King of Cups with Ace of Swords

Quantum Tarot 2.0 by Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler

Someone’s parent or teacher or pastor or guidance counselor probably gave them this advice at some point: It was something to do with making clear logical decisions by setting aside one’s emotions. Yeah, I don’t know about that.

That’s all fine if you want to don a lab coat and tote a clipboard around (or is it a laptop these days? Probably a tablet, I’d guess…). Decisions devoid of an emotional influence are best made with control groups and data sets.

I am an advocate of making emotionally-based decisions. Before you start pecking at me like a bunch of territorial crows, let me flush this out: I believe how one feels about the outcome of a decision, paired by one’s truest desire, provides for the absolute purest compass for the direction to take.

I’m not talking about that kind of flailing-wildly-in-a-state-of-panic type of emotion. That’s what comes to mind for many people when referencing the idea of deciding by feelings. I would be so bold to say that fear and panic are more reactions than emotions. They are more byproducts of the klaxon of the adrenal medulla figuring out how to get the heart out of a box on fire. The ensuing actions we take due to panic are rarely based on any thought whatsoever during episodes of an epinephrine surge.

The clearest decisions we can make are the ones that trace directly back to what we want. This is actually the trickiest part, as our truest desire is often layered and stacked and dogpiled with several other subsidiary wants. Many of these are based on what we think we are supposed to want, gifted to us by cultural expectations, social mores, and all things obligatory. We will find many of these lesser wants battling it out, vying for psychological dominance.

At some point, we need to strip away all of the little wants that are in essence superfluous in the background of our true desire. We have to distill down to the single most emotional intention that catches that glint of light in our solar plexus. We have to identify what we want most as it is left standing on its own after clearing away all the emotional flotsam and jetsam, leaving only the purest of aspirations. It is from here that we make the best, clearest, and most focused decisions, and these are the decisions that yield to us the greatest growth and success.



Ten of Swords with The Fool

Tarot Illuminati by Erik C. Dunne

At some point in nearly every life, without exception, we find ourselves at the end of the road. We have ventured far enough into the blind alley to the point where we can proceed no further.

If I were to take a guess, the path to this impasse contained detailed plans, carefully deliberated decisions consisting of tweaks and changes to an outline of what we intended to achieve. We thought we regarded every contingency. We thought we entertained multiple alternate scenarios. We believed we had made our plan as foolproof as possible, only to find it had failed to come to fruition at the end of the day.

There are occasions vast in number when it is more than appropriate to chart out exactly how we will proceed in a given endeavor. However, there are moments in our journey or steps in our undertakings for which careful planning is not only futile, it can be detrimental and inevitably disastrous. During times such as these it is imperative to rely on our intuition.

Our intuition is a most brilliant guidance system that seems to follow no guidelines. It will fire off a message that signals us to make a specific choice or avoid a specific scenario, sometimes suggesting an option that falls counter to what might make better logical sense. Yet our left-brain ruler born of academia and conventionalism and even dogma spurs us on to stay on the well laid out path of the tried and true. A sensible plan was created; we must stick to it.

The tales of the greatest achievements of our lives often contain an anecdote of a whimsical decision we once made, or a leap of faith we had taken, or a series of serendipitous events that fell into our laps simply because we responded to a strange urge that came upon us. I will be so bold as to say the grander the intention the more unreliable our meticulous plans will be and the more often we will be tapped on the shoulder by our inner voice as to the best course of action.

The most detailed roadmap or accurate GPS cannot predict cuts of chaos into the fabric of order. We could not account for the aluminum siding that flew out of the truck bed, lifted by a gust that had been generated by the Brazilian butterfly’s wing flapping days prior. The subconscious, however, has the ability to see such things. It lives in the basement of reality along with the fractals blossoming from seeming randomness, with the quantum particles that occupy multiple places simultaneously, in the realm where time is merely the phone conversation doodles of the unrealized forces of our universe.

Our inner knower scoffs at conventional physics and linear perception. We however are enslaved by this inviolate illusion. All too often when our intuition raises its hand and makes a suggestion we are all too quick to dismiss it. We go back to studying our pieces carefully laid out on the board of our game of Mitigated Risk. The non-Euclidian math of the inner voice’s suggestion just doesn’t add up, so we chalk it up to nonsense and we stick to the plan.

There is a beautiful opportunity for us if we choose to look back through our dead-end endeavors. I would bet my spleen (or any other non-essential internal organ) that there were multiple times in a failed journey we had embarked upon when our intuition was screaming and waving arms to get our attention and we simply hit the snooze on its signal. If we can find those moments and recognize them as directions from within, we will know how to spot them in the future when they come along again to save us from ourselves.

Seven of Cups

A person is faced with several cups containing a myriad of choices
A person is faced with several cups containing a myriad of choices

As we travel down the path that leads us to the desired outcome of our lives, we often find the greatest obstacles are the ones created from self-doubt. One of the greatest of causes for self-doubt comes from our own distraction.

It is not uncommon for us to encounter diversions as we move toward accomplishing our goals. We might be drawn to something that is more appealing in the moment, something that does not necessarily lead to our destination. While on a very long journey we may decide we need to take a break to recharge and regroup, only to find the break has lasted considerably longer than we had originally intended it to. Continue reading Seven of Cups

Two of Wands

A man of means surveys vast lands from on high while contemplating a globe in his hand
A man of means surveys vast lands from on high while contemplating a globe in his hand

So frequently in life we find ourselves at a crossroads, at a point where we need to make a big decision. Sometimes when we reach that point we have trouble deciding which road to take. We deliberate with ourselves, we weigh our options, we seek advice, all in hopes that we can gather enough information to be able to make an informed, well thought out decision.

What if I were to say that we already know which road we want to take by the time we reach the fork in the road? Our deliberation is not due to wanting one of two outcomes. Our most desired outcome always lies on only one of the two roads, and we already know which road takes us there. The ambivalence comes because we are trying to decide between pursuing what we want and avoiding what we don’t want.

Our desired outcomes are also our rewards. We are rewarding ourselves for overcoming adversity, for finding the courage to take on challenges that we did not know we even had the strength to face. We know that between where we stand at the crossroads and the destination of achievement is a journey fraught with obstacles and setbacks. It is these obstacles that we fear, these challenges that we dread having to face while on the road to our desired manifestation. It’s not that the other road holds something we want just as much; rather, it offers the false promises of less adversity, of not having to face the challenges we know will be before us on the road of our true calling.

The “easy” road is anything but easy. It is paved with the illusion of an escape from struggle and hard work. Yet this road actually offers a much more uncomfortable ride. Our complacency molded from our own fears would have us choose a road that will inevitably leave us unsatisfied, full of regret, chanting the mantra of lament: “What would my life be like if I had taken that other road?” The challenges we meet while on the road to our truest desires are only mild inconveniences compared to the encumbering burden of regret we carry on the easy road. It may have appeared that we had chosen the more painless path, but settling for the easy route is how we manifest dissatisfaction.

There are no two roads that offer us what we want; there is one road that offers us what we want and the other which we believe will allow us to avoid what we don’t want. In these cases we already know which road to take. The road toward what we want may appear to be the most challenging road, but in all actuality it is the safest.