Using Tarot as your life coach....
I often find my use of Tarot cards morphs into using them to offer a “life coaching” type of reading, and I recently explored this in a Zoom workshop. So I thought I’d collate my ideas in a blog. I should point out I am not a trained life coach, rather I am sharing how I often use the Tarot cards in this way- for myself and others.
I'm not suggesting Tarot can replace the role of a life coach in your life, the personal relationship and experience of a professional. But you can read the cards to guide your life in the same way as a life coach- which I have found to be a really useful experience.
What is a life coach?
That is a big question, with multiple answers. I consider many life coaches will support you in:
· Identifying goals.
· Working through blocks.
· Creating a workable strategy.
· Hold you to account as you commit to your strategy.
These are all areas I have found Tarot can be really great at supporting. If you are using these spreads for yourself I strongly suggest a journal, and taking the time to reflect on the spreads.
As you work through the spreads remember the focus is to break established patterns that until now may have restricted you from achieving goals. The phrasing of your questions is important, in particular to allow “open” questions. Don’t fall into the pattern of just reinforcing what you already know, allow room for growth. If you are struggling with the spreads then stop and ask your cards. I find questions like the following can be really helpful in unlocking a problem.
· What do I need to know?
· What do I need to do?
· What’s blocking me?
I love this stage! Write a list, or create a mind map or vision board (depending on how your brain works!) to identify possible goals. Try and throw in some that seem on the edge of possible – add some variety in there.
Then do a series of three card snapshot readings for each of these goals. I like to use post-it notes on the table to help me organise this, and keep track of the possible goals. I also find it better to do up to five goals, then put the cards back and do another five- if I have oodles of possibilities.
You are looking for the goals that have some good possibilities, aiming to be left with a handful to read more deeply on.
In this spread I usually read the cards as
#1 Where I am with this goal- how prepared am I for this?
#2 What will the journey/process be like?
#3 Likely outcome.
Reading a series of mini readings, three cards for each of the possible goals.
Deeper goal readings
Once I have a handful of possible goals I will delve deeper to try and get a feel for them. For each goal I will do a 9 card reading (10 if you include the card at the bottom of the pack). If I was reading for myself I would journal for each of the spreads, before re-shuffling to look at a different goal. Trying to identify which goal best fits with my hopes.
The bottom row (cards 1-3) reflect where you are now.
The middle row (cards 1-6) give practical advice.
The top row (cards 7-9) suggest the most likely outcome.
The card at the bottom of the pack is something you need to know.
In the example I was reading for building on-line Tarot courses.
The first line (which should resonate with you, as it reflects your current situation) suggests (correctly) that it will help me to have more balance (Temperance) that the break in the week from client based work will be good for me mentality (8 of cups) and that I am energised and excited by this (knight of wands).
The advice is to be playful in my concept, to try new ideas to see what works (2 of pentacles) to take control of my time and to be focused on this (6 of pentacles) and that I need to believe I can do this (6 of wands). So very much about creating the time to do this, which is very accurate for me.
The top row is outcome. Obviously in a business reading the 10 of pentacles is always a welcome sight. The Fool suggests this will lead to new possibilities, and the 5 of swords in this reading (for me) is about new ways of thinking, and creating original content.
The card at the bottom of the pack- The Magician- would suggest this is the start of something new and has the potential to be successful.
Once you’ve narrowed it done to one or two possible goals its time to focus on self-limiting blocks. We all have them, and you wouldn’t be reading for these goals if there were no self-limiting blocks- you’d just be doing them!
I love the 9 card block, and for each possible goal would do the spread:
Cards 1-3 Strengths (always good to know!) look for the positive in these cards, even if traditionally difficult.
Cards 4-6 Weaknesses/blocks. Be honest, do these feel like you?
Cards 7-9 Practical advice.
Try and find the link between the three lines, is there a narrative between the columns- giving you a strength, block, advice? Look for the practical- how can you make this work?
Looking at my building on-line Tarot courses:
I have already got a lot of resources in place to call upon (7 of wands), I am well prepared to do this. I would actually find the process quite easy- I like sharing Tarot information in word, Podcast and YouTube videos already (6 of swords), and I am ready to change my work schedule to accommodate this (wheel of fortune)
I definitely have some deep self-limiting blocks from childhood (6 of cups) focused on not believing I can stand in my own power (queen of wands) ,I struggle to believe in my own truth, my own words when it comes to teaching/sharing Tarot (judgement) even though I enjoy creating content- I am not always confident about sharing it.
Ace wands- just do it, don’t over think it, go for it.
Hierophant- read around my blocks, any problems I encounter. To overcome problems as I go through learning and education. (Very much my normal strategy)
Knight of pentacles -Taking it slowly, having a rhythm and a sustainable way of building content (very much something I struggle with)
Workable strategy (and being accountable)
By this point I would only be working with one goal, and its important now to have an idea of the time frame. I like to use the 90 day/three month time frame, but for you it might be a short term goal, or take longer. So find a workable time frame, and then break it down into manageable chunks.
For a three-month reading I would start by doing a reading for each of the months.
Card 1 Start of the month.
Card 2 Practical advice for this month.
Card 3 Energies at the end of the month.
I would take careful notes about this, and write key points into my diary.
Then at the start of each month I would do the same spread for each week, tracking the energies of the project and trying to get a heads up about any problems of timing issues. I pay particular attention to card 2- practical advice. I would journal, and make notes in my diary, using these readings both as a working strategy and an accountability journal.
Here is my three month workable strategy (just the over view, I would break that down into weekly readings at the start of each month):
March: The month starts well (3 of cups) with a celebratory feel. The key is to keep the month smooth, sustainable, on an even keel. (6 of swords) Focusing on structure and building content, rather than over focusing on end goals or outcome. I will be triggered by emotional blocks this month (6 of cups) just gently keep pushing forward.
April The month starts with some excitement, as I grasp the concept for my online courses and run with it (ace of wands). The key this month is to be adaptable, and leave room for change as I step into my power (wheel of fortune). By the end of the month there is more confidence, as if I have found a way of creating content that is very true to me (queen of wands).
May. I love the Hierophant- it suggests that I am creating a cohesive way to communicate and teach tarot. The advice from the 7 of swords is to “think outside the box” and be creative with my strategy. The ending of the month with the page of swords suggests debate, discussion- I need to be aware of changes in the format over these three months, creating content- but allowing flexibility in how it is delivered.
I would have this written in my diary, then at the start of each month drill down and repeat the spread for a week by week basis. I am looking for slowing down, anxiety or overwhelm, I may be looking for cash flow issues or conflict. I am looking to leverage any positive energies, and calmly navigate any difficulties.
Of course the Tarot can not hold you to account, but by writing the spreads in my diary it helps to keep me on track and focused.