When I worked at Women’s Health magazine in the UK, the digital editor had a pack of cards that each had different motivational sayings. Every time we were stressed or facing a conundrum, she would pull a card for us. It was a fun thing and a lovely gesture and even if the cards didn’t exactly solve the problem at hand, they would give us a mental boost. So, when an email about Inner Compass Cards dropped into my inbox, I was curious. The incredibly chic pack of 49 cards were created by Neel van Lierop, a Dutch woman who lives Amsterdam, and since I’m based here now, it seemed like too much of a coincidence not to explore. We met at a café and she told me her story.
Lierop had been working in fashion and advertising but had never felt truly at one with herself. So, over time, she dabbled with yoga and alternative therapies and spent a long time self-analyzing. She started to live her life by instinct and without to-do lists, trusting that what is meant to be will be. Sure, Lierop had goals, but she let her gut and the cards guide her. A couple of years back, the idea for the cards came to her one day, just like that.
As we sit in the café, she tells me she sees herself as a vessel and that information passes through her and into the cards she creates. It sounds woo-woo, but sitting there with Lierop, I can see she is very grounded in reality, and she speaks a lot of sense. So many of us are guided by our conscious mind and our ego, she tells me, and not by our subconscious, our gut and our heart. Only when we unlock our true sense of self can we live a life fulfilled. The cards help you to read your own inner compass, hence the name.
I was sent the pack of cards before I met Lierop. They come in a chic rectangular box with a small booklet. There are a couple of pages of instructions and then a dictionary with the definitions for each card in the deck. There are a few different ways you can use the cards. For starters, you can ask the deck a specific question, or you can simply use the card to tap into your subconscious. You shuffle the deck and randomly, without thinking, draw a card. And that’s it. Lierop tells me she draws cards on the fly, when she has her coat on and is heading out of the door. But you can also create a mindful moment with candles and intention if you like. Lierop tells me she draws multiple single cards throughout her day.
For a deeper reading, you can draw three cards that symbolize the past, present and future. This is what I did when I first received the deck and it couldn’t have been more accurate: the past spoke of change and movement, the present told me that I was where I was meant to be, and the future told me I was on the right path. Since I made a big move from London to Amsterdam this year, it felt like too much of a coincidence.
Lierop tells me that the subconscious guides you to choose the right card every time. I have to say, I was skeptical and chalked that trio of cards down to beginner’s luck. But, then Lierop told me to draw another three cards, this time symbolizing mind, body and soul. As she read the descriptions, I felt like she was peering deep down into my soul and speaking to my inner self. It was scarily accurate.
The last way to use the deck is as a compass for direction regarding a certain situation or relationship. You draw four cards and place them in a circle. The first card symbolises your input, the second the other person’s input, the third is the insight you need and the fourth is the outcome.
Lierop lives her life driven by signs, instinct and tapping into her subconscious. She swerved big publishers to self-publish her cards because she wanted to keep her creativity intact and it paid off—her goal to be stocked on Goop is happening later this week. Slowly and surely, through hard work and trusting her gut, her cards are starting to reach and help people the world over.
She has plans for a whole series of different packs of cards—her next is a Love deck. I got a chance to see the cards and they’re just as beautiful as the Inner Compass Cards. It was my mom’s birthday yesterday and so I asked the Love deck about my relationship with her and once again the reading was so accurate it was like the cards had spent a lifetime observing the relationship between my mother and I.
In such a hectic world, if you're at a crossroads, you find decision-making tricky, or you’re on a path of self-development, then the Inner Compass Cards are an insightful tool to help you reconnect with yourself. They are well-worth adding to your wellness toolkit.