I have a wee bit of an aversion to shadow work. I have shadow, and am perfectly capable of spotting it in action (usually retrospectively, but sometimes I’m astute enough to spot situations where my monsters are likely to raise their gaping maws and roar like a whining kitten). To me, agonising over my shameful bits and shortfalls, weeping curled up in a ball of agonised despair for days on end is counter productive. Life experience has taught me that energy follows thought and working on my strengths and talents is a much more creative and beneficial use of my time.
In order to be able to do this, I’ve been pondering on a way to map out my strengths and talents, acknowledge my weaknesses and the repeating patterns that have helped and hindered me throughout my life, and look at the big picture of how these come into play currently, and how I can maximise my strengths in the future and perhaps put old patterns to bed or transform weaknesses into something useful.
I came up with something sublimely simple.
Step 1 – identifying strengths and challenging traits picked up throughout my life
I carried out, and recorded the results from three card readings for each decade of my life to date (I’m almost fifty, so decades seemed appropriate – if you’re in your late teens, twenties or early thirties, you may well choose to look at shorter periods than decades).
Each spread was treated as a separate entity, so the entire deck was put back together and reshuffled on each occasion.
Step 2 – the present day, I used one of my favourite spreads (shown in the diagram below), to examine how accumulated strengths and challenging traits affect my life right now.
Step 3 – I used a further reading to examine how I can maximise my potential to meet my goals (I used the specific goal of business – this could quite easily be used for any area of life), by fully activating my strengths
Step 4 – the final spread in this series considers how I can overcome, and transform the negative effects upon my life of the challenging traits I have developed over the years.
In all, I have 8 spreads, an overflowing journal, a list of my positive traits and a list of my more challenging traits and patterns.
I suspect this will be a useful exercise moving forward in that I can refer back to these lists and spreads and take my strengths into account when reading on issues that I wish to explore/goals I wish to reach in the future.
If you wanted to, you could include natal chart and transits and any other tools/observations that you feel would be appropriate.
Just about everything I formulate is designed as a jumping off point. This isn’t a hard and fast list of instructions – it is, I hope, useful in its simplicity and where more exploration is necessary – then explore. Tarot cards are awesome things for exploring.