Motivation is really important if you have something you want to achieve. It’s something I’ve been looking into, as it’s relevant to my work, as well as to me personally. And in that exploration, I found a fascinating perspective that analyses five different kinds of motivation. That inspired me to write a post over on my work blog about how to harness those motivations for your own benefit.
On a more personal level, it made me wonder what the tarot would have to say about my motivation for a particular project I’ve been struggling with. So, I designed a spread to explore those five different motivators.
It’s a spread that will help you understand and increase your motivation, as well as help you to stop from self-sabotaging. To try it out, I drew cards from the Tarot Apokalypsis kit (Lo Scarabeo, 2016):
1) What do I most enjoy about this activity/project? – Three of Pentacles
Interestingly, this version just shows one person alone. A young man works on a huge stone set on rollers, doing his small part. Yet, clearly, no big building project can be done by a single individual. We can only imagine the tens or hundreds of craftsmen and apprentices working to complete the entire project.
In terms of meaning, this card is perfect. It is definitely the feeling of creativity, and the teamwork, that I most enjoy with this project. A reminder to make sure to work with those members of the team I like best, as that will foster our mutual creativity.
2) In what way does it align with my sense of self and/or my values? – Princess of Pentacles
Oh, isn’t this a juicy Princess of Pentacles? I love the lush greenery, delicate blossom and bright birds around her, echoing the vibrant aliveness and potential of her pregnant belly.
Following on from the last card, this project aligns with the way I self-identify as a creative person: someone who can birth things into the world, making an idea into a physical reality.
3) What outcome/s related to this activity/project do I most desire? – Two of Swords
The suit of Swords in this deck has a Norse feel to it, and we see that here with a Viking sitting before what looks like a strategy board or game, with runes etched into it. Two swords cross above his head, a decision that he is planning to make once he gains a little clarity.
It’s a project that will help people to think things through in a strategic way, so they can hopefully make better decisions for themselves. And it’s a tool that I’d love to use for that purpose, myself 🙂
4) Which ‘should’ is holding me back? – Queen of Cups
Aphrodite rises from the waves as our Queen of Cups. She holds a golden apple in one hand, with a white dove above her, while her other hand is draped around a large cup. Is she a mermaid, or simply emerging from the surf? We can’t quite tell…
There are a couple of things here for me. Firstly, that I should make things beautiful and perfect, or else why do them at all? Which is a lot of pressure, and life just isn’t that simple. The second is that I should be focusing on emotional questions, mostly to do with the kids. Instead, I want to work on this more creative side of myself, actually making something tangible.
5) How am I being influenced by other people’s opinions? – Seven of Cups
Bizarrely, we have eight men in the seven of cups, all lounging in and around a steaming pool presided over by a huge, naked male statue. In the background are more sexual images, which seem to depict lesbic love, as well as heteroerotic pieces.
There is so much choice out there, and so many people have their opinions and their preferences. This card acts as a reminder that I won’t be able to please everyone with this project. In terms of motivation, then, I need to make sure that I’m at least honouring my own delight, else why do it at all?
In all of this, I have found my own motivations, my sticking points, and how to move forward. One thing which I realised I hadn’t asked, though, is whether now is the right moment. After all, if I’m struggling, what’s going on?
Is now the right time for this project? – Six of Swords.
Another pregnant belly here, a viking woman in a boat travelling to who knows where.
Looks like I should wait until I’ve reached calmer waters, and am not feeling quite so much under attack.
To read journal prompts based on these cards, click here.