Using the Tarot for Planning & Goal Setting

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Everyone has their favorite tarot card spreads. The Celtic Cross is super common, and I’m a huge fan of 3-card spreads (especially for tarot beginners).

But my absolutely favorite tarot card spread is one for goal planning. It’s actionable, pretty, and positive. Three of my favorite things!

A friend taught me this spread. I don’t know where he learned it, so if you know where this tarot spread comes from, please let me know.

Every week on Sunday, I sit down with this spread and my tarot planning journal to plan out the week ahead. It’s been So Very Helpful in keeping my goals on track, so I’m calling it the Tarot Goal Planning Spread.

The Tarot Goal Planning Spread

This spread uses six cards, laid out in a pyramid pattern, with three cards across the bottom.

When preparing this spread, I meditate on a specific goal I want to accomplish for the week, such as, “This week, I will write and schedule 10 blog posts.”

The three cards across the bottom row of the pyramid are the Strongest Aspect of the goal, the Helpful Resources I have, and the Weakest Aspect of the goal. These feel like my “goal foundation.”

I usually read the Strongest Aspect as “what I’ve got going for me,” and the Weakest Aspect as “what’s working against me” or “how I’m getting in my own way.”

The next two cards in the middle of the pyramid are Suggested Actions to get me closer to my goal. The top card is the Outcome.

The Tarot Goal Planning Process

When I do my weekly review on Sunday, I have my tarot planning journal, some tarot stickers, and my cards ready – along with my editorial calendar, my quarterly goals list, and my bullet journal. Here’s the process of how I use this spread to help me plan my weekly goals.

First, I take a look at my quarterly goal list to see if I am on target, and to map out what I need to do for this month. (I create a new quarterly goal list every 90 days). This quarterly goal list gets updated in my bullet journal as I accomplish tasks – click here for more about bullet journaling.

Once I know what needs to be done this month, I can dig even deeper. The next step is to create a To Do list of tasks for the week, as one majorly long list in my bullet journal.

For that, I take a look at what I need to do over the next week to hit the monthly targets that are based on my quarterly goals. Then I look at my editorial calendar. And my meetings-and-appointments calendar. And I plan fun times and dates. It all goes on the list.

At about this point in the planning process, I’ve got at least four dozen To Do tasks on the list and I’m feeling majorly overwhelmed.

So I take a break and pull out my tarot deck.

There’s usually ONE obvious weekly goal or task that calls the cards. It’s either something that really needs to get done that week, or it’s something I’ve been procrastinating on, or it’s something that will majorly impact my quarterly goals. If it’s scary, it’s usually worth using the cards.

Here’s a few of the questions I’ve asked when using this goal-planning spread – and I actually phrase these “questions” as statements, since they are goals I am 100% committed to achieving:

  • This week, I will figure out what to do about That Thing.
  • This week, I will create and schedule 21 posts for Instagram.
  • This week, I will contact 3 bloggers about guest posting.

Now, let’s see this goal-setting spread in action…

The Tarot Goal Planning Spread in Action

For this specific spread, I asked the cards: “This week, I will write 3 new blog posts. How do I best go about doing that?”

Then, I brainstormed and wrote in my journal some ideas, based on these cards…

  • Strongest Aspect: Eight of Pentacles
    I am willing (and able) to do the hard work that this will require. I’ve got the skills.
  • Weakest Aspect: Five of Wands
    Competition is strong on the internet. It’s a crowded market, and we’re all fighting each other. (I actually don’t believe this)!
  • Helpful Resources: King of Swords
    I don’t know who the King of Swords represents here, but now I know to be on the lookout for a wise mentor who has walked this path before.
  • Outcome: The Empress
    Bountiful abundance! Just what I want to see here.
  • Suggested Actions: Judgment and the Six of Wands
    The Judgment card suggests I need to get the word out & toot my own horn. The Six of Wands is also about messages and news. Together, to me they strongly indicate that I need to focus on marketing and making sure that people know my blog posts are out there!

I use the bottom “weekly planning” section of my tarot planning journal to brainstorm some actionable tasks for the week.

Once I have a few solid Suggested Action items, I add them to my weekly To Do list in my bullet journal, and I star them with pretty gold ink. I want to make sure I take action on the advice the cards give me – otherwise, why am I bothering to ask?

I’m pretty obviously a planner & list-making freak. As much as I thrive on chaos and variety, I need organization in my life to feel safe.

So, at the end of every workday, I sit down and create my task list for the next day. You’ve got it, another list in my bullet journal. (Actually, right now I’m putting these daily To Do items in a Hobonichi Cousin, because damn that paper is nice)!

I always, always, always make sure to put the starred Suggested Action item at the top of the To Do list for the day, and I have a habit of tackling those first.

This routine takes me about an hour on Sunday, and about 15 minutes every evening. It sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is.

But this routine – including the crazy planner organization and this tarot goal-planning spread – are about 80% of the reason that I’ve been able to publish a zillion tarot videos & blog posts, create new items every month for the Learn Tarot With Me shop, and run this tarot business. All while training for a marathon, taking care of my family, and working on a secret novel. (The other 20% of my success is due to a mix of coffee, hardcore rap, and really supportive friends).

Now, Your Turn!

I frequently post pictures of my tarot planner journal & weekly spreads on Instagram (using the hashtag #tarotjournal on @learntarotwithme). There’s a whole planner community of us there, so please join us if you geek out about this stuff like I do!