Part II: The Magic of Planning and Goal Setting


For Seekers – Justice – Seasonal Observances – Tarot

[Note:  I sent this article to my e-newsletter list a couple of weeks ago.  If you want to get the latest news from me, send me an e-mail (carolyn (at) artofchangetarot (dot) com) and I’ll add you to the list.]

At the last Tarot Playgroup, we explored the first card of the Major Arcana, The Magician, along his/her four magical tools: the wand, the sword, the cup, and the pentacle. You probably recognized them as the emblems of the four suits of the Tarot. As card one, the Magician invokes unity and the potential of holding all things together without division. He integrates the elemental qualities of his tools to simultaneously work with his creative passions, the gifts of the intellect, all kinds of emotions, and the practicalities of everyday life. Raising his wand to the heavens in one hand and reaching the other hand to the ground, he unites the spiritual and the material. So I’ve been thinking about how he (and really the Tarot as a whole) is a valuable and interesting guide for goal setting.

In my last blog entry, I wrote about how I do a yearly review as a prelude to goal setting for the new year. As part of that process, I spend time reflecting about what did and didn’t work for my goal setting in years past. I’ve actually done a lot of training and work around visioning, planning, and goal setting. Over the years, I’ve created spread sheets, work planning worksheets, and calendars with deadlines. In the past couple of years, I’ve realized that the exclusive focus on outcomes, deadlines, and numbers is a bit exhausting. It isn’t holistic enough for me. I was lacking some of the Magician’s tools, especially the passion of wands and the emotional input of cups. So this year’s process aims to include all the Magician’s tools.

To get going, I identified all the areas I wanted to focus attention on and set goals for this year. Identifying those areas came out of reflection on the past year and focused on listening to the places of happiness and joy where I aligned with my highest purpose and the places of despair and stagnation. My emotions were my guides! I identified 12 areas, including: spiritual practice, finances, my Tarot practice, writing, earth care, my life partnership, spiritual facilitation, support for my parents, being an aunt / connecting to young people, my current half-time job, and order.

In just about every one of these areas, I then worked at different levels. First, I started by thinking and dreaming about my long-term vision for the work in each area. I let my rational mind take a break and engaged with my highest dreams and passions. It was a fiery wands experience! Then in each area, I identified topics for study to keep feeding my intellection and/or areas for healing. Sometimes, I needed both the sword of the intellect and the gentle cups of healing. Finally, I set a few, very specific goals with timelines in each area. I’d arrived in the realm of practical pentacles.

As I move forward with this plan, I’ve built in periodic times for review and reflection. This is absolutely key to dynamic planning because the Magician can bring his creative sparks to ignite change, but as an expression of an archetype that unfolds over time the Magician and the plans that he guides are always evolving.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions about planning or the Tarot as a guide for holistic thinking.

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