quarters of the year. How does January’s, February’s, and March’s card go together? Are there any common themes (i.e., money, new ventures, family, burnout, etc.)? Do you have more of one particular suit than the others? What does that suit symbolize?
If there was a card you still had questions about, does seeing it within the quarter break-out spread help clarify it? If not, there might be some additional questions you need to ask yourself about in a separate reading. (See the 3-card reading towards the end of this post.)
Step 7: Once you have looked at each month and quarter, take a look at your year as a whole. How do you time in your yearly theme to each quarter? Each month?
I always find when I’m recording this, my notes get messy. Which is why I start off with a notebook, where I can draw in arrows and scribbles and whatever else I might need to. Then I iron out my themes and add them to my Big Picture Strategy board in Trello. This is a board I found through Think Creative Collective’s Trello for Business course, which brings us to step eight.
Step 8: What does it all mean? Take some time to reflect on your notes, pick out any patterns that resonate with you, suggested times of energy and times when self-care will be necessary. Make a note of these on your calendar, or whatever method you use to keep track of time-sensitive items.
With these monthly themes in mind, consider what could be done to channel that suggestion. For example, the Queen of Rods (also called wands or staves) is ruling over February for me. She’s all about exuberance, warmth, and determination, but is also symbolic of stubbornness, with the potential to suffer from burnout. With those keywords in mind, I know February will be a time for me to focus my creativity on something that fuels me up, rather than something that drains me.
Now that we’re aware of some general themes for our year look at what you’ve already begun dreaming about for your business? Did you want to start a YouTube channel? Maybe plan on doing that in a month where you’re full of creativity and energy. Did you want to take a tropical vacation? Look for the months that you’re going to be coming down from a lot of work, and will need some rejuvenation.
How to Choose Goals
Choosing goals can be tricky. I like to take a look at what big dreams I’ve recently been thinking about. I also really like Maggie Gentry’s The 2018 Year Ahead Planning Bundle. She has you hone in on your previous year’s numbers and where you’ve been, which is super helpful when planning for the new year.
Each goal has to be something you believe in, a good balance of dreamy yet realistic. I know it sounds like a mythical creature, but those are the best kind of goals.
Here’s a look at my first quarter goals based on my themes:
- January – The Star reversed – a lack of faith, weariness
- February – Queen of Rods – passion, energy, determination
- March – Ten of Coins – wealth, family, establishment
- $4000 for the quarter
- 100 newsletter subscribers
- Weekly newsletter (currently biweekly)
- Weekly blog post (currently inconsistent)
- Virtual Office Hours
- YouTube channel
As someone who works a full-time job as well as running my own business, an extra $4000 for the quarter, would be a great start towards replacing the income I make at my full-time job.
Increasing my content creation to a weekly newsletter and weekly blog post is a lot of work, but it will help further establish my expertise.
My two launches are both things I’ve been thinking about doing, and both happen to be giving back to my online community for free, which is something I’m passionate about.
Now that you have the monthly and yearly theme established, how can you be sure to follow through with everything?
I recommend setting a date on your calendar, either the last day of the previous month or the first day of the month to reflect on that month’s theme and pull the following 3-card spread to guide you through the month.
3-Card Spread: Obstacles, Opportunities, Outcome
Use this spread for some internal reflection.
- What obstacles are going to try and stop you? How are you holding yourself back?
- What opportunities have presented themselves to you? What opportunities might you have looked over?
- With your obstacles and opportunities in mind, what will the outcome be? How can you reach this point, or change it if it’s unfavorable?
This spread doesn’t always immediately seem positive. But remember, there’s still more to the cards. The cards don’t dictate our future; they just provide a different perspective. If your outcome was that you’d end up destitute and unhappy, perhaps this is only the unspoken fear you’ve had in the back of your mind. What mindset blocks and habits are preventing you from moving forward? What sort of opportunities can you jump at to prevent that fear from happening?
Tarot has always been and will always be a tool to help us gain clarity. Whether you believe they’re predicting your fate or you use them to see things from a different angle, tarot is powerfully insightful.
If you’re struggling with a creative project, I recommend picking up Jessa Crispin’s book The Creative Tarot. If you’re just looking for some general guidance, I recommend checking out Biddy Tarot’s online guides. And if all else fails, you can grab one of my Virtual Office Hours spots, and we can chat about all things tarot if you’d like.
So, what are your 2018 goals? What was your favorite card for the new year? Which theme has you worried? Let me know in the comments below!