- Since I started doing yoga when I was 16, I've had an interest in spirituality and personal development.
- When I was introduced to Inner Compass cards, I thought they were a form of tarot. But rather than provide insight into your future, they act as a form of guidance, offering wisdom from Taoism, Buddhism, and I Ching.
- I used the cards during a session with founder Neel van Lierop a couple of months ago, and have been using them ever since for myself and with family to work through deep-seated issues or simply offer time for introspection.
- Though I wouldn't suggest these cards as a replacement for therapy to anyone in need of it, they're a great addition to it. For me, this was a resource to help look inward and grow spiritually.
My friends often look at me like I'm an alien when I start talking to them about my love for crystal healing, Vedic astrology, numerology, tarot, and yin yoga. For me, on the other hand, the mere mention of those topics or anything related sparks an immediate interest and curiosity.
So, when I got an email about the Goop and KonMari-loved Inner Compass Cards, my interest was piqued. I'll be honest — I didn't do much research before my session with founder Neel van Lierop in the interest of going into our discussion with a totally open mind.
About 40 minutes into a session with her, I felt like I had totally changed my self-perception and started thinking about tangible steps towards a more positive outlook on life and my self-perception.
How To Use Them
Neel's disarming, warm nature makes it clear that she is a spiritual healer and visionary before being a businesswoman. I highly recommend her to anyone with an interest in spiritual healing and guidance. She had me draw cards from one of two decks she offers: a standard one with a chic navy-blue design and a love-focused one with a luxurious red design.
Similar to tarot cards, the idea is that the card I draw from either deck at random is one I was, on a subconscious and universal level, meant to choose. Each card has a single word on it. Reading the words usually spark an immediate reaction or feeling I discuss with Neel.
We would then refer back to a glossary-type guidebook that listed each word with a few paragraphs explaining why someone might draw this card. Though it was calming and useful to Neel's warm presence and spiritual guidance, I could immediately feel how the cards could also be a great tool to pull out on a whim on my own if I were randomly having a bad day, feeling anxious, or stressed.
The beautifully-designed cards don't just spew out generic fortune cookie-like wisdom. Inspired by Buddhism, Taoism, and I Ching, Neel writes with tangible advice.
For example, all of the cards I picked had associations with self-love. While they offered complex theories on life, those were paired with specific items I should add to my to-do list like spending more time going on walks in nature, picking up a musical instrument, or learning how to say "no" to people who don't match my energy.
How They Worked
For me, these cards had a profound effect because for the past several months I've been using them, I've randomly drawn cards that all unite under a similar theme of self-love and compassion.
In my time with Neel, I decided to make a conscious effort to focus more positive energy internally, taking specific advice from the cards with things like going on quiet, technology-free walks on my own or setting aside time in the evening to put my phone away — things I never used to do before out of fear of being unreachable to people.
By creating those boundaries of "me-time" I actually recognized a shift in my self-perception. Simply taking two hours a day for myself reminded me to prioritize myself outside of those moments, as well. I'm not a different human or anything, and I definitely still have days I stay on my phone till hours after I want to go to bed while texting my friends.
But, I can feel the beginnings of a shift in mindset I feel very confident and positive about.
I even used these cards with my mom, sister, and best friend as a launching pad for discussion about some deeper discussion — not only did it feel extremely cathartic for all of them (even my non-believer sister), it was a great way to learn a bit more about each of them, regardless of how close we already were.
Though I wouldn't recommend this to anyone as a replacement for professional help or therapy, I think Inner Compass cards are a great motivator for anyone interested in tangible tools for self-improvement. This is great for someone who may feel uncomfortable opening up to another person and prefers doing this sort of self-work on their own.
It's also great if you don't have a lot of time on your hands and occasionally enjoy the quick pick-me-up. If you may have an interest in tarot cards but don't totally buy into them or believe in them, Inner Compass cards are a great gateway into the world of spirituality for beginners.
Yes, Inner Compass is pricier than the deck you might pick up at a souvenir store. What you're paying for is in support of a small, female-owned business with 49 unique, individually-designed cards and a full guidebook of mantras, affirmations, sayings, and advice. I would definitely say it's worth the price for what it's given me — cheaper than any tarot card reading I've ever been to.
The beautiful cards, designed by Neel herself, are gorgeous — the aesthetically calming Instagram page was enough to sell me and I love having them on my coffee table at all times.
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