Ikigai - using tarot to reflect on your life

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Nemia
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Ikigai - using tarot to reflect on your life

Post by Nemia » 25 Nov 2017, 20:10

The Japanese concept of Ikigai is fascinating. A complex interplay of factors influences our happiness in life and our sense of meaning - two things closely connected.

Image

The different factors are shown in this diagram. Doesn't it invite our use as tarot spread? We enter our lives from the outside, from four directions.

The first layer:

1. what you love

2. what the world needs

3. what you can be paid for

4. what you're good at

We can even smell the four elements/suits here. What we love is highly motivated Fire/Wands - what the world needs selfless, giving Water/Cups / what you can be paid for pragmatical Earth/Pentacles / and what you're good at objective, rational Air/Swords. (It's not THAT clear cut of course).

This outer layer shows us the basic given things in our lives, those we don't choose or decide. These are our first four cards.

Now where these concepts meet and merge, four new constellations emerge, and they're the outcome of our decisions in life, at least partly - choice of profession and life style etc. They're four cards that show our personal life.

5. Mission

6. Vocation

7. Profession

8. Passion

You can see on the diagram how each of these four ingredients of our lives is the outcome of the four basic factors.

But there are drawbacks to each of these four personal cards.

9. Delight and fullness, but no wealth

10. Excitement and complacency, but sense of uncertainty

11. Comfortable, but feeling of emptiness

12. Satisfaction, but feeling of uselessness

Each of these drawbacks shows what happens when three of the outer factors meet but one is lacking.

A bit like complementary primary colours, when you mix Blue, Yellow and Red. If you mix Blue and Yellow, you get Green - and the complementary colour is the one that is left, i.e. Red. Red and Red-less, so to say.

The whole diagram reminds me a bit of a colour wheel with primary, secondary and tertiary colours :-) differently arranged of course - growing towards the outside instead of the inside. But back to Ikigai.

Actually, the only place where everything meets is the central card, the focus, the place where we can find meaning in life and thus, happiness and satisfaction.

13. Ikigai

Our personal place where our passions, talents, practical needs and the needs of the world are in perfect harmony.

Since our lives are not perfect, at different times, we'll give more attention to one area over the other. For example, when I had young children, my own talents and also our financial needs mattered less than taking care of them. Later, these "world needs" were balanced again with the other factors and didn't weigh so heavily.

I think this is a beautiful way of making us thinking about our choices and points of balance in life, but also reflect on our basic Givens. I see this as good basis for a self analysis where I stand, where my happiness lies - and if I'm not happy and satisfied with my life and life choices right now, what might be the reason?

So let's put this all together as spread:

Image

The primary factors of life: what is given

1. what you love

2. what the world needs

3. what you can be paid for

4. what you're good at

The secondary factors of life: what we make of it

5. Mission

6. Vocation

7. Profession

8. Passion

The tertiary factors of life: the drawbacks of our choices

9. Delight and fullness, but no wealth

10. Excitement and complacency, but sense of uncertainty

11. Comfortable, but feeling of emptiness

12. Satisfaction, but feeling of uselessness

Where everything comes together:

13. Ikigai - where everything meets and life has meaning

The Orbifold Tarot might be the perfect deck for this reflective spread.

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Re: Ikigai - using tarot to reflect on your life

Post by 2dogs » 26 Nov 2017, 01:46

That's a really useful diagram Nemia :thumbup: . I can see straight away that comfortable, but feeling of emptiness
is where I'm at but labelling work as doing what the world needs is making me feel better that I'm actually contributing something - I forget that when I'm bored and it's too easy :icon_rolleyes: .
If the Lord Almighty had consulted me before embarking on creation thus, I should have recommended something simpler. Alfonso X (the Wise)

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Re: Ikigai - using tarot to reflect on your life

Post by fractalgranny » 26 Nov 2017, 01:48

I could also see it as a four card spread looking at what those four cards have in common.

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Re: Ikigai - using tarot to reflect on your life

Post by theFeeLion » 05 Dec 2017, 00:03

Ooo I like the look of this, I get a certain Barleywine type feel to a spread using it. Maybe even a 2 deck spread.
You could use a suit each for the first 4 cards, the majors for the second 4, then a new deck using minors for the third 4 and finally majors again for the final card...
Come faeries take me out of this dull world. For I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame. - W B Yeats

May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with faeries and talk to the moon. - Unknown

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Re: Ikigai - using tarot to reflect on your life

Post by Geekuma » 05 Dec 2017, 20:24

fractalgranny wrote:
26 Nov 2017, 01:48
I could also see it as a four card spread looking at what those four cards have in common.
Oooh, yes! I always found that using few cards somewhat broadens the spectrum of answers you may get. And 4 card spreads are so classy, cross shape and all ahahaha

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Re: Ikigai - using tarot to reflect on your life

Post by fractalgranny » 05 Dec 2017, 23:00

Geekuma wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 20:24
fractalgranny wrote:
26 Nov 2017, 01:48
I could also see it as a four card spread looking at what those four cards have in common.
Oooh, yes! I always found that using few cards somewhat broadens the spectrum of answers you may get. And 4 card spreads are so classy, cross shape and all ahahaha
Hey, we should try it! Let's do an exchange!

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Re: Ikigai - using tarot to reflect on your life

Post by Geekuma » 05 Dec 2017, 23:26

fractalgranny wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 23:00
Geekuma wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 20:24
fractalgranny wrote:
26 Nov 2017, 01:48
I could also see it as a four card spread looking at what those four cards have in common.
Oooh, yes! I always found that using few cards somewhat broadens the spectrum of answers you may get. And 4 card spreads are so classy, cross shape and all ahahaha
Hey, we should try it! Let's do an exchange!
I'd love to! I'm gonna study the ikigai a little deeper, and I shall have your reading by friday! I'm not that confident on my skills to do this right off the bat, I'm a research nerd! ahhahahah

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Re: Ikigai - using tarot to reflect on your life

Post by fractalgranny » 05 Dec 2017, 23:58

Geekuma wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 23:26
fractalgranny wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 23:00
Geekuma wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 20:24


Oooh, yes! I always found that using few cards somewhat broadens the spectrum of answers you may get. And 4 card spreads are so classy, cross shape and all ahahaha
Hey, we should try it! Let's do an exchange!
I'd love to! I'm gonna study the ikigai a little deeper, and I shall have your reading by friday! I'm not that confident on my skills to do this right off the bat, I'm a research nerd! ahhahahah
Great. I should have mine (for you) done by this Friday some time, too.

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Re: Ikigai - using tarot to reflect on your life

Post by Geekuma » 08 Dec 2017, 05:06

Full disclosure, I want to ask you to take my reading with a pinch of salt, as I am an amateur at best, and I normally talk my querents through the readings. In a normal reading, this would be a first draft, and by chatting with you I would them update my interpretations as informations arise. But I must say I'm pretty proud of my reading, even if it turns out to be tottally off ahahhaa

I used the witches tarot like we agreed on, and since it kinda doesn't work well with reversals, I didn't use them. I did a 4-card-cross type of spread, and clockwise it went like this:

What you Love-
6 of pentacles
You like to help people out! You're a generous person and you like to help those in need. Maybe that is why you first decided to learn the tarot?

What the world needs-
2 of swords
In a world full of certainties, we certainly could use some doubt. The world needs patience and calm. People who are not willing to stop and listen both sides are probably the reason we live in such intolerant times. As brief as a truce may be, it still is a time of peace, wich we certaintly need. It resonates with the 6 of pentacles, as sometimes the best way to help someone is to listen to them. The woman in this particular card remainds me of Lady Justice, as she hear everyone before taking action. Your mission may have something to do with giving a voice to the less fortunate.

What you can be paid for-
5 of wands
From the moment I saw this card, my mind was stuck in law school. This card represents conflict of ideas, debate, and a courtroom just popped into my mind. But it may also stand for marketing and counseling. It opposes 2 of swords greatly, the agression of the enraged versus the passivity of the uncertain. Maybe your vocation lies in diplomacy, resolving conflicts?

What you're good at-
The World

This one was tricky. I believe it shows that under all that daily worries about bills and whatnots, you care deeply about the bigger picture. You're good at seeing situations as they are, and you don't get overwhelmed easily. Taking the 5 of wands and 6 of pentacles in consideration, I could say your profession and passion could be being a teacher, a lawyer, psychiatrist or even a philosopher! Heck, you may even work at Greenpeace or something!

To me, Your ikigai would be something that helps people in a big scale. Solving conflicts and mending hearts.You could be a environmental lawyer, vegan lifestyle youtuber, college ethics teacher, anything! Be it on a courtroom, a classroom or a tarot parlour, helping is the name of the game. Of your game.


Well, to wrap it up, I must say I peeked at the shadow card- 7 of pentacles. Maybe you're somewhere in life you feel your efforts are not enough? Maybe that, and the feeling that to do what you want would take huge amounts of time and energy is keeping you from pursuing your most ambitious life goals. But remember, with effort, comes the rewards.
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Re: Ikigai - using tarot to reflect on your life

Post by fractalgranny » 08 Dec 2017, 12:54

Wow Geekuma, this has got to be one of the most accurate readings I’ve ever gotten. Seriously. I gasped a few times. Let me unwrap this:
Geekuma wrote:
08 Dec 2017, 05:06
What you Love-
6 of pentacles
You like to help people out! You're a generous person and you like to help those in need. Maybe that is why you first decided to learn the tarot?
Yes, I do. Actually just a few days ago I reflected on that a little, and what came up for me is that I really like to contribute. And … I just lent a couple a largish sum of money and we just got a much more generous tax return than we thought, and I’m going to ask my husband’s opinion on telling them they don’t need to give it back. Just like in the card …

What the world needs-
2 of swords
In a world full of certainties, we certainly could use some doubt. The world needs patience and calm. People who are not willing to stop and listen both sides are probably the reason we live in such intolerant times. As brief as a truce may be, it still is a time of peace, wich we certaintly need. It resonates with the 6 of pentacles, as sometimes the best way to help someone is to listen to them. The woman in this particular card remainds me of Lady Justice, as she hear everyone before taking action. Your mission may have something to do with giving a voice to the less fortunate.
Haha, that is SOOO me. I’m always the one who drags in a different point of view, and I hate persuading people to do anything. Again, something I just had an important conversation about with a coworker.

What you can be paid for-
5 of wands
From the moment I saw this card, my mind was stuck in law school. This card represents conflict of ideas, debate, and a courtroom just popped into my mind. But it may also stand for marketing and counseling. It opposes 2 of swords greatly, the agression of the enraged versus the passivity of the uncertain. Maybe your vocation lies in diplomacy, resolving conflicts?
So – this IS what I’m being paid for. I’m a counsellor by profession, and the particular area I work in in the counselling part of my job is conflict, and it looks JUST like in that card. The conflicts are very large and have many aspects. Amazing!

What you're good at-
The World

This one was tricky. I believe it shows that under all that daily worries about bills and whatnots, you care deeply about the bigger picture. You're good at seeing situations as they are, and you don't get overwhelmed easily. Taking the 5 of wands and 6 of pentacles in consideration, I could say your profession and passion could be being a teacher, a lawyer, psychiatrist or even a philosopher! Heck, you may even work at Greenpeace or something!
Yup, I’m the big picture gal. Actually, right now I don’t have a lot of daily worries, thanks be to my Higher Powers. And then you said a psychiatrist and even a philosopher? Guess what my undergrad degrees were in – psychology and philosophy. And I’ve always said I’d love to be a corporate philosopher. Guess what, now I work in a huge organization and I’m sort of an elder there and am always talking about the philosophical underpinnings of our work. Oh – and I’ve worked for Greenpeace for over 5 years …

To me, Your ikigai would be something that helps people in a big scale.
That’s part of my job. One part is the counselling but the other one is to help create and implement systems that make it easier for my employer to truly help people.



Well, to wrap it up, I must say I peeked at the shadow card- 7 of pentacles. Maybe you're somewhere in life you feel your efforts are not enough? Maybe that, and the feeling that to do what you want would take huge amounts of time and energy is keeping you from pursuing your most ambitious life goals. But remember, with effort, comes the rewards.
Well, yes. Emotionally, I feel a bit removed from my work right now. Also, and it’s interesting that this hasn’t come up in this reading, I’m really putting quite a bit of energy into my writing life at the moment. Between work and family and friends, writing often gets the short shrift. Also, I CONSTANTLY have the feeling that I’m not doing enough in a lot of areas of my life. This card is so great in that sense. Here he already has quite a bit, but he still seems to be wondering, is that enough?

Thank you for a fantastic reading. A very hard act to follow.

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