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Tarot as a Tool for Professional Development

From personal to professional growth, a varied “toolkit”

By: Alyssa Polizzi

A common statement I hear from clients in a Business Tarot session is that the cards did not reveal something they did not already know, but rather, creatively presented the information in new ways, allowing for a powerful shift in perspective. How does this happen? What exactly is Tarot and why is it useful as a tool?

The idea of bringing Tarot to the business world first struck me when a client booked a session to discuss her struggles as an entrepreneur. She was facing challenges to grow her business and felt confused about the future of her company. I have always felt that Tarot can morph to any situation an individual finds themselves in, that it can meet you where you are because they reflect so clearly. However, this was the first time I blended my background in business and coaching with Tarot; after the session, it was clear to me how powerful this combination could be in helping people.

What exactly is the Tarot?

The Tarot is a collection of 78 cards that explore themes of life, depicting a journey of self-discovery, personal development and transformation. It is a comprehensive symbolic system that allows one to explore their inner world through imagery, narrative and archetypal expression. The cards reflect dynamics that are deep within our psyche, revealing truths that were inside of us all along, but were hiding under the surface.

The Tarot achieves this by acting as a projective medium. When you draw a card and try to make a connection, you create a bridge from your inner experiences to outer life. Aspects that were deep inside, possibly unacknowledged or ignored, become amplified by the striking imagery and symbolism. It taps into the power of metaphor which promotes the creative imagination and the holding of many possibilities.

Tarot as a Tool for Deeper Inquiry & Insights

In the case of the entrepreneur I was helping, we drew cards to get deeper into what was blocking her and how best to move forward (example shown above). The first card, the 8 of Swords, got us into themes of self-imposed restrictions, distorted thinking, and limitation. It was a striking visual symbol for the tension she was grappling with. Each sword seemed to represent a roadblock she was facing in her life. She related to the figure bound up and blindfolded and said she often felt the constriction in her own body during long work hours. Rather than joy or excitement, she often felt stressed, overwhelmed and discouraged. To pull out actionable steps and clearer insights I asked questions such as: “What core emotion are you feeling when you look at this card? How often do you feel that same emotion when working on your business? What core belief about yourself or your potential would you connect that emotion to?”

These inquiries, which we were guided to by the random choosing of the card, took us straight to the heart of a challenge my client was facing, one that was slowing down her progress and holding her back from her fullest potential. Being able to discuss this topic through the external imagery of the card diffused the sensitive nature of her emotional experience and led us into practical next steps.

The second card, The Emperor, was our guide to moving through the restrictive emotions that were keeping her stuck. The Emperor represents authority, stability, structure and command. To work with this card, asked my client to consider how she could bring more of these principles into her life. What needed to change for her to feel she had meaningful self-authority so she could rise to each challenge in her business? When things felt unstable, what tools could she call upon to re-ground and bring order back? This revealed areas in her business that were in need of new protocols and workflows. She realized that because she lacked fundamental organization, tasks and to-do’s would stack up till she felt was on the edge of burnout. That would trigger a response of self-blame and a critical inner voice that said she didn’t have what it takes to be successful.

What Results Can We Expect From The Tarot

By exploring these themes, my client left with insights she could take action on: re-organize, refine her schedule, develop new workflows, be aware of painful emotions but don’t allow them to overwhelm or cloud her vision. This is why Tarot can support us as a tool, it helps make sense of our inner experiences while connecting us practically to outer dynamics. It enriches our understanding of self, and with that greater awareness, we can make meaningful choices aligned with our visions and goals. If we are willing to follow the themes in the card, we are challenged to find how they make sense and apply to our life. It shifts the restricted viewpoints we may have been holding and helps us relate to our situation in new ways.

Bringing Tarot into the business world reminds us that what makes us human, that is the continuous cycle of maturation and personal transformation, is always present. Whether we are in the office or at home we are facing common struggles and grappling with the potential for change and growth. Through the process of reflection, contemplation and engaging honestly with ourselves, the cards can offer us a path towards integration and meaningful development.

Thanks to Alyssa Polizzi for contributing this piece. Alyssa is a Culture Circle Leadership Development Coach. If you're considering Tarot as a tool for your leadership development, you can sign up for a session to explore insights for self-transformation and business goals.


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