New Beginnings by the Cards: The Fool

IMG_1188It’s January, the beginning of a new year, new adventures and, for many of us, new resolutions. What do you want to change, embrace or explore? Whatever your goals and intentions for 2015, let the Fool guide you.

A traditional tarot deck begins with a card commonly called the Fool. It may seem a strange choice, since the tarot is all about wisdom and guidance, and yet at its very beginning is a card that often shows an individual leaping off of a cliff, full of innocence and optimism and without, perhaps, much caution.

So why is this card perfect for any new journey? Because whenever we decide to take the risk of trying something new, we are optimistically stepping into the unknown. We can’t know what obstacles we’ll face. We can’t know how or when we’ll meet our goal. But forward we go, full of daring, willing to try–and that is what makes the journey possible.

For example: if your goal is to be healthier, you’re beginning a new way of living, one that may take perseverance, trial and error and a willingness to learn from what works and what doesn’t. The greater your ability to tackle the challenges, try new things, and accept that you are not yet an expert, the greater your odds of achieving victory.

With any new beginning, it’s time to leave behind what no longer serves you and look forward to another way of living. So take the risk, follow your instincts and let the adventure begin!

Tarot Reading & Life Coaching

IMG_1378As many of you know, I have recently added tarot reading to my repertoire of coaching practices…  And I must admit, it took me by surprise. It seemed shocking enough that I would move from being a lawyer to a life coach, but tarot cards? That’s another level of crazy all together!

Sometimes when you get in touch with your authentic self, and begin to “follow your bliss,” as Joseph Campbell said, it really doesn’t take you where you think you’re going to go. And yet… usually that means you’re heading somewhere much better.

I’ve adored tarot cards for almost 15 years, as a kind of passionate hobby.  I love the art, the symbolism, the ability they give me to tap into my intuition. Tarot cards were my original life coach. They are simple, gentle, highly effective and, most of all, a lot of fun.

So at a recent life coach seminar, I read tarot cards for 8 of my friends and fellow coaches. From there, I ended up reading tarot cards via email and phone for almost 70 other friends and coaches, all within a 3 week period. It was such a blast, and so highly transformative and even healing for so many people, that I knew this was something I had to do.

Tarot reading isn’t a component of every coaching call, but it can offer creative solutions, new insights and other gifts that enhance and deepen the coaching experience. Interested in learning more? Check out my coaching page and be sure to let me know any questions you have.

Nothing is learned except through joy.

-Ioanna Salajan



Soul Dreams

IMG_0962Every night, your soul sings to you.  Are you listening?

Dreams can be tricky things.  Our souls do not speak in clear, logical language; they speak through symbols.  Some symbols are universal, but most are far more personal, and cannot be interpreted by anyone but the dreamer.  This is work we have to do for ourselves, if we are to learn what our unconscious minds are trying to tell us.

Sometimes dreams burst into consciousness, with night after night of vivid nightmares.  Other times, you may find that you don’t seem to be remembering your dreams at all.  Whether your dreams are trying to get your attention or you’re looking for a closer connection with the voice of your soul, there are some simple tools that can be useful when decoding your dreams. My favorite method was originally developed by Carl Jung, and is discussed by Martha Beck in her book Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny.

To begin, keep a dream journal.  Immediately after waking, write down whatever you can remember, no matter how small or insignificant it seems. The more you do this, the more likely it is that you’ll remember your dreams.

Next, identify the symbols in your dream.  For example, say you dream that you are boarding an airplane with many other people, while carrying a red bag. You might identify the symbols as “airplane,” “many people,” “red bag.”  You can also identify verbs as symbols:  “boarding;” “carrying.”

One at a time, pretend that you have become the symbol.  Say to yourself, “I am the airplane.”  Go on to list three words to describe yourself (“I am large, silver, empty”), and then describe what your purpose as the airplane is (“to carry people to their destination”) and how you’re here to help the dreamer (“I’m taking her to the next stage in her journey”).  Go through each symbol this way, then go back and look over the dream as a whole, with this deeper understanding of its individual parts.

This technique can only be fully appreciated through practicing it, because what comes up may be entirely unexpected.  The way that your symbols speak to you, and interact with one another, will be nothing short of a mosaic of personal messages.  It is not always immediately clear–sometimes you have to sit with a symbol or its message for hours or even days–but often there is deep wisdom to be found here.

For the best results, either go through this exercise with another person (I often lead my coaching clients through this process), or write it out.  This is much more powerful than simply thinking your way through it, although even that can be invaluable in a pinch.

Wishing you sweet dreams~