Women’s intuition. It’s such a weird term, simultaneously both New Age and old fashioned. The whole idea that we, as women, have some kind of sixth sense that allows us to know things without knowing how we know them. I’ve always believed in it, probably due to growing up with a naturally intuitive mother, but working with childbirth has confirmed my belief in countless ways.
My first experience with this was during early pregnancy with my first son. I was having some moderate abdominal pain so I called the nurse, and her response was, “I’m not having a strong gut instinct either way on this one, so I’m going to advise you to keep an eye on it.” I was so appreciative to hear that she was listening to her “gut” – it was honestly very comforting to me – so I followed her advice and everything turned out fine.
But when you work as a doula and childbirth educator, you hear a lot of birth stories, and I’ve lost count of how many I’ve heard where a baby’s and/or the mother’s life was saved by nothing more than a gut instinct. One student told a story about her cousin, who had been extremely dedicated to a natural birth but got to the pushing stage and baby would not be born. The doctor offered to assist with forceps, but she refused and insisted on a cesarean. When baby was born, they discovered a complication that would have been potentially catastrophic for baby if they had forced a vaginal delivery. She just knew.
But it’s obviously not limited to childbirth. Just yesterday I read an article written by an emergency dispatcher about what she wishes all women knew, and one of her points was that “You have to honor your intuition.” She even tells how she believes that her intuition saved her in a potentially life threatening situation.
So, as a believer in women’s intuition, it’s something I’d like to better develop. One practice I have for developing my intuition is the use of oracle cards. I use the Trust Your Vibes deck by Sonia Choquette. Both oracle and tarot cards work based on your intuition, but oracle cards are simpler and more straightforward whereas tarot is just more complex and more of a time commitment. What meaning you give to it is highly individual. For some people it might be a very spiritual practice, and for others it might just be a tool for approaching their day or a particular situation from a different perspective. There’s no right or wrong, just what works for you.
Each deck is different, but oracle cards tend to be very uplifting. The Trust Your Vibes deck has a positive word or message on each card, such as “Play” or “Expect the Best.” They don’t tell you what to do – there is no “Break Up with Your Boyfriend” card – so there is no danger of making a critical life mistake based on “what the cards told you.” It simply offers perspective and some positive reminders.
I don’t draw a card every day. Just when I think of it. Last night I made Ned draw a card with me. He drew a card that said “Meditate,” which has been a long-term goal of his. I drew a card that said “Seek Solitude.” Ned laughed when he saw mine. “That’s probably exactly what you need.” He’s probably right.
If you’re interested in oracle cards, there are a variety of decks to choose from, many following a theme. I’ve seen decks based on crystals, plants, animals, or just nature. The important thing is that they speak to you and you enjoy them. For me, this is one purchase that I prefer to make in person, even though I’m addicted to Amazon. But if you don’t have a local shop that sells them, you will find great options online.