New Year’s Day is like a shiny new toy sitting inside the wrapper waiting to be opened. I don’t know if anyone else felt this way, but even as a kid I had a moment of hesitation before opening the packaging on anything new- a part of me wanting to preserve the perfection for as long as possible. I, admittedly, still do this. I have journals that I’ve brought home, intending to fill them to the brim with ideas and inspirational adventures, only to leave them sitting on shelves empty and covered with dust, because marring their pages with my imperfection is just too much pressure.
Fortunately, time marches on without our approval, therefore we have no choice but to move with it. Day 2 of the New Year will be upon us before we know it, and before it’s taken from us- we want to gently tear open that packaging and hope that our inevitable screw ups will be minor enough to keep from ruining everything that makes that toy shiny and good.
For me, New Year’s Tarot spreads are a way to peep into the box of the new toy without unwrapping it. Sex with your pants on, my husband calls it. They give us a chance to peek into possible obstacles, or may even reiterate goals we want to attain, by providing a little advance notice. Granted, I personally, don’t believe Tarot reading makes you psychic, I do believe that the cards can see patterns well before they’ve developed and can help lead us where we want to go. If you’re at all familiar with the String Theory, I believe that the cards are a tool to view the threads that connect all things and events (leaving it up to us to determine their interpretation and making sense of their information).
Normally, I don’t like using spreads with designations- as I read them all as interacting in a single complicated message from the Universe- but there are times, like the New Year, when I think they can be fun. I like to do two specific spreads every year:
A Year Ahead draws 12 cards from the top of the deck after shuffling thoroughly. Each position designates a month of the year, and each card represents the lesson (or theme) that month will present. I write them down in my journal and leave my initial impressions as to what those cards mean with space to come back and fill in what actually happened that month later. With the spread I created for you guys, I did something just a tiny bit different (which I do a lot in my normal reads) and I added the shadow card. The Shadow Card is the card on the bottom of the deck after it’s been shuffled, and it tells us the overall lesson or theme of the read. For example, The Devil appearing as a Shadow Card on a Year Ahead read might mean that it’s going to be a year of you stepping outside your shell and moving past limiting beliefs. Each month’s card will somehow play into that- even if you can’t see how in January.
The second spread is a “work on you” or Shadow Work spread. You’ll see me do these a lot (I actually have an entire post on Shadow Work coming up) because it’s something I’m actively pursuing this year. Shadow Work, for those unfamiliar, is the concept of bringing to light subconscious obstacles that keep us from being who we want to be. Carl Jung, the famous psychologist, was big on this idea, and it’s become very popular in the witchy community over the years. This spread just skims the surface of the Shadow, so it’s perfect for beginners and those far into their Subconscious Journey.
In this spread, you shuffle like usual but instead of pulling 12 cards like most New Year reads, you only pull 6. The reason for this is that the lessons will be harder to learn and therefore will generally not be limited to just a month or a few weeks.
Number 1, or the first position, is the beginning- where you are now. This can sum up some issues you know you have, or bring to light some you are now ready to tackle. It may even reiterate positive aspects of yourself, currently, that you are hiding. The second position is your Mental Check- this is an obstacle you will need to face this year so you can grow; it is this idea that repeats through to the fifth position with Emotional Check, Body Check, and Spirit Check. Each position bouncing off one another, as each of our “selves” is connected to one another- so when reading, in order to clarify one card, feel free to use the other cards. The 6th position is your growth card, or In the End- this card represents where you’ll be when you process and work through the challenges presented to you.
An example of this spread in action is below. I pulled these cards for a friend of mine; I will show you how I interpreted them for him below, in case you’re curious. He’s been struggling with finding a job and wants to know how to change that:
In the first position we have The King of Swords (KoS). This to me says that he is already mentally capable, and perhaps even willing, to do the work necessary to become his 6th card, Seven of Pentacles (7oP); this is long-term success represented as gainfully employed in his question. His Mental Check is the Two of Wands Reversed (2oW Rx)- this tells me he’s scared of the unknown. The battlefield of his mind is one of fear and insecurity, which is keeping him from finding what he needs to be successful. His Emotional Check is The Hierophant. This card signifies that he’s in need of asking for help- he might be depressed or overwhelmed, maybe even a bit lost. Read with the 2oW, I’d say he’s in need of some guidance or a push from someone who believes in him to take a big step forward- as he’s just too insecure to do it himself. His Body Check card is the Ace of Wand Reversed (AoW Rx) which, again, reiterates the overall theme so far in that he’s lacking direction. I see this as his anxiety when applying in person (he’s told me he’s only applying online at the moment)- so he’s not moving physically as it looks like he needs to. He’ll need to combat this in order to gain what he wants. This could also be a literal interpretation, as in he doesn’t know where to physically go in order to get a new job. The Spirit Check is the Ace of Pentacles reversed (AoP Rx). This is either lost opportunity (as in not going in and applying, missing out on things because he’s scared of not being good enough for them), or it could be lack of planning on his part. I think it’s also worth noting that his spirit card- what makes him who he is- is the pentacle reversed. He’s not happy without money or employment- and finding this will boost his ego and his mood. He defines himself, as a lot of men do that I know, based on his ability to bring in money. The 6th card, 7oP, represents his eventual successful employment. It’s also a pentacle card, naturally representing material worth, which is very auspicious to his current want.
All in all, my best advice to my friend would be a little bit of tough love and some guidance. It seems he needs to get out of his head, as he’s falling victim to anxiety, and put himself out there for employers to find instead of waiting for them to come to him! He’s hiding behind the computer, but he needs to go out and remember that he’s the KoS (intelligent and plenty capable). If he does this, and asks for help when it’s needed (and maybe that might even mean stepping out of his comfort zone and applying for jobs he normally wouldn’t apply for- or perhaps asking for a friend to upgrade his resume), he’ll find his success. His happiness seems directly conditional on his state of financial worth- so bringing money in will push him out of the depression he’s admitted to having. This tells me his emotional state is a temporary one- but, unfortunately, self induced (the hardest to conquer). I’d also echo that he’s got the potential to find what he wants- he just needs to believe he does- even the cards say so.
Now, how long this will take him is up to him. Moving past anxiety can be difficult, and for some completely crippling. If you wanted- you could pull more cards to better show him “how to” fix these issues instead of just naming them. But, for most people, this spread is a really good way to place a label on some of those issues we might not recognize. For me, once it’s named, I feel like I can defeat it. Like Rumpelstiltskin, I suppose!
I hope you enjoy these spreads and find them as fun and useful as I do! Happy 2019!