Last January, I shared my personal Year Ahead Spread for 2016. Looking back at it, the trends it forecasted did not all come true in the ways I expected, but looking at the cards themselves in retrospect, they are mostly appropriate to my experience of the year.
My year was quite good in many ways: 2016 saw the production and delivery of my self-published deck, The Orbifold Tarot, probably my most notable accomplishment of 2016. On Christmas Day, I learned that the Orbifold won the Tarosophy award for innovation in tarot design — a wonderfully affirming end to 2016. I also had the pleasure of attending my first tarot conference, The Reader’s Studio, where I got to meet a veritable who’s who of the tarot community, and made connections that were stimulating and enriching — it is one thing to belong to an online community that is generally very learned, supportive, and positively challenging, but it is quite another to meet people in that community and participate with them face-to-face, where the virtual community becomes REAL. I was also given the opportunity to present at TarotCon Florida, which unfortunately due to hurricane Matthew I was not able to attend… but I was comforted by the fact that the conference still occurred and was an intimate success for all who were able to attend, and even a success in some ways to those of us who were there only in spirit like myself. I lived vicariously through the organizers’ and participants’ tenacity in producing and attending a successful event despite adversity.
There were of course some devastations through 2016 — thankfully, for me, that devastation was not personal. Nonetheless, several collective events took a toll on me and several of my peers and loved ones.
Personally, it was also a year of solitude and reflection, as well as clarity. I expressed many bottled-up concerns in aspects of my personal and professional life, and though that was largely cathartic, the results of those expressions are continuing to play out into 2017.
The variation of the Year Ahead Spread that I did last year I have also done for people as a birthday spread, and have found it to be very helpful, so I’d like to continue with the same spread for myself his year, and share it all with you!
Instructions for the spread are on the post from last year, but for those who want to move right ahead, here they are again:
This variation of the many year ahead forecasts uses the deck’s three sections for a distinct purpose each — a Major for the overall theme of the year, 4 Courts for the quarterly themes, and 12 Minors for a monthly breakdown:
1. Separate your Majors, Courts, and Minors
2. Shuffle the Courts and lay them out in the central wheel — this is a seasonal/quarterly overview
3. Shuffle the Minors and lay them around in the central wheel — each minor gives a monthly overview, and gives more detail about the Court residing over each quarter
4. Shuffle the Majors and deal it into the centre. See how this Major, which gives the overall theme of the year, relates to each section of the spread
5. Have fun and play with the interactions!
This year I inverted Steps 2. and 3., moving from the periphery to the centre.
The first thing that strikes me, before going into details is the dominance of Earth and Air, with very little Fire. Does this mean my year will be largely inactive, void of inspiration? Or will the combination of Earth and Air promote more discipline, and despite limited Fire influence, will that discipline lend itself to less wasted energy?
And, what of that lack of Water? Will I lack feeling throughout the year? Will I need to remind myself to be more adaptable and fluid? Or is this a hint that getting caught up in emotions will not let the year progress as it should? Perhaps just a warning to ensure I don’t get dehydrated 😉
Looking further at the overall numbers, it appears to be largely a year of movement: there are 6 evens and 6 odds — a good sign of balance — but among the evens, there are twos and sixes, which are the more dynamic of the even numbers (four and 8 being more stiff and stagnant, ten being the natural suspension of movement at completion). This pattern of six-ness seems dominant, not only with the split of odds and evens being 6 each, but to further the six-ness, the three twos add up to 6.
This six-ness suggests to me that it will be a year of building and taking comfort in community. Those 3 evenly spaced twos may suggest that there will be partnerships that ultimately also help build communal interaction and support. This already rings true for me for January, as I am looking to bring the Montreal tarot community together to some degree — not that there’s division that I know of, but as far as I’m aware more Montreal readers are quite independent, and I’d like to bring some of us together after seeing the positive work done in other tarot communities last year. I’ll also be attending and participating in Reader’s Studio again this coming year, and, hurricanes notwithstanding, I’ll also be heading to DivinaCon in Florida later in the year. In my other career as a yoga teacher, I also feel some community building is in store, though I’ve not yet determined ways to do that which do not feel gimmicky…
This Six-ness will not only be influential in January, but again in June. June may bring some freshness, better communication within the community or communities I belong to, and may be a good time to plan get-togethers and study how to get the most out of these communities for each individual. It may also be a good time for online conferencing.
Sixes inevitably lead to Sevens, and although there are only two sevens, they do jump out at me. Sevens to me are the number of both the outcast and the leader — sometimes both. where at the Six, all participants are more or less equal within the community, the Seven sees a break where one individual becomes independent. This can create division, leadership, or casting aside, and it can be somewhat rebellious. In this case, given the dominance of harmonious Six, balanced by a couple of Fives, I see this set of Sevens as being progressive and leader-like. Perhaps it is pointing me toward taking the lead in creating community activities, leading training and study groups, or being in a leadership role in some other ways. This characteristic won’t dominate my year, but will become more prevalent in April and November. In April this will have a more intellectual bent, perhaps in the fields of writing or verbal communication, or perhaps in original thought and planning, and in November it will take a more grounded, practical lean, where plans laid and expressed in April will begin to bear fruit. Note too that from April on, the only elements are Earth and Air, all the way through to December — these elements in the Orbifold combine to both The Chariot (another Seven) and Judgement, and so the Seven-tone established in April appears to carry through as an undercurrent of the entire year.
Between these Sevens as I mentioned are two Fives, one in July and one in October. This time, it is July that has the practical side, and October that is more intellectual. The Fives are mid-points, points of transition from comfort to harmony, and are often not necessarily smooth. Five is also the number of the teacher, whether that teacher is the teacher within or the one that teaches others. My birth number is Five, so I’m quite comfortable with this number and am always interested in taking myself and others through the establishment of what we know, feel, and do to the next stage, finding deeper meaning and growth from one standard to the next, so it appears I will be using that capacity in July and October.
The 3 places where I may see partnership are also the three places I may see choice — and even potential conflict, especially in March. This could be nothing more than a choice of two paths to take, an active partnership of getting things done, or a month of conflicts. Maybe a bit of each! A month is certainly long enough to experience many things, especially in March as the weather warms up and we all experience a profound transition from the hardness of winter to the melting freshness of spring. Directly opposite to March, there is another Two in September, where I may face a change of mind, an intellectual decision, or again a partnership but this time one of the mind — a brainstorming partner or stimulating intellectual foil. It could also be indicative of a stalemate, where I may not see eye-to-eye with an intellectual peer and we may have to agree to disagree on some important matter. December may bring a choice of where to live, or what to invest myself in, or even a more fundamental choice about who I want to be in 2018. Again, in terms of partnerships, this could indicate a partner that is more settled, the influence of a more long-term partnership. This could of course be a partnership that already exists but becomes more important in December, or a new partnership that brings a more grounded state to both of us.
That leaves us with the 3 months that have unique numbers, numbers that only appear once each in this spread: February with a Nine, May with an Eight, and August with a Three. I can see February easily as a month of acting on my own, doing a lot of individual work. It is a time when I naturally want to keep to myself, and it looks like this year will be no different, but with a marked focus toward putting forth a good deal of effort. It’s a short month, and there is a lot I can imagine getting done — I may need to keep this card out and visible to bolster those actions! By May, there is a build-up of inertia. This could be just the steadiness of continuing with what is going well and keeping it going, or it could be a period of feeling stuck. It may also be a time of deep rest, and collecting the things that keep me grounded. Looking at the months immediately prior, I may need a pause to re-evaluate and take stock before heading into the summer. Then, in August, there are small changes. I may understand something more clearly, causing a change of mind or an urge to move forward on forming ideas. There’s movement, but it’s the churning of the mind, sorting out fresh ideas as they gestate. This is a good time for it, as August is also a kind of “New Year” point, where many of us plan our year ahead gearing up for September.
In the next layer, including the Courts for each quarter, we have a little more balance of the Elements, but still a dominance of Earth and Air. The Page of Earth (double Earth) is suggesting that January, February, and March be strongly Earth-focussed, and that I harness the most grounded parts of myself at this time. Combining Earth and Fire for the Courts and Minors for this quarter gives The Emperor, which suggests a home-emphasis, so taking care of things at home and developing my home environment in a way that carries me into the rest of 2017.
The next quarter, April, May, and June, is overseen by the Page of Water. Ah! Some Water! Finally! Still very grounded, this is the quarter to be more attuned to my emotional state and the emotional state of those around me. I am often the “emotional rock” and so this quarter will likely see that persona put to good use. Combining the Earth, Water, and Air of the Minors and Courts in this second quarter gives The Hanged One, so there is also a suggestion of looking at things afresh, trying always to see another’s perspective and not just my own, as well as being in a state of suspension — this confirms the Eight of Earth inertia in the middle of this quarter in May — perhaps a time to do some self-reflecting, or if nothing else pausing in quiet observation without being too quick to act or speak.
For July-September, I have the Knight of Air. This is exactly the Elemental opposite of the Page of Water, so where the second quarter was more grounded and reflective, the third quarter kicks into high gear. This is a time to put ideas into action and confirms the movement and freshness of all three Minors for this quarter. Here, the Elemental combination of Earth, Fire, and Air gives The Tower, so it could be a time of upheaval and destruction — perhaps also a warning against acting too hap-hazardly, and that even though this is a time of doing, to also consider the ramifications of hasty action. This quarter also, with that Knight, sums up the Minor’s Elements of the entire year, so this is possibly going to be the most impactful quarter, where by the end of the year that period will seem the most important.
For the last quarter, there is a slight calming with the King of Air. There’s still a dynamism between the Earth and Air combination, again hinting at The Chariot, but there is also an aspect of sitting back and observing what is happening. If the third quarter was the most dynamic, the fourth quarter is where I’ll watch the activity of the third quarter play out. Depending on the results, it’s also a good vantage point to plan ahead once again for another year ahead in 2018.
Finally, the last card, the central summation of the year: Strength. In Strength there is a tension between thought and action, between planning and doing, and between observation and effort. In many ways 2016 felt this way for me, so for the coming year I take that as a reminder that I often face this tension, and it is not always productive — this tension can lead to a stalemate between my thoughts and my actions, but it can also be wonderfully creative in moving forward. It also suggests that I will need to draw even more deeply on my inner strength throughout the year, as well as acknowledging that nothing gets done alone or with ease — sometimes there is a struggle, within or with another, and at times what appears as a struggle is different strengths colliding… and this collision can lead to great things.
What does your year ahead look like?