Choosing my Word for the Year using the Desert Wisdom Cards — Part II

Letter Type

Setting Words © 2014 Bo Mackison

Every year for the last six years I have chosen a word for the coming year – a word to guide me, inspire me, encourage me.

After working with three of the Desert Wisdom Cards in Choosing my Word Part I,  I shuffled the 52 card deck again and pulled a new card for each of five categories – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and trans-personal. James Wells writes about these categories and their use on his Evolutionary Tarot site and I adapted the categories to work with my needs.

PHYSICAL  (health, basic needs, sexuality, living spaces) — VITALITY


Nurturance – Desert Wisdom Card © 2014 Bo Mackison

MENTAL  (thoughts, beliefs, conversations, writings)  —  NURTURANCE


Openness – Desert Wisdom Card © 2014 Bo Mackison

EMOTIONAL (feelings, intuition, intimacy, friendships, family)  —  OPENNESS


Hope – Desert Wisdom Card © 2014 Bo Mackison

SPIRITUAL  (soul, essence, self-esteem, personal energy) — HOPE


Reverence – Desert Wisdom Card © 2014 Bo Mackison

TRANS-PERSONAL (community, culture, world, cosmos, the web of life)  — REVERENCE

As I consider each pair of words, and journal about them, I love how my ideas coalesce – the emphasis of vitality and the physical, an invitation to come alive; nurturance and my mind, an invitation to nurture my thoughts, my studies, my writings; spirituality and hope, an invitation to hold hope with precious intention; reverence and community, the world, the cosmos, an invitation to treat the world and all in it with respect and reverence.



Invitation – Desert Wisdom Card © 2014 Bo Mackison

— the INVITATION to live each day with vitality and awareness, with generosity and openness, with reverence and hope.

So my new word for the coming year is INVITATION. The invitation to be present, to live fully. May it be so.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Love it! Lovely thoughts, what a great word!

  2. Such an inspiring process. And – I love the word. It’s over-filling with possibility.

Leave a Reply