Unusual and intense climatic, environmental and geological events have hallmarked the year 2014. We’ve seen two of the tetrad blood moons and two solar eclipses. Earth’s magnetic field is weakening at an abnormally rapid speed, perhaps preparing us for a magnetic field flip.
I believe this is a continuation of the earth’s vibrational ascension process as initiated in 2012… but let’s talk Tarot.
I recently watched this helpful video by Kelly-Ann at Four Queens.
She explains how to create a Tarot mandala for meditation. I encourage you to create yours and share in the comments. My personal version looks like a wheel with eight spokes. I decided to perform a reading for the past year, using the mandala more as a spread. I feel the meditation purpose is appropriate for looking back as opposed to forward. If I’m not careful to record my past, I tend to forget what I was doing at certain times of year. Even analyzing this spread, I had to think hard about what I was doing at the summer solstice specifically (most of my summer was eclipsed by visiting the National Rainbow Gathering in the Uinta National Forest in July). I hope this spread helps you to look back on your past year and discover achievements or opportunities for improvement for yourself.
The vertical axis represents the solstices, and the horizontal axis represents the equinoxes. The diagonal axes are the points in the middle, or “cross-quarter” days, altogether representing the Neopagan Wheel of the Year. The center represents the major focus and major challenge of the year.
The horizontal axis from right (Spring Equinox) to left (Fall Equinox): 5 of Cups, IV The Emperor, King of Swords (crossing), Six of Pentacles, Six of Cups.
The vertical axis, from bottom (Summer Solstice) to top (Winter Solstice): 3 of Pentacles, 9 of Pentacles, 4 of Cups (center), 8 of Pentacles, 10 of Pentacles.
The diagonal axis to the right of center, from top (Imbolg- Feb 2) to bottom (Lughnasadh-Sep 1): 10 of Cups, III The Empress, (4 of Cups,) Ace of Wands, Page of Pentacles.
The diagonal axis to the left of center, from bottom (Beltane-May 1) to top (Samhain-Oct 31): 9 of Wands, IX The Hermit, (King of Swords,) XI Justice, VIII Strength.
Next time, I may add a card in the center for each of the cross quarter axes. I am disregarding reversals in this layout because it is a wheel (there is no up).
Not only does this layout allow me to read chronologically, but elementally, with each of the compass points representing (from top, clockwise) Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, or respectively, body, thoughts, actions, feelings. You may have your own medicine wheel association and can focus on that. You may have different associations for turning points, but I find the Wheel of the Year to be the easiest to use given my own Neopagan background.
Rather than going over meanings of each card, individually, here I will create gesture drawings of the ways in which the cards relate to events that I have experienced this past year, starting with February 1.
I became pregnant around New Year’s Eve and confirmed my pregnancy shortly after Imbolg. This was a joyous occasion for me (10 of Cups) as I love being a mom (III The Empress). Even though I’m a single mom, I feel supported by my community, family, and friends, and comfortable in my relationship with my mate (not the father of my baby) and there was much discussion of a bright future ahead (10 of Cups). I also feel more comfort and confidence than ever in governing my home and life (Empress). I felt surrounded by loving support.
At the spring equinox, I experienced some emotional tension (5 of Cups) with my baby’s father (IV Emperor). Conception was not something we had planned together – I had, in fact, assured him that I was taking the necessary precautions with herbal teas. Once I discovered my pregnancy, I found myself unable to cast the life from my womb with abortifacient herbs. I realized I had been suppressing my desire for a second child, and I felt this was a divinely given opportunity. So, rather than coerce the father into co-parenting, I decided to have my baby and to keep her as my own (also relates to Emperor’s self-authority and decision making). She is blessed for having the gift of life, I and her big sister are both blessed for having her, and if that is the only thing her father ever contributes, I am at peace.
By the beginning of May, I had recovered my strength (9 of Wands) from my first trimester experience of almost consistent nausea and returned to taking yoga classes and volunteering at a local organic market as well as drumming for a college African dance class. I was able to shine even in my solitude (IX Hermit) – people around me could see my progress and success, even though I am experiencing financially difficult times. Through this time, I focused on maintaining my healthy habits and activity, even hiking with my daughter. I remained secure in my solitary existence.
Summer solstice marked the beginning of my third trimester (3 of Pentacles), and people began to ask me if I was sure I had just one baby growing in my womb. I participated in a nutrition study hosted by Utah State University which provided extra money to spend at the Cache Valley Gardeners’ Market (9 of Pentacles). We experienced a bountiful growing season and I enjoyed an abundance of food to nourish both my daughter and the baby growing inside me, which I had come to suspect was another girl. I was also selected to receive a scholarship to the Holistic Psychology School based in New York City, which provides an online curriculum and exactly fits my wish to take my Tarot practice in a Spiritual Counseling direction (3 and 9 of Pentacles).
On September 1st, I manifested some specific furniture that I would need to accommodate a newborn in my tiny apartment, which was the first of more to come (Ace of Wands, Page of Pentacles). Ladies in my neighborhood got together and planned a baby shower for me. My daughter (Page of Pentacles) stuck to a prophecy she had given in early June, telling everyone who asked us “We are having a girl,” and our baby’s name (people were surprised that I let my four year old name our baby – and I would explain, to the more open-minded folks, “H didn’t name her – the baby came to her in a dream and told H her name”). I remained active (Ace of Wands), even riding a bicycle, and seriously focusing on my health (Page of Pentacles), and kept my ankles from swelling with a nutritional tea of calcium-rich herbs.
My second daughter, LBR, was born early on the morning of the Fall Equinox after about 6 hours of labor (the 6 of Pentacles and 6 of Cups in this deck both depict two children). My doula was amazing, providing me with support worthy of a birthing partner. Again I felt totally secure in my choice to have the baby, confident in divine providence (6 of Pentacles) to support my choice to keep this wonderful gift of life, via support from my community and my friends (6 of Cups). My mother visited shortly after, and together we were able to reconcile differences and grow closer than I have felt to her since my childhood (6 of Cups).
Shortly thereafter, the divorce with my elder daughter’s father was finalized, ending two years of stress and furthering the healing process for our daughter and ourselves (XI Justice). By Samhain, LBR had been blessed and welcomed into our spiritual community of Cache Valley Unitarian Universalists (CVUU), and for trick-or-treating, I went as a Goddess-Worshipping, Baby-Wearing Warrior Woman (VIII Strength) because that is the energy with which I felt most strongly in tune (and because it came naturally).
Now, as I enjoy the middle of this final turn of the solar year, heading into the Yuletide season, I have dedicated myself to writing a book about Shadow work (8 of Pentacles) that reflects on certain experiences in my life that have led me to further self awareness and a satisfying amount of self love and self appreciation (10 of Pentacles). I’ve also signed up for life coaching services with a newly certified local lady who’s conducting a gratia project to break into her new career field.
The central theme of the year, the 4 of Cups, touches on my level of uncertainty and dissatisfaction with my financial state and how it affects me emotionally. I want to grow my Tarot practice to a level of success where I have consistent appointments and support myself and my family in comfort and stability, saving up for a tiny house that I would eventually take down to New Mexico for part of the year until I can relocate there full time. I have also been preoccupied with the problem of my long distance relationship with my mate and not knowing when I will see him again. Currently I am relying on support from outside sources rather than income that I generate. I realize I still have far to go on my healing journey. The King of Swords, I feel, challenges me to be at peace in my own mind, to maintain calm thought space as my first priority, and allow action, feelings, and physical form to flow from that calm, peaceful state of mind.
I invite you to share any experiments you conduct with this layout in the comments below! Please show your support for Kelly-Ann at Four Queens by subscribing to her channel, if you like her video, and don’t forget to schedule your next reading.