This post was written in October 2015, but never published. I am publishing it now, hoping that this exercise could be useful for someone. 

My good friend recently gave me a book to read, which I found unbelievably fascinating (proven by the fact I finished it under 2 hours). Apparently the author has written several more, and just today, I was reading one of his other books, on the topic of the purpose of life. There are several books which promise to unlock the “meaning of life” for you, but this one focuses on how do we locate it in the first place – and why should we?

It is an Estonian author, Armen Tõugu, and much of what he writes about is based on the German theosophy of Rudolf Steiner – who is also the creator of Waldorf schools. I was blown away from the start, but as I was reading the “12 factors of life”, I got an intriguing idea: how about we use Tarot to create a small self-exploring exercise?

So there we go, here is the Purpose in Life Exercise 

The aspects are listed as:

  1. Spiritual Realm
  2. Me
  3. Destiny
  4. Guardian Angel
  5. Tasks (purpose) in life
  6. Will
  7. Feelings
  8. Thoughts
  9. Ancestry (family)*
  10. Life force
  11. Body
  12. External world

* – it is perhaps important to note here, that Estonia, being the Nordic mystery forestland of Ultima Thule as it is, has a very deep connection to nature and trees. “Suguvõsa” translates into “sex shrub” or “family forest”. Later, the word “sugupuu” was introduced to our language – “family tree”, degrading the concept of us all being one forest into one tree. 

What I did was a very ubiquitous shadow work exercise: you take a bunch of terms you wish to explore, and draw cards accordingly. I always draw cards first, interpret later. Twelve cards means twelve shuffles! Always shuffle after every draw in shadow work – that allows you to see which “aspects” are similar or even, the same.

The results were intriguing. I used the Sacred Rose Tarot. Excerpts taken from LWB (in italic)

  1. Spiritual Realm – Queen of Cups. She represents inspirational emotions, and is a sensitive individual given to dreams. She is psychic and reacts strongly to her surroundings. 
  2. Me – Four of Pentacles. A youth plays “king of the mountain” on top of four pentacles. The gold rose of absolute achievement is a proud emblem of honour. 
  3. Destiny – Four of Pentacles. This card signifies material foundations. There is material success, status, power and glory, but gifts and hoarded because of efforts involved in their acquisition. 
  4. Guardian Angel – Two of Cups. This card signifies emotional partnership based on feelings of friendship. Cooperation and understanding imbue the situation. 
  5. Tasks (purpose) in life – The Empress. Natural instincts blessed with fruitful attainment. Involvement with life in a favourable and active way. The mysterious High Priestess has given up her virginal aspect to become the child-bearing Empress. Their natures are now combined and a child of divine nature will eventually be born. 
  6. Will – The Tower. …represents fire and transformation, the test of creativity and of an individual’s intentions in life. Breakdown of values. Old ways are no longer of value. Unseen forces at work. Humbling events. Awesome powers that demand attention. 
  7. Feelings – Eight of Wands. …sudden action and hasty decisions. […] could indicate a love affair or sudden marriage. 
  8. Thoughts – Two of Swords. …calling an emotional and mental truce. …scene is which duels are fought for honour. Peace restored. The waters of emotion can still rise. 
  9. Ancestry (family)* – The Star. The stars are combined to form a composite of all attributes that can be used as means toward worthwhile ends and improvement in outlook and position. The Empress has been transformed into an iridescent figure who, confident despite the unknown, brings light and hope to everything around her. 
  10. Life force – Queen of Wands. …warm, affectionate, charming, authoritative, determined. 
  11. Body – Eight of Cups. Abandoned success. Disheveled, with wild hair and a mad look of despair. 
  12. External world – Six of Swords. Earned success. When intellectual adjustments such as change of consciousness are made, rewards are received.