Updated: Oct 19, 2019
It’s almost New Year’s Eve, and you know what that means! Time to stay up late, drink something fizzy, and dive deep into an intuitive exploration of the energies and soul work coming at ya in 2018.
As January 1st approaches, some readers like to pull a theme card for the year ahead and a card (or cards) for each month. That doesn’t really jive with me, though. As tempting as it is to pull a blueprint for the twelve months ahead, that model is too restrictive for my tastes. (Plus, I’m the kind of person who would dread July all year long because I pulled the 5 of Pentacles, which isn’t very useful.) Instead, I prefer to take a broader, looser picture of the energies at play, the work calling to be done, and ask for guidance on how to best proceed toward my goals.
I also like to acknowledge that beginning and end of the calendar year is pretty arbitrary. The New Year could just as well fall on January 15th, or May 2nd, or September 23rd at 3:49pm. The important part is that it marks another cycle around our Sun. You’ve probably heard of the Chinese New Year, a lunar system celebrated on the new moon between January 21st and February 20th. Or perhaps you’re aware of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, which falls in September or early October each year. Some people, like myself, regard Samhain (Halloween) as the the turn of the year, and still others prefer to recognize their solar return, a.k.a. birthday, as their year’s turning point.
Whenever you celebrate it, there’s no wrong date to mark the year’s turn, and you could use this spread at any of those times to review the year behind you and look forward to the year ahead.
YEAR AHEAD TAROT SPREAD
Significator: Who or where you are at this moment in the turn of the year.
Foundation: What have you built this past year that you can stand on for support or continue to build on in the new year?
Leave Behind: What is finished, no longer serving you, or no longer necessary for you to carry that you can leave behind in the closing year?
Bridge: What current work or energies are you carrying into the next year to work more on there?
Begin: What new project, new work, new path is asking to begin in the next year?
Internal: What internal work, healing, or growth is it time to focus on in the new year?
External: What external work or engagement with the world or others is the time right to focus on in the new year?
Challenge: What is your main challenge to face, overcome, conquer in the next year?
Lesson: What essential wisdom will be yours to learn in the coming year?
Resolutions (Cards 10-12): How can you best work toward your goals and progress down your highest path in the next year?
While shuffling, let your mind drift over the highlights and energies of the last year, and think about what you hope to accomplish in the next year. Also hold space for yourself in the present moment, at this threshold where you currently stand. This is the place where the threads of past and future meet, tangle, and weave into the spiral chord of your life. This moment is special, is powerful. Ground into the present. Say hello to yourself. Before you get caught up in resolutions and self-development, pause to value yourself for who you are right here, right now. Even if there are things about yourself, your body, your life, that you’d like to change, take a moment to give yourself the respect you deserve for being the beautiful, complex being you are, every day creating, working, hustling, loving your way through this life. If you do that first, your resolutions might shift, your goals become clearer. We have to know we are now, after all, to figure out how to get to where we’re going.
BONUS: HOW TO CALCULATE YOUR YEAR CARD
The above is a pic of my personal pull for 2018. Using numerology, this next year is supposed to be a 3 year for me, which corresponds to The Empress. And look who showed up as my Significator: none other than the leading lady herself. I love it when this shit happens.
To find your year card for yourself, take your birth month and day and add them to the number 2018. For example, January 22 would be 1 + 22 + 2018 = 2041. Then add those individual digits up. 2 + 0 + 4 + 1 = 7. If that resulted in a two-digit number, add those individual digits to get a number from 1 – 10. That’s your number for the year, and the Major Arcana card that corresponds to that number is your Tarot card for the year. 7 would be The Chariot.
A note of caution: Don’t get too wrapped up in it, though. I think of these “year cards” on the macro level, as part of a larger cycle we’re moving through in life the same way the Fool moves through the Journey of the Major Arcana. So, for instance, if you get The Hermit, per say, this by no means dictates that you’re going to be alone and isolated all year. Instead, it may nod to an inner wisdom you’ll slowly get in touch with as you move through everyday life. Often, these cards are very subtle, and we may not notice their presence even as we’re walking in their energies, not until we look back later from different cycle in life.
Also, some people think it’s total B.S. Others don’t like having a single card floating over their year like some sort of omen. Still others believe in year cards when they like their card and abandon it when they don’t. All of these perspectives are valid, although the last one is a bit wishy-washy. You do you, friend.
I’ll be sharing my personal reading soon, so stay tuned. I hope you all have a warm and joyful New Year!