Feelings Are Data Not Directions


After listening to a podcast this morning, I’m curious about how to use the Tarot as a mirror for emotional data…  It’s been done before, of course, and it’s a well-known fact that the Tarot is powerful tool for self-reflection and contemplation… but is there a way of working smarter and with greater understanding? After listening to the Robcast, I believe there is.

The podcast by Rob Bell was an interview with Harvard psychologist Susan Davis, where she explains the theories laid out in her best-selling book Emotional Agility. She talks about allowing ourselves to feel what we are actually feeling and to learn to create space for self-examination so that we don’t become reactive but are able to remain inner-directed.

Perhaps this is only another way of talking about becoming the Observer but I enjoyed hearing these thoughts from a slightly different angle and it was certainly a good reminder in today’s heated and divisive debate climate to not get pulled in by everything that is happening around us or in social media. She used the term ‘social contagion’ about how we compare ourselves to others and start getting dragged along, which to me sounds like ‘sheeple’ behaviour.

But Davis doesn’t think we need to stay away from social media to save ourselves from being reactive. The antidote to social contagion is simple: spend 10 minutes (or more) every day to reflect on your emotions and what you aim to achieve, then take action in accordance with your convictions rather than with your feelings. (OK, so I paraphrase rather a lot here!).

Could you use the Tarot for your 10 minutes of self-reflection? You betcha! You could, for instance, start your day by spreading the cards out, face up and pick the ones that best represent how you are feeling. Do a bit of journaling. Then pick a card (face up) that represents what you wish to achieve that day. Only then you reshuffle and pick a card face down for what the main challenge or obstacle might be.

What would your emotional state look like in Tarot terms, just for today? What agenda/goal would you like to set for the day and which would be the corresponding card for that? Feel free to share in the comments below. Remember, there are no shameful feelings. Even shame is just data and all data is valid if we give ourselves time and space to sort the data out…

Love and Blessings,

Lisa Frideborg