As is my custom, I usually try to do a calendar tarot spread for each new year, so on the solstice I decided to use my Wild Unknown deck to lay out for the coming year. In my attempt to understand more about how I interpret the tarot, I thought I would try to write out a little bit about what I think this reading means to me. I keep detailed journals of the written meanings of the cards, but I seldom actually write out what I think, how I interpret them from my own perspective, just sort making a mental note of my situation at the time. I generally like to interpret tarot as a symbolic representation of the psychological aspects of the self that are bubbling within, that we access through the questions we ask the cards. Though I don’t see it as wholly psychological, allowing entry for whatever messages that need to reach me from whatever realms they come from. I have come to asking the cards, “What do my ancestors need me to know right now?” as a way to incorporate my ancestor work into it, and I find that is a very interesting way to receive and understand readings. Anyway, let me give this a shot. (I posted the photo of the spread below June.)
The card in the middle is the core card, representing me, which as you can see is the Death card and in this deck is gorgeously displayed as the bones of a crow. I interpret the Death card as ultimate transformation and release, in whatever way that will manifest in consensus reality. I think this mostly has to do with my transformation in regards to the self, how I have changed into a new being as a result of intense work this past year, and I perceive myself as having transformed and released in many ways. The card directly above the core card is January, and so on around the circle, representing things, energies or transformations, that I may encounter throughout the year.
January is reversed Daughter of Wands, which is all about being a visionary and spiritual breakthroughs. I see the changes that I have undergone this past year, my expansion and growth through partnerships and working with others. This has proven to be so incredibly fruitful for me, in a way I would have never expected. I have had great resistance to working with others, but I have found that it was exactly what I needed, what my soul was crying out for in terms of creating community or a chosen family of friends. I also have started to trust that there are unique things within that I can start to harness into a new paradigm for myself. I see this as a way to jump off the armchair and into the “circle”, as it were.
February is The Sun. This is a card of full enlightenment, vitality and clarity. I see this as realizing inner truths, finding what fulfills my soul, what is uplifting and supports growth in my endeavors. I continue to search for ways to ignite the flame within, and kindle it, not letting it die out too soon.
March is the Four of Cups. This card is about greed, apathy and discontentment. March is typically an extremely difficult month for me, and is an anniversary of past disturbing events. Drawing this card for this month does not surprise me in the least, and it is always a time of year I have to be extra careful not to fall into the depths of self-pity, serious depression and grousing about everything. It is the time of year that really drags here in the North, and can bring about the deep feelings of unsettling in me that lead me to want to act rebelliously, leave all that I am and set out on ill-planned journeys. It is during this month I left home at 14 and went on a swift and furious path of self-destruction.
April is the reversed Mother of Pentacles. This reading is heavy in pentacles, related to all things earthly and tangible. Three of the pentacles featured are from the family cards, or Court Cards as they are traditionally called; Mother, Son and Daughter having been drawn. The Mother is domestically oriented and serves her family and home diligently, yet because of this she can become lost within this identity. She is also a healer and in tune with nature. I have mixed feelings about the Court Cards…on the one hand, they can represent people in our lives, and on the other hand, I try to always bring the reading back to the Self, as these “energies” can also be applied to the self as the container of all archetypes, in a Jungian kind of interpretation. In my Native American deck, I know which cards always represent me and my husband as individuals, but in this deck, it is more difficult for me to discern, and I think it largely depends on the intuition of the meaning at hand (which is where I need to just allow for the woo-woo and not get caught in my normal trap of over-analyzing). For instance, I really see both my mother and myself in the Mother of Pentacles card, but I also see myself very strongly in the Daughter. Because this is a yearly, generalized reading, I am somewhat inclined to interpret the card as my mother. I am now assisting her more with her needs as she ages, and this role has dramatically increased within the past year. It may also represent my need to allow my domesticity to flow freely without letting it define me, or cause me the grief that I so often feel in relation to this role. I have deep wells of pain associated with a strong, internal desire I have to create a traditional kind of household, but the paradoxical aversion I have to anything related to traditional roles of feminine and masculine, especially because women are so often imprisoned by roles of domesticity and motherhood. It is this divide that causes strife for me, and I struggle to figure out how to integrate these things into something that is constructive to me.
May is represented by the Father of Cups card, reversed. This card is about diplomacy and open-mindedness. In the book, it says this character has deeply rooted insecurities than can lead to unpredictability. I have never drawn this card, (versus the previous card which I have drawn many times) and I am more inclined to interpret this card as a part of me. I have been trying to face some of my insecurities with a more detached outlook, and I can only imagine that this is what this alludes to, or perhaps points to a set-back in this area as the card is reversed. I get a little confused with how to interpret reversals, so I try to simply make a note of it.
June is the Ten of Wands, which as you can imagine by the dark drawing on the card is all about burdens, blockage and difficulty. Since I will be coming out of spring semester and just beginning the summer around this time, I am prepared for the resulting difficulties that may arise. I am one of these weird people that actually seems to have reverse S.A.D. I can get very depressed in the summer months, hiding indoors in the shade of the curtains, lying in bed with an intense melancholy that is often only eased by allowing myself permission to hide indoors with a book, flaking out in the a/c. I often try to force myself into doing things during the warm months simply because I feel like I should, and this almost never serves me anything good.
July is represented by a reversed Three of Swords that looks like blades in bondage. Swords are generally the suit that represent the most difficulty, and this one is all about betrayal, heartbreak and turmoil, according to the book. As I said, I try to relate these things mostly to the self, so I can relate this as maybe a warning of betrayal to myself, turmoil within, something that I am leading up to in terms of my own destructive tendencies. This doesn’t surprise me as I seem to have a lifetime of self-sabotage to look back upon. I am still learning how to be true to myself in terms of accepting responsibility, knowing how to speak my inner truths without worrying about how weird it might sound to others, even if I’m dubbed the freak on the block or whatever. But there is no doubt, my desire to fit in and to disappear in anonymity are in direct conflict with my desire to rebel and create anarchy, following my internal, primal (and often unethical) urges. I would be delusional to deny it.
August is The Magician. The wonderful magician…I love this card. This card reminds me of why I became interested in mystery traditions and witchcraft to begin with: self-empowerment, energy, expansion, action. I am a better person, a more responsible, ethical and contemplative person since studying and practicing witchcraft and occultism. That may sound weird, as it does seem to draw those that would prefer to use their inner strengths for dubious deeds, but I actually think that in studying occult principles has brought me into serious discipline where none before seemed to exist. This card forces you to see your role in the world and how your own actions do create realities. I am no longer a feather in the wind, drifting aimlessly or getting sucked into vortexes. I control the winds of my own life.
September is represented by the Son of Pentacles: the loyal, quiet, dedicated and inventive young buck. This also represents the stubbornness and rigidity that can come along with the earth signs. I think my astrological chart has lots of earthiness in it, as well as the mutable water that I am so comfortable with, so along with my mutability comes an undeniable tendency to grind my heels into the mud. Interesting this card falls in the slot of September, when I will be returning to classroom study.
October is the Four of Pentacles, more earthy rigidity. This card says it is all about material gain and stability but also possession and control. I expect this reflects my tendencies to become too wrapped up in the material world, especially while in school I tend to ignore my other needs with an almost calculated ferocity. Next fall has some things on the horizon that I am not sure I am ready to face, and I will have to be committed during the summer to keeping up my Norwegian language chops if I am going to be able to continue with the language portion of this program, which is a requirement. If I am unable to complete this requirement, it means I will have to select another major.
November is highlighted by The Star, a significantly hopeful card of peace, surrender, and serenity of acceptance. I can only hope that next winter I will indeed be in a place of peace at this point in the semester and with my personal woo. This is one of my favorite cards to draw in tarot, and it does seem to come to me just when it’s needed.
December reveals the Daughter of Pentacles. As I mentioned, this card seems to represent one nature of my core self, the part that is hard-working, responsible and kind, and also the part of me that likes to hide. It says of the card, “She has vast amounts of inner strength” and this will clearly be needed by December as I usually find it to be one of the most challenging months of the year, even when I’m not in school. Like all the cards in the suit of earth, this card speaks of thriving in nature, and perhaps next December I will suggest that hubby and I book some serene winter camping time to celebrate the solstice and remove ourselves from the cities entrenched in holiday preparations.
It will be interesting to see how 2016 unfolds. Hopefully I’ll remember to look back on this reading throughout the year, but I am such a scatter-brain, I will likely forget!