Six Geese a-Laying: Making something new and precious as they bring life to this world.

Long before Rhonda Byrne popularized the so-called law of attraction with The Secret, there have been self-help authors and teachers writing about ways to bring new things into your life. Some of these are down-to-earth and some have more mystical approaches. There is Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich. Joseph Murphy explored the subconscious mind in As a Man Thinketh. NLP co-founder Richard Bandler  started a modern way of improving your life. Two of his students, Tony Robbins and Paul McKenna, became well-known motivational speakers. Sandra Anne Taylor (my sort-of neighbor) has her quantum success model.

The list goes on. Creative Visualization, whether you prefer the book by Shakti Gawain, Ophiel or Denning & Phillips. The Silva Mind Control method. (Richard Bach used this to write Jonathan Livingston Seagull.) Modern productivity guru Peter Allen invented a popular system and book called Getting Things Done, or GTD to its aficionados. (I felt it was overly complicated myself.) There is The Kybalion, and anything from William Walker Atkinson, or indeed much of the New Thought movement. Christian Science. Joseph J. Weed’s AMORC teachings.

I could probably come up with more, and that’s off the top of my head. Whether these teachers and authors have a magical or mystical approach, they all have approaches to achieving one’s goals in life, and sometimes those goals are materially focused. In short, what is popularly called “manifestation.” But what does manifestation have to do with tarot and oracle cards?


First, what is manifestation? I think for a lot of people, manifesting implies there is some kind of cosmic cash drawer ready to hand out money for anything that they wish for hard enough. Or winning a jackpot supplied by Gringott’s Wizarding Bank. My own belief is more mundane, as I believe manifestation is about applying focus in a systematic way to achieve specific goals. However, mundane does not mean easy nor effortless.

Focus means giving attention to something, and focus may bring seemingly miraculous results. Look at Microsoft. That company didn’t magically appear as a powerhouse overnight. Founder Bill Gates had and maintained focus to build his company, even through early missteps and failures.

In my hypnosis studies I learned about something called the reticular activating system (RAS). This is a neurological function that screens out irrelevant sensory data. Conversely it makes us aware of desired sensory data. That means we are more likely to notice what we are focused on.

As an example, suppose we want to find a rare, out-of-print book. We know what the cover looks like and have imagined seeing the book. While visiting an antique store one day, we spot that book on a dusty top shelf while ten other customers completely ignore it. Our focus on locating that rare book allowed the RAS to makes us aware of it. Of course, it helped that we went to an antique store, as such a book isn’t likely to appear at a Barnes and Noble bookstore.


In order to focus, there must be specific goals. For some people that is the hard part — knowing what it is they really want. The canonical example is that people often say they want more money. Is that really because they want to have bundles of cash lying around the house? Or is it because they want to take a vacation to Hawaii, get a new car or have a retirement fund for old age? It’s not always easy to figure out what we truly want, and then to commit to getting it. I know for myself, it’s easy to come up with broad goals, but being more specific or putting them on paper is a challenge.

This is where our fancy divination cards can be useful. Our brains are designed to think visually. Even the person who thinks he doesn’t visualize actually does so; otherwise he wouldn’t recognize people’s faces or his home. So it makes sense to take advantage of this visual capacity by using visual items that inspire us: our cards.

One way to choose goals is to go through your deck and look for one or more cards that relate to a goal. What are the components of that goal? Is it more about emotional or material fulfillment? Are we looking for success or praise? To translate a goal into the images of a deck means understanding that goal. The processes of picking cards can help to refine it, either gaining more understanding or becoming more specific. As a bonus, the image on the card(s) presents something the mind can focus on or be inspired by. Again, this is appealing to our innate visual capacity.

If I were to use my book search example above with a Waite-Smith styled tarot, I might choose the Star (guidance and direction) and Four of Cups (something being gifted to a sitting person). The Four of Cups seems like an odd choice, but it’s the one my mind kept presenting to me as I mentally sorted through my deck just now, so I am going to listen to myself. A prompt from the deep mind is likely important.

frenchcartomancy_15_bearfrenchcartomancy_23_miceUsing Lenormand, a person might choose Bear and Mice to represent their desired weight loss; perhaps adding the Sun or Tree to enhance the idea of following a healthy approach to their goal. If the goal isn’t obvious, then the cards could even be used to help brainstorm.

This is a process I intend to use myself this year in conjunction with goal setting. I could use some more intention and definition in my own life, and want to do a little more conscious planning or manifesting myself.

On a personal note, this was a challenging writing experience. As I was making a final review before publishing, I somehow lost my entire post as my browser went unintentionally to a new page. WordPress should have had an auto-save for me but did not. So if this post seems rough, it’s because I had to write it a second time. But with perseverance I still manifested it!

Do you manifest, whatever that means to you? Do you have a model for how it works that differs from mine? Would you like me to write more about this topic, or does anything remotely related to the law of attraction make you pull your hair out? Let me know in the comments!