“Begin now with what you have”: A tarot spread for building towards a goal.
OPTIONAL: Before you start, look through your cards and choose one to represent your goal. (For example, if you want to bring more balance into your life, you might choose Temperance. If you’re looking for a new career, perhaps the Ace or Ten of Pentacles would be a good choice.) Set this card aside.
Shuffle your cards, think about your goal, and lay them out as follows:
1 – Your goal
If you chose a card at the start, place this here. Otherwise, lay a card as normal.
2, 3, 4 – “What you have”.
Your foundation. Your resources. These cards represent where you are now, and what you have to build on. There are some gems here!
5, 6 – “Begin now”
These are your next steps. How can you best use what you have now?
7 – something you need to know about your goal
It’s easy to oversimplify our goals or only see the surface. This card offers something extra to bear in mind.
I used this spread for a recent ‘where I’m at’ reading.
My foundations were The Empress, surrounded by the Four of Wands and Nine of Pentacles. Visually, this looks sturdy – the symmetry of the two outer cards makes that Empress tree seem even stronger. A solid, trustworthy base.
The Four of Wands tells me that I’m at a point of pride and celebration. It’s true. I tend to get swept along with my many projects and forget to take a break and enjoy what I’ve achieved so far. Right now, though, I am taking a break. I can see the work ahead of me, but I am celebrating. It feels good.
The Empress encourages me to share what I have and use it to benefit others. I did this reading the day before launching the Alternative Tarot Network to my mailing list and was surrounded with a kinda maternalistic, giving kind of energy. I just wanted to gather everyone together and give them something beautiful and nurturing.
And the Nine of Pentacles – one of my favourite cards – reminded me of my personal strength. How everything I have, I created for myself. How independent I am in my work, how confident I feel in my abilities right now – even at this moment of change.
All of these are qualities I can build on.
My next steps are the Daughter of Cups and Seven of Pentacles. Another welcome reminder to pause. To know that, despite the pride, confidence and strength in my foundations, I don’t know it all.
The Daughter of Cups brings me back to my oft-neglected emotional self. Checking in with my heart, learning to listen to my intuition, is a big theme for me at the moment. It’s part of the shift I’m experiencing, part of a longer-term goal. This card reminds me to keep an open heart, and to consciously set out on a new emotional journey.
The Seven of Pentacles tells me to pause for breath. Another big theme for me right now. I tend to have an idea, then launch straight in. This card asks me to step back and look at the bigger position before continuing. It builds on the Four of Wands. Yep, there’s more work to do. Take the time to re-evaluate right now. What’s working, what could do with a tweak?
My goal is The Emperor (I didn’t consciously choose this card). A place of even greater stability. A life more structured, more solid. God yes. Yes please. My business is growing and becoming sustainable. The Emperor represents the culmination of this process: the ability to save and to invest in Em and I’s bigger shared projects. A sturdy foundation not only within myself but surrounding me. Solid ground beneath my feet. A sense of order in my life. Bring it on.
The Two of Cups is my ‘additional information’. Again, coming back to love, to the heart centre. The Emperor is a great card for bringing stability and order, but can be cold and dispassionate. The Two of Cups reminds me that everything I’m working towards at the moment, I’m doing because it feels good. Because it’s part of the plans I have with my partner. Because it works for my soul. I mustn’t lose track of that as I begin this next chapter.
Have you tried this spread? Share your findings in the comments!
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.