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.



The Moon with The Magician

Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan
Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan

If you’re like me, you have a great appreciation for all the Law of Attraction concepts as presented by Rhonda Byrne and Abraham via Esther and Jerry Hicks, provided a boost by Napoleon Hill who was standing on the shoulders of William Walker Atkinson. I could continue to lay down the trail of bread crumbs that lead us to the original conceivers of LOA (as the cool New Age kids call it), but those crumbs would invariably be devoured by the murder of crows from the order or what-does-it-really-matter.

If you continue to be like me, you’ll find yourself simultaneously applauding while rolling your eyes at the beautifully absurd simplicity behind the Law of Attraction idea. It’s the fairy godmother of New Age-ology, with one’s desire serving as the star-capped magic wand, leaving a trail of glitter and pixie dust with every wave, manifesting material gains out of pumpkins and mice.

Do I find the concept of manifestation from desire preposterous? Not in the least. I fully subscribe to it. Now I get to confront the skeptics and critics with the self-proclaimed title of Realists censuring me for disobeying the laws of physics and science and good old-fashioned buzzkillery. Flanking them are the people who have burned their copies of The Secret and Ask and It Is Given and Think and Grow Rich while turning out their empty pockets and point to vacant parking spaces where a BMW should be standing.

Figuring out what we want is the cornerstone to manifestation. However, that is the proverbial banner in the wind, the bar of soap gripped too tightly in a wet palm. What makes this so elusive is the trouble with really knowing what we want at the core. We might start with grabbing our legal pad and making our what-we-would-do-if-we-won-the-lottery wish list without ever figuring out the main theme of the story. Most of those items are merely the outer skin of the onion. If we dig deep to ask ourselves why we want the things on that list, we will uncover a desire that resides beneath that, from which each bulleted item sprang.

The Westerner approach to looking at what we desire is merely the skin on the pudding that has been in the fridge too long. It is comprised of Madison Avenue employing the Joneses with whom we need to keep up. Our idea of what we want is suggested to us by pictures generated on the sides of our browser windows based on our previous searches. Yet we feed our desires in a consumerism exercise of Whack-a-Mole, where we purchase that thing to temporarily scratch that niggle of want, only to resurface when the shine of novelty has worn away from our trinket, and the familiar persistent wanting rises again.

In order to truly manifest our desire, we have to be able to identify the deepest want that serves as the wellspring of how that desire appears. It often comes in the form of single descriptors such as love, safety, recognition, peacefulness, joy, acknowledgement, appreciation. When we can identify and unveil these desires in their most basic forms, we can address them without all the shiny distractions, and we will find our manifestations from these desires will be created more purely than we could have ever imagined.

Queen of Cups

Queen of Cups
A queen gazes upon an ornate chalice, waters completely surrounding her throne

What gets results in manifesting our desired outcomes is taking action on the intentions we’ve set. However, without the original intention, we have nothing to act upon.

Our original intentions are born of desire, of want, of a vision of something so compelling we find ourselves called to action without having to conjure up any motivation. Nothing reconnects us with our intentions more than tapping into the emotions that gave birth to them in the beginning.

The feelings behind our desires may sometimes seem larger than ourselves. We might be intimidated by the intensity of our wishes, fearing that the raw emotion may engulf us, leaving us out of control of our actions. We would find our every move dictated by our feelings, our logical mind having been dismissed and leaving us susceptible to potentially hazardous decisions made based on unbridled enthusiasm.

While careful consideration certainly has its merit, it has the potential of forcing us into an approach that is too calculated, that has become devoid of the drive that our emotions inherently provide us. We surgically plan each action in a way that prevents misstep, that provides the safest route, the methods most free from error.

Through this overly clinical process we rob ourselves of the rich lessons gained from our trials. We sacrifice the opportunity for the greatest degree of learning that occurs through the mistakes we make. Being truly tapped into our emotional intensity reaffirms the strength of our desires, reminding us that the reward in what we desire to achieve is far greater than the cost from the mistakes we make along the way.


King of Wands

King of Wands
A king sits on a throne illustrated with lions and lizards, gazing to the left, adorned in vibrant yellow and orange robes

The wellspring of manifestation is desire. Before we can set an intention we have to have a desire upon which to set it.

Desire is not a calculable thing. Our wants cannot be carefully constructed. Desire is born of pure emotion, of feeling, of a draw and an attraction to something. It needs no words to describe it, it is merely felt.

We can stand in our own way of attracting a desired outcome into our lives when we lose ourselves in analysis, rules, and minutia, by over-calculating the origins, means, purpose, and function of what we are wanting to manifest. We need to return to the pure inspiration of desire that fueled the intention as often as we can.

We may be concerned that if we allow ourselves to fall untethered into the depths of our desires, we may be consumed by the fires of our emotions. We may fear that without a well planned and constructed safety net the gravity of our wants will smash us down into the hard pavement of reality. However, this dampening down of our impetus and impulse to grab that which we want can serve to bind and restrict us, rendering us immobile, preventing us from moving toward our goal.

Our passion for what we wish to attain provides us with tremendous fuel. It is the ignition behind the drive that allows us to punch through obstacles, most of which are constructed from our own critical thinking. We excel in our endeavors when we shrug and laugh at the possibility of error, when we know we can potentially fall flat, yet our desire is strong enough to move us forward despite this possibility. We will stand triumphant knowing that at the end of our journey , while examining each and every scar earned throughout, we will declare they were all worth it.

Page of Wands

Page of Wands
A young student contemplates the growth on a staff

In manifesting our desired outcome, the operative word is desire. Desire is what fuels the energy behind manifestation, it propels us into action.

As we travel on our journey toward reaching our goals, we can sometimes find the enthusiasm that energized us might wane, when our efforts begin to take the shape of repetitive mundane tasks, or of intense effort that becomes exhausting. When we reach this point we can find a respite to be quite necessary for providing us the opportunity to reset, recover, and recharge. The trick might be getting our momentum back.

The simplest and best thing to do in these moments is to call up the original desire, to focus on the thrill, the feeling, the initial charge of excitement that occurred when we first conceived the result we had envisioned. The respite offers an excellent opportunity for us to meditate on what it is we desire, allowing the accompanying enthusiasm to well up inside, enabling us to reconnect with the source of what incited us to want this particular outcome in the first place.

Fantasizing, visualizing, and focusing on our intention is not at all a poor use of time. It strengthens the desire needed to propel us toward our goal. The greater we can imagine it, the more detail we can give it, and the more we can connect to that point in the future when we have attained the desired outcome, the more motivation we will instantly gather toward our call to action. We will resume our course not because we should, but because our desire fuels us to the point that we move forward without even having to command ourselves to do so.

Nine of Cups

Nine of cups
A man sits before a table of numerous cups, appearing very pleased

For those of us that have studied the principles of manifestation and the Law of Attraction, we know the first step in manifesting our desires is to set the intention on what we want. In the simplest terms this equates to making a wish, to acknowledging a desired outcome. While the first step is absolutely essential in beginning the process of manifestation, it is the second step that often gets overlooked.

We are often taught to use the technique of visualizing that on which we set our intention. It has been recommended to employ as much detail in our visualization as possible. This technique in all actuality is merely a tool designed to connect us to the most effective component of manifestation. Continue reading Nine of Cups

The Lovers

A man and a woman stand naked and open to the presence of a resplendent angelic being above
A man and a woman stand naked and open to the presence of a resplendent angelic being above

That which we manifest is strictly based on who we are and on what we want. Once we can clearly identify both, we can employ the creation process more profoundly. When we don’t seem to be successfully manifesting that which we desire, or when we find ourselves manifesting obstacles that prevent us from doing so, it can be due to not understanding what we want. This can stem from not understanding who we are.

We may have set an intention on what we want to attract into our lives yet we seem to continue to fall short of attaining it. It might be possible that the intention we set is based on what we think we are supposed to want rather than what we actually want. This is very prevalent in our society as we are often bombarded by media and entertainment venues that tell us what we should embrace as the definition of success. We are presented with the notion that wealth and fame are the pinnacles of achievement. Fame may be counter to those of us who cherish solitude and privacy. Perhaps we might place great value in humility but we perceive wealth as requiring a great level of pride in order to attract it. Continue reading The Lovers