Spiritual Directors International

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Inquiry Cards

Inquiry Cards
by Sylvia Nibley and Jim Hayes
Salt Lake City, UT: Gennodus LC, 2013
48 cards and guidebook
Reviewed by Monica McDowell

The candle is lit. Silence is honored. An Inquiry Card is drawn—its question read aloud. Both spiritual director and spiritual directee contemplate what stirs as they hold space for the wisdom that will arise within, between, and around them.

Something I deeply appreciate about the practice of spiritual direction is its penchant for asking meaningful questions. One excellent question may provide more stimuli for spiritual growth than many answers, tips, solutions, or advice. Inquiry Cards are therefore a perfect tool for spiritual directors. Each hexagon-shaped card poses a question, such as, “What is possible?,” “What’s the most loving choice?,” “How can I be more flexible?,” and “Who can help?” Moreover, each card portrays a teleidoscopic photo taken from nature. The results are colorful six-sided mandalas, which can be contemplated in and of themselves.

Inquiry Cards are useful for one-on-one spiritual direction. A card could be drawn at the beginning or middle of a session, or even at the end as something for the spiritual directee to ponder for leave-taking. They could also be used very easily in group spiritual direction. For example, each spiritual directee could draw a card and openly reflect on its significance for them personally, or all spiritual directees could contemplate the same question and card together. Peer-supervised spiritual direction groups could take turns drawing a card. Then the whole group could use the card’s question and mandala to provide spiritual direction for one another. Inquiry Cards would be beneficial for a spiritual director’s own spiritual practice as well.

The forty-eight-card deck comes in a beautifully embossed box, appropriate for gifting or for simply sitting on a bookshelf. A hardwood stand is enclosed for displaying an individual card for contemplation on an altar, desktop, windowsill, table, or mantle. A guidebook is also provided, offering numerous suggestions for usage and layouts of cards.

I thoroughly enjoy Nibley’s and Hayes’ Inquiry Cards. They provide the questions that often arise from my soul as a spiritual director, but in a tangible, beautiful art form. I highly recommend them for spiritual directors, as I know I will use them often and with great pleasure.

Reverend Monica McDowell, MDiv, is an ordained minister in Seattle, Washington, USA, practicing as an energy healer, spiritual director, writer, and speaker. The author of My Karma Ran Over My Dogma, You Are Light, and Confessions of a Mystic Soccer Mom, she was the first ordained minister in the USA to be granted civil rights in a federal ruling.

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