For down-to-earth career guidance, get out the cards!
As a career consultant, I meet people who feel
they are standing at a fork in the road, seeking guidance on whether
to turn right or left. Accept this job offer? Resign from a frustrating
job? Return to school?
"I know the answer is within me," they
say, "but how do I gain access to my inner wisdom?" Besides
journaling and meditating, I often turn to tarot cards, using a
simple, single-card method. As you shuffle a deck, ask your question.
Avoid yes/no questions, encouraging phrases like, "What will
happen if I . . ." Or just, "Give me an impression of
Pull a single card. Often the image will speak
to you immediately. You'll have a sense that your intuition has
been personified in this single card. For instance, Marie had just
completed interviews with two companies. She was also considering
a return to graduate school for a new career altogether. Marie drew
"Death" for both of her corporate options. She realizes
that this card can signify a rebirth. However, as soon as Marie
saw those cards, she felt her intuition was confirmed: "I sensed
rejection all through the interview."
For her third option, a new career, Marie drew
the Five of Cups. Typically the Five of Cups means "regret."
Marie was confused - would she regret the decision to return to
school? However, I suggested, this card might signify regret from
not choosing this option. It could mean that she needed time to
mourn her corporate career. Alternatively, it could mean that she
would regret the decision initially, but would feel differently
I urged Marie to live with the decision and the
card a little longer, gather more information, and use meditation
and journaling to enhance her intuition. And, I suggested, she could
draw another card later. In my own life, I have found that a two-card
sequence corresponds loosely to a temporal sequence. Alas, the cards
do not yield information about length of each sequence, but you
know there's hope ahead.
Another client, Mike, was not familiar with tarot
cards, which he associated with storefront crystal balls. Mike had
been laid off from a lucrative managerial position, with a generous
severance package. Mike drew the Three of Cups from a Rider-Waite
deck. I encouraged him to study the image first, before turning
to published interpretations. Mike spoke of three women who seemed
to be proposing a toast. They appeared very focused on the cups
and on each other. Mike felt drawn to the symbols of autumn and
harvest: pumpkin, grapes, fruits, orange, and yellow colors.
Perhaps, Mike thought, he needed to harvest the
fruits of his previous career. He could celebrate what he had stored
up and use the fruits of the harvest for a new life. Mike had little
interest in studying traditional meanings of this card because his
own answer felt right to him.
Besides this method, I advocate the card-a-day
method to track progress of a life transition. Keep a tarot card
intuition journal. Write down the question, then draw and record
your card. Later, you can track the effectiveness of tarot cards
for your own life. You may learn new meanings: "I thought this
card meant departure, but it really meant I was supposed to be waiting."
My Rider-Waite deck has become one of the most
powerful tools in my career coaching. I encourage you to use your
own cards to gather intuitive wisdom and enhance intuition as you
enjoy career and life change.
Bio: Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, career coach,
and speaker, who helps mid-career professionals move to career freedom.
She has authored a book about relocation as a life transition (Making
the Big Move, New Harbinger, 1999), as well as several e-books
and articles that are available on her website. For her free monthly
Career Freedom e-zine, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Her website is http://www.movinglady.com
and email email@example.com.