When you’re running a spiritual or intuitive business, planning can be tough. You want to be flexible, open to inspiration, running your business in a way that is aligned with your intuition, growth, and values. But you also have projects that need completing, tasks to complete, sales pages to write, emails to send, and taxes to pay.
Finding a balance between the practical and the intuitive sides of your business can sometimes feel impossible.
As an intuitive business owner, I am deeply familiar with the tug-of-war between these sides of myself and my business. On the one hand, I have found that I need to trust my intuition deeply and that it often guides me to my best successes in business.
At the same time, the linear and rational practical side of running a business requires that I check my email regularly and pay my taxes on time. Not only that, but some of my business goals, well, they just require the practical sort of this-then-that long-term planning & project management!
Both the intuitive and practical approaches are essential to my business, but bridging them has been no easy feat. As a professional tarot reader, I turned to my favorite tool to help me navigate it.
Tarot has become an essential tool in my business planning because of how it helps me navigate the intuitive and practical sides of my business.
Why use tarot for business planning
A way of Uncovering
Tarot is a powerful divination tool.
Like any divination tool, it helps us connect to information that is hidden or unseen. Many folks think that “hidden or unseen” information refers only to the spiritual or occult type of unseen information and only reaches for their decks when they need spiritual guidance. The tarot is, of course, an excellent tool for uncovering spiritual information. But the spiritual is just one realm of vital information hovering beyond our everyday perception.
In a world full of distractions, harmful received wisdom, and coercive work systems that are “just the way things are,” tarot can help us uncover hidden information about how we truly want to operate in business, which tasks are truly a priority, which tasks are motivated more by the status quo than our own desires, and where the dominant operating system of how to do business is causing us to miss vital information on how to run our own businesses.
The Bigger Picture
The benefit of using tarot for business planning is the way it grounds you in the bigger picture.
If you’re anything like me, your vision for your business is ambitious. You dream of your business being so much bigger than it is now, with so many amazing offers. This dream means that there are always more things that need doing and more projects asking for your attention than any one person could reasonably be expected to handle.
Personally, I have so many dreams for my business and such grand dreams that I can’t always hold the whole vision. I have no idea how I’ll get from here to there and trying to be in both my reality and the bigness of that dream is just too much for my one human brain to handle. If, too, you feel like you can’t always hold that whole vision, either, that’s ok. That’s what is so magical about using tarot in business planning. Tarot can hold that whole vision for you.
“That’s what is so magical about using tarot in business planning. Tarot can hold that whole vision for you.”– Lex Ritchie
Building trust & finding ease
Using tarot in this way builds trust that there is a path from here to there, that that dream is a living possibility, even if you have to just focus on your bookkeeping today!
A final benefit of using tarot for business planning is ease! Planning my work weeks & workdays used to be an intensive process that could take up large chunks of my work time! That’s just not in alignment with the work of actually running your business! I have found that this system makes it easier to pick business tasks for my work week and work days.
Prioritizing with the tarot
One reason I struggle to set my daily and weekly business priorities is that my biz tasks will all often feel equally important and equally urgent. Choosing to work on one project means not working on another. I love all my business projects, but at the end of the day, I am just one person, running a one-person business!
Alongside this, as I mentioned above, I also have a hard time feeling the cohesive vision that unites different business tasks, which can make it hard to discern which tasks are truly priorities. Using tarot for business planning helps me see the structure behind the mess. Tarot elucidates the method in the madness, so to speak. This makes it easier to make decisions and easier to be “done” once I have completed my essential tasks for the day or the week.
At the same time, it gives me permission to play around with business ideas that are fun, interesting, or speculative once I’m done with my essential tasks because I can trust that there is a larger vision holding it all together.
How I use tarot to plan my business
Now that we’ve talked about all the benefits of using tarot to plan your business, let’s talk about how to actually do the dang thing!
I use tarot in my business planning on a few different levels: quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily.
Using tarot to plan your business quarter
I’ll be honest – year-length planning is not something that works for me. The longest time scale I use in business planning is 3 months. Every quarter I sit down and map out my priorities for the next 3 months.
For me, this often doesn’t look like a strictly structured process, and I follow a strict structure for this, instead I let my intuition guide me, not trying to direct the planning process into a rigid structure, but instead trying to embody the feeling of flow that I would like to feel in my business! I do, however, tend to move through a few consistent steps:
Step One: Dream Big
This is where the tarot comes in! The first thing I do in planning my quarter is grab my deck and a notebook. I check in (whether through journaling or pulling cards) on the following topics:
- Commitments I already have in the coming 3 months
- How I’m feeling, what my energy levels are
- The things I want to offer & promote or the things that would feel good to offer & promote
What the priority should be for each month that quarter – Here I will often pull a tarot card for the monthly or quarterly focus in each main area of my business (revenue-generating, marketing, and admin)
Step Two: List Everything
List all the tasks you can think of that would be needed to accomplish these dreams. This doesn’t need to be exhaustive but try to imagine at least one path that would allow you to see this project to completion. Personally, I don’t get too granular here. I give myself permission to break up tasks or eliminate them or move them around as I move through the quarter. In this way, I approach planning like you might approach manifesting: I’m telling the universe (or myself) how I am going to get the thing, I am simply visualizing how it might happen!
Step Three: Assign the tasks
Assign the tasks to a week that seems to make sense (I use Notion databases to do this!)
These aren’t “deadlines” per se. Instead, they are the weeks that I intend to work on these particular tasks. While they do occur in a logical order where projects get developed week-to-week, I am not bound to complete that project that particular week, or even to complete it in the way I thought I might. It’s ok if things get rescheduled or moved around. These tasks are like bumpers along the gutters of a bowling lane or the pegs on a Plinko board. They help me envision & channel the river of my work throughout the quarter, but I am free to bounce around as I go and as the quarter develops.
Using tarot to plan your business week
Each Monday, after my coffee & cuddling with my kitten, I pull out my tarot deck, open my Notion biz dashboard for the quarter, and I start to make a plan.
We just discussed how wayyyyy back at the beginning of the quarter I set my goals, parsed them out into tasks, and roughly assigned them weeks that I would work on them. But that was past me doing that.
- doesn’t know what I know now
- didn’t account for my energy levels, for the fact that Mercury retrograde is royally fucking up my shit, for the fact that the moon is waning and I just don’t wanna do anything
- didn’t account for the cool new opportunity that has popped up, or the fact that I got WAY more done last week than I expected, that some of the tasks were easier than anticipated, or simply not necessary!
These goals are not assignments or commitments.
They were a part of the dream I was “manifesting” for my business this quarter. And so I take them as suggestions, hopes, dreams, and use them in collaboration with the tarot, and my own sense of my capacity for that week, to actually create my plan for the week.
And so, each Monday I shuffle my deck and I pull the following cards:
The Weekly Spread
Card One: My Most Important Business Priority For The Week
Additional Cards: Tasks That Support This Priority
I aim for 3, but often tarot has other opinions and will give me a jumper card as a clarifier or as further advice for my week! Once I’ve pulled these cards, I take a look at the tasks I’d assigned myself at the beginning of the quarter and I start to ask myself:
- What are these cards asking me to pay attention to this week?
- What are these cards bringing to my attention to prioritize?
Sometimes it’s the thing I expected to be doing. Sometimes a different task is asking to take priority.
If I am being asked to shift my priority, I always check in with myself:
- Do I agree?
- What feels the most important this week?
I’ll be honest, though, I’ve never not shifted my priorities when prompted to by this method and I’ve also never regretted shifting those priorities!
Once I settle on my priority and which tasks support that priority, I list out all the component parts of those tasks, trying to capture each mundane aspect that it will take to accomplish my three supporting tasks & my priority for the week.
Interpreting the Priority Card
You might expect that my priority card directs me to focus my attention on a single project each week. Sometimes that is the case, but most often my priority card prompts me to bring a more holistic perspective to my business.
The card might tell me to prioritize my visibility and to make sure I am sharing my work authentically, and with integrity. That could highlight many projects I’m working on.
Perhaps I’m moving into launching a new offer, that’s definitely something I’ll want to consider making a big task for the week, but maybe I also have “revise my Instagram bio” or “create a collection of aesthetically aligned background photos” on my list of marketing tasks. It’s not an essential task for my launch, but both are definitely visibility tasks that could be useful to focus on!
See what I mean about tarot holding the larger vision for the business? Visibility can be a priority across my business, not simply in the single area of my launch!
Tarot as a system for planning
A holistic approach to business planning
As I’ve spent time developing this method, this holistic perspective is a key difference from other forms of planning and goal setting and it feels so essential to the success of this system for keeping you on track without giving into capitalist productivity & hustle mentality.
It lays out a vision for your time that transcends a project-based, goal-oriented management system. It bridges the “rational” and the “intuitive” realms in a way that is so essential for intuitive business owners, but that can be so hard to navigate when you were raised with the kind of hyper-rational, goal-oriented time management strategies of capitalism.
This method of using tarot as a tool for business planning consistently provides me with these sorts of holistic reframings on my businesses. Projects that I thought of as separate & discrete come together as one project of trying to bring my biggest dream into reality.
Collaborate with your business
Instead of spending the week focusing on just one part of my vision, I invest my time with each part of my vision and my dream becomes stronger for it. In this way, using tarot to plan my business lets my business live & breathe. It lets my business communicate with me. It’s not just me calling the shots and forcing my business to be one way.
My business becomes a collaboration.
Plan Your Business With Tarot, an example
Let me give a more concrete example of how this plays out in practice:
In traditional goal-setting, when you set your number one priority for the week, it might be something like “Get new big offer I’m launching soon ready to share with the world and make me money.”
The supporting tasks might be something like “write launch emails”, “create social media graphics”, “schedule social media posts” and “create a sales page”.
The tasks that need to get done then are all dictated by reason and a logical flow.
Goal-setting with Tarot
Using my tarot pull method, planning for the week of a launch might look something like this:
For my most important task I pull something like The Magician or a King card. To me that symbolizes sharing my vision fiercely and confidently with the world. Makes perfect sense for prepping a launch!
In pulling my supporting tasks cards, let’s say I also pull 8 of Pentacles, 8 of Wands, 7 of Cups. I might interpret 8 of Pentacles as putting in the effort to really hone my copy for the sales page & launch emails.
8 of Wands might be the importance of building a quality sales page that will convert. But the 7 of Cups might not be any sort of rational task at all. The 7 of Cups is a dreamy card. It might be asking you to reflect on the list of tasks you’ve put out for yourself for the launch, check in with your capacity, and your actual inner desires. It might be an invitation to dream big and creatively and give yourself permission to make some paradoxical choices.
This is the kind of “task” that rarely makes it onto traditional to-do lists, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a deeply valuable task for the intuitive business owner!
Using tarot to plan your business day
In the mornings, as I sit down for work, the first thing I do is check in with my Notion task planner and set my to-dos for the day. I’ll be honest: I often find this task to be pretty overwhelming.
On the days when I feel totally overwhelmed at the idea of choosing my focus for the day, I take my tarot deck, shuffle it up, and pull three cards. These cards are my business priorities for that day.
Then, I take a look at the tasks that I set as my priorities for that week and try to match them up to the priority cards I’ve pulled. Sometimes the correlation is obvious. Sometimes the card adds nuance to the task. For example, if I pull the 8 of Wands, I have sometimes interpreted this to be a content creation task, but in this case, the 8 of Wands is reminding me to keep in mind the things that make content engaging and viral while I’m creating!
Occasionally, the cards prompt me to complete a task that wasn’t on my to-do list for the week – maybe it’s something that has come up during the progression of the week or simply something I had forgotten!
Let tarot be your Business Planning
Whatever cards come up, once I’ve paired them to tasks, and put those tasks in my to-do list for the week, I get to work!
But, instead of putting the cards back into the deck and putting the deck away, I like to leave them on my desk as physical reminders of what I’m working on. I put them away once I finish that particular task. This gives me a physical way of marking completion, which can be sorely lacking when you’re doing mostly digital, computer-based tasks! Additionally, I usually complete these tasks in the order that I pulled the cards whenever that is a feasible option.
Something I have struggled with in becoming my own boss is being my own boss & actually getting myself to do the work! Completing the tasks in the order of the card I pulled takes some of the existential angst of needing to get my butt in the chair to do something boring like bookkeeping, when it’s literally just me saying I need to do that. I let the tarot cards be my boss for my work session and it gets me to do the things that are necessary to run a good life-supporting business, but that I often try to avoid!
Interpreting tarot for business
At first, interpreting tarot cards for a business context can be tricky. Most of the examples of card interpretations center around personal relationships, a person’s mental state, or personal growth. At first, it might be hard to see how a card relates to your business.
I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes when using this planning process, I will pull a card that stumps me. When that happens I use it as an opportunity to get back to the basics of what I know about that card.
For example, we might consider The Empress and The Lovers.
The Empress often brings to mind leisure, ease, pleasure, rest. At first glance, pulling The Empress for your business might make you think you need to rest. I don’t think that’s a bad interpretation, but we can go deeper.
Behind the languid illustration, The Empress is ultimately about creativity and the generative power required to create the abundance enjoyed by The Empress. What is it you need to be creative? It might be rest. But it might also be cleaning your office or creating a routine that supports your creative process.
Maybe The Empress is showing up to remind you not to neglect your creative pursuits, even if they aren’t your revenue-generating activity at the moment. Or maybe one of your creative pursuits is ready to become revenue-generating.
These are all options, but it takes your knowledge of and reflection on your situation to be sure.
The Lovers is often considered a card about personal relationships and connection to community. An obvious interpretation might be a business partnership. But that doesn’t always apply. So going deeper – what’s at the heart of this card?
The personal choice we exert in our connections with others and the ways those choices can both create limitations and opportunities. In a business context, this might indicate things like reviewing contracts, reaching out to business peers or collaborators, networking, working on a collaborative project, reaching out to past clients for feedback and testimonials, or maybe offering a returning-client discount!
Get out there and get planning!
If you’re a small business owner who struggles to prioritize, for whom every business tasks feels equally & overly urgent, who has trouble holding on to the larger vision for your business amid the clutter of mundane admin tasks, using tarot as a business planning tool might be the productivity tool you never knew you needed!
Next time you need help planning your day, your week, or your quarter, reach for your deck and make your planning process a collaborative visioning session between you, your deck, and your biggest biz dreams!
Disclosure: Lex Ritchie is a current member of The Fiery Well.