Use your intuition to clarify your purpose (+a 5-Step tarot spread)

One of the frameworks that is key to Cultivating Cash and generating Wealth on Purpose is to use your intuition to embody your Ikigai.

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that means your reason for being, or why you wake up in the morning. It combines what you’re good at, what you love, what the world needs, and what you can get paid to do in a series of overlapping circles that then help you sort through your passions, professions, vocation, and mission. The place in which all circles overlap is your Ikigai. 

Use your intuition - Ikigai venn diagram

These graphics are static, and so we think of our purpose as a static thing we are meant to be DOING. But to me, your purpose is ever-changing. What you love changes. What you can get paid for changes. What you are good at changes. And what the world needs certainly changes. If your purpose is something you DO, the goal posts will always be moving and you’ll always be behind a feeling of fulfillment.

To me, then, your Ikigai is a way of BEING. 

I know that makes things feel softer and more “woo”, but it’s much simpler to BE then to DO. Even if our society tells us we only exist to DO and PRODUCE and GENERATE. When you find confidence in your BEING, it makes taking aligned action more easeful. 

To help you contemplate your own purpose, I’ve created this five-card tarot spread you can use as a guided journal prompt for you getting closer to understanding and living your Ikigai. 

If you’re already a fan of tarot and have your own deck(s), enjoy! If you don’t use tarot but are curious to try, there are online tools you can use to draw cards. Here’s one that is easy to do and provides a short description of what each card means! Just select the deck, pull a card, and then refresh and start over again. 

Use your intuition: your Ikigai tarot spread

Use your intuition - Ikigai tarot spread

This five-card spread reflects the core circles of the Ikigai concept and the center in which they all overlap, allowing you to use your intuition to clarify your purpose.

  • Card 1: What you’re good at. Look at the card you’ve drawn. What skills, talents, or hard-fought habits does it speak to?
  • Card 2: What you love. In what ways does this card speak to your heart and the things that light you up?
  • Card 3: What the world needs. What call to arms is this card speaking to? 
  • Card 4: What you can be paid for. If this card was a career or job or gig, what might it be? 
  • Card 5: Where first four cards overlap. What elements from each are present in this one card? How is it greater than the sum of the other parts? 

I’d think of this more as a guided journal prompt as opposed to something predictive. It’s a visual way to get out of your own story, or a chance to look at yourself from another angle and perspective. Don’t feel tied to what the cards say. If they don’t make sense, challenge them by asking why! If they feel right, dig in deeper and get to the root of why it feels right. 

And for this spread specifically, I’d go ahead and interpret all cards as upright. Assume positive intent from the tarot here. 🙂

A sample completed spread

Let’s set some context for the asker of this spread.

We’ll say this is a woman who has just been laid off from her sales job at a software company and is recognizing this as an opportunity to reset what she does in her next role. She’s looking for direction and a way to think through who she wants to be in the world, so then she can determine what she wants to do. 

Use your intuition - Ikigai tarot spread example

Card 1: what you’re good at

Nine of Cups

This woman is very good at building authentic connections with other people.

She generates rapport through a genuine, heart-centered approach to communication. She isn’t afraid to reach out to somebody she feels a connection to, and is also patient enough to wait for the right relationships to wash up upon her own shore. Because of this, she has a strong network of friends, sponsors, contacts, and potential clients will to support her in her future endeavors! These are skills that have served her way in her Sales roles in the past. But instead of connecting on behalf of a tech company, she’s feeling called to connect on behalf of something greater. She doesn’t know what yet, but hopes the next cards will give more clarity. 

Card 2: what you love

Ace of Cups

Our ext-Tech seller loves love! She’s kind of shied away from talking about it in the past because it sounds so cliche and girly, and being girly is not something that has been an acceptable characteristic in her more bro-forward past companies. But nothing lights our girl up more than seeing her friends find love, going to their weddings, seeing their young families grow and change.

She loves hearing other women support each other and show their love and gratitude in ways big and small, private and public. And she loves anything and everything related to the romance genre, whether it’s a Netflix RomCom or a Regency romance novel. 

Card 3: what the world needs

King of Cups

The world needs people who can lead with empathy and the wisdom that only comes from lived experience.

Leadership for so long has been reserved for wealthy, connected, upper class, classically educated men who prioritize growth and progress at all costs. Well, we are seeing the cost to our collective health, wellness, and safety as these homogenous leaders dictate the lives of an increasingly heterogeneous population. How can an old white man understand the experience of a young Black woman? How can a Harvard-educated lawyer understand the challenges and lives of the unhoused? How can a Christian man from Virginia understand the needs of a Muslim immigrant family? How can a person who only speaks English understand what it means to be a people trying to save their near-forgotten one?

An empathic leader doesn’t seek to control but to guide. They don’t seek to dictate, but to understand. They lead with their hearts, not with their egos. And they create space for others to lead by their side. They hold power with, not power over. 

Card 4: what you can be paid for

Ten of Crystals

One of the most obvious ways you can get paid in a capitalist society is to help other people make money and create their own form of abundance.

Whether that’s at a tech company that helps other companies generate revenue, or with individual clients and helping them get their own finances in order. You can also make money by helping people understand what abundance is and feels like for them, whether that is through coaching, therapy, group sessions, becoming a thought leader, or hitting it big with the right kind of social media presence. Abundance is for everybody and everybody wants it, making it a prime thing you can get paid to help others do. 

Card 5: Ikigai 

Nine of Wands

This card visually almost mimics the Ikigai diagram, with concentric shapes forming a beautiful mandala in the center of this card, encircled by nine wands. There is a rising energy in this card. Perhaps our ex-tech woman is meant to help others raise their energy and their vibration. Her state of being is showing up as her highest-vibe self, which helps others raise their own vibrations in turn.

She is like a higher self domino!

This is how she helps them find abundance (what she can get paid to do). Since she already has a healthy network (what she’s good at), she can start to think through what her base has in common and what she can offer them. And since she loves love (what she loves, obvs), she can narrow in on her purpose of helping her clients love themselves, because only when we love ourselves can we live out our own purpose. And she can do this by being an empathic and compassionate leader and coach (what the world needs). 

Now what? Use your intuition – clarify your purpose!

While her vision isn’t crystal clear yet, you can see how these cards tell a story and help the querent (the person asking a question of the cards) get clearer and clearer about each circle of the Ikigai diagram. Each card builds on and speaks to the other, and it all culminates in the fifth card. 

With this spread complete, you can then go on to research some of the things that came up for you. If our tech girl wants to research what it might mean to be an abundance coach, she can do that. If she wants to understand tools for self-love, she can do that. And if she wants to figure out what it legally means to be a licensed coach, she can research what courses she can take to be in compliance with her state’s laws. From five cards come many questions. But they are questions that give us direction, and, dare I say it, purpose. 


If you want to take your Ikigai exploration to the next level and figure out how you connect BEING to DOING in your life, join Cultivating Cash’s program, Wealth On Purpose, and you’ll be well on your way to building a life you’ve only dreamed of. And if you’re looking for more creative, custom-designed tarot spreads, visit Ashley at The Novel Mystic.  


Ashley Christiano is a fantasy writer, experienced tarot reader, and professional astrologer based in Los Angeles. As The Novel Mystic, she combines the power of astrology, tarot, and creative writing to empower women, educate the astro-curious, and inspire her own storytelling. You can find her on Twitter or her website to keep up with the stars, learn more about various esoteric modalities, or get your own tarot reading.

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