Exploring the symbols, metaphors and archetypal patterns found in myth, pop culture, nature, literature, oracles, astrology, religion, psychology, Tarot, art and history.
Affirmations with the Tarot - Using the Power of Imagery and Symbols to Create the Life You Want
My new Affirmations with the Tarot eBook is now available! Woohoo! 20 affirmations for EACH card. That's 1,560 affirmations!
Affirmations are a wonderful compliment to gratitude practice, and help steer your emotions, thought processes and life in the direction you want to go. Coupling them with the symbolic images of Tarot makes them even more powerful.
Here's an example using The Fool (Beginnings) card:
Just a few affirmations from my eBook include:
- I seize the day!
- I am spontaneous.
- I leap at chances.
- A new adventure awaits!
- I try new paths.
- I choose to take a chance.
- I am carefree.
- I release all baggage.
The affirmations are powerful on their own, without a doubt. But when you couple it with an image, certain affirmations cement into our mindset--and bleed over into other related symbols and imagery...which ends up amplifying the message and its emotional power.
The Beginnings card above is from the Snowland Deck my artist husband, Ron, and I co-created. From this image, we connect risk, spontaneity, adventure, exploration, taking chances, acting on whims and lightness of being to the act of standing on top of a hill--anticipating (or considering) sledding down the new-fallen snow. The Boston terrier--is he cautioning against unforeseen danger? Or is he just used to his boy "playing it safe"? There's a red cardinal in the tree: what could that mean? And that "0" on the sled...infinity? Nothingness? Endless possibilities? It's obviously connected to the usual numerical attribution of The Fool, so there's that...
Let's explore the red Cardinal symbolism.
In his wonderful book Animal Speak, author Ted Andrews says this of the Cardinal:
“The cardinal has a loud and clear whistle. Whistles are often reminders to listen closely—to pay attention to what is blowing on the winds. In the case of the cardinal, the female joins in on the whistling, which is unusual among birds. This reflects that we should be listening to the inner voice (the feminine) more closely for our own health and well-being. Since most female birds are quiet and camouflaged, a cardinal totem almost always reflect a need to assert the feminine aspects of creativity and intuition more strongly.”
When I think of "whistling", I imagine a carefree mood. "Whistling while your work", comes to mind. But taking into consideration Andrews' explanation, we can also apply the "listening to the inner voice" (or even our conscience) aspect to The Fool/Beginnings. After all, not all chances should be taken! In fact, a reversed or ill-dignified Fool card can mean reckless behavior or naive action.
With the Boston terrier tugging at the sled's rope, I'm reminded of Dorothy's dog, Toto, who could symbolize caution and warning--as well as quick-thinking and bravery.
Two sides to every Tarot coin. Er, card.
Let's take a look at another Tarot card--a notoriously challenging one: the 10 Mental card (aka 10 of Swords).
A few affirmations from Affirmations with the Tarot for this card include:
- I make peace with others.
- I lay down my defenses.
- There is hope on the horizon.
- I refuse to take insults and rudeness to heart.
- I communicate and share my pain with someone who can help.
- I seek common ground to preserve harmony.
- In dark times, I look for the ray of hope.
- I resurrect ideas of reconciliation.
- I refuse to become cynical.
- I will learn to trust and love again.
- I reach out to the disillusioned and disenchanted.
- The worst is over.
We have the symbolism of fire (aggression, anger, impetuousness, zeal) and ice (coldness, pure logic, sharpness). What happens when they "meet"? Melting. Melting can symbolism a softening--as in, softening of the heart...or the willingness to walk in another's shoes, to see from a different perspective (that of our "enemies", real or perceived?).
They are shaking hands, signifying a truce or cooperation. A piece of paper, signed by both parties, lay on the table--as does an olive branch (a peace treaty?). People mingle in the background. Are two peoples, formerly at odds, now reconciled?
Apply those images to the 10 of Swords, which can often indicate being "stabbed in the back", end of conflict, overkill, beliefs coming to a head, surrender, humility and cease fire.
Ahhhh, now we can see how compromise, forgiveness, reconciliation, a new day dawning and hope for improved relations (and better days) can not only connect with this card, but also create affirmations for this symbolic image.
Contrary to what some think (especially cynics), affirmations are not the denial of “reality”. It would be counterproductive and disheartening to affirm “I am in perfect health” when you’re experiencing abdominal pain from gallstones or a runny nose from allergies. Likewise, it would be a bit silly to affirm “I’m a millionaire” when you have $50 to your name.
However, what we focus on does get “bigger” in our life experience; it’s just the way we’re wired as humans. Look at it this way: when you’re driving an automobile, wherever and whatever you’re looking at determines how you steer the wheel. The steering of the wheel determines the direction of the car. The direction of the car determines if you stay on the road, avoid obstacles, run into a ditch, total the vehicle or—worst case scenario—crash into pedestrians, animals or other drivers.
I love what Eric Maisel says in his book Affirmations for Artists:
To affirm means more than speaking in a friendly way to oneself. To affirm is to declare positively, solemnly, and formally that one is equal to a challenge or is growing equal to that challenge, that one is on a certain track, that one is consciously and forcefully attempting to better oneself and grow in a certain direction. An affirmation can demand that you do a hard thing, acknowledge a profound difficulty, and do more than you have previously done. Being self-friendly is not the same as being easy on oneself.
Consider affirmations an important instrument for keeping your body, mind, soul and spirit focused on what is good, beautiful, empowering and beneficial as you travel down life’s road.
If we focus on our troubling symptoms 100% of the time, we’re unable to cultivate gratitude, foster optimism, recognize blessings and notice opportunities. An overwhelmingly negative focus increases stress, worry and unhappiness. However, a primarily optimistic focus, with the help of affirmations, increases our sense of well-being, resilience, satisfaction, wonderment, hope and joy.
If the definition of “luck” is preparation meeting opportunity, then consider affirmations a valuable skill set for increasing “lucky” circumstances in your life. Coupling them with Tarot cards, especially based on their imagery and symbols, amplify their effect exponentially--because now we have visual and memory associations for broadened application.
What about you, dear reader? How has using affirmations enriched your life or affected change? Have you ever used Tarot cards with your affirmations? Which card (or cards) would be most helpful to you right now? (Share your picks in the comment section below and I'll provide you with some specific affirmations for the card/s you select).
You can view all the images from the Snowland Deck at SnowlandDeck.com. Art by Ron Boyer.
Please login first in order for you to submit comments