In the previous chapter we went shopping for the items we’ll be using in our sacred tarot work. I hope you enjoyed the process of procuring those items and that they’ve found a nice home within your home!

Now we move to the internal preparations, which are just as important but easier to overlook. By internal preparations, I mean laying the mental groundwork for what’s to come by setting mindful intentions. Many tarot newcomers buy a deck and start using it without preparing much for what they’re doing. As with so much in life, intention is huge. And when learning a new intuitive method like tarot, taking special care with the internal preparations will empower you to do much more effective work. Mindful intentions will help activate the awakening process, leading to faster, easier, and longer-lasting results.

TAKING INVENTORY OF MORNING & EVENING ROUTINES

Before we start working with the cards, the internal preparations process is all about planting the seeds for effective tarot work. One excellent way to do that now is to observe what your morning and evening routines look like.

What do you do first thing in the morning, on a typical day? What kind of habits do you follow, between the time your alarm goes off and you head out to work? Do you get out of bed right away or snooze a time (or two) first? Do you have some kind of exercise regimen and/or meditation practice? Do you eat a healthy breakfast? Do you have a normal routine of getting your kids ready for school? For this next week, I invite you to observe mindfully and take special notice of how you’re occupying this special time of the day.

Meanwhile, observe your evening routine too. What do you typically do in the couple hours before bedtime? Do you watch television, play video games, socialize in person with actual people, or something else? And what do you do after going to bed, but before falling asleep? Do you read a book, play around on your phone, or go straight to sleep?

Please don’t look to change anything; just observe with new eyes. Notice what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how it makes you feel and think. Are the things you do in the mornings and evenings serving you? Do they make you feel better, more motivated, healthier? Do you do them because they serve some purpose or do you do them because they’re a habit? Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to shame you into giving up television or social media! This exercise is to help open your eyes to the reality of your life a little bit.

As we get ready to start working with tarot it will be important to establish a good time for you to practice. We’ll talk about why and how in the next chapter. For now, enjoy observing your AM and PM routines. May you learn a little more about yourself and your life as you do.

THE EIGHT PRIMARY VIRTUES OF SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

Awakening is one of the most profound and transformative experiences we can have in our lifetimes. And yet, paradoxically, it’s also one of life’s most natural processes. Countless sages have said for centuries – each in their own way – that the very purpose of life is to awaken to the divinity that sits at the seat of our soul.

If it’s a natural process, then why doesn’t everyone experience spiritual awakening in their lifetime? Many of us are too busy coping with the responsibilities of life to focus our attention on what’s happening deep inside of us. Plus, modern Western society doesn’t place a premium on cultivating a more spiritual awareness, although that appears to finally be changing. Let’s face it, our many modern conveniences and distractions certainly don’t help either. (I’m looking at you, cell phone!)

Another reason more people don’t awaken is that it’s a rocky road. Going through the experience is awesome in the literal sense of the word, but it also brings plenty of challenges to us and our loved ones. There are incredible breakthroughs, but perplexing and frustrating setbacks too. I guess you could say that the awakening experience is a lot like life!

This purpose of this book is more than just to teach you about tarot; it’s also my intention to help prepare you for the awakening experience that tarot may bring about in you. Based on my experience, I’ve noticed eight primary virtues that are particularly important on this path. We never have to practice them anywhere close to perfectly, but they all can be ways to measure how we’re doing on our awakening journey. Bringing your conscious awareness to them at any time can provide a very helpful spiritual self-diagnostic. Focusing on these virtues can motivate you and keep you on track.

Now as we engage in internal preparations for this tarot awakening journey, it is a good time to look at these virtues and consider what they mean and how they may support us going forward.