A birthday reading for me! My birthday was already a month ago but I drew cards on the day and have slowly been writing up this reading for myself to share with you here on the blog. I love doing birthday readings just as much as I love doing New Year readings; they have a very similar energy of new beginnings and endless possibilities. I’m lucky to have a birthday just about halfway through the year so it’s a great time to check in with where I was at the start of the year, reexamine goals and growth, and determine the best path forward from here. If you don’t happen to have a birthday in June or July, a great time to do a check in reading for the year is at the Summer Solstice. Next year I’m planning on offering a package reading that includes a New Year reading and a Summer Solstice reading, so look for that option to pop up in December. Fun, right?!
Okay, back to me and my birthday! Strength is my year card for this 36th year of my life. I determine year cards by adding together all the numbers of the current date for the birthday and then reducing it down to a number between 1-9. So for my birthday on July, 8, 2018 that looks like this:
7+8+2+0+1+8= 26 then 2+6= 8 viola! 8 is the number for Strength.
You can also find your tarot birth card in this same manner, to determine which tarot card acts as a theme for your entire life. So for example, with my birth date of July 8, 1982:
7+8+1+9+8+2= 35 then 3+5= 8 viola! 8 is Strength 🙂
So guess what? Strength is my tarot birth card as well! That makes this feel like a very special year for me. Double Strength! Who doesn’t love that? A year card is a tarot card that acts as a theme for the entire year ahead. It is a foundational energy that can be accessed more easily during the year, one that can be drawn upon and utilized to create great magic during this spin around the sun. I wrote a post about Strength earlier this year here, so you can get an idea of what a Strength year ahead holds. I also include a 4-5 page PDF about your year card if you order a birthday reading from me! Something to consider 🙂
Next, using Strength as my theme card for the year, I drew six more tarot cards to address different aspects of the year ahead. Here is what I drew:
1. How will the Strength card manifest itself in my life?- Page of Cups reversed
2. What lessons do I need to learn this year?- IX of Cups
3. What particular area of my life needs focus?- King of Swords
4. What obstacles stand in my way this year?- VIII of Pentacles
5. What can help me achieve my goals this coming year?- X of Pentacles
6. What kind of year can I expect to experience?- Justice reversed
Let’s explore this spread a bit! I’m also interested to look back at the reading I did for myself in January for 2018 and see if there are any repeating lessons, obstacles, etc. or if I’ve had some major energetic shifts since the beginning of this calendar year. What strikes me right away is that in my January 2018 reading I drew the Queen of Wands reversed as my theme card for the year. In today’s reading I’m using Strength as my theme card for my 36th year. The Queen of Wands reversed and Strength very much vibrate on the same energetic wavelength in my heart, mind, and body. Both are Fire energy, creativity, passion, bravery, charisma, and holding fast to what makes life worth living. The reversal of the Queen of Wands earlier in the year could indicate that that energy has been dormant or latent potential inside of me that is now ready to more fully manifest in action.
Knowing that I would like to take concrete steps towards living in my Strength is a good start. It’s great to know what you want, what you’re striving for, what lights you up inside. Just having any idea of what your goal is in this crazy confusing world is a major first step, so go me for knowing what I want! I want to strengthen my inner spirit, live closer to my passions, feel deeper into my inspirations, and lead a creative life. I don’t want to force things, constantly working myself to the bone, but rather allow my energy to flow. Like many people, I have the tendency feel inadequate if I’m not constantly working or pushing myself towards the next goal. To live in Strength means acknowledging, accepting, and surrendering to the times of rest, relaxation, and being. I am enough right now.
Let’s continue with the Page of Cups reversed as an indicator of how Strength will show up for me going forward. I see this as a kind and gentle message to work on re-patterning my emotional realm. The Page is a beginning, a start, something fresh and new and is the energy I need to take when reassessing and reconfiguring how I approach my emotions, my emotional responses, and my emotional patterns. The way that I have been experiencing my feelings for the past 35 years is something that I’m questioning right now. Do I have to have these reactions? Do certain situations have to evoke programmed emotional responses? Or can I decide to react differently and make new patterns that better reflect the way I want to live and experience the world? The Page of Cups supports this going within to reflect upon my emotional world and will hold my hand while I sort out what new ways I want to feel.
Strength and the Page of Cups seem like complimentary energies to me. Strength lends backbone and confidence to the immature and developing Page. Where the Page of Cups reversed could be scared or uncertain when facing the unknown landscape of creating new neural pathways for her emotions, with Strength by her side she bravely marches forward. The Page of Cups reversed does require a lot of support from Strength, thereby diluting some of the power of Strength, stretching Strength thin and limiting my reach this year. If I’m only at a beginning stage in creating the healthy emotional patterns I desire, I can’t expect Strength to magically transport me to the next level without doing the work. The Page of Cups reversed reminds me of to be patient and diligent. This will take time, but if I don’t start at all, I will never make any progress in my evolution. I need to constantly remind myself to accept where I am at in my development and surrender to the process.
Taking this emotional re-patterning a step further, the IX of Cups shows up as the lesson I will learn this 36th year. This card advises me to enjoy the work, revel in my emotions, find joy in expressing myself and my feelings. I have a tendency to hide my emotions in my little Crab shell, sidestepping direct communication of my inner world with those around me who seem untrustworthy, or simply unworthy, which ends up being most people. The IX of Cups says, “No, don’t hide. Be open. Be bright. Share what you are going through.” I can do that sharing here on my blog or in person with new friends and old. My natural inclination is to listen until I am absolutely certain that what I say will be heard, but maybe it’s just time to speak without any assurance that anyone will understand or care. That is scary, but that is owning my emotions as valid and authentic to me, and that being the only thing that matters when I decide how and when to express myself.
In my reading from January, I drew the VIII of Cups reversed as a message about how I would experience my Fire energy in 2018. Seeing the next card in the sequence, the IX of Cups come up here gives me a sense of progress being made. I have been putting in a lot of energy around understanding and examining my emotions. I’m not just saying I should do this, I’m realizing that I am doing this! This little step from the VIII to the IX makes me feel proud of myself. I want to acknowledge my progress. I’m by no means about to stop the process and call this book written, I’m just saying that I have been able to let go of certain modes of interacting with my inspiration and processing my feelings that I do not believe are in my best interest. It’s amazing to live with my Higher Self on a daily basis, allowing that self to be revealed to me as I am ready to understand me.
Then along comes the King of Swords, who is here to act as a balance or counterpoint to all that freedom of self-expression and pouring forth of emotions. The King of Swords lets me know that there is a logical and honest way to share my emotions. I can speak my truth and communicate my message in direct and straightforward ways. I can be emotionally open without having to go against my airy Aquarius Moon which makes me want to distance myself and share my emotions more objectively than subjectively. In other words, I don’t have to start writing flowery poetry using cliche metaphors, or share tear-filled Instagram stories all about my feelings. I don’t have to be someone I’m not. The King of Swords is deeply in touch with his feelings, emotionally mature, and controlled. He excels in the communication of those feelings with honesty, self-acceptance, and unquestioning knowing.
The King of Swords is that bit of intellectual support that tells me that I’ll live, speaking my truth won’t kill me. He knows that fear is a part of the process, it won’t stop me from trying. He is willing to get uncomfortable in order to grow and be himself. He doesn’t get all upset if someone criticizes him. My message isn’t for everyone, not everyone will need my words, explanations, or epiphanies. The King of Swords easily comprehends that we are all at various stages of our emotional growth and doesn’t look down or judge those that can’t understand or won’t understand his message at this moment. This card blends well with Strength as the King of Swords is very courageous and bold. Armed with my truth, I will speak my mind and live authentically.
Next up in this reading comes my obstacle for the year ahead, for which I drew the VIII of Pentacles. Work, work, work. That’s what the VIII of Pentacles always makes me think. Is putting in the work an obstacle? I suppose we all suffer from just wanting to be done and perfect and understand and move on to the next level. Mastery is highly sought and lavishly praised. I have never been a master of much. I consider myself a bit of a Renaissance women, knowing a bit of this and that, good at a thing or two, a dilettante, or most basely- a dabbler. The idea of truly dedicating myself to one discipline, one project, one area, does seem like a huge obstacle. I’m not even sure what I would focus on, what I would want to be a master of?
Often the image on the VIII of Pentacles depicts a person creating physical pentacles. I like the idea that I could be creating something physical this year. I’ve been working on designing my own tarot deck for years now using photographs from my travels. I haven’t been particularly pressed to finish this deck, but I do want to make progress and get more of the images selected and description writing done. I can imagine myself as the worker bee from the VIII of Pentacles, diligently dedicating my time and energy to this project. I can also channel the Knight of Pentacles that I drew at the beginning of the year as a support card for the year ahead. The Knight is a wonder at diligence, follow through, and steadfastly plodding along after a goal. I’m optimistic that my dedication to my creative project will continue throughout the year ahead and that I’ll make major headway.
The X of Pentacles indicates what can help me reach my goals this year. My first thought- MONEY! Yes, money would surely help me reach many of my goals in the coming year. I could dedicate my time and resources to creating my tarot deck. I could buy a home. I could have really fantastic travel adventures, etc. Money can buy a lot of things. I’ll certainly keep myself open to the Universe offering me chances to bring abundant wealth into my life, but in the meantime, I can also work on my own definition of material abundance. What does it feel like to have enough? Am I appreciating everything that I already have? Can I do more or different things with the resources that I currently possess? Delving into these types of questions and exploring my money mindset even more in the year ahead will help me reach my goals going forward.
The X energy of this card is the energy of an ending and also of a new beginning. In other words, I’m in the middle of a transition. I’m wrapping things up as well as starting things fresh and in that process I get to make a lot of decisions about how I want to show up in the physical world. What ways of being in this body, in this world, on this Earth do I want to let go of and what new ways do I want to develop? In the past year, I’ve been really focused on creating a healthy lifestyle and the habits I believe support that healthy lifestyle. That was the active energy of The Chariot last year, a year in which I decided to eat vegan, moderate my drinking, sleep more, change my exercise habits, do work that is very physical (cleaning houses), meditate daily, align my body at the chiropractor, hydrate, make new friends, and move into a new living situation without roommates. Holy crap! When I look back on that list now and see all the things I have changed in the last year, I am blown away by the progress I have made, the changes I have made, the difference in the way that I feel in my body now. That makes me want to write a lot about The Chariot year!
Anyway, without getting too caught up in another idea for a blog post, I’ll simply say that the X of Pentacles combined with the energy of Strength lends me the energy to persevere in the year ahead. I can appreciate the healthy habits I have integrated into my life in the past year and use Strength to continue those practices. I know that not every day will be be perfect, but Strength helps me be consistent. This is all a practice and I won’t eat, drink, sleep, exercise, and relax to perfection every day, but I can trust that those practices are part of me now. I can begin a new phase with this lifestyle as my foundation for living. Now what can my life be like going forward from this point? The X of Pentacles reminds me to appreciate all that I have integrated and begin this year as a fresh version of myself.
Lastly, I drew Justice reversed as an indicator of what type of year ahead I can expect. I’ll admit, Justice is not a card that I connect with deeply. Whenever I draw it in a reading I am little taken aback- what does this mean? I welcome this opportunity to work with this card in the year ahead, to consider its meanings and implications, and watch this energy play out in my life. I immediately think, “Well, I’m going to learn a lot about how unfair life can be, how unjust, how dishonest.” And maybe that’s true! I’m not going to say I have a particularly rosy view of the world, especially our current Western political, economic, and social structures. Do I need to get more into that? Do I require more examples of how fucked up and unfair things are around me? I don’t feel like I need that, but it kind of seems like that’s what I’m going to get. Perhaps the world is bringing me to my breaking point, a point at which I will be forced to work harder towards solutions. I aim to create space for light, consciousness, and love in this world, but I’m sure I could do that on a bigger scale. Perhaps this year will bring me to that point of expansion. Boy, that sure doesn’t sound like very much fun, but if there’s one thing I’m learning right now, it’s that transition and growth often feel terrible, hard, and sad even as they bring deep meaning.
It will be important for me in the year ahead to make sure I am taking responsibility for my actions, thoughts, and feelings. Yes, there are lots of things in this world that are outside of my control, but I can’t shirk my role as the master of my own reactions. Many of my reactions are preprogrammed habits that do not serve me and do not exemplify how I actually want to react. It takes my time and effort to change these programs, to consciously move away from knee-jerk responses and instead consider what is actually a reasonably and fair way to react. I will work on that in the year ahead, work on my reactions to injustice and unfairness and reprogram myself to respond in a way that creates the change I want to see in the world. I will hold myself accountable for showing up the way I want others to show up, to be responsible, to be a role model, to treat others and myself with honesty, integrity and fairness. The King of Swords who came up earlier in this reading as a focus for this year also emphasizes this need for honesty and integrity to rule my year ahead.
Justice reversed as well as the King of Swords both speak to the reprograming of Air energy, of mental patterns in my life. The Page of Cups and IX of Cups are about emotional patterns. The Pentacles cards point out reprogramming of physical patterns. And Strength is the overarching mission to guide all this effort with spiritual energy. Obviously, I’m feeling ambitious and grand this morning as I read these cards for my year ahead. I will remember to check in with this reading occasionally, especially at the New Moon reading times to see what progress and development occurs. I hope you enjoyed reading this birthday reading for me. Get in touch any time if you need a little birthday reading for yourself!