A Guide to Intention-Setting | Eclipse Edition

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or outside of the continental US), you’re probably aware of Monday’s upcoming eclipse.

I know at least two people who are making the trek to the path of totality (read: $6 a gallon gas prices and $900 a night hotel room prices) to witness the purportedly life-changing experience. Me, I’ll be stretched out on a blanket on Lemon Hill sipping beer and doing my magick on the sly (I hang out with a lot of muggles, people).

A solar eclipse happens when a new moon passes between the earth and the sun. Astrologically speaking, this is a pretty major event–think new moon power times two (or times four, if the moon is in your eleventh house). This means that the intentions you speak to the cosmos at the start of this lunation have even greater potential to be manifested than usual, so take advantage and take note of these intention-setting tips to help you focus your attention on what you really want.

Pull Out Your Tarot Deck

As a cardslinger, I consult the tarot for damn near everything, and intention-setting is no exception. When it comes to setting intentions, it’s super important to be clear, and tarot can help separate the grain from the chaff, so to speak. Choose a deck that speaks to you of excitement and possibility and choose a spread specifically designed to help you pinpoint precisely what your heart desires. Lucky for you, I’ve whipped one up for the occasion.

The Intention-Setting Spread

The Wild Unknown Tarot

What does my heart deeply yearn for?

What is my intuition trying to tell me?

What whim or shadow is keeping me from focusing on what I really want?

Which desire should I prioritize?

Which desire should I set aside for the time being?

How might I channel my desires towards my highest good?

Pull Out Your Journal 

No tarot reading is complete without pen and paper to flesh things out, and neither is an intention-setting sesh. When ideas are swirling about in our heads, it’s easy to become distracted and it’s hard to prioritize. The act of committing thoughts to paper makes it possible for us to view them as a totality which in turn makes it easier for us to discern which resonate, which don’t, which are unrealistic, and which are right on the money. Likewise, we can use these notes to help us break tasks into smaller, digestible pieces so we can actually get somewhere in terms of our goals.

Say, for example, you want to to start a business. You first have to determine what sort of business you’d like to open, who you’re going to serve, where you’re going to serve them, what you’re going to serve them, marketing, finance, potential partnerships, taxes, databases, timelines…

In other words, many of our best projects and ideas never get off the ground because we’re not willing to be realistic about what it takes to manifest them.

Think of the intention-setting process as getting real about what we want and mapping out the path we’ll need to walk to get there. When we do this, our dreams develop potential and we begin to believe that it’s possible to achieve them. As we begin to actually work towards achieving our goals, this seed of belief blossoms until we’re convinced there isn’t anything we can’t do, and we take each new risk and tackle each new obstacle with the faith that we can do this thing.

Journal Prompts for Intention-Setting

Imagine yourself living your perfect life. Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? How do you feel? What do you value?

Think of what it might take for you to manifest the scene you just imagined. List the resources you’d need to acquire to get there. Think of what you might have to do to build the relationships you imagined. Think of which risks would you have to take in order to realize yourself in that place and time.

How much do you want to live this perfect life? What are you willing to do to attain it?

Now, imagine a life that’s not perfect, but that resonates with who you are and meets your needs. How does this life make you feel? Where are you? Who are you with? What are you doing? How do you feel? What do you value?

What are some of the things you might have to do to attain this life? What can you do today to help you move towards your vision?

Make a list of “I Will” Statements

There’s something powerful about declaring what you’ll do aloud. It implies more agency than a wish–wishes are often wistful things born out of ingratitude for what we have and an inability to accept who we are (are wishes other things? Of course they are. A wish can be a promise you make with the universe, a wish can pluck what you want from the cosmos. “A dream is a wish your heart makes” for sure, but it must come from a place of hope, not a place of helplessness. *steps off soapbox*).

An “I will,” on the other hand, is a promise–it’s a declaration that you will not be a passive observer in your own life, that you will not sit around waiting for the world to bestow upon you whatever you think you deserve.

I don’t know many things for certain, but I do know this: if you don’t boldly, courageously, actively pursue what you want, you’ll never get it.

Saying “I will do this” is making a commitment to achieving your goals; it’s relying on yourself to do the rewarding yet challenging work of seeing your dreams realized. When you place pen to parchment and scroll the steps you’ll take to reach your destination, the path is clear. And when you speak these promises to the cosmos, you invite the universe to hold you accountable to doing what you said you would do.

Seal it with A Ceremony

Rituals help program our minds, bodies, and souls to do the work set forth through our intentions. Slipping into an alpha state and enacting practices that have meaning to us bring our being into alignment with our highest good. Even outspoken atheists like Alain de Botton recognize the importance of spiritual practice in improving the quality of life, so if you’re a loving skeptic, give yourself permission to do something goofy yet helpful to move you into a place of agency.

If you’re a newb, you can begin simply–light some incense, light a candle, and speak your intentions aloud. If you’re a seasoned pro, you can do as I plan to–put your power jewelry on. Wear clothing that you associate with new beginnings (For this eclipse, I have a dark gray caftan w/ bleached ombre that looks like an eclipse to me, so I’m gonna wear that). Sigilize your intentions and bring the sigil with you to a high point where you plan to watch the eclipse. Crack open a Yards Pale Ale and as the moon passes over the sun, light your sigil on fire and notice how the flames resemble the corona. Cheers your friends, cheers the universe, and whisper, “so mote it be.”

Much Love and Happy Eclipse,



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Ritual to Channel the Dark Goddess

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5 Replies to “A Guide to Intention-Setting | Eclipse Edition”

  1. Question re the spread – are the cards laid in 2 rows left to right? Or are they laid clockwise from upper left corner? Thank you!

  2. Hi! I recently had my cards read and the reader used the same deck as the one in your photo on this post! I felt very connected to the imagery – would you mind telling me where to purchase it?

    Many thanks,

    1. Hi there! This deck is called The Wild Unknown, and you can purchase it from most major online booksellers (Amazon definitely stocks it). It’s an absolutely amazing deck–very natural and satisfying to read with. I hope you enjoy working with it!

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