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Table of contents :
Making Decisions Better
A Simple Method for Beginners
The Two Minds Method
The Sword of Perseus Method
The Court Cards as Deciders
The Cards as Additional Decision Advisors.
Tarosophy Websites & Resources
TAROT LIFE MONTH 3 MAKE DECISIONS BETTER Marcus Katz & Tali Goodwin
You are free to: Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms. Authors Note: This is Month 3 of our 12-booklet Tarot Life series; you will require the previous Month 1 & 2 booklets “Discover Your Destiny” & “Remove the Blocks” to follow the sequence over the year. Most of the exercises in each booklet may be carried out as stand-alone pieces of self-discovery or re-purposed for use in daily, personal or client readings.
Making Decisions Better
A Simple Method for Beginners
The Two Minds Method
The Sword of Perseus Method The Court Cards as Deciders
The Cards as Additional Advisors
Bibliography Websites & Resources
TAROT LIFE: 12 STEPS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE
A linked series of Gated Spreads to be carried out over a full year. Introduction In this series of Kickstart books of Tarosophy teaching, we take a break from the reference work of Tarot Flip, the seventy-eight innovative Tarot methods in Tarot Twist, and the spiritual considerations of Tarot Inspire to offer a unique practice of our work. You are about to change your life with Tarot, and whether you are a newcomer to tarot or experienced reader, you are about to do something totally new. In using what we call a Gated Spread – a linked sequence of tarot readings whose questions are determined by the results of real-world activities – you are going to fundamentally alter the way you experience your life. We have combined here the wisdom of the Tarot with years of practical testing and the latest research in psychology and the biology of willpower, belief, habit and other aspects of our being. This series is designed to be experienced a month at a time, and in the sequence given. You can start at any time, although New Year, your Birthday, or the Spring Equinox are all powerful starting times. This series is accompanied by a private Facebook group for discussion and questions about your experiences as you make this journey. We look forwards to your engagement of tarot with your life – it is about to become a truly Tarot Life. Marcus Katz, The Tarosophist & Tali Goodwin, TaliTarot
Making Decisions Better “There’s something unsettling about seeing the brain as one big argument. We like to believe that our decisions reflect a clear cortical consensus, that the entire mind agrees on what we should do. And yet, that serene self-image has little basis in reality.” Jonah Lehrer, How We Decide (2010) p. 203. In this third month of Tarot Life we encounter the sign of Gemini in the zodiacal sequence; the third of the twelve signs. This sign corresponds to the Tarot card of the Lovers. It is important that we see in this card a way of making choices and decisions, the key theme of this third month. Whilst earlier versions of this card depicted a man between two women, representing perhaps two different choices – or a choice between vice and virtue – it is to the Golden Dawn variant of this card that we will turn. The Golden Dawn modified this image by depicting the “Lovers” card as the myth of Perseus rescuing Andromeda from the Kraken. They described this image as “the impact of inspiration on intuition, resulting in illumination and liberation”. They saw the chains of Andromeda being “habit”, the Kraken being “fear” and the ocean as being “stagnation”. In Kabbalah, this card corresponds to the path between Binah (Understanding) and Tiphareth (Beauty), which in turn equate to the formative nature of our unconscious (Binah) and our sense of selfawareness and centre of consciousness (Tiphareth). In uniting these two aspects of our being, the card illustrates how our conscious mind is impacted by the depths of our unconscious mind. This is no more noticeable than in our habits, routines, automatic nature – and the bursts of clarity that come from nowhere to rescue us from this robotic nature.
Mathers suggested that rather than “proof”, this card signified “wise disposition”. It is certainly a wise disposition which is required when making decisions.
Illus. Perseus & Andromeda (from a woodcut), & ‘Lovers’ from the Golden Dawn Tarot. Firstly we will present a simple spread/method based on decision-making. We will then see how individual cards relate to decisiveness and how to utilize the entire deck to make decisions better.
A Simple Method for Beginners During this month, you will be paying particular attention to your decision-making. There will be a daily practice for you if you wish to use it, but here below is a method which you can apply several times during the month to more significant decisions. The purpose of the daily practice and/or that given below is to provide you experiences which you can examine with the sixteen Court Cards as “Deciders” – which will provide cards for later gates in your Tarot Life journey. This is what we call a split-deck method in Tarosophy and can be used for any decision-making, particularly those where there are two choices or proposals to consider. The Two Minds Method 1. Sort your deck into five piles – placing each of the suits (pentacles, cups, swords and wands) and Major Arcana (22 numbered cards, Fool to World) into each pile. So stack all of the Swords together, all of the Pentacles together, etc. 2. Select out the pile with the Majors. These represent the archetypal forces of the world. 3. Select out the pile which relates to the situation in which you are two minds: Pentacles: A financial or material situation Cups: An emotional or relationship situation Swords: An intellectual or educational situation Wands: A lifestyle or spiritual situation 4. Place these 14 cards (the Ace to 10 and the Court Cards of that suit) with the 22 Major cards and discard the other three piles.
5. Shuffle the 36 cards of the chosen suit and the Majors whilst considering your question. 6. Decide whether the cards you are going to lay out to your left represent one option and the cards to the right will represent the other option (you can do a variant of this with more than two options by having more than two columns for your spread). 7. Lay out SIX cards in a column to your left (representing option 1) and SIX cards in a column to your right (representing option 2). These are your “Two Minds”. 8. Read each column. 9. The column with the MOST MAJORS represents the option with the most energy, whether for positive or negative depending on the reading of that column. 10. Add up the NUMBERS of any MINOR card in each respective column. The column with the highest total of numbered cards is the option which is closer to completion or manifestation. 11. The column with the widest range of numbers is the option most difficult to manage. These methods of reading the two minds should assist you clarify the decision in step with your own common-sense, knowledge, experience and the general reading of the cards involved. You can also consider the top card in both columns to be an additional advisory card, and look up that additional decision-advice in the list we have provided later in this booklet. The decision card on the more positive column will show you how to proceed best with that decision now that it is more likely.
The Sword of Perseus Method For daily use in prompting your decision-making and working out which Court Cards best reflect your style, we also recommend this short reading method. You can use it on a regular basis to hone your decision-making until you get your sword really sharp! For any decision, consider it as the myth of Perseus and Andromeda. Make a note as to how the decision can be broken down into: Andromeda: What would be released by making any decision? Kraken: What is worrying (fear) about making this decision? Ocean: What will happen if you make no decision (stagnant)? Begin to consider all the decisions you have made in the past, and how they appear now time has passed. Consider this current decision in the light of the past and possible futures. Get ready to act. Decide if nothing else that you will make at least one action, one willed decision, based on the card you pull. Prepare to do so, and only take a card when you have determined and have space and time to act immediately on the card. Draw one card as your Sword of Perseus. Consider it breaking the chains and slaying the Kraken. What does it call you to do – how does it help you make that decision to act? Act upon it. Only then, afterwards, go back and pull 3 cards, one each for the Andromeda position, the Kraken and the Ocean: Andromeda: What has actually been released by my decision? Kraken: What can I do in my next decision to face the fear faster and better? Ocean: What activity/approach should I undertake until my next decision to avoid stagnation and be even faster to decide? Then consider which of the Court Cards reflects your own style of decision-making, and repeat this exercise whenever you approach a
decision over this month. You may find that your approach to making decisions changes radically as you pay more attention to this process and engage the cards in this dynamic way. In effect, you are using the cards as a model of better decision-making, which builds over time. As ever, the cards are not the only considerations in making any changes in your life. View them in context but allow yourself to be surprised and challenged by them beyond the obvious.
The Court Cards as Deciders “The other side of her character is that she may have a tendency to brood, come to a wrong decision thereon, and react with great savagery”. Aleister Crowley, on ‘The Queen of Wands’ in The Book of Thoth (1985) p. 152. During this month, whilst you practice with the daily Sword of Perseus or the Two Minds method, you are asked to consider the sixteen Court Cards as Decision-makers. Over the course of the month, we would like you to realize the two or three cards that most correspond to your way of working with decisions in your everyday life. These cards are the outcome of this gate and the keys to a later gate – so it is important they accurately reflect your actual character and personality in this context. If there is one really close card, that will be sufficient, but do not choose more than four – if there seem to be many, choose the two or three that most closely fit your decision-making style. We will then use this information which will be gathered at the end of this month of your Tarot Life, later in the year as part of the whole “gated spread” presented by Tarot Life. We will provide a brief overview of the sixteen Court cards in this light. You may also wish to add your own findings over the month to this list as it can never be comprehensive. It will also add depth to your readings for yourself and others as you experience how the court cards can indicate decision-making strategies. We have given their titles as Waite-Smith and Thoth for convenience. We would recommend the Thoth deck for the exercises in this book, although any deck will suffice.
You can also join the Tarot Life Facebook group to ask questions and discuss this exercise. A link is given in the appendix. Page of Pentacles/Princess of Discs I make decisions by dwelling deeply upon the issue at hand. I am always able to see the beauty and wonder in even the most mundane situation. I possess a down earth mentality that people speak of being my inner strength, for me to make a decision it has to have a very practical element to it. I have to be certain of a decision being right before I decide, as I do not give up easily, once I embark on a venture. However, this resilience/enthusiasm with regards to decisions that I have made, enables me to progress while others fall at the wayside. In decision making I possess equilibrium of mind, body and emotions. In regards to decision making I am far seeing, I plan well into the future. I am a visionary individual. I am able to morph into any situation that arises; this can be seen as a positive or negative trait depending on the situation. It can give rise to people saying that I am inconsistent in my behavior; the truth is that I possess great adaptability that equips me well in life. I avoid decisions by holding back, and procrastinating and by over planning. I can also be difficult to pin down about a decision as I can easily change direction along the way. I have a tendency to bewilder with my changeability. Knight of Pentacles/Prince of Disks I make decisions by taking time out to meditate on the situation at hand and once I have decided upon the course of action I give the very best I can, I imbue it with brute force and energetic vigor. I am make the decision based upon sound practical considerations, there is no half way guess work for me! I have to trust a situation and the people involved before I decide upon an important decision. I avoid decisions by cutting off from the situation at hand. I have a tendency not to act if the outcome of the decision does not interest me enough. I avoid decision making if it is not obvious, I do not like
intangible things, I have to be able to touch something, it has to have a ring of practicality about it, I do not do ‘pie in the sky!’ Queen of Pentacles/Queen of Disks I make decisions by absorbing the information about me, I have to become something before I can be part of something. I make decisions based upon how functional the outcome will be. I make decisions based upon how much good this action will bring to others around me. My decisions are also made on consideration of what my instincts tell me what to do, where I am lacking intellectual acuity I make up for it with intuition. I avoid decisions by becoming too carried away with what is happening around me, I become so overwhelmed with everybody’s stuff I cannot decide what to do. I avoid decisions by becoming too obsessed with how useful something is, thereby disregarding something which has potential at a later date. King of Pentacles/Knight of Disks I make decisions based upon how secure and comfortable it makes me feel. I am often described as being very self-interested. I think as I go along and decide as I go along without too much intellectual consideration getting in the way. I am an instinctual animal, earthy and primitive and I like to be sure of my space. I avoid decisions by distracting myself with material possessions. I plod along avoiding risk taking in order to keep things just as they are; this is safe but ever so boring. Page of Swords/Princess of Swords I make decisions that are influenced by my sense retribution, if something riles me then I am quick to judge and then take action. I like to make decisions that will have an impact on the lives of those around me. I am the sort of person who likes to campaign and be the leader of a protest. I avoid making decisions for myself by constantly involving myself in the causes of others; I am so preoccupied with the external world that I avoid looking within and to my own actions.
Knight of Swords/Prince of Swords I make decisions based upon intellect and reasoning, I have to pick through an issue before taking action. I avoid making decisions by making the excuse that I do not have enough information, the time is never right. My many clever ideas and plans fail to come to realization, I talk more than I do the walk. If I avoid doing, then I avoid failing. Queen of Swords/Queen of Swords I make decisions based on the evidence that I have researched. I need to know the ins and outs of a situation or issue before I act. I am an analyzer of situations and people, I would make a good profiler of personalities. I am a people watcher. I avoid making decisions if I do not have enough knowledge experience behind me. I will not behave in a spontaneous way. I need to feel self assured and confident. King of Swords/Knight of Swords I make decisions based on smart thinking, and subtle consideration. I am not afraid to make a point, or demonstrate my thinking. I can also be considerate with the impact of my decisions on others and will always try and present my ideas with others in mind. If I unable to be spurred on or am bored with an idea I can lack the will to make decisions. Page of Cups/Princess of Cups I make decisions based upon fairness and sensitivity. I like to consider the good of the whole and consider the welfare of others when I take action. I am the swan who appears serene and expends little energy to move along on the surface, yet under the water I work hard to keep going. I avoid making decisions by putting them off until another day. I am able to escape into a dreamy world where unpleasant things do not occur. Knight of Cups/Prince of Cups
I make decisions based upon insider knowledge. It will have to be of foremost benefit to me. I am very self motivated and my actions reflect this. I will not act and make a decision if I feel that the action will result in me being compromised and end up owing a favor. Queen of Cups/Queen of Cups I make decisions by becoming a channel and being receptive to the needs of others. I am emotionally motivated. I avoid making decisions by going with the crowd and ‘toeing the party the line’. The line of least resistance can be the easiest route. King of Cups/Knight of Cups I make decisions by what seems to be the most attractive option. I can be easily swayed to the opinions of others, and this is a strong factor in my decision making. I avoid making decisions by not committing to anything too concrete. I make excuses that I have to consult with others before I can commit and it is not unknown that I will scuttle off and wallow in my indecisions and thereby not stand by anything of any substance. I will avoid signing a contract. Page of Wands/Princess of Wands I make decisions based upon retaining my individuality. I thrive on excitement and experiencing a thrill, so if the result of my decision yields a bit of a ‘thrill’, then it is likely I will embark on this particular path. This energy is one of a lust for freedom and liberation; I must not be inhibited in anyway. I avoid making decisions by filling my life with superficial distractions. I will create drama to off-load any real issues that need confronting. I believe my myth so much that it overshadows reality itself, leaving me unable to see any other way of being. Knight of Wands/Prince of Wands I make decisions based upon the mood I am in at the moment; I can be volatile, open to the influence of the mood of the crowd. I can decide on something and not really care for the outcome; it may be
that I am just putting on a show for the crowds. You tell me not do something and I will want to go ahead and do that very thing! I do not make decisions because I cannot be bothered to do so. I am lazy and indifferent. Let someone else make the decision is what I am often heard to say. Queen of Wands/Queen of Wands I will make a decision based upon what I feel rather than what others think. I use my all my skills of seeing the best in a situation and how it can be turned round. I show great initiative in decision making, if there is best to be seen in any situation than I will see it and will see to it! I do not make a decision well if I am in a depressed state, this state leaves me incapacitated and unable to decide, if I do make a decision while I am in this state of mind, it may be one that I later regret. King of Wands/Knight of Wands I make decisions based upon wanting to get a situation sorted out quickly; I do not like to hang around. I can be quite reckless in my decision making. I do not make a decision if the outcome restricts my lust for life in anyway. It is either all or nothing for me!
The Cards as Additional Decision Advisors. In the Two Minds method, or any general reading, you can consider a single card to be an additional decision advisor. This reading of each card shows how it provides real-world advice for enacting a decision – once the decision has been made. We list here all the cards and give some suggestions for their role as decision advisors. You can read for the particular card at the top of your preferred decision column in the Two Minds method, or the card which comes up for your Sword of Perseus in that method. The cards are given in kabbalistic order, i.e. from Tens to Aces, in Suits, with the Majors in appropriate places for their position on the Tree of Life. The Court cards have been described in the previous section, and can be applied to decision-advisors, as well as being used to assess your own style of decision-making. 10 of Pentacles The decision that you have made will place you in a position that could be considered favorable. The productivity created from your past endeavors will place you in a situation that is secure and safe. You may find that all the work is you have put in is now appreciated and recognize by your peers. This could relate to a work pension or bonus scheme that is ready to come to fruition. As they say “by the fruits of your labors you will be known”. 10 of Swords When you’ve nailed your colors to the mast, stick with it. It is hard to commit yourself, maybe put an end to indecision, but you can “nail it” if you now fix yourself to the task in hand. 10 of Cups Whatever now happens, with this decision, enjoy what is closest to your heart. You may not need all those shiny things – that can come
later. Act, and enjoy what delights you and those closest to you. Let everyone else go-get “stuff”, you rest in joy. 10 of Wands When you grab hold of something and make it yours, you take responsibility and often a heavy load. Own it, carry it, and march forwards – don’t shirk anything and before long you will arrive at your destination, everything intact and well. WORLD XXI Any decision brings together all four elements of life – the trick is marrying them whole. As you work forwards, keep everything together, ensure you are making the most of your resources. In this way, your decision will make the world your oyster. JUDGMENT XX Arise! Answer the call! Decisions made when Judgment beckons are hardly decisions, they are imperatives. “That, Mr. Anderson, is the sound of inevitability”. So get going whilst the energy is on your side, and you may achieve a whole new resurrection and life beyond the decision. MOON XVIII In terms of decision-making this card advises you to walk slowly and carefully forwards no matter how fearful you may be, or how little you think you know about the situation. Take one careful step at a time and ignore everything other than your decided course. 9 of Pentacles This card has a realistic attitude to decisions, in that it suggests that we often get trapped by our decisions, if we do not remain open to change. So when this card shows in a decision-spead, you may wish to consider what parts of your decision will bind you for the longterm, and will not be able to be changed once enacted. It advises building more flexibility into the situation as you go forwards. 9 of Swords Whilst often taken as a card of grief, this image suggests to us that the person who regrets all their decisions may no longer be seeing things clearly. They can literally no longer see the point (of the
Swords). So it warns us that we must face up to our fears – that the future can indeed be different to the past – and that those mistakes may create a ladder by which we can ascend to a totally new situation. 9 of Cups You may be self-assured in making this decision, but this card is a warning about complacency too. Keep an eye on everyone now that you have made your decision, don’t leave anything to chance. It may be that not everyone is behind you. 9 of Wands In this case, your decision may incite argument and opposition from others – either explicitly or less obviously. So prepare for a bit of a battle, and stand your ground. If anything, it will demonstrate that you have earned the success that comes from your decision, despite what others may think – or try and do to stop you. Fight that good fight. SUN XIX Happy times! One of the most favorable cards to bless a successful decision and a positively shiny outcome. It does suggest too that you “make hay whilst the sun shines” and truly enjoy your moment. Be happy that you have made the decision and live it through.
STAR XVII Whilst one may live in “hope” which this card signifies, it may be better to forget hope and get on with living. Sometimes hope can be used as an escapist fantasy, and sometimes as an excellent driver for positive goals. Which is it for you in this decision? Get real. TEMPERANCE XIV The alchemical allegory of this card is encapsulated by “what does not kill me makes me stronger”. In decision-making, it illustrates that every decision becomes part of us – it creates us and makes or breaks us. Sometimes a decision goes through all those processes. So if this card has shown up in your decision-making method, it says that you will be changed by the decision, and to incorporate and utilize the lesson and the change itself. 8 of Pentacles Take the opportunity to work on this decision, and keep going for it even if there appears to be no immediate response. It is like building for a rainy day – it will take time and be unrewarded in the shortterm. The advice of this card is that your decision should be accepted on its own terms, and time allowed for its ramifications and rewards to become more obvious. 8 of Swords Decisions can bind us with their complexity, yet sometimes we have simply allowed things to become more convoluted than they are. Take a cold hard look at what is actually the essential of your case, and work out where you are holding yourself back. This card suggests there is no-one to blame but yourself – or at least, that’s the most effective way of working with your decision for now. 8 of Cups Walking away is always hard, and many decisions take us away from what has become comfortable – or stagnant. We may have to walk our own path for a while, with no other destination other than “not back there”. In doing so, we gain strength – eventually. This card suggests to you that there is a long way to go, but you can make it.
8 of Wands This is a fantastic card to get following a decision, for it signifies that the stars are aligned and everyone is singing off the same hymn sheet – everything – and we mean everything – will get with the program. Your ducks are all lined up, that sort of thing. There’s energy and excitement, so go with it, and don’t stop until you land exactly where you want. Good news and good times follow this decision. HANGED MAN XII A troublesome card perhaps for decision-making, usually this card signifies a suspension – but there is deeper meaning. The card asks us to take another look at what happens when we “turn everything upside down” with a decision or action. Sometimes we are simply being truer to ourselves – closer to our authentic source. And everyone is going to have to live with that, even if it appears we are no longer who we used to be. This is a powerful decision-advisory card and should be contemplated at length should it be the top card in your “Two Minds” spread or Sword of Perseus. DEVIL XV In decision-making terms, the Devil is one of those cards we would prefer not to see. However, he must be faced on some occasions. Here he suggests that we may be avoiding difficult decisions due to fear, or not facing all the facts – a willful ignorance. This is pride in its worst sense. So bring light to the situation, open it up to others, cast a spotlight upon it, and don’t hide anything. Only in this way will your decision bring about the change that is required.
BLASTED TOWER XVI Another “change” card, as is the High Priestess, Wheel and Death, the Tower signifies abrupt and unexpected change. So with making a decision it shows that it will have immediate and perhaps unanticipated consequences of change. That is probably a good thing – it just may not feel like it at the time. Get ready for a shock. 7 of Pentacles Having patience to await the results of your decision is suggested by the 7 of Pentacles. It shows that you will perhaps also be disappointed by how much you get back for what you put in. So make a realistic assessment as to the results of your decision and bide your time – this card shows you will get out of this a little less than you might expect. But that may be no bad thing. 7 of Swords When you make a decision, you act with the evidence to hand. It may not occur to you that someone or something (even oneself) is obscuring the true situation. So having made this decision, check it through – ruthlessly. Assume the worst, be pessimistic. Check every last detail for the spy in the camp, the possibility of sabotage. It could even be self-sabotage. Is this decision just an excuse to set yourself up for a fall? Or has someone suddenly (and suspiciously) recently changed their tune? Check it all out before you really extend yourself from this decision. 7 of Cups Simply, don’t get distracted with the “maybes” or “might haves” in this decision. Move on. It’s done. 7 of Wands This card, much like the 9 of Wands, shows opposition to your plans. Here it may be more obvious and dynamic – in the open. So prepare yourself to prove yourself, your idea and your reasoning. Have everything prepared and to hand when the challenge starts. DEATH XIII
The card of transformation, in a decision context it illustrates how decisions are predicated by all that has gone before. No decision stands alone, it becomes part of a chain of events beyond itself. So observe how your decision fits into the past and is likely to fit in with the future changes you seek. What will be different – transformed – about yourself as a result of this decision? And will you live with it? WHEEL X Every event is a complex arising of activity in time. Even a thought is composed of tens of thousands – millions – of electrical and chemical combinations. The Wheel turns the entire Universe, and to some extent, makes things unpredictable, down to “luck”. Perhaps your decision is a case of “right time, right place” and it is important to recognize that. As one wise man said, “I’d rather be lucky all the time than right some of the time”. 6 of Pentacles In every decision there has to be a give and take, for any decision moves our attention and resources in one particular direction rather than another. This card calls this particular aspect of decisionmaking to our attention. It asks, what can you reasonably give to further your decision, without losing your centre? 6 of Swords This card shows that your decision will take you places, however it is also advises the importance of not changing course along the way. It is like having a business strategy and then sticking to it despite later attacks and diversions. Suddenly dropping your whole plan midstream is as if you were to take those six swords out of the boat in the Waite-Smith image. It might appear to make the load lighter, but the boat will soon sink as the holes are unplugged! So, stick to your guns having made this decision. 6 of Cups Our decision-making ability is forged in childhood, of which this card is a reminder. So it is a call to suggest that your decision may not be the most adult or mature – and whilst this may be liberating, it may not be entirely practical or realistic. So, take another look as you
enact this decision – ask yourself, “how old am I?” and be more reasonable if necessary. 6 of Wands The decision-maker has triumphed, and all is well. So far. This card warns you to “bring everyone with you”. You will need everyone “on side” to champion this decision to its final manifestation. Don’t be too proud, you can also take this card as advice to “stoop to conquer”. Even if you have to lower your sights, a small victory is better than a great loss – for this decision, at least. JUSTICE XI One of the most obvious advisory cards for decision-makers, this card simply says, “justice”. Perhaps we can add that Crowley renamed it “adjustment” in the Thoth Tarot. It means that we must apply our reason, weigh up the evidence, and ensure fairness is enacted as a result of our decision. Simply say, “is this fair?” and go with it – justice will always prevail. In the ancient Egyptian mythos, Justice was represented by “Ma’at”, and even the Gods themselves were under her rule. LOVERS VI Following on from the previous card, one might suggest that this card signifies “All is fair in love and war”. It is the primary card of decision-making, though – and when it turns up, it means a big choice is to be made. You cannot have it both ways. Once the apple is eaten, there is only one way to go – out of the garden. So perhaps you should ask yourself “am I willing to pay the price of this decision” for it will have long-term consequences and be a one-way ticket. EMPEROR IV The zodiacal sign of Aries which corresponds to this card advises that energy must be given to your action. It is a “big push” that is required to further your decision, and it is all “front loaded”. So make the effort now, it will result in better returns later. But for now, “All hands to the pump”. HERMIT IX Being at peace with the decisions you have made is the mark of wisdom and a sign that the Hermit is present. He has not only
walked his way, he has become his way. Totally congruent, utterly authentic, he advises that if you have any doubts, it is better not to act at all, and withdraw from the situation. However, when you are sure – decide – and go. There is no pause in the Hermit’s journey. 5 of Pentacles This card suggests that whilst your decision may be difficult, it is best for long-term gain. You may suffer from “deferred income”, whilst you work towards your destination. So wrap up warm and prepare for the long slog, the long haul. These decisions are never easy, and may involve activity you would rather avoid, but for now, it must be endured, for that is the shortest route to your final destination. 5 of Swords Putting away the internal arguments and doubts is difficult, when trying to make a rational decision. These various parts of ourselves rarely agree, and all seek their own aims. When this card surfaces, we are told that we must settle on the best option – for now – and let everything else get shelved. Even if we are attached to some possibilities and choices, they must be put to one side for now. A decision must be made, the best under the circumstances, a compromise, even, an uneasy truce – and then acted upon with good grace. There will come time later to re-evaluate. 5 of Cups This decision is one that may involve regret, this card illustrates. It is important then, on receiving it, that you shake yourself out of grief and cross the bridge to a better place. It will be hard in the moment, but easy once you have made your decision. 5 of Wands Any decision can disturb our values and our beliefs. We must come together internally and marshal our varying opinions to decide on one particular course of action. This card shows that these energies are very vibrant and active in this decision, and so you may like to play them out a bit more. Do a bit of bonkers brainstorming, think outside the box, take things to their extreme. Then bounce back to a more realistic plan and make it real. CHARIOT VII
The card of “getting out of your own way”, this image shows how perfect calm can generate intense and rapid progress. It is the zen of tarot; the art of working “without lust of result”. When it appears in a decision-spread, then it suggests that once the decision is made, you must surrender entirely to it, and let actions lead your way. Respond to the world as it arises, go with the flow. We will return to this more in the next book. STRENGTH VIII Right relationship is illustrated by this card. In Kabbalah, it shows the relationship between Geburah (Might) and Chesed (Mercy), the constraining and liberating principles, the active and passive, the creating and destroying – form and force. There needs to be a dynamic balance in the activity that follows from your decision. A bit like the porridge in Goldilocks – not too cold, not too warm. It is important that you avoid extremes in this decision and keep to what can be managed and maintained. 4 of Pentacles Keep an eye on your resources and do not over-extend yourself now that you have made your decision. Keeping everything close to your chest is a good approach now, and don’t involve others unless you really must. 4 of Swords Taking time out and letting your decision make its own way in life is a potential solution to give you space. Let go of it and remove yourself from the drama – it will ride itself out without taking you with it. 4 of Cups Even though this has been an emotional decision to make, you may be offered support in dealing with the consequences. Don’t get too self-involved or absorbed in the impact of your decision – shake yourself out of it and go take a hand from someone who can help. 4 of Wands It is time you know? Time to get back out there and accept invitations to a new way of life. There’s more than just you and here – there’s a whole world out there to explore. Now that you have made your
decision, this card advises extending yourself, exploring new social spaces and just hanging out for a bit. Go do it! HEIROPHANT V As the revelation of all that is sacred, the Hierophant counsels us to take advice, seek assistance from those with experience and expertise, and let go of our pride to hear higher advice. There is perhaps more to this decision than meets the eye – you are advised to get more information and insight from someone who can offer it. This will ensure your decision goes the right way for all involved. 3 of Pentacles When you are building your life, there are times when you need to take pause and assure that you are working to plan. This is such a time – the decision having been made, you can now take a moment to consider how this will fit in your life plan. Discuss it with others, get the general opinion. There is time. 3 of Swords Making a tough decision can be cutting – we must separate out what we do not want and what we want. It is a harsh process, particularly when it involves emotional content. You are advised with this card to be ruthlessly clear, and accept that there will be a loss. We are naturally geared to avoid decisions that result in loss, but often this is a necessary step to greater long-term gain. “This too, will pass”. 3 of Cups There is time to celebrate your decision – go share it with others. They may not totally understand your decision, or your situation, but you can afford to lose yourself for a while and let things take their own course – the decision is done. 3 of Wands This decision has long-term consequences that perhaps it is difficult to presently see. Take time now to watch carefully how your action impacts on others and changes their direction. It may be a speculation on your part, so you are advised to keep watch on how things set off from your decision.
EMPRESS III Allow time and have patience is the message of this card in a decision-making context. To all things there is a season, and your decision and action may be part of a larger, more organic, situation. Let things take their course, nurture them and nourish them, but do not take such an active role. Allow your decision to birth its own state in the world. 2 of Pentacles When a decision results in action, there are always adjustments to be made. These may be communicated quickly, but beware of false visions – these are early days. Take everything in hand and weigh the positive against the negative. There is juggling to be done until the action that you have decided upon starts to settle down and manifest more fully. Have patience. 2 of Swords When one decision is made, another can still follow. Sometimes you have to get to B from A in order to see C. So take a quick breath and having made your decision, consider what other opportunities are now open to you that were not before – they may be quite obvious. 2 of Cups Working with others is an important consideration in any activity or decision-making. How do they contribute to the situation? Do they not only add their own essence, but in conjunction with you, do you create more than either of you could do alone? See what arises from your mutual decisions. 2 of Wands When you make a decision, it is always part of a bigger ambition. In what way does today’s decision add to your long-term destiny? Does it move you away or towards your desired life? Take your decision and examine it more closely in the wider picture – then tweak it further whilst it is in its first stages of action. A gentle nudge now in the right direction can make all the difference at the end of the day. HIGH PRIESTESS II
The card of mystery and intuition, this image relates to the fact that most of our desires are behind closed doors. That is to say, we are often unaware and unconscious of our deeper motivations. In a decision-spread, the High Priestess informs us that there is more to this decision than we consciously know, and we should consider the deeper situation from which we are acting out. Perhaps we should meditate, be aware of our dreams, and seek some symbolic signal of our deeper motivation here. MAGICIAN I When we created Tarot Flip, the keyword that most experienced readers unconsciously gave us for this card was “success”. It is thus a wonderful card to get with decision-making. It implies that Mercury is smiling upon us, we have the resources required, the magic is in place, and success is assured. Who knows, even a miracle may be at hand if we allow it to happen. Expect magick! Ace of Pentacles The Aces are the ultimate seed of every decision. Here with the Ace of Pentacles you are reminded that your decision is the essential seed of all that follows – so an important one. Yet it may not yet be clear what will grow. Allow it time, tend the ground and the space – clear the weeds (old expectations) and put a net down to stop the birds pecking (negative words) and eventually this seed will grow. Ace of Swords The Ace of Swords allows us to be assured that our decision, whether positive or negative, is an act of clarity. It is an incision into real life – a willed, creative ambition made real by action. This immediacy is the advice of the card in any decision-making. Do this, or do not. Either is a decision. But do it. And now. There will be time for reflection later. Ace of Cups On the other side of the Ace of Swords, the Ace of Cups counsels deep reflection following your decision. Allow time for contemplation, meditation, consideration. Let yourself listen to your inner voice, your intuition, and your physical body. These deep wells of experience have advice for you, but you must be still to hear it clearly. This
decision was not made lightly and must be brought forth into the light most carefully, and with tender compassion. Ace of Wands The Ace of Wands is the ultimate arbiter of decision – the rod of action based on ones highest values and principles. It is simply “doing the right thing”. The Ace of Cups may be the “best considered thing”, the Swords the “correct thing”, and the Pentacles the “most practical thing”, but the Ace of Wands indicates we must do the “right” thing. So take time to consider how this decision and its arising consequences reflects upon your spiritual and psychological development as a whole being. FOOL 0 The Fool tells you that once a decision has been made, we are free of it – we have nothing to fear, nothing to regret. It is done and we are liberated from its concern. So if you have this card as your top advisory card, your decision is to be released – it no longer has anything to do with you. Let it go and step forwards, with faith that angels indeed will bear you up before you fall.
Conclusion In the following nine booklets in this series, we will build on our progress in the first three months, next discovering how to enter the flow before we start to connect the previous exercises together. It is important to the process that you undertake the exercises, and we have an optional Facebook group listed in the appendix where you can share and discuss your experiences, ask questions and gain support. We have also provided in the final section a list of reading materials and website resources to discover more in the very best of Tarot and Tarosophy®. In this series, released monthly over 2013: 1. Discover Your Destiny 2. Remove The Blocks 3. Make Decisions Better 4. Enter the Flow 5. Ride the Lion 6. Connect to Service 7. Find Your Equality 8. Die To Your Old Self 9. Entering Unity 10. Becoming the Real 11. Your Keys to Freedom 12. The Depth of Divinity What Follows Next Month In next month’s Tarot Life, we deal with our creative space and the creative flow of the Universe itself – and learn to become co-creators in real time, the “moving likeness of eternity”. As we develop our
decision-making and destiny-seeking skills, observe and harness our own blocks, there is then nothing like being able to enter the flow.
Bibliography Crowley, A. The Book of Thoth. York Beach: Weiser, 1985. Freeman, W. J. How Brains Make Up Their Minds. London: Phoenix, 1999. Lehrer, J. How We Decide. New York: Mariner, 2010.