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The Tarot can empower you to create the future you want and transform your life by providing you with insights about yourself and the world around you.

A Prayer to Lift Your Life (Inspired by the Tarot)

RWS 2.0 Aces and Fool

The following is a prayer to lift your life based on the fundamental messages of the four Tarot suits and the Major Arcana. You may revise it and address it to whatever form your belief in the Divine may be.

I pray that I may 

  • Be generous to others and appreciate all that the Universe gives me (Pentacles)
  • Find clarity, understanding, and wisdom in all my dealings with other people (Swords)
  • Be loving and compassionate in all my relationships (Cups)
  • Always live life with joy and passion (Wands)
  • Realize the divine spark within myself, within everyone I meet, and within all that exists around me. (Major Arcana)

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What does the Nine of Wands mean?

RWS 2.0 Nine of WandsHere is a pithy meaning for the Nine of Wands:
Over-preparation is one way that that our egos create barriers to block our experience of life.

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot Book and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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What does the Ten of Pentacles mean?

RWS 2.0 Ten of PentaclesHere is a pithy meaning for the Ten of Pentacles:
Shoot with a shotgun and you’re sure to hit something.

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot Book and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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The benefits of gratitude

“The root of joy is gratefulness, for it is not joy that makes us grateful. It is gratitude that makes us joyful.” — Br. David Stendl-Rast

RWS 2.0 Six of PentaclesThis article is “dedicated” to the Six of Pentacles, which I associate with gratitude (the flip-side of generosity).  Of course, you may associate a different card with gratitude—perhaps the Ace of Pentacles—in which case you can see this article as being applicable to that card instead.

Hundreds of studies have documented the social, physical, and psychological benefits of practicing gratitude, even (or especially) in the midst of adversity like our current pandemic crisis. Consequently, a detailed look at this topic is of great value at this time.

Gratitude has two key components. First, it’s an affirmation that there are good things in the world. The second part of gratitude is our recognition that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves. We acknowledge that other people and a Higher Power give us gifts both great and small that bring goodness in our lives. This social dimension is especially important because it shows us how we’ve been supported by other people, and that realization strengthens our relationships.

Gratitude brings many other benefits into our lives. It boosts positive emotions like feelings of joy, pleasure, enthusiasm, optimism, compassion, and generosity, and it mutes negative emotions that erode our happiness—emotions like envy, resentment, despair, and regret. As a result, it can reduce the frequency and duration of episodes of anxiety and depression.

In the face of serious trauma and adversity, people with a grateful disposition recover more quickly. Thus, for example it has been found to help people recover from traumatic events, including veterans with PTSD.

Grateful people also sleep better.  They fall asleep faster, get more hours of sleep each night, and feel more refreshed upon awakening. In addition, studies suggest gratitude strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure, reduces symptoms of illness, and makes us less bothered by aches and pains.

Gratitude is a skill we can develop with practice. But what if you don’t feel grateful yet? You can take a “fake it ’till you make it” approach. Acting like you’re grateful is better than nothing. It opens the channel if you just start exploring what you might be grateful for. And then before you know it, you actually do find a place of gratitude in your life. In the meantime, here are some effective ways to cultivate a grateful life:

  • Keep a gratitude journal, recording three to five things for which you’re grateful every day. This works well first thing in the morning or just before you go to bed at night.
  • Similarly, you might think of five simple things you’re grateful for every morning before you even get out of bed. For example:
    My lungs are breathing in and out.
    The air temperature is comfortable.
    I had an interesting dream.
    I get to put my feet on the floor and walk out into the world.
    There are people in my life who I love and who love me.
    I’m still here.
    This will remind you every morning that this day is a gift.
  • Look in the mirror whenever you brush your teeth and think about something you have done well recently or something you like about yourself.
  • Think of all the things on your TO DO list each day such as “I have to go grocery shopping” or “I have to clean the house.” Now, restate that list by changing the words “I have to” to “I get to.” This puts a different, more exciting frame around the things we do in our lives, which shifts obligations to opportunities.
  • Make it a practice to tell a spouse or friend something you appreciate about them every day.  This is especially important considering that a lack of appreciation is cited as a leading cause of relationship breakups.
  • Make it a practice to say a silent “Thank you” whenever something nice happens. Say it to yourself, to other people, and to the Divine. Say it about everything you can, say it often, and always mean it.
  • A similar, but deeper practice is to send Thank You notes. This gratitude practice is demonstrated by a beautiful story I once read about a man named John Kralik who started writing a thank you note every day, which changed his life.  At a time when his life was in the dumps, Kralik had an epiphany:  Instead of focusing on what he didn’t have, he found a way to be grateful for what he did have, and that way was to write “Thank You” notes.  (If you’re interested to learn how this process changed Kralik’s life, read his book, 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life.)

Some people ask, “Does gratitude mean that we should stick our heads in the sand about our problems?” No, of course not. We should notice everything. However, we should try to keep our attention focused on what is good in our lives. This world may give us plenty of problems, but when we cultivate an attitude of gratitude, things don’t just look better, they actually get better. So treasure deeply what you have now, and your life will blossom with everything that really matters to you.

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The following are sources I used in writing this article in case you want to explore this topic in more depth:

What is Gratitude?

Why Gratitude is Good

The Medicine of Gratitude

Ten True Things About Gratefulness

The Neuroscience of Why Gratitude Makes Us Healthier

The Ace of Pentacles suggests a way to live a happier life

Pithy Tarot meanings — Six of Pentacles

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What does the Devil card mean?

RWS 2.0 DevilHere is a pithy meaning for the Devil card:
If you try to find the humor in a dark situation, you can lighten it and make it less hellish.

Note: This pithy meaning for the Devil card owes its genesis in part to the fact that “mirth” is a traditional meaning for this card.

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot Book and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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What does the Devil card mean?

RWS 2.0 DevilHere is a pithy meaning for the Devil card:
Bargains with the Devil never turn out well in the end.

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot Book and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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What does the Six of Cups mean?

RWS 2.0 Six of CupsHere is a pithy meaning for the Six of Cups:
Rediscover and revive a lost dream from your childhood.

This pithy meaning suggests a way to nurture your inner child to help you heal yourself and become more like the person you are meant to be.

The first step is to discover a dream from your childhood that was stifled. To do this, you might use a guided visualization with this card, you might meditate on this topic, or you might just let your imagination wander through your childhood memories.

Then, once you discover a lost dream from your youth, find a way to revive it and nourish it.  This can be as big or small as you like. For example, if you wanted to be an artist when you grew up, you can do anything from perusing art books to taking an art class to starting to paint again.

For many of us, stifled dreams have resulted in vaguely unhappy lives, and in some, lives of quiet desperation. (“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them.” — Henry David Thoreau) Taking this advice from the Six of Cups can bring a breath of fresh air into your life.

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot Book and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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What does the Ace of Swords mean?

RWS 2.0 Ace of SwordsHere is a pithy meaning for the Ace of Swords:
It’s hard to be honest with yourself, but it’s vital to try.

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot Book and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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What does the Five of Swords mean?

RWS 2.0 Five of SwordsHere is a pithy meaning for the Five of Swords:
You need to stand up to bullies.

Note that even if bullies don’t physically cripple someone (and they might!), they can cause crippling psychological damage that may last a lifetime.

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot Book and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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