Tarot and oracle cards are wonderful tools for helping you achieve your goals. Whether you’re witchy, into new-age stuff, or just a personal growth junkie, they provide a great visual tool for holding you accountable and manifesting your dreams. Here are some specific ways to use them.

Use Your Deck to Ask the Right Questions

It’s my opinion that the most powerful thing about the tarot isn’t what you expect. It’s not the spreads or what the cards tell you, but the process of thinking about and asking a question before you choose the cards. Often, asking the right question can make the answer obvious, or at least open up a previously unexamined line of inquiry.

One example is the iconic and unhelpful “Does my boyfriend really love me?” question. With a little poking, that question could more usefully be something like “why do I have trouble trusting my boyfriend,” or “how can I be more comfortable with feeling vulnerable?”

You can also use the tarot as a journaling tool to help you figure out what to write about. You can also explore issues and how you feel about things easier if you have something to respond to. For example, if you ask yourself “Who do I want to be,” it can be easier to write into that if you first pull a card and get the Queen of Cups. Do you like her? Does she remind you of anyone?

There are many sites that list good questions to ask, and a good place to start is with this well-thought out list by The Traveling Witch.

Do a “What to Do and What Not to Do” Spread

It’s easy to get lost in the logistics of daily life and lose track of what we need to do in order to achieve our goals. Tarot can help keep things simple. A simple “what to do/what not to do” two card spread can give you easy actionable items.

Here’s how it works. For example, say my goal is to lose weight. I think about that, and then pull the two cards that are in the picture above. You don’t need to be an expert in the cards or know all the “official” meanings–you just need to be able to get at least one good intuitive cue from each card. These two cards are from the Mystic Mondays tarot.

The first card, “What to To Do,” is the King of Pentacles. He looks really spiffy and well-groomed. I think that if I up my attitude to self-care and maybe dress nicely and put on makeup and brush my hair then I’ll be more likely to take care of myself in the other ways I want. I’ll look in the mirror and think “This is the kind of person who has it together, who does yoga and eats right.”

The card on the right is the Six of Swords, for “What Not to Do.” I took at this and think of a bed of nails (which, incidentally, has nothing to do with the “traditional” meaning of the card). This makes me think “Don’t chastise yourself for your previous failures.” Negative self-talk can really affect us, and often we don’t even notice that we’re doing it. So I’m going to pay attention to my inner critic and what I’m thinking, and tell myself to shut up when I’m being mean to myself.

If you have trouble trusting your intuition, you can be more literal with the meanings and consult an online source like Biddy Tarot.

Use the Tarot to Keep Your Goal in Mind. Visually

It’s easy to lose track of our goals when they’re no longer in the front and center of our lives. We put so much energy into envisioning them at the end of the previous year, and then quickly lose our focus as our energy goes into other things.

You can choose tarot cards deliberately to help you keep your original desire and energy in mind. Major Arcana cards like Strength or The Sun are good for reminding you of exercise goals. The Empress can help remind you to take care of yourself or surround yourself with beauty.

Having an “extra” deck that you don’t use for reading with is very useful, because you can pull out cards and use them as visual aids. You can tape them to your bathroom mirror or magnet them to your refrigerator. You can even take a picture and use it as your lock screen on your phone. The options are endless.

Play a Game of “Warmer, Colder.”

Sometimes we think we know what we want but when it comes down to it, we realize we don’t really know what we feel about how to get there. Do we want to do yoga, or kickboxing? Is a keto diet or intermittent fasting better for us? We can research till we’re blue in the face, but that still often leaves us not knowing what’s really right for us.

One way around this is to use the old children’s game of “Warmer, Colder” to find our way. Choose an option for something you’re contemplating, like taking a class at the gym with friends. It would get you exercising and be fun, but with the travel it would take three times as long as working at home and it would mean you’d have to leave work early. What’s the right thing to do?

Shuffle and pick a card from the deck. If you need to, you can pick several. Look at the card(s) and write down your first impression. Is it positive and encouraging? Or does it look like a big no? Check in with yourself. Remember, this isn’t about the cards telling you what to do, but them helping you access a gut feeling that you weren’t aware of before. Does it make sense to you?

If you get an answer of just a little bit warmer, go with that option and brainstorm a few ways you can make it better, then check in with your cards again.

Use Your Cards to Create Steps Toward Your Goal

You may be excited about your goal (Making new friends!) but not sure how to go about achieving it. Even if we do have a plan, we often limit ourselves to only what we’re familiar with. The tarot can be a great tool for thinking outside the box or giving us more options. And the more options we take, the more likely we’ll be successful.

Let’s take the example of making new friends. You can start by pulling two cards that represent how you feel now and how you’ll feel when you’ve achieved your goal, and putting them about six inches apart. Good examples of these might be The Hermit (we’ll go with the obvious choice) and the three of cups, which shows three people drinking together.

Then, pull three cards at random from your deck and place them down in between these two. You can pull more, but three to five is a good amount. Then write down what actions these cards suggest. This is a great way to brainstorm what NEW things we could be doing. A King of Cups might mean to approach men who are older or more mature than you have previously. The Four of Cups, with a person looking bored underneath a tree could mean starting a Philosophy Meetup at the local park.

There are so many ways to use the Tarot or a good Oracle Deck to help you breathe new life into those New Year’s Goals, but these are just a few of them. If you’re interested in learning more or would like to work with me in exploring these, contact me!