In addition to my tarot practice, I work two part-time writing jobs. Tarot inevitably takes the back seat because I haven’t been devoting the time, energy, and effort required to build my community and engage with you, my readers.
Do you have your own business that’s being sidelined due to other work or family commitments, leaving you telling yourself over and over: “When I have time…”?
You know what it makes me think of? Weight loss. They say people who struggle with weight loss often have a mental mantra that goes something like, “When I lose the weight, I’ll…” and then the rest of that sentence gets filled in with the dreamy future skinny self who gets to be and do all the great skinny-people things. It’s a terrible way to live, this perpetual postponement of joy and fulfillment, but isn’t it just so real and human of us to think like this?
Granted, an overweight person can’t necessarily go out and run a marathon tomorrow (nor, for that matter, can an average-weight person!), but there are lots of ways that we sabotage our own success by not making it a priority.
This is a long-winded introduction to explain how I am struggling with finding the way to make my tarot practice and community a priority for personal and professional success, while raising three elementary-school-aged children as a single, divorced mom; working two part-time jobs that pay the day-to-day bills; and somewhere in there getting showered, dressed, attending to the house, grocery shopping, cleaning … oh wait! Am I supposed to include “self-care” in there somewhere, too? How about dating? Ha! A drink out with friends? A movie? Sigh.
I think the bottom line with most issues that nag at us to pay more attention to them is that we only give them the attention they need and want when we finally decide to create the space to make them a priority.
It won’t happen on its own. Just like weight loss requires a strategy of healthy eating and exercise, along with a support network and a long-term plan, so does building a business that can stand on its own feet.
I drafted a spread to try to help me begin to crack this code. If you, too, are feeling like you can’t make heads or tails of how to get back on track with building your own fledgling or flailing business, have a go at this spread, too! I’d love to look at the cards you come up with. Write about your reading in the comments section.
Since my main practice is based on customized readings that assign positional meanings to the cards, here is what I came up with:
Clarity Tarot Spread for the Self-Employed
- What is the key service/talent I can offer my clients?
- What is my biggest obstacle?
- What should I do now to overcome this obstacle?
- What Spirit can help me or wants to help me with this?
- Message from Spirit
- Near-term outlook (next 1-3 months)
[A brief note on cards 4 and 5: no matter what deck you’re working with, my idea here was to actively engage the spirits to get involved. If you aren’t accustomed to calling on spirits or deities to help you in your work here on the earthly plane, this could be a good place to start. The idea is to look at the card that emerges, assign it a personality with specific traits, skills, and abilities, and then search out the spirit, god, deity or saint that embodies what you’ve listed.]
I’ll walk you through what came up for me so you can see how this works:
First, in terms of talents and service, we see the 6 of Swords. I often think of this card as a psychopomp, guiding souls to the land of the dead, although this card is more towards new beginnings than endings. I suppose it’s all relative though, because for the newly dead soul, it’s a beginning, isn’t it? In any case, with the help of my colleague Miguel for insight, this card shows how my talent is in guiding people from one shore (of their lives) to the next, a sort of transitory figure that helps them cross through boundaries and obstacles they face (note the swords before the people sitting in the boat). That resonates with me a lot in terms of my tarot practice.
Second, for the obstacle, we see the Ace of Cups. This is a good example of how cards are neither positive nor negative but simply are. Many books might give you a pithy “new love in the works!” for a card like this, and while that is often true with this card, what in the world would we do with a meaning like that for “obstacle facing me in building my small business?” Miguel helped me to pinpoint how there’s just a bubbling, overflowing, frankly overwhelming amount of heart and emotion here. Hmm. Perhaps “feeling too much” regarding my business rather than being more emotionally detached, objective and strategically minded is a hindrance. It’s true that I often compare myself to others and begin to feel defeated and overwhelmed. Taking my business “too personally” certainly isn’t helping me.
What can help is shown by the Queen of Cups. While I often see this queen as the emotionally manipulative and overly sensitive one, in this case, Miguel pointed out that what we’re seeing is “Taking your heart into perspective. Downsize it. See it for what it is, and don’t go all the way.” He mentioned how the BIIIIIG cup gets smaller.
Now for the helping Spirit, the 9 of Wands. My impressions of this image are of a warrior who has fought many battles, has some scars, is a bit wary now and frankly a bit suspicious and distrusting (doesn’t act from pure emotion), but despite it all is still standing. After discussing this with Miguel and Isabel, we all came to the consensus that what we need here is a strong warrior, but perhaps not as passionate, fiery and emotional as the quintessential Greek god of war, Ares (Roman counterpart Mars). They had two suggestions for me: Athena (Greek goddess of war, Roman counterpart Minerva) and/or Ganesha, a Hindu deity known for removing obstacles.
The message from Spirit for me is Justice. I immediately interpreted this to mean finding the balance between clear-headed strategy and full-hearted service. Justice reinforces the idea of impartial choice, weighing out options, speaking truthfully without emotional attachment, and being decisive. I take this to mean that I should approach my business as if I were building it for a client, not for myself. In that way, I keep dedicated, professional, and strategic without succumbing to emotional hangups that could make me feel defeated, overwhelmed, or simply lazy.
[Tip: Once you identify the Spirit that can help you, “talk” to him, her, or it. Light a candle, do some active imagination exercise, journaling, print out a picture, make a little altar—anything you can do to honor that spirit’s presence in this business of yours.]
The near-term outlook is the 4 of Swords, which isn’t very proactive in terms of building a business but does make a lot of sense for me right now. I’m about to leave Rome for three months in the US and while I’ll be working, I’ll also be conserving my strength and recuperating from a long school year. I’ll have the support of my family and be able to let down my guard and rest. It’s a reminder that things take time and that resting doesn’t necessarily mean not being productive—it must be integrated and accepted as part of the overall growth process.
Do you have any ideas that would be good to add to a tarot spread for a small business owner? Have you done any readings yourself for your own business? Let us know in the comments section!
[P.S. My best friend is a creative branding expert and part of an incredible small business coaching community called Co.LAB. Check it out if you’re looking for ideas for building your own small business. It is definitely inspiring me.]