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Self-Care for the New Year with Resilience Alchemy

Lifestyle image of the box and guidebook of "Resilience Alchemy" laying above artfully scattered cards from the deck.

As we ring in the New Year, it can be helpful to turn to the cards for insight on manifesting positive changes in our lives. This is especially true when we are navigating tough questions and battling inner turmoil. In these times, we invite you to turn to Resilience Alchemy: A Deck and Guidebook for Self-Discovery and Empowerment by celebrated cut-paper artist Maude White to help you in your personal journey to the outcomes you desire for your life.

Unlike other card decks, Resilience Alchemy is an entire system dedicated to self-empowerment. Its mission is clear: “Resilience Alchemy is dedicated to loving and encourag­ing anyone who is in need. It was created to nourish and designed to be a space for trust and nonjudgment. Resil­ience Alchemy knows that every person is capable, valu­able, whole, and deserving of goodness, compassion, understanding, and comfort.” Read on for an exclusive excerpt from the deck’s included guidebook to learn how you can incorporate this system into your self-care rituals.

Celebrate Your Resilience

Cut-paper art of a butterfly sitting on an upheld hand, rendered in a soft red. The hand and butterfly are featured on the Action Remedy cards of the Resilience Alchemy deck.

Dear Heart, you were born a Resilience Alchemist. You have lived with resilience your entire life. You may have bent under pressure and wavered under heavy loads, but you have kept going. You have lifted your head, put one foot in front of the other, and kept on walking. Tell me, if that isn’t resilience, if that isn’t alchemy, what is?

Can you feel your power? Can you honor the journey you’ve taken to reach this place? What a joy it is that you can grow and learn! What an immense, dizzying, glorious truth it is that you can heal and recover from what harms you. The act of healing is the greatest form of alchemy there is.

Resilience lives within you. It is in your soul, in your body, in your mind. Can you feel it as you open this book today, or is your resilience sleeping? Is it nestled deeply inside you, quiet and cautious, waiting for your invitation to emerge? Even the most resilient among us need encour­agement, new ideas, or a fresh perspective every now and then. Let Resilience Alchemy be your companion and helper as you explore new ways to live and flourish.

I created Resilience Alchemy to walk beside you, beside me, beside every one of us yearning to embody resilience. I encourage you to pick up this deck with intention and delve into the wisdom of Resilience Alchemy, but also, more important, the wisdom within yourself. Whoever you are, I welcome you to explore the immensity of your own resilience deeply, lovingly, and gently. I invite you to step into your power as an alchemist.

What Is Resilience Alchemy?

Cut-paper art of a large flower, rendered in purple. The flower is featured on the Heart Remedy cards of the Resilience Alchemy deck.

Resilience Alchemy is both an idea and a toolset created to help you embody and embrace that idea. It is a process, a state of being, a celebration, a remedy, a journey, and a game. It is this card deck and guidebook. It is a channeling of your own internal ability to solve problems, grow, heal, and adapt to change.

You are always facing challenges, and you are also always rising up and overcoming those challenges with grace and power. Resilience Alchemy will help you do this—make adjustments, learn from mistakes, grow emo­tionally, and move forward so that you can recover from setbacks and come back stronger and healthier.

About the Deck and Guidebook

The Resilience Alchemy deck consists of an eighty-three-card resilience support system in three sections: a Sister­hood of twenty-five mentors to offer advice and guidance; four suits of Remedies to support you through the 12 Stages of Resilience; and Gifts to help you gracefully engage with the outside world. It is through the arrangement and com­bination of these elements that the alchemy occurs. When­ever you find yourself unsure or faced with tough questions, you are invited to turn to Resilience Alchemy to generate answers and find unique solutions to whatever troubles or perplexes you. By allowing the deck to spark new ideas and avenues for change, you can then experience internal alchemy and transform difficulty into growth.

Resilience Alchemy (How To)

Cut-paper art of the moon over mountains, circled from below by the tops of forest trees, rendered in green. The art is featured on the Place Remedy cards of the Resilience Alchemy deck.

Each card in the Resilience Alchemy card deck is a tool or an ally for resilience. But these tools and allies can only pro­vide support and guidance if you feel comfortable and con­fident enough to work with them. So, how should you use this card deck and guidebook?

Option 1: Choosing a Focus Card

First, flip through the cards. Pay attention to how certain cards make you feel. Are there any cards that seem espe­cially relevant to you right now? Any cards that seem to invite deeper contemplation and exploration? Do any of these cards address questions you’re facing in your own life? When you find a card that feels meaningful, pick it up and set it aside.

Next, open the guidebook and find the page for your card. Notice that there is a suggested card spread below the card’s message and interpretation. Pick and choose the questions that seem relevant to you and add your own as well. When you feel that all your questions have been artic­ulated, shuffle the remaining cards in the deck and pull one card in answer to each question that you asked.

How do the cards you pulled answer your questions? This is your time to generate ideas, think outside the box, and gather support for solving problems or dilemmas in your life. This is your time to perform the alchemy of Resilience Alchemy. Each card you pull is an invitation to reframe and reorganize your life to answer your questions in new and unique ways.

Option 2: Choosing a Self-Care Spread

Cut-paper art of two hands holding the lower half of the sun, with shining rays of sunlights, rendered in gold. The art is featured on the Sisterhood cards of the Resilience Alchemy deck.

If you don’t feel like choosing a specific card from the deck to work with, flip to the Self-Care Spreads section of this book and find a spread that works for you. If you’re still feeling unsatisfied, create your own set of questions and use the deck to find new answers! [A note from RP Mystic: Read on for three such spreads!]

Option 3: Choosing a Daily Resilience Card

If options 1 or 2 seem overwhelming or like too much work, Resilience Alchemy can also be used for a single-card daily resilience reading. To use the deck in this way, simply shuf­fle and pull a single card from your deck. This is your card for the day. How does it make you feel? Are you eager? Puz­zled? Are you reluctant to practice resilience in this way? Why or why not? How might the focus of this card contrib­ute to or detract from your commitments today? If you want to dive a little deeper, open the guidebook and read this card’s segment. Have you gained any clarity or new ideas? Remember this card as you go about your day. Let the card’s message color your interactions and your intentions.

Asking Questions

Cut-paper art of a candle set inside a geometric base, rendered in blue. The art is featured on the Head Remedy cards in the Resilience Alchemy deck.

Resilience Alchemy is all about asking questions and find­ing new and creative ways to answer these questions for yourself. It is about inviting your own mind to perform your own special alchemy.

In this guidebook, each card has a suggested card spread to help you explore that card’s wisdom, but you will often have your own questions to replace or edit what is in the guidebook. This is highly encouraged! When asking your own questions, wording is very important. Always make sure that you are asking questions that are open and hope­ful. Negative questions will close you off from empowering and healing answers.

Here are sample negative questions and some hopeful substitutions:

NEGATIVE QUESTION: Why don’t I have a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner?

HOPEFUL SUBSTITUTION: What can be my first step toward a loving relationship with another?

NEGATIVE QUESTION: Why is my body so [negative descriptor]?

HOPEFUL SUBSTITUTION: How can I improve my relationship with my body and engage with it in new and invigorating ways?

NEGATIVE QUESTION: Why am I so sad all the time?

HOPEFUL SUBSTITUTION: What can help me to heal my sadness?

Self-Care Card Spreads

Cut-paper art of hemlock, rendered in a soft red. The art is featured in the Resilience Alchemy guidebook.

The following card spreads provide wisdom and guid­ance for promoting health and well-being in different areas of life. The spreads cover a wide range of topics that may or may not be meaningful for you. If any question in any spread seems unnecessary or unsafe, you are encour­aged to remove it and substitute one of your own.

As always, make sure you feel comfortable and sup­ported when doing these card spreads. Have pen and paper ready, and perhaps grab a crystal or a trinket to play with. Depending on which spreads you choose, you may feel vul­nerable or delicate. Please honor yourself and your feelings. You are doing such good, necessary, courageous work.

Daily Check-In Spread

Doing a Daily Check-In Spread can be a simple, straightfor­ward, and undemanding way to start your day. When you do this spread, pay special attention to question #3 and what cards come up in answer. This can be a helpful way to reground and reorient yourself if your day ends up being especially frustrating or upsetting.

1. How can I be loving and forgiving toward myself today?

2. How can I feel secure and confident in my identity today?

3. How can I know myself and respond and not react to my triggers today?

Healing Fear Spread

Cut-paper art of a sun surrounded by shining rays of various lengths, rendered in gold. The art is featured on the Gifts cards of the Resilience Alchemy deck.

The Healing Fear Spread is created for those times when you are scared or unsure. Fear may numb you and block you from rational thinking. Whenever you feel the need to use this card spread, take extra care that you have all your supportive tools and aids around you. Make sure you are remembering to breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth, and take a moment or two to roll your shoulders and consciously relax your tense muscles before you begin.

1. Why am I afraid right now?

2. What can I do to support myself through this fear?

3. How can I release this fear?

4. What wishes to take the place of this fear?

5. What will I discover once I move through this fear?

6. What purpose does this fear hold?

Making a Big Life Change Spread

Cards from the Resilience Alchemy deck are scattered face-up above a pink, yellow, and gray marbled backdrop.

Something is about to change! Perhaps something inside you has changed already. How can you honor this shift and commit lovingly and confidently to a new path? The Making a Big Life Change Spread can help you solidify your goals and desires so that you can be trustful of your next steps.

1. Why am I called to move in this direction?

2. What special lessons have I learned throughout my life that have prepared me to make this move?

3. How can I best honor the chapter I am closing in my life?

4. What can I bring with me into this new chapter in my life?

5. What can help me make this transition smoothly?

Featured Deck

Photo of author Maude White. The author wears glasses and holds cards from the Pleasure Alchemy deck. She has a mysterious look on her face.

Maude White

About the Author

Maude White is an award-winning cut paper artist, author, teacher, mindfulness tarot reader, and resilience facilitator. She is the author of Resilience AlchemyBrave Birds, and the Brave Bird journals and boxed notecards, and the illustrator of Leading with Love: Inspiration for Spiritual Activists. Her work has been featured by Orion Magazine, The Artist Magazine, Art House Press, Urban Outfitters, Hi Fructose, Colossal, Trouve, and The Public, among others, and exhibited in national and international galleries (as well as to her 60K Instagram followers). Maude is also the creator of Resilience Alchemy, a system of support, empowerment, and growth through guided card readings.

Learn more about this author