I used the Moon Deck to help me set intentions for a week, and it’s a form of self-care that actually worked for me

Let me start by saying that I have absolutely zero experience with things like tarot, oracle guides, crystals, incantations, rituals, or moon cycles. My knowledge of centeredness begins with taking deep breaths and ends with doing yoga. But I’ve always wanted to be someone who’s into those things. I’d love to be the kind of person who sets intentions and is in touch with her intuition. So, when I heard about the Moon Deck, I was intrigued.

The Moon Deck is a set of 44 cards designed to help you uplift your thoughts, change your perspective, and tap into your intuition. Each card has a positive mantra to help guide your practice. I decided to use the deck every morning for five days to help me set intentions.

Once the Moon Deck arrived, I realized I had no idea where to start. Fortunately, it came with a handy guidebook that walked me through the process. The Moon Deck guidebook outlines a few different types of “spreads,” or ways to pull and arrange cards, using between one and seven cards at a time. One didn’t feel like enough, but seven felt like too many for a beginner. I was drawn to the “Inner Compass,” a simple but insightful two-card spread designed to “help bring insight and understanding into your current situation.”

After I learned how to use the deck, it was on to the fun part: interpreting the cards. In the two-card spread, Card #1 clarifies the deeper meaning behind your current situation, while Card #2 reveals the lesson (which I set as my intention for the day) and gives you a ritual or exercise to practice right then and there to help you feel more centered.

Something I noticed right away in the guidebook is that while there are suggestions, the Moon Deck encourages you to experiment and do what feels right to you. I wondered things like, How should I shuffle the deck? Does it matter which direction I flip the cards? Am I doing this right? But there’s no wrong way to use the Moon Deck. It encourages you to do what feels right and make modifications as needed.

Here’s the practice I formed: After shuffling the full deck of cards, I laid my hand on top of them and asked, What do I need to know in this moment? Or What should I pay attention to today? Then, I laid all the cards out face up and chose which ones spoke to me in that moment, usually about 7-10. I reshuffled those, cut the deck, and pulled the top two cards to form a two-card spread. After reading the cards and reflecting on their mantras, I practiced the suggested ritual and tried to remain conscious of the mantras throughout the day. Is that the way you’d use it? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s what worked for me. Read on for what the experience was like.

Day One: All I need is within me.


Card #1: Sisterhood

Card #2: Purpose

My first ritual served to remind me about the importance of body language. As instructed, I held a power pose and did a bee breath exercise, exhaling a hum-like sound and focusing on the vibrations traveling throughout my body. It was very relaxing, yet very empowering.

Day Two: I trust the change unfolding in my life.


Card #1: Nourish

Card #2: Trust

My next ritual encouraged me to do away with the old and let in the new, whether with personal possessions, relationships, or energy and emotions. Basically, it instructed me to Marie Kondo any areas of my life that needed cleansing. I chose to cast away all the things that have been causing me self-doubt lately. (And I also de-cluttered my desk, but that doesn’t sound as impressive.)

Day Three: I release and renew.


Card #1: Integrate

Card #2: Rebirth

The next ritual was something I’m very familiar with: a guided journaling exercise. With the help of some insightful prompts (“What personal rules or beliefs feel outdated to you?”), I sat down to write freely and without a filter, which is something I’m not very familiar with. It felt good to write—to actually write on a piece of paper with a pen—and it felt even better to not worry about things like sentence structure or making a point.

Day Four: I can shape energy in any direction.


Card #1: Purpose

Card #2: Manifest

For my next ritual, I practiced a “fixed gaze” meditation. I’d never heard of fixed gaze meditation, but as instructed, I lit a candle and focused on it without blinking for as long as possible. When my eyes started to water, I closed them and focused on the image of the candle until it disappeared. I liked this because I’m usually horrible at meditating, but the candle gave me focus and a purpose.

Day Five: I trust the mystery of life.


Card #1: Rebirth

Card #2: Mystery

My final ritual was the most daringly different of them all. I blindfolded myself and moved around my bedroom in the dark, becoming more in touch with my other senses and acknowledging and working through the discomfort of not being able to see. Then, I finished with an extra-long and meditative child’s pose.

The thing I liked most about the Moon Deck was that it gave me a tangible ritual to pursue in that moment. I looked forward to using it every morning because I knew I’d have something to do to kickstart my day. I’m very much someone who needs to “get” something out of everything. It’s not my best quality, but listen: life is insane. When I try to meditate, I just end up getting distracted by all the things I could or should be doing instead. So, in a sense, I liked that I actually “got” something out of using the Moon Deck.

In some ways, using the Moon Deck felt like a choose-your-own-adventure game.

That’s due in large part to the way I used the deck. Of course I felt spoken to and of course the cards always felt spot-on; I specifically narrowed down the cards to ones that spoke to me. But even if the process didn’t feel as divine as something like tarot might, it was still motivating. Never underestimate the power of being reminded of the things you already know you need to do.

So, did I actually stick to my intentions?

I certainly tried! After practicing my morning ritual, I kept Card #2 in a visible place on my desk for the rest of the day. Having the mantra/intention right there helped me repeat it, remember it, and stick to it as best I could. Again, I’m someone who benefits from being hit over the head with what I should be doing. Keeping the card out reminded me to consider it and apply it to my life. I found myself saying, “You know what? With focus and intention, I CAN shape energy in any direction.”

If you’ve been wanting to find a new way to practice self-care, feel stuck in a rut, or need the structure of a program to give you regular ritual exercises, try the Moon Deck. It’s very adaptable to your needs, which for a beginner like me is exactly what I was looking for. While I’ll probably never own any crystals or form a moon circle (or fully understand what a moon circle is), I can still use the cards to connect with my creativity and set intentions for my day.

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