Voyager Tarot as a Tool for Life and Project Management

Or, “Dude, you got your TPS reports in my manifestation ritual!

While not all endeavors in our lives need be thought out Projects, some of our personal pet projects (as well as our professional ones too!) could do with a little more structure and oversight. This article outlines a method of professional project management combined with aspects of James Wanless’ Mythic Action Plan and the principle of Fortune Creation with the Voyager Tarot.

Where am I? Where am I going? Why am I in this hand basket?

Work Breakdown Structure”?

Critical Path Methodology”?

PERT?[1]

Agile?

SCRUM?!?

Confused yet? The world of Professional Project management is full of Big Words, catchphrases and acronyms.(Those big names and catchphrases? They just let you sound wise and important and let you charge more for yourconsulting services.) Yet, behind all these big words and acronyms used by the “Pros”, project management breaks down into very simple terms. At its’ simplest, managing a project means knowing three things:

  1. Where you are at a given point in time on the project
  2. What your goal is, and how to know when you get there.
  3. What Action it’s going next to continue to your goal.

To be clear: I’m not advocating using the Tarot to plan out every step of an entire project! If it’s worthy of project management then you can and should determine the goals, steps and timeframe by normal means. Voyager can add a layer of intuitive awareness to your work. Too often we make rational, logical plans and yet mentally skip the subtle steps; details or ideas that can help us advance, avoid obstacles or if need be, change course when we get off track.

To help intuit what you need while managing your projects, I present the Voyager Project Lifecycle reading.

The Voyager Project Lifecycle spread:

So here’s the reading for a given point in a project:

SIGNIFICATOR: Your Significator can be a physical object (like a flow chart, piece of money, or a visionboard) or a card of your choosing to represent the end goal of your project. If you can’t think of anything else to place here then try using The Wheel card as it reminds us of the cyclic nature of projectmanagement. You can also place a card from another deck here as well.

BEARING: This is the “Where am I” card. It inspires us what to look out for in the ways of impendingobstacles and/or opportunities.

ACTION: When taking your next active step, this card reminds us what to remember, to focus on andwatch out for. If you receive a family card (or a Court Card) in this position, consider who is, who might be, or can be involved in the project or this Action.

EVALUATION: After you’ve taken your action, you need to evaluate the results of that action. In‘professional’ terms this means having clear “pass-fail criteria.” How can you easily determine if your action was successful? Did you take one step forward but two steps back? EVALUATE can also help youclarify your overall goals. Did you complete a milestone? Some cards have clear implications: For example: The Hanged Man may mean you need to wait for the results to come back before proceeding with the next step.

PLAN: “No plan survives its conception.” Now that you’ve taken an Action and Evaluated the results, it’stime to plan the next Action. If you’re off course, use this time to re-evaluate your overall plan, and possibly modify what that next Action will be. Be prepared to adjust, revise and change course as needed.

On repeating the cycle:

Lifecycles repeat. In fact, to borrow an idea from Barbara Moore, the last card in the spread becomes the first cardin the next iteration of the reading. The last card of the cycle, the Plan card, therefore becomes the Bearing card ofthe next reading. If you keep detailed notes, it can help to recall important details as the project rolls on.

On kicking things off and ending it all

Sometimes a blank page can be intimidating, so I like to draw a Kickoff card before starting a project plan. Think of the Kickoff card as a pre-project Bearing reading. You can use the Kickoff cards as the first Bearing card in yourproject cycle!

Ideally, you’ll know when you’re done. But sometimes we get caught up in the details and keep adding “just one more thing” to the to-do list. The Evaluation step can help you to look back at our overall to-do list and see whatyou can check off the to-do list. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of crossing out or checking off items onyour to-do list. Enforcing that in your project management cycle makes sure you take a moment to appreciate theeffort you’ve made so far and keeps your sights on the end of the road. If you drew a Kickoff card initially, and then drew that card again during the Evaluation phase, then perhaps it’s time to take a more serious look at your to-do list: Have you really done all that you can at this time?
Finally, for those more mathematically inclined, here’s the cycle re-arraigned into a more linear format. Look familiar to anyone?
(If it looks like a sinusoidal wave (sin or cosine) you’re right! Have a cookie!)

 

Special thanks to:

  • James Wanless, for the opportunity to study under his guidance and learn from his wisdom,
  • Barbara Moore, for the idea of moving cards within a spread,
  • Jaymi Elford (a.k.a. Innowen) for the idea of a non-card significator in the center of the spread as a focus,
  • My classmates at the Voyager Teaching Intensive 2011 class, for all their great feedback!

~Andrew


[1] Program Evaluation and Review Technique, developed for the U.S. Navy Special Projects Office in 1957 to support the U.S. Navy’s Polaris nuclear submarine project (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PERT)

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