Many of us have lost our sense of play when it comes to work. We wake up in the morning, yelling expletives at our alarm clocks, and we drag ourselves through our morning activities wishing we had been more grateful when snow days and summer breaks were still a thing. When we finally get to work, we do our best to put on a happy face, but that does not match the mixture of boredom, restlessness, and irritability we are dealing with, especially on the bad days. If you are interested in a playful, spiritual practice, tarot could be just the thing you need to perk yourself up at work and bring a little play into the workPLAYce (don’t come for me —you know you love a good pun). Outside of doing traditional readings, here are some of my favorite ways to use tarot at work!
Ask for guidance (duh)
Whether you believe that you are communicating with God, your ancestors, deities, or your higher self, one thing I know for sure is that tarot can be extremely helpful when you are trying to make a decision. When you are confronted with conflicts or tough decisions at work, you can use tarot to pause and intuit the next best steps. When I seek tarot for guidance, I view this as both a psychological and spiritual practice. The cards help me to externalize my thinking process and understand different perspectives in a given situation. Just make sure to ask open ended questions to get more complex and exciting answers (example: switch out “Will this happen?” and “Should I do this?” with How should I approach this situation?” or “What should I consider before making this decision?”).
Embody your favorite card for the day
When I am coaching, I choose to be nurturing, reflective, positive, and relationship based. The Queen of Cups card, which typically depicts a badass woman sitting on a throne in all her glory at the edge of the sea, tends to be my go-to for that reason. Ask yourself: how do you want to feel at work? What kind of spirit do you want to bring in your interactions with others and your daily tasks and responsibilities? Once you’ve done that self reflective work, choose a card that fits that energy. Wear silver or dark blue and channel the mysterious High Priestess if you are feeling protective or embody some Magician energy and focus on what resources you can harness today to get things done. Bring play into the process by using the cards as inspiration to surround yourself with the energy you hope to convey at work.
Pro tip: this can be especially helpful for interviews. Bring your favorite card with you to the interview and keep it in your pocket or bag to remind yourself that you got this!
Use tarot to meditate and ground yourself
Feeling stressed, anxious, worn out, or generally pissy? When I am feeling that way at work, I like to use tarot to meditate. There are so many tarot decks that are absolutely beautiful and have images that can give you the escapism or distraction you need to get through a rough day at work. In the original Rider-Waite Smith tarot deck, the Three of Wands card shows a man looking out over a large expanse of water with three huge wands surrounding him. Hold this card in your fingers and put it right in front of your eyes (do this in a private place if you can find it!). Imagine yourself standing in the card on the hill with him, feeling the breeze on your face as you look out over the water. Imagine the way the wooden wand feels beneath your hand. Imagine what you are thinking as you look out from your vantage point. We know that meditation lowers high blood pressure and reduces stress so take time out at work to be still and ground yourself for the rest of the day. Remember: you can’t pour from an empty cup!
Use a card as a journal prompt
In the last Queered & Careered post, we discussed journaling and the many ways you can use it in the workplace. One of the cool things about tarot is that you can use the images to process through your experiences while you write. Choose a card, place it in front of you, and free write about what that card could mean for you today. If you receive a card that has a beautiful nature setting, maybe you will be inspired to take a walk outside during your lunch break and write about the experience. If you see a card where people are talking and laughing, maybe you can write about different people you want to prioritize connecting with over the next work week.
The biggest thing here is to allow your mind to wander. Sometimes our greatest ideas and realizations come from sitting still and allowing curiosity to be our guide. Tarot cards can definitely aid you in that process!
Reflect on your progress and your brand
When it comes to career development, the best thing you can do is know yourself. Self awareness is a huge component of career navigation because it allows you to be intentional with your decision making and it helps you to properly convey your talents, strengths, and unique qualities to employers. Tarot can act as a mirror, providing you with the tools to see yourself clearly.
Ask yourself a series of prompts about your work values, your strengths, and your areas for improvement and then choose cards that answer those prompts. Then, record your results in your work journal. This self awareness will help you when you are trying to communicate who you are and what you value to potential employers.
If you walked into my office right now and looked at the contents on my desk, you would find notebooks of poetry and work reflections, post it notes, pastel colored pens, crystals (amethyst, citrine, and rose quartz!), a deck of affirmation cards, and other assorted office supplies. In the drawer to the left, you would find a deck of tarot cards.
I love my job, but I know that I will not always have good days at work. When times get rough, I know that I can use my tarot cards to brighten my day, give me guidance, and help me to ground myself and reflect on my progress. Would you ever use tarot at work? What are some additional ways to incorporate tarot into your daily practice?