Tarot-based Life Coaching

October 24, 2016

As a life coach, I seriously geek out on any and all sorts of tools to work with in helping people or advancing my own personal development. Whether they’re ideas, books, journals, workshops, or gosh darn yet more books, I’m into them. I’m like a happy otter when I have something to play with and learn from. Recently I’ve been delving into the art of tarot and loving how it connects my interests in coaching, creativity, the visual arts, and how we perceive and create meaning.

The tarot is a system of cards that represent both the major archetypes in our lives and also the range of situations we find ourselves in. It’s clearly divided into these overarching personae and events or conditions in the realm of the emotional world, the mind, the spirit, and the body.

One can argue what the system is FOR till one is blue in the face. Is it for divination? Self-analysis? What is divination anyway, and what about self-will? Whatever you think, the more we examine our lives, the more we look at and and discover, the more power we have to change our current stories and make new and better choices. This is much of what life coaching is about—find an area of your life that is unsatisfying or a struggle, then poke around with a stick and see what comes out.

The problem with that, is that it’s hard. Who wants to poke a stick in a giant pile of crap? Some of us do it because, as with exercise, we know we’ll feel better afterwards. Some of us want to make our lives better and are up for the challenge. This is where life-coaching comes in. Poking around in your life is much easier to do with company, with someone to hold you accountable, or help you realize you’re smack in the middle of the pile without a stick.

But, this process doesn’t have to be awful. Self-discovery can and should be fun, and lead to freedom and a feeling of being lighter and more integrated. It’s like after you work out and realize that your blood really does pump through your body and that your muscles are connected to your bones. You may be a little worse for wear, but like the Velveteen Rabbit, you’re REAL.

I’m a visual person, and like many others, I have too much to do and not enough time. If you ask me to sit and meditate, or journal, I’m entirely likely to realize I need to shave, feed the dog, or eat and shave the dog, or SOMETHING, OH PLEASE ANYTHING other than sit here. This is also a reason that we hire a life coach — to create the sacred space to DO THE WORK. Using images helps create a focus, and also helps use our imagination to create a bridge between what we know and what we let ourselves know. Because the truth is always in us; we just need to clear the windows so we can see.

Here are five ways you can use tarot cards in coaching, or coaching yourself. I’ll explore these in future posts:

  • Ask the right questions — before you pull any cards, you have a question. There’s an art to framing the question in a way that fully invests you with the power to act and helps you figure out what you should do rather than avoid responsibility or feel powerless.
  • Have compassion for your journey — Everything starts with the fool, heading off into the unknown. We go through this many times in our lives, and it’s too easy to just want to get to the end instead of being present with the steps of the journey.
  • Narrow down your focus area — Sometimes we get lost in how big a problem seems. The cards can help us see whether the hear of a problem is our feelings, our thoughts, our resources, or our motivation.
  • Identify your stories — Sometimes we get overwhelmed and feel like everything that we fee is the truth, always. But if we can get a little distance by seeing things as stories we tell ourselves, like “that’s my victim story,” or “that’s my too-much-to-do story,” we can let in enough fresh air to change things.
    * Less work more play — Come on, really; introspection can be a total bore, especially when you think it’s something you SHOULD do or shouldn’t have to do if you didn’t suck so much (see “stories we tell ourselves,” above.) Sometimes it really helps to give ourselves a break and learn through playing. Remember “discovery based learning” from preschool? They had the right idea even though it sometimes meant hitting each other with blocks. But you don’t have to do THAT.

Contact me if you want to play!