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Using the Cards for Intention Setting

   How To Use The Transformation Oracle Deck For Intention Setting

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by Geniva Shelley, Scholarship Winner

Intention is the force that drives manifestation. It is the way an artist starts with a blank canvas and creates a masterpiece, or how an author turns a blank page into a new universe. It can be found in the simplicity of our daily choices, the clothes we put on in the morning and why, the foods we choose to eat, and the places we choose to be. Intention is the driving force of life, but often in our fast-paced modern world it’s easy to not fully be aware of what all of our intentions are. Setting clear, easy to understand intentions will help narrow down your goals like a laser, making your choices you make clear. This connects to your intuition as well, and helps our mind, body, and spirit exist in harmony.

Intention Setting

When we set an intention, we are making a commitment to ourselves to embody a certain characteristic, rather than a goal where you are attempting to attain something. Goals are the specific steps to achieve an outcome, whereas intentions are surrendering to the process that will lead you to the outcome. Intention setting aids in self-awareness and our ability to recognize ourselves, as when we embody a specific intention or archetype it becomes clear the areas in our lives we need more or less of that specific intention. By setting an intention, you can focus your thoughts like a laser on what you want to manifest in your life.

STEP 1 Reflection

Intention setting using the Transformation Oracle Deck starts with self-reflection. This is an activity best done in the morning, or at the beginning of the week.Something you can do is set a new intention every new moon, so that your intention grows along with the phases of the moon. Take a moment to reflect, you may find it beneficial to meditate or find a space where you will not be disturbed. What is it in your life you want to focus on? What’s something that triggered you this week, and why? What traits will benefit your life if you embody them? Perhaps it’s the need for more confidence, or a cooler temper. Pay attention to any imagery, colors, words, or symbolisms that may come to mind during this time, as they may relate to the card that matches your intention. intuitively we know what we need to fulfill our lives. This is the reason you may find yourself attracted to certain cards in the deck, either because they are lessons and archetypes that you’ve encompassed, or they are intentions that we need to embody to transform ourselves into our next phase.
The next step after you have reflected and chosen a card, is visualization. Imagine yourself in the image as the main character. What are you doing? What do you feel? Look around you inside the portrait, where are you? How are you presenting yourself, are you fully clothed, or are you wearing revealing clothing? Visualize yourself in this scene, and understand what the symbolism means for your intention.

STEP 2 Visualization

The next step after you have reflected and chosen a card is a visualization exercise. Focus on the image of your card, you may find it easier to look right at the card, or look at the card then close your eyes to visualize the scene. Imagine yourself in the image as the main character portrayed in the card. What are you doing? What do you feel? Look around you inside the portrait, where are you? How are you presenting yourself, are you fully clothed, or are you wearing revealing clothing? Imagine the scene is like a movie, and everything around you is active and full of life. Think about the role you play in this world, and allow yourself to completely become that character. Try to pay attention to any symbolism you see in your mind’s eye during this exercise, and contemplate on what those symbols mean for your intention. See clearly the opportunities that would reveal themselves if you fully embodied the traits of the card in your daily life, and imagine the ways you can apply this role to the ways you think, act, and speak.

STEP 3 Words of Affirmation

Words of affirmation are an incredibly powerful tool that goes along with intention setting perfectly, as they give a precise and positive focus on the intention you are setting. An affirmation is a phrase that says something is always true. Having an affirming mantra relating to your intention changes our thoughts towards our intention, and convinces our minds that it is true and has already manifested. When we use affirming language, the changes we want naturally come as our minds naturally start to believe the affirmation is true. If you continue to use positive affirmations relating to your intention, your thoughts will naturally shift to align with that energy and help you to manifest the changes you desire in your life.

STEP 4 Understanding and Living With Intention

Once your intention is set, the most important part of this process is self-awareness and observing yourself. When we live intentionally, the benefits of our intention will naturally find us. You may find it beneficial to build self check-ins into your schedule, moments in the day where you can reflect back to your intention, and to the ways you have lived by that intention, or have not. You may find intentions set for the month easier to follow than intentions for a day, as more focus and energy is put into the intention, the more you will apply that intention to motivate your everyday actions, but it can also be beneficial to set an intention specific to the day you would like to have. The key to intention setting is self-awareness, because everything we do naturally is with intention. It is about narrowing that focus to achieve our desired goals.

Combining Cards for Intentions

Using one card can be very powerful for setting a focused intention, but by using multiple cards as well as spreads, you can be even more specific or even change the intention. Perhaps there’s a specific situation that you desire more confidence in, it could be beneficial to use a card representing the situation and a card representing the desired intention behind your actions. I like to use multiple cards as a way to see it more as a moving picture, rather than just one still image. Or if you’re trying to channel certain elements, combining elements could be beneficial, like fire and air to aid in motivation and drive, or water and earth for nurturing relationships.
For more than one card, I like to have a space that I can leave the spread like an altar or a space where you can see the cards but they will not be disturbed. Choose up to 3 cards that coincide with your intention you’d like to set. Lay the cards out, and begin the visualization exercise on each card, one by one, placing yourself in the image. Then, imagine the combined cards all as one single scene, and what that scene would look like. Are you one person moving through phases, or are you a team of individuals made into one? How do the people in the cards compliment each other? What strengths do they bring as a team? What is their unified message that they all agree on? Set your affirmation based on your intention. Affirmations are very important for intentions with more than one card, as it focuses and unifies the energy that you are channeling from each card. This is something that you can easily adapt to your magical practices. Choose herbs, candles, colors, and symbols that coincide with your intention. As previously stated, an excellent time to set an intention is on the New Moon. Set your intention for the next moon cycle and imagine your intention waxing and growing with the moon phases, until at the full moon your intention reaches maximum potential. New moons work so well as a time for setting intentions because new moons represent rebirth, growth, and new beginnings.

Examples Using The Cards

For this example, I will be using the card Purification for my intention. After self-reflection, I have been aware that I need to embody more traits from the Purification card to transform my life. Purification represents the ability to convert toxic thoughts to positive ones that grow exponentially further than the original toxic thoughts and ideas, which is the basis of the intention I’d like to set. I start my meditation by reflecting on how Purification will positively change my life, and visualize myself embodying those traits. I find it a very powerful tool to use the imagery in the card to meditate on, and imagine yourself as the person in the card. When I did this for Purification, I found myself imagining myself as the peacock rather than the woman in the imagery. I discovered that I really resonated with the peacock symbolism, and delved deeper into the meaning of the peacock and how I can apply that to my intention. Peacocks have the ability to consume venomous animals like snakes and lizards, and they convert the toxins into pigment for their feathers. This visualization and meditation exercise helped me come up with the affirmation that would benefit me most, which is “I am in control over my thoughts and emotions.” Repeating this affirmation helps set the intention, remind and encourage yourself, and have responsibility over our thoughts. By understanding and encompassing the characteristics of the card we would like to focus our intention on, we are able to form a powerful understanding of a way to act and behave that we can reflect on throughout our day, week, or month, whatever time frame you would like to set for this intention.

Below are some further examples of using the cards for intuition setting using single cards as well as spreads.

Purification card in Sonya Shannon's Transformation Oracle


CARD: Purification
INTENTION: Convert toxic thoughts to positive ones
VISUALIZATION: Imagine yourself as a peacock consuming a poisonous snake and converting the toxins into beautiful pigments for your feathers. See the toxins in your life that you must transform into positive energy. Imagine yourself giving that healing energy back into the earth and those around you.
AFFIRMATION: “I am in control over my thoughts and emotions.”

Initiation card in Sonya Shannon's Transformation Oracle


CARD: Initiation
INTENTION: Step into your power; welcome new opportunity
VISUALIZATION: Picture yourself inside the card, being crowned as you transition into a new phase of maturity. Perhaps your goal is to step into a new role, like get a promotion or find a new job. Visualize what stepping into your power looks like for you, and see the opportunities that present themselves.
AFFIRMATION: “I am stepping into a new phase of my life.”

Forgiveness card in Sonya Shannon's Transformation Oracle


CARD: Forgiveness
INTENTION: Release grudges, forgive others and ourselves
VISUALIZATION: Picture yourself in the card, channel the same feelings that are expressed by the woman depicted in the card. Imagine her vulnerability as she accepts humanity for their flaws and understands that even at their worst, people are still only human. Perhaps you need to forgive yourself, or forgive others, this can be tailored for your intention. Imagine yourself letting go of past hurt, and opening your heart to forgiveness.
AFFIRMATION: “I am no longer controlled by resentment.”

Strategy card in Sonya Shannon's Transformation Oracle


CARD: Strategy
INTENTION: Quick mental planning and strategy making; see the next steps clearly
VISUALIZATION: See yourself inside the card as the gentleman observing the chessboard. Your gaze and thought-power have generated fiery energy over the gameboard as you consider your next move. With this birds-eye perspective, it’s easy to see what steps you must take to attain your goal. Strategizing becomes easy and natural.
AFFIRMATION: “I have the knowledge I need to solve any problem.”


Two and Three Card Intention SpreadsTwo and Three Card Intention Spreads

Receptivity card in Sonya Shannon's Transformation Oracle Intuition card in Sonya Shannon's Transformation Oracle


CARDS: Intuition, Receptivity
INTENTION: Receive spiritual guidance, listen to your intuition
VISUALIZATION: Visualize or think of what it would be like to listen to your intuition without right-brained logic interfering. See the universe presenting signs and symbols all around you, and trust their messages. Imagine yourself becoming more receptive to the messages that may present themselves, and your intuition flowing freely.
AFFIRMATION: “I listen to what my intuition is saying.”


Journey card in Sonya Shannon's Transformation Oracle Ascent card in Sonya Shannon's Transformation Oracle Harvest card in Sonya Shannon's Transformation Oracle

CARDS: Journey, Ascent, Harvest
INTENTION: Find a new job that will be very successful
VISUALIZATION: See yourself moving through the journey of starting a new career, starting like the man in the Journey card with only your bare necessities. Know that you have all that you need for this new beginning, and see yourself starting at the bottom, then working your way towards the top (Ascent). Focus on yourself as you climb the ranks, and don’t allow judgemental or jealous energies to affect your journey. See yourself at the top, and continue to look up still. After this hard work, looking upwards you are greeted with the fruit of your labors (Harvest). After climbing up through your journey, you can now easily access your fruit, and sit back and let it continue to grow and produce effortlessly.
AFFIRMATION: “My job is a road to success,” “I have a job that fulfills my physical and emotional needs.”

Practice Living With Intention

Regardless of what your intention or intentions are, meditating on mindfulness and being aware of your intentions is an excellent way to take control in your life and focus your goals and what you’d like to manifest. I hope this guide helps you to live with more intention, and inspires you to try using the Transformation Oracle Deck as a tool for manifestation.



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