Tarot for the Workplace

tarot layout

Tarot readings aren’t just for individuals. First thing yesterday, caught between a mountain of an in-tray and a myriad of little fires demanding to be put out, I set out a Tarot layout for my workplace. I placed them between my keyboard and my trying-too-hard laptop stand and spent the day  puzzling about them in between meetings. Four reversed cards for where my workplace is at – harsh! But not altogether unfair, given the times.

The layout is a simple diamond representing North, South, East and West. In an organisation, the element of Air is all about planning and conceptualisation, strategy and castles in the air. So if we start with the place of Air in the East we find the Knight of Swords (Reversed) dashing headlong after all or any of the ideas that he or anyone else has come up with. They’re all great! Let’s do all of them! 

Fire, in the South, has the 6 of Pentacles. For a workplace, Fire (wands)  is about the energy and creativity of your colleagues and team, their capacity to get things done. Perhaps too many of these ideas are being frittered away, the creative energy they demand being wasted. Perhaps the funds to deliver all or most of them aren’t there, however great the need for whatever product or service my (or your) organisation delivers. Or do hard choices need to be made whilst new sources of income are sorted out? It’s an uncomfortable experience for the dashing Knight to be a beggar but sometimes there isn’t a choice.

In the West, the place of feelings and emotions, the Page of Swords, reversed. Thing of the card in the West as speaking to the morale of a workplace. This workplace (the page suggests) is a young one and the kind of reversals and challenges being faced at the moment are particularly difficult to face. Again, this theme of ideas and adventurousness blocked by circumstance. It’s also facing the Knight of Swords in the West – is there tension or intimidation between different team members about the kind of ideas and directions being set promoted? Or are some people simply afraid and overwhelmed?

But there’s good news. The North, the place of Earth, holds the 8 of Swords reversed. The North is the spot where the proverbial rubber hits the road. The reversed 8 suggests a breakthrough. If the swords are the ‘idea’ card, then the 8 of swords reversed suggests that for all our organisational prevaricating and intellectual navel gazing, we’re starting to sense a way out of the thicket of over-thinking we’ve fenced ourselves into. And, in the place of actualisation and concrete foundations, those ideas have a real chance of coming to pass. Things will  come into focus. Healing – be it of damaged egos or knocked confidence, will take place. 

Another thought, looking at the majority of Swords, is to focus on the communications issue the layout might suggest with new, buzzy channels everywhere and too many ideas and messages “Zooming” to and fro to little immediate effect. The 8 of Swords reversed offers the hope that this confusion will settle down but that it won’t be achieved by closing your eyes (putting on a blindfold) and hoping it goes away. Look at the image. There’s a huge gap in the fence of swords behind the bound and blindfolded woman…

Stick to the plans and ideas with a bit of longevity. Be prepared to scrap the rest. Try not to get bitter about cuts in funding or diminished outcomes – treat them as necessary boundaries or messages about those ideas your ‘knights’ really should be dragged away from and give support to the nervous, overwhelmed pages. Keep yourself and your colleagues focused on the achievable long term. Look to the North.

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