A Personal Reading for the New Year 2019

Happy New Year! Each year I love to sit down and enjoy some “me time” by delving into the energy of my year ahead using the insight and guidance of the tarot. I use the spread that I offer to everyone on my email tarot readings page so you can get an idea of what my reading style is and if you would like a similar reading for yourself. I’ll be offering this reading until January 13th, so you can order one any time up until then 🙂

I wish each of us the positivity and perseverance to make 2019 an incredibly satisfying and enjoyable year for ourselves, and for each other. 

Now, here’s my reading for me!

The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck

1. A 2019 overall theme card: V of Cups reversed
2. A positive influence to guide me: II of Swords reversed
3. An energy that will challenge my growth: The High Priestess reversed
4. A message to promote abundance, gratitude, and healing: VI of Swords 
5. Relationship/love influence ahead: The Empress reversed
6. Career/work energy ahead: IV of Pentacles reversed
7. Wellbeing/spiritual calling coming: II of Cups

Let the reading begin! The first thing I noticed about these cards is that I drew mostly reversals. This is a call to go inside and process a major change in my outer world with a corresponding transition of my internal world. 2018 was an incredibly challenging year for me, perhaps more so than any year of my life. I suffered a major loss that caused me to swing between denial and depression for the last six months. Change in life situations can be difficult to impossible when a corresponding inner transition does not accompany the outward changes of circumstances. I’m ready to accept my loss and start healing.

The V of Cups reversed as the theme card of my year ushers in a year of acceptance, healing, and moving on. I’m at a turning point, as every 5 card indicates. I’m still in the struggle, but the reversal shows me that I am making progress, I am ready to move on and acceptance that the past cannot be changed. I am determined to release and let go, but also uncertain of what the future holds. I feel like I’m in an in between place, processing an ending before starting a developmental journey that will be the beginning of a new chapter of my life. The V of Cups reversed reminds me to be gentle and quiet, especially when it comes to my emotions which can be volatile and erratic. Dealing with disappointment, regret, and loss requires substantial time and patience and I want to give those to myself this coming year.

The acceptance that I feel gives me hope for the next chapter of my life. I intend to be more self-aware, more empathetic, stronger, wiser, self-validating, self-possessed and more creative. I have a lot of exploration, reflection, and redesign work to do in my head, heart, and very spirit. Hopefully, the outcome of that internal work will be a more evolved version of myself, built upon the new knowledge I gained during this transition period. The V of Cups reversed gives me encouragement that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, that painful, messy growth is sometimes the best option available, and that I will be okay.

The II of Swords reversed is a positive influence to guide me in the year ahead. Honestly, this feels more like a warning that a warm hug. I am confused and disoriented about what comes next in my life, and have a tendency to take in a lot of information and advice in order to choose my best path. Perhaps the II of Swords reversed is patting me on the back for getting off of social media for a while. I decided to put Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter out of my life for the foreseeable future. My brain is overwhelmed with new information from all angles, which just isn’t helpful. I want to make decisions about my future that are based on my values and what’s best for me. Being in touch with that inner knowing can be difficult when I bombard myself with all kinds of messages about how to life my best life. Even positive, life-affirming messages can be too much for a soul in full-on growth phase. I need to keep it simple and quiet.

The II of Swords also shows the positive influence of taking a break from trying to integrate two opposing points of view. Being in disagreement and conflict for the last half of the year has left me frazzled and weary of continuing to state my opinions, philosophies, and beliefs without any change or compromise. The space between viewpoints feels like the blackhole depicted in the II of Swords above. Instead of a vibrant and alive space, it feels dull and dead. Taking a break from that conflict, just focusing on myself, and being quiet sounds fantastic at the moment. This space to myself is a positive influence in 2019.

The High Priestess reversed as the energy that will challenge my growth really supports this idea of quiet and calm. This card represents the subconscious and the use of intuition. Being a tarot reader, you won’t be surprised that I highly value the use of intuition in decision making and planning out life path steps. It may surprise you to learn that I don’t feel like I have been connected to my intuition. The denial that I wrote of earlier is part of that. I had created an identity for myself based upon my life situation instead of upon my eternal self or “me-ness”. When the reality of my life situation changed, I didn’t know who I was anymore, which is an unhealthy way to live. Denying the need for internal transition and creation of a self-validated identity blocked my intuition last year. It would burst out in fits and tantrums (literally!) but then I would shove it away again. “It’s time to change, Deird. You have to let go. Your reality has changed and you can’t stay the same.” But I wouldn’t listen.

My challenge in the year ahead is to start listening to my intuition again. The II of Swords reversed shows me stuck in a situation in which I can’t figure out which path forward will have the least negative consequences for me. The High Priestess reversed calls me to trust and have faith that I’ll pick the right path for me if I just quiet down and listen. One of the challenges that comes with this is that this quiet time is very self-focused after a period of intense interest and dependence on other people’s emotions and needs. It is extremely hard for me to put my needs first and breaking from this pattern requires intense effort on my part. Learning to acknowledge my own wants and need, self-validate, and hold onto myself in the face of other’s demands is my current challenge. Meeting that challenge will allow amazing growth for me.

The hard messages of the last two cards are softened by the healing energy of the VI of Swords. Finally an upright card! and this one shows the shift towards a new mindset and perspective on life. It may be difficult, dark, and unwanted but it is definitely happening, no if, ands, or buts about it.  I must remember, though, that relief is not withheld from me now or in the future. This transition holds healing, it is a rite of passage, it is a movement from one stage of life to the next. The movement is subtle and sometimes excruciatingly slow, but there is a shifting and I will arrive on a distant shore a healthy and more whole version of myself. There is no reason to look back with regret or imagine that the past wasn’t “real.” The past was what I was capable of as the person I was at the time. Now I am transforming and will be capable of more.

The VI of Swords often indicates travel and that is something that I think would be very healing for me. I am not in a place financially where I can afford travel, but making plans and saving up are the only things currently on my agenda for the year. I always love to travel, it allows me to stay present in the moment much more easily than in my day-to-day life. Being in the present is a wonderful place to be. It is the time when everything is happening. I’m grateful for all the opportunities that I’ve had to travel in the past and hopeful and excited about future possibilities for travel. I also recognize that I am traveling at this moment, just not physically, all the movement is within me, happening at a glacial and elegant pace.

The VI of Swords indicates a low mood, the blues, and depression. The thing for me to remember is that this is normal and that pruning back, healing, regeneration, and new growth can all happen here. It certainly doesn’t feel good to be depressed but it is a necessary part of the transition process. Everyone has their winter, when everything dies and the world gets cold. At this darkest time, we can still remember the warmth of the summer and hold hope for the spring. Taking things one day at a time, noting what progress I do make, and being gentle and patient with myself are all recommended.

I drew The Empress reversed for my love/relationship energy going into 2019. Perhaps it hasn’t been abundantly obvious if you don’t know me, but this loss that I’m dealing with is one of love and relationship. The Empress reversed also indicates a need for some alone time to believe in myself again, to get in touch with my own needs and wants in life, outside of my relationship. I’ve been neglecting my own power, my own place, my own life path. I’m uncertain about what the future of my relationship is, besides knowing that what is was is over and what comes next is unknown- something or nothing that is left to be seen.

The Empress reversed reminds me that I need to be careful not to place myself in a situation where I’m waiting to see what happens, though. This isn’t about my relationship anymore, whatever it was is over, and whatever it is going to be is uncertain. In that uncertainty I need to work on my own emotional issues and mental problems and spiritual calling. This is independent and personal work that I’m doing, not to try and patch things up or pass the time waiting, but rather now is my time. It’s all about my relationship with myself. I want to believe in myself again. I want to trust myself. I want to validate myself. I want to live my values. I want to get ahold of myself and feel together internally again.

The Empress reversed is also an indicator for depressed mood and negativity, this time in the area of love. What can I say- I’m a bag of laughs these days!  Okay, see I still do have a sense of humor, but I’m also okay with being sad. I’m not going to fight it. I’m not going to pretend everything is fine. I’m not going to pretend I’m enjoying this. I’m not going to try and avoid, ignore, or speed up this winter mood. Sometimes I laugh because I say I love personal development and growth, but then when I’m presented with it so obviously and immensely, I’m all, “No thanks! This sucks!” It doesn’t help to remind myself that I will look back on this time as hugely meaningful and important, but I do still know that that is true. 

The presence of The High Priestess reversed and The Empress reversed indicates a need to connect more positively with my feminine energy. I have been passive to the point of being disconnected from my abundant creativity and personal life energy. This doesn’t mean I have to push myself to do, do, do and create. Rather it’s time to nurture and love myself quietly and calmly. Building myself back up may take a while as I reconnect to my calm inner center, my ability to manifest magic, my inner beauty and my inspiration to create. This is a gentle process with no need for the pressure to suddenly be restored and in the full swing of creation. Life is a complex interconnected system, not a machine that can be quickly fixed with new parts. A solid foundation of self love, self esteem, and self possession can flow out into all areas once it is firmly established. That is something I really need to work on this year with The Empress and The High Priestess as my guides.

For the work and career energy of my 2019 I drew the IV of Pentacles reversed. This points out a relative lack of interest in career stability in my life at the moment. Going through so much turmoil in my relationship department has really pulled my focus away from the material world of finances and work. Of course, I still need money to live my life and I’ve been mostly focused on not spending too much so that I can feel secure that I’m not living outside of my means. This could be a great time figure out what my needs actually are and step outside of my usual comfort zone of work to try and meet those needs. It doesn’t look like 2019 is shaping up to be a financially successful year, but knowing that that energy is lacking in my life right now could be just the kick in the pants I need to start turning things around for myself.

Lastly, I drew the II of Cups for the energy of wellbeing and spirituality that 2019 brings with it. I love, love, love seeing this card as the last one in the reading. It evokes a sense of self love and living in alignment with my values that I really need right now. When a person truly loves themselves, validates themselves, and can stand on her own two feet, that is when she is most capable of forming meaningful and lasting relationship with another person. I aim to see myself positivity, honor and respect myself, treat myself how I want to be treated by others, so to say. The II of Cups comforts me that I am following my spiritual calling and doing what is best for my wellbeing at this time. I’ve felt out of alignment with the Universe, like the Universe is playing cruel and unusual tricks on me. I know that that is not how the Universe works, I just can’t see the patterns, the master plan, all of destiny laid out before me- and I never will! But I will see pieces, and I will be consoled, and certain things that I need to know now will come to light in their own time and way.

As far as physical wellbeing, the II of Cups suggest balance and moderation in all things. When we take care of our emotional needs, we often end up simultaneously addressing the physical ailments of the body. When we work and relax in equal measure, it can quiet the mind and the body. When we spend as much time exploring and uncovering our inner world as we do creating in the outer world, we derive more peace and joy in life. This year I need to remember to harmonize the duality within me between the internal feminine and the external masculine energies. This is wonderful advice for anyone but especially those who have been doing far too much and are getting increasingly overwhelmed by the demands of the modern world and society. Maybe you too want to take a break from social media for a while?  😉

Okay, I am going to leave it on that positive note. This reading was uncomfortably personal for me and I may only leave it up for the short time that this reading spread is available to order on the email readings page. This is a great example of how a tarot reading can bring up present uncomfortable truths, things we don’t want to face but when we do, we grow exponentially. Are you ready to discover the transformative power of tarot?

Happy New Year 2019!!

A Birthday Reading for my 36th Year!

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:

Tarot spread using the Linestrider Tarot deck

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

Linestrider Tarot

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.

Linestrider Tarot

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.

Linestrider Tarot

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.

Linestrider Tarot

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.

Linestrider Tarot

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.

Linestrider Tarot

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.

Linestrider Tarot

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!

Reflections on the Archetype of Strength

I picked Strength as my word of the year for 2018. It is more than just a word to me though, it is a whole archetype. It contains so much more than just one word or idea. Today, I’m going to write a little bit about what I think Strength means, how I’m working with it this year, and how you too can draw on the energy of Strength when you need a boost of energy, confidence, and stamina.

Shadowscapes Tarot

First and foremost, working with Strength for me is about building confidence. Strength is an energy that you can channel to prop yourself up when you need confidence, courage, and stamina. I know I often need more of that type of energy in my life. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and exhausted. Calling on Strength reminds me that I have deep reserves of inner fortitude, and that I can endure my challenges. In fact, I can do more than endure my challenges, I can blossom, grow, and build myself up throughout the process of confronting obstacles, roadblocks, and setbacks in my path.

Strength is also about perseverance and fortitude. It is the ability to just keep going even when I am worn out, struggling, or just plain tired to the bone. I have deep reserves of energy meant specifically for the areas of my life that are most important to me. If I really want something, if it really lights me up inside and gives me purpose, I will find a way to make myself keep going and strive. It’s easy to pinpoint the things that aren’t part of my life purpose, because there is just no energy or perseverance for completing them. When I don’t follow through on these things, I don’t feel deeply unsatisfied and disappointed. When something doesn’t get done and it doesn’t show up again at another time for a second chance at tackling it, it just wasn’t part of my ultimate path.

Strength means I don’t give up when things get tough, instead I dig deep and I find deeper answers and meaning because of that struggle and exhaustion. We are all trying to avoid pain and suffering, isn’t that only natural? But what else is natural is the meaning and purpose we derive from pushing through and doing the hard and difficult things that make us so uncomfortable. It’s in the pain and discomfort and feat that the story of purpose unfolds. When we are channeling Strength it’s easier to hear those messages of meaning. When we  ask Strength for assistance on something that doesn’t actually resonate with our soul purpose, Strength just kind of ignores us and no surge of endurance emerges to allow us to keep going. Working with Strength is working with our intuition.

Sometimes we do breakdown though. Sometimes we reach exhaustion, we fail, we shut down, we go into overdrive and burn out. In that moment, there is also a profound connection to Strength. Life tests us in excruciating ways simply to connect us to that extraordinary Strength we each hold within ourselves. It’s painful but it’s not wrong and we don’t have to suffer through it. We can lean into the pain, wrapped in the knowledge of our Strength, knowing we’ll pull through. This isn’t the end, it is simply a resting point.

Strength is not brute forth, it is endurance, it is the long run, it creates energy even as we are on our last legs, propelling us just a few steps farther. Strength is the tortoise, not the hare. Strength may even appear to crumple or stop or stagnate but she is just resting, and the resting point is crucial and beautiful. There is a subtle growth in the rest that indicates almost inpercetible continuation of movement. You can still feel that movement within you if you tune into that enduring vibration of Strength that is always pulsing in your center.

The Wild Unknown Tarot

Strength is also about control, aware of creating her life in collaboration with Fate. Fate is not running the show, but rather works in harmony with our shifting interpretations and perceptions of our reality. Strength allows you to be conscious and awake to the reactions you have to Fate. You can decide how you interpret and live in life’s troubles and problems. Strength allows you to choose your own reality, to decide how to react to the world around you. When life gives you lemons, do you make lemonade? Do you look for the silver lining? Do you treat misfortune as an opportunity to learn something, a lesson buried within? Strength allows you to entertain the prospect that everything happens for a reason. She also allows you to accept that you’ll probably never know that reason and just have to believe and have faith.

Strength is acceptance but she is also your internal badass who totally has your back, massaging your shoulders in the corner of the ring, “Now go out there and fight!” Most of the fight is just against yourself, the little voice of doubt in your head, “You are bad at this. You have nothing to offer. No one will understand you. People will misunderstand, misinterpret, and twist your words and then BLAME you for their mistakes. You will cause mistakes. You are not good enough.” Blah, blah, blah! That little voice could go on for days but Strength is the angel on your shoulder whispering that, “You are good enough. You are worthy. Your uniqueness is a gift. You can grow. You are ready. We are all one. People want to hear from you. You can do it.” She is really good at being the cheerleader and being the coach.

I have many more things I could say about Strength, but that is going to be all for today 🙂 I hope you connect deeply with your inner Strength whenever you need it! Did you pick a word of the year? Care to share?

Tarot Blog Hop: Teaching Connection through Tarot

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Welcome to the Beltane Tarot Blog Hop! Beltane marks the beginning of summer, the waxing of the sun, the beauty of fertile Earth coming fully to life to nourish us all. It is just wonderfully beginning to get hot here in Nashville, which is a delight that it has held off this long. I’m so excited that you have hopped over to my blog and are (mildly) interested to read my response to this hop’s theme question: “What can I teach the world?” I’d like to teach the world the benefits of tarot. 

The other day, an inquisitive person asked me, “How is a tarot reading useful?” I didn’t hesitate in my passionate answer, “The time of a tarot readings is a wonderful and needed opportunity to sit down, take a breathe, and think about your life. During this time you don’t have to do anything. You are taking stock of what happened in the past, what is currently happening in your life, and where it is all heading. You get a quiet period to contemplate your big picture and ask yourself, “Do I like how things are going? Do I want to alter my path? What choices can I make to create the life I desire?” This time spent consulting with your intuition can set you up to make big moves in a conscious direction.”

We all need that time to pause, even if we are cruising at full speed towards amazing results. The society I find myself a part of is all go, go, go! Even yoga has become a workout and time in the car is for massively consuming podcasts at 1.5x speed (I can’t handle either of those things, but I know that they are popular!) The time of a tarot reading opens up a space to slow down. All electronic devices can be shut off and put away. The analog, physical, and beautiful nature of the cards brings a sensual pleasure to a tarot reading. You can pick of the cards, you can look into your tarot readers eyes, you can take the opportunity to have a real, meaningful conversation. 

Lately, I’ve become really interested in honest and open conversations about real life. Usually, I find myself having social interactions that are pretty superficial, discussing the weather, or TV shows, or what my dog is up to these days. There is a need within me, and one I see reflected in other people I meet under the right circumstances, to have deeper conversations. I want to talk about creativity, love, the meaning of life, and the mystery of the Universe. I want to talk about the emotional and mental patterns that have gotten us where we am now and the changes we would like to make to grow. I want to talk about the risks we are all taking to get out of our comfort zones, and what is guiding us through that risk taking process.

A tarot reading is a great time to have a conversation about what scary risks are being avoided or resisted. I enjoy reading so much, because it gives me an “excuse” to have a meaningful conversation with another human being, the type of conversation I always want to be having. The tarot cards gives us both something to focus on during that conversation to ease into what can be an awkward or scary opening up of the soul’s desires. Of course, the other magical part of the reading is the 2 cents that the Universe adds to a tarot reading. So often, the cards we draw reveal or uncover what part Fate is playing in life. The experience and reaction to that awareness of Fate can be life altering. It gives a chance to work with Fate, to make choices with the Universe in mind, to shape your own Destiny.

I hope you continue along the tarot blog hop to encounter the next wonderful teaching…

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A 2018 Theme Reading for Myself!

Happy 2018! I know we’re already a week into the year, but I finally had a chance today to sit down and go in depth into the cards I drew for myself for 2018. It ended up being an interesting, insightful, and guiding reading for me, even though I felt pretty unimpressed upon first look at the cards. That’s the thing about tarot cards, they can go deep if you are willing to take the plunge.

You can try out this spread for yourself or I’m happy to do a reading for you using this spread. You can hop over to my email tarot readings page and order one up any time this month. I’d be so excited to hear from you.

In the meantime, let’s see what the cards had to say for my 2018. Whoopee!

Linestrider Tarot Deck

My overall theme for 2018: Queen of Wands reversed
My theme for 2018, as represented by the Queen of Wands reversed, is centered on an internal connection to and exploration of Fire energy. This year, I will take a long look at my inner fire, inner creativity, spirit, passion, light, brilliance, and inspiration. I’m not a naturally fiery person, but we all have this place inside of us where our spirit resides. Perhaps the fact that I don’t usually connect with Fire energy is why the Queen of Wands has shown up as my 2018 theme, in order to point out to me where inside me of me could use more focus and attention.

I intend to get really comfortable with spirit this year, the kind of deep down familiarity that takes time to develop. I intend to explore the element of Fire and what its light can help me create and manifest in this world. The Queens are already focused internally and this reversal points inward as well, indicating a push to gain clarity on what my soul calling is, what I actually desire to be doing with my life. I am relatively content with the work I do, my home situation, my relationships, my path towards my best health, and so forth. But what is the point of all of that? What is the meaning? Why am I here in this body on this Earth at this time? The Queen of Wands reversed asks me to look within and endeavor to answer that question for myself, listening to the calling of my soul.

One reason I’m interpreting this card as being all about me, and not a theme of being influenced by people coming into my life who are Queen of Wands types, is the reversal. My wife is such a Queen of Wands, and this reversal says to me, “Hey, this year isn’t about Kristen and what she wants and what she is doing. This year is about you and your connection to what lights you up inside.” So often, Kristen and my own desires, needs, and wants overlap, so there is some murkiness is separating out my own voice clearly from all those ambitions. And, of course, there are many things I want for Kristen and helping her lights up my little heart. Overall, the theme for 2018 is about my own passions in life and feeling like I’m connected to my higher purpose.

My greatest obstacle in 2018: Page of Wands reversed
My greatest obstacle is getting stuck in Page of Wands exploration and not progressing to Queen of Wands mastery. I shall not be immature and miss my growth! Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about Page of Wands energy, but it is less developed and in control than Queen of Wands energy. The Page is about new beginnings, but I’ve already come so far on my journey of internal discovery and exploration. I don’t want to stay in that phase of “just figuring things out”. I want to take what I have learned and get to the next level of development.

Leveling up is difficult work. It requires belief, trust, and holding onto a vision of myself that is, as yet, unrealized. The Page of Wands wants to distract me with new ideas, tangents or run away creative pursuits that are far afield from my objectives. The Page sees something shiny and amazing and wanders off in wonder. That can’t be me this year. I know so much already that I can process and synthesize in order to transform to a higher level of my conscious development. I am in the middle of this transformative energy, which is a challenging place to be. It’s not a comfortable place, it’s not a glamorous place. It lacks the pizazz of a new beginning that the Page of Wands loves, but I will stay the course this year knowing that distractions will abound.

Those distractions could also take the form of messages from the outside world. Pages often represent messengers and we all know what it feels like to be inundated with outside messages that conflict with or contradict our inner guidance. This year I must be wary and questioning of information and news from the environment around me. Oftentimes, I take information at face value, as factual and true, and that can be damaging or hurtful. Truth is subjective to our individual experience and interpretation. On my inner journey of self development, I will not be distracted or dismayed by messengers trying to block or rewind my progress. When we grow, we also outgrow, and that can include no longer running with the same crowd, following the same news outlets, or believing in the same spiritual constructs.

My greatest support in 2018: Knight of Pentacles
The Knight of Pentacles is my rock in the year ahead. He gently reminds me to, “Just keep going, plod, plod, plod along with unceasing dedication and devotion to the goal.” There is a grounded belief in success due to prolonged effort embedded  within this Knight’s aura. He is serious and calm. I will not be distracted from my purpose. I will not get hot-headed or overemotional above my challenges, successes, and failure. His energy doesn’t quit when faced with setbacks or hardships or a long bumpy road. It’s just one foot in front of the other. The the only way to make progress is to keep trying and keep taking steps along my path. I am guided by the Knight of Pentacles with his steadfast and dedicated energy.

A lot of the steps probably aren’t going to be particularly glamorous or awe-inspiring, but they will be rewarding and deeply gratifying in my body. One of my major goals for 2018 is centered around a healthy body, so this Knight gives me support in the area of health. He is also a harbinger of financial security, so he gives me a little pep in my step that I won’t be worrying greatly about finances in the year ahead. The Knight of Pentacles is also a symbol of a solid relationship with a steady partner- also great news. Taking my mind off health concerns, money matters, and relationship upheavals gives me more head space for self-development and consciousness raising. I want to delve into the meaning of my existence, not the everyday drama of my life situation.

I am not much of an Earth energy person, so if you’re following along that means I’m mostly a Water and Air energy person. Water and Air are the feminine elements, associated with being and intuition. Fire and Water are the masculine elements representing action and practicality. The first trilogy of cards in this reading all have this masculine, action-oriented vibe about them, but I’m writing about an internal development of raising my consciousness to align with my higher purpose. I like the idea of applying active and practical energy to an internal process. I’m not going to feel my way towards this or think my way into an understanding. I’m going to do things this year to answer this calling. I will seek out meditation groups, consciousness classes, books and podcasts about self-development, etc. I’m exciting to be doing something about my questions and quest for my higher calling this year.

I see these first three court cards as different aspects of my own personality. We all hold the potential for each of the personality types that the court cards represent, just like we all hold all the signs of the zodiac within our charts. The Queen of Wands reversed advises me to go on in an internal journey of self-discovery leading towards the raising of my consciousness and seeking my higher purpose. The Pages of Wands reversed reminds me not to be distracted by messages and opportunities that are unrelated to my purpose and only slow my progress. The Knight of Pentacles is my rock who is on a slow roll ever forward without falter, no matter how minuscule my progress or difficult the journey.

Message from Fire: VIII of Cups reversed
The dominant element in this reading is Fire with total of three cards from the Fire suit of Wands. The card I drew for as a message from Fire is Water card, though. Go figure! Water is associated with the emotional realm, and being a rather Watery person myself, I hear the VIII of Cups reversed a message to walk away from old ideas of “who I am”. Just because my Sun and rising sign are in Water signs does not mean I have to be emotional about everything. I contain multitudes of personalities and choices. I can decide to leave an old identity in the past if it no longer fits with who I really am. The personality, the identity, the ego, these are all words for the armor we use to hide or protect our true selves from the world. When we take away our armor, we reveal the shining light that is our essence, our core, our soul.

The VIII of Cups reminds me that it can be difficult to leave the ego behind. I have so carefully constructed the fortress of my personality to make me feel safe and special. When I shed that, or transform that, I am walking into the unknown. The mystery of what is possible for me is terrifying and makes me want to scramble back into the shell of my old self. Growth requires risk and getting out of my comfort zone. It is scary, but is so worth it. I have to keep reminding myself that I want the unknown, I want growth, I don’t want or have to be like I am now. I am expansive and limitless.

The VIII of Cups reversed is an excellent indication of change in the realm of Fire, representing creativity, passion, and spirituality. The reversal says that this change will come from within, a shift in emotional capacity, emotional intelligence, or emotional perspective is needed. It is time for me to take a journey, mostly metaphysically, but also travel is a loved and needed way for me to expand. This year I already have plans to travel to New Orleans, Walla Walla, and Nicaragua. These types of trips open my heart and mind so much. It is time for me to take a leap forward, to develop a new way of being, and go on a spiritual journey. Here I go!

Message from Earth: VII of Cups
The practical, grounded realm of Earth reminds me that there are always evaluations, options, and choices to make in life. The challenge of the VII of Cups is to decipher which opportunities are real and which are illusions. It isn’t always easy to emotionally distance or untangle myself from any given situation. I often lead with my heart and ask myself, “How does this make me feel? If I did this instead, how would that make me feel?” My emotions can be wildly inaccurate and lead me astray. Earth nudges me to examine this practice and perhaps shy away from it a little bit in the year ahead. I may benefit from a more balanced approach, rather than leaning too heavily upon my emotions.

The VII cards are also about a turning point or a transition. When faced with the multitude of options that lie before me, I can shatter the illusion of overwhelming choice, recognize my chosen path and more forward with clarity. It is time to make dreams, hopes, and wishes into reality instead of pie in the sky aspirations. Earth lets me know that I need to do the work. I must take action instead of just sitting around wishing. I know what my wishes are, it’s time to bring in the how of accomplishing them.

Earth energy is about the practical elements of our lives, like work, health, and home. The VII of Cups, representing, possibility and choices, may cause me to think, “Oh, there are many ways to be healthy,” but in reality, the only way to be healthy is to eat right and exercise. I will do that. The VII of Cups may say, “Oh, you’ll find a great new apartment, there are tons of them.” Actually, there may be few that meet my needs so I better be proactive about getting there to rent the dream home before someone else shows up and nabs it. The VII of Cups could say, “Financial security can mean different things to different people.” Sure, it can, but I only need to define it for myself and then make sure my income covers all my expenses and savings plans. It’s time to break through illusions of choice and just get on with the work already.

Message from Water: VI of Wands reversed
My 2018 message from Water is the VI of Wands reversed. I love how I got a Fire card as a message from Water and a Water card as a message from Fire. I seek balance and wholeness and this type of reading makes me smile. The VI of Wands reversed brings a message of internal triumph and victory. Generally, with a reversed VI of Wands I might warn that victory is far off, but the slant of the reading makes me write that victory will be known from within, perhaps with very little to no external recognition. I will feel an inspired sense of accomplishment and achievement surrounding the theme of raising my vibe and being more conscious this year. The VI is not an end point, but hurdles will be overcome and progress will be made.

The VI of Wands is often about being recognized and honored for your achievements. Reversed, I may find myself without any input from those around me or my external life situation to indicate that I’m doing much of anything to applaud. That is something that I will have to deal with as it happens. Will I feel unappreciated? unrecognized? let down? disappointed? I can’t count on the world around me to give me the messages of winning that I may hope for or deserve. I can be okay with that. I love meeting my own expectations and praising my own efforts. I can design and implement ways to recognize myself for my achievements so that I feel buoyed and joyful about the work I’m doing inside. This type of self admiration will meet my emotional needs for acknowledgment and praise.

Another aspect of this internal journey that I am on is a feeling of isolation. I may not be able to share my experiences and progress with those around me. People may tire of hearing what a great job I’m doing on my personal quest for self-development. People most like to talk about themselves and may become defensive or upset if I am on a rampage of talking about how great I am doing. I am a relatively private person in the first place, but this still sounds like a recipe for aloofness and extreme isolation. Water advises me to find like-hearted people who are also doing super well and following their soul path. I can strike a gentle balance with those closest to me, allowing them in on my journey without feeling judged that they are doing something less worthwhile with their time and energy.

Message from Air: The Lovers
Lastly, The Lovers is my message from Air and this is indeed an Air card, so the only element that matched up in this reading and the only Major Arcana card in this reading. Very interesting. Who doesn’t love The Lovers card? It speaks of love, personal values, beliefs systems, and unification. It sighs with contentment that I will be able to express my views and values with clarity and empathy this year. That is a relief after the potential humble brags denoted by the VI of Wands earlier in this reading. The Lovers tells me that I will be mentally attuned to my values and beliefs this year and be able to clearly understand and articulate my thoughts. I like that!

The Major Arcana factors gives a bit more significance to this card in the reading. Perhaps there is some gift I am meant to share in the realm of Air or it could indicate a big lesson I am ready to learn. Air represents the realm of the mind and communication, so The Lovers can signify an enhanced ability to connect on a mental level with myself and others, sharing my personal values and outlook on life and meaning. I can use these connections I am able to form to create friendships and deepen the relationships that I already have. One of my goals for 2018 is to make more friends, so finding people who share my values is something I am ready to pursue and can aptly communicate.

The Lovers can also indicate change and transition, making decisions that align with my true values and core essence in order to live my best life. There are many cards of change in this reading, which is something that I embrace and actually look forward to experiencing in 2018. At first glance, I wasn’t especially hyped on the cards I drew for 2018. I got two VIs, a VII, and VIII, which is a fun little run, but not beginning cards or ending cards which bring an edge of excitement to a reading. These high numbers indicate a continuation of lessons or explorations already undertaken but not yet complete. The same can be said for the three Court Cards which show development and areas to focus on for change within my personality and how I present myself to the world. I’ve really enjoyed exploring these cards more in depth and creating a story for my year that is a bit more interesting than my initial reaction to this draw.

If you are interested in having a 2018 reading with this spread, I’ll be offering it in my email readings selections. If you happen to be in Nashville, we could set up an in-person reading if you prefer. I’m wishing you clarity and vision for 2018!

ORGANIZATION CRAZY with the Energy of the Virgo

Long time, no blog. Don’t you fear, lovelies, I’m always thinking of you and investing my time and energy into The Willow Path Tarot. The blog rolls on, even if the ideas don’t always make it onto the screen. I spent the summer getting married, going on my honeymoon, and then doing all the fun summer things that people generally enjoy: swimming, hiking, being outside, and loving the sunshine.  

Lately I’ve been am in super overdrive, paying attention to the details of my life, my goals, and planning, planning, planning for change. At first I was attributing this drive to the Earthy, focused energy of Sun in Virgo and now I’m adding in the New Moon in Virgo this past week as well. I have been at the library multiple times a week, checking out books, getting practical, using my brain, strategizing, making checklists, getting educated, and taking it all in. I’m feeling a little crazy at the moment with how much new information is in my brain.

TO DO LIST:
Change my money mindset.
Change my living situation.
Change Kristen’s music career.
Change my diet and health.
Change how I perceive myself.

“That’s it?!,” you ask. Lolz. I swear I got 8 books out of the library about each of these topics. Here is what I’m reading today and the planners/goal setting notebooks I’m using to write down every little Virgo detail I want to remember and come back to:

Home buying research has me on http://www.zillow.com dreaming, dreaming, dreaming. What’s a loan originator versus a mortgage broker? What’s for sale? Where do we want to live? What kind of interest rates can we qualify for? Where do we want to live anyway?

Being a vegan has me at the farmer’s market, the grocery store, and in the kitchen A LOT. I’m learning how to defend my seemingly extreme lifestyle choice or let criticism just slip by me without judging others for their choices. This is a major transition for me and I’m just allowing it to be a time of flux. I can figure things out a little bit at a time and eventually it won’t be such an overwhelming deluge of information, new recipes, and questions from concerned friends and family. I’m also interested in upping my exercise game and developing a running and yoga regime. So many changes.

Helping Kristen become a Nashville success story has me researching every open mic, every music publisher, every indie record company that exists. I’ve gotten her to consider doing The Artist’s Way and figuring out her unique style. This introvert isn’t always primed to go out networking but if it’s work and it has an end goal, I can get my small talk on with the best of them. I do love music!

Changing my money mindset has me decluttering my life, which is great since being vegan means I need to get rid of most of sweaters and shoes. I’m reconsidering my distain for rich people and imagining what type of rich person I want to become. I’m actually looking at houses I want to buy instead of what I can afford. Well, let’s be honest, at this point what I can afford is nothing, but that’s why I need to change the mindset, right!?

At the end of all this, I see myself making a transition towards the person I inherently am already. Are you asking, “Wait, is that a possible? Can I transition into what I already am?” Well, I believe I can, so any contradictions be damned. I realize this post isn’t much about tarot, but believe me that many a deck deck is on fire delving into my options and giving me tons to think about and use in my decision making process. I love utilizing the tarot to help in situations where I have many options to consider and asking the Universe where to focus my attention most effectively.

What transitions are you making these days using this great Virgo energy?

More tarot to come soon. 🙂  Oh! and you may have noticed that my prices and offerings for email readings have changed. This is exciting for me, as I feel these changes are deeply aligned with my method, value, and aspirations. You can take a look here!

New Year 2017 For Me! And For You Too?

Happy New Year! We are already one week into 2017 so I thought I would sit down and do my New Year Tarot Spread for 2017. I love doing a tarot reading for myself at the turning of the year. It is a very symbolic time of change, of turning over a new leaf, of beginning fresh. I’m easing into the new year this time around, taking much of January to make plans, transition, and set my intentions for the year. There is no rush to do it all at once, although I did pull my 12 cards, one for each month of the year, on New Year’s Day. What a wonderful way to start the year!

If you would like a 2017 New Year Reading, please get in touch 🙂 You can see an example of what you will receive below expect it will be all about you, instead of all about me! I’m also happy to do a 12 month ahead reading if that is more your thing. Just let me know! I’ll deliver you a beautiful PDF reading straight to your inbox ASAP so you can kick off 2017 with your best foot forward, full of insight and empowerment!

Here are the cards I drew for myself for 2017: img_4508

Reflecting on 2016
1. What are you ready to leave behind in 2016? What energy will no longer help support you in your life purpose going into 2017?– IX of Wands
2. What should you bring with you into 2017? What lessons did you learn in 2016 that will still be useful for you going forward?- Queen of Wand reversed
Manifesting Your Best 2017
3. How can you support your health and well-being in 2017?– II of Cups reversed
4. How can you nurture and foster loving and healthy relationships in 2017?- IX of Cups
5. How can you create a productive and worthwhile work environment in 2017?- The Empress reversed
Themes for 2017
6. What lessons will help you learn and grow in 2017?- VI of Pentacles reversed
7. What will be your greatest obstacles and challenges in 2017?- Queen of Cups
8. How can you use the Magician energy of 2017 to your advantage?- IX of Pentacles
9. What will be the overarching theme or energy of your 2017?- King of Swords

Reflecting on 2016:
Let’s start by processing a bit of last year, 2016. The first two cards I drew are both Wands cards, the IX of Wands reversed for what I need to leave behind me in 2016 and the Queen of Wands reversed for what I need to take with me into 2017. The Wands are action cards, fiery, passionate, inspired cards. Right off the bat I know that I need to leave some of that constant motion and push to be doing behind me in 2016. The IX of Wands is about stamina and determination. It is powering through, never giving up, doing whatever it takes to succeed even against the greatest odds. fullsizerenderThis reminds me of what I just wrote at the beginning of this post about easing into 2017. 2016 was a slog, it was difficult, it tested me and I spent the majority of the time just holding myself up and together. I’m not going to pull that same move this year. Instead of constant striving and action, I am going to give myself more down time and more time for being. I’m going to take time off when I’m tired and rest up instead of propping myself up when I am damaged and exhausted. When I show myself this type of care, I show myself love, and I always want to bring more love into my life. With adequate self-care who knows how much more I will be able to do with less effort and exhaustion.

The IX of Wands fading into the past is also a sign of success achieved. I have proven my strength, my courage, and my resilience. I have show great discipline and perseverance. Look at all that I have done! Look how far I have come! I am truly proud of my accomplishments and where I am at right now. I can take a break for a minute now. Life doesn’t have to be a constant forward march. Sometimes progress can reach a pinnacle or a plateau and I should just hang out and enjoy it. The grass is always greener, there are always more things we want to do, and it is hard to be satisfied. The IX of Wands asks me to consider the idea of being content for a moment where I am. I have fought hard to get here, why not take a little break to enjoy the view?

The Queen of Wands being reversed is another sign that action and doing need to be lower on my priority list this year. This Queen is a go-getter, a mover and shaker, a fiery force of nature. With her here reversed I know that I can continue to embody these personality traits, they are always a potential inside of me, but I don’t have to manifest them quite so hard. Last year I made a big transition to move to Nashville. I got a dog. I figured out a way to pay the rent. I got a new car. I finally made it to Ireland. I didn’t give up on my tarot business, I started planning my wedding, I started building a community in Nashville- lots of balls were set in motion. The Queen of Wands reversed is here to tell me that I can nurture all of these beginnings but I can also slow my roll a little bit and delve deeper into all these things I’ve already started.

The Queen of Wands is also the significator I use for my fiancee, Kristen. Whenever the Queen of Wands shows up, I know Kristen’s energy is making itself known in the reading. Here obviously, I see that Kristen will come with me into 2017. We are getting married in June! Yippee! I see the reversal as a little nudge to remember that even though we are getting married we are still two separate people with different interests. There is a large area of overlap in our needs and desires but I still have my own life and I still need to prioritize what I want out of that life. This coming year Kristen and I may find ourselves spending more time apart as we work on different jobs and I stop touring so much since our dog Cosmo can’t always come on tour. Kristen and I can be codependent in some beautiful ways but I must still remember that we are ultimately on separate yet compatible soul purposes in this lifetime.

Manifesting My Best 2017:
The next three cards are addressing the three practical areas of well-being, relationships, and work. We all want to manifest the best life we can during our short time on Earth and these tend to be the three areas we obsess over the most.
fullsizerender-2The II of Cups reversed as my well-being card integrates well with what I was just writing about the Queen of Wands reversed and my relationship with Kristen. This II of Cups reversed is telling me that it is very important to remember that even though I rely on Kristen and we are getting married this year, we are ultimately two separate people and I cannot rely on her for my spiritual well-being. She is a huge influence and addition to my life and my health, but she isn’t the end all, be all, as far as my happiness and spiritual calling.

I do believe that one of my soul purposes during this life time is to experience love, be in relationships, and to bring more unity through love into this world. This isn’t just about romantic love, but all relationships. When we work with one another in any capacity, we seek to integrate our needs and goals with other souls. This is an amazing and wonderful thing to do! The II of Cups reversed suggests that I may have some difficulties in this department in the coming year. I am seeking a spiritual community here in Nashville and I’m not sure if I’m actually in the kind of open-minded and open-hearted space I need to be in in order to make that dream a reality. I tend to be an introverted and solitary person when it comes to my spirituality (another girl with much to share on her blog and with her online community but a resistance to in-person communication!). If I want to find fulfillment and foster my spiritual well-being, I am going to need to figure out a way to open more and meet people in person.

The next card shows the potential of that opening up. The IX of Cups is a jolly card to find in my relationship and love sector. This is the card of wishes fulfilled, of happiness, and of satisfaction. There is a great energy of having lasting, loving, and joyful relationships in the coming year. This is encouraging after the somewhat chastising energy of the II of Cups reversed in my well-being sector. If I can effectively foster the types of relationships I am looking for in my spiritual community, I will find great satisfaction in the new friendships and associations that I create. I must remember not simply to dream big, but to work towards my goals. The IX of Cups carries a bit of a warning not to daydream about that which you want, but to also work to manifest it. The loving, spiritual community where I want to make friends may certainly just show up at my door out of sheer luck, but it is still my responsibility to open that door!

As far as romantic relationships go, the IX of Cups couldn’t be a better sign for a happy marriage. The IX is a number of completion and integration and with the upcoming wedding, Kristen and I are telling the Universe that we are ready to take our relationship to the next level. This is a lucky sign that we will have a happy year together and may even experience some jackpots of good luck. I actually feel like we already have, even in just the first couple of days of the year! We are on our way to having our best year yet. The IX of Cups is a reminder to count my blessings, be grateful for my abundance, and to bask in each precious present moment. It is time to slow down, take stock, and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! What is the point in having a full and happy heart if you don’t appreciate it?

The area of work and finances is ruled by The Empress reversed in my reading. This is an interesting and exciting card placement and also the card I chose last week as my overall theme of the year. Who doesn’t love The Empress card? She represents abundance, growth, fertility, and beauty. She is an inspiring sign that my work could bring abundance, creativity fulfillment, and a sense of alignment between my soul purpose and my actual actions in the world. The issue here is that The Empress is in reverse. This says to me that this won’t be an easy thing to manifest. I have the potential to be The Empress, as we all do!, but I also have a tendency to shy away from super hard work, preferring to indulge in whatever it is that pleases me the most at that moment.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I shouldn’t depend on my creativity to make me money. Yes, and that includes that tarot. I love working with the tarot. I love writing on this blog. I love the work I do with The Willow Path Tarot. But I don’t want to depend on it to pay the rent. I want to depend on it to fulfill my creative spirit, but I don’t want to bog down that spirit with financial worries or constraints. I think this Empress reversed is telling me that I’m going in the right direction here. I have found a part-time job which is simply a job. It will pay the bills and it won’t distract me from my creative purpose. I’m super happy about this guys. I want The Willow Path to be a place of fun, love, and magic. I don’t need to put pressure on that magic to produce money. I will fill this place of work with nurture, caring, and support for myself and any who enter here.

I think it’s interesting that The Empress in my career and work sector is the only Major Arcana card I got in this reading and it is in reverse at that. It is almost like a little gift from the Universe saying to me that 2017 won’t be a heavy, life-changing year. The major themes and lessons of the year will have more to do with the day-to-day act of living, developing my character, and figuring out how to relax more. The greatest emphasis on the career section is telling me not to use my creativity to make money. My love, abundance, creativity, fertility, natural state is not to work, but to be one with nature, to create, and to spread light. It is time to look within to find the beauty of life and the natural abundance that has nothing to do with bills, paychecks, or finances.

Themes for 2017fullsizerender-3
The lesson of the VI of Pentacles reversed illuminates how the balance of the Universe shows up in our day-to-day existence. Everything we experience we understand by knowing it’s opposite. We understand giving because of receiving. We understanding having by knowing what it is to have not. We know generosity when we are met with mostly selfishness. This world of duality is presented to us everyday and we have to figure out how to achieve balance here. So my lesson for 2017 is somehow to work through these power dynamics. I can see this coming up, of course, when I talk about doing versus being. The Pentacles cards are about practicalities and getting things done on on the material plane. Here I have a Pentacle in reversed, leading me away from the material plan, perhaps to the more ethereal, astral plane. It is on this metaphysical plane that I just am. I am not what I do, I simply am.

This could point to a lesson about spirituality and about imbalance. I may find that I’m giving a lot and not receiving much. Does that mean I should stop giving? No, it means I should be more open to receiving. Everything is in balance, I just have to accept what I am offered in return for my giving. But what if I am being too generous? I should be careful this year not to overextend myself, especially in my material resources. I like to be generous with what I have, but having so little, one can get into trouble if they give away money or other resources that they don’t actually have to give. One of my goals for this year is to get out of credit card debt, and the easiest way to do that is to pay off debts instead of incurring new ones 🙂

I’ve been repeatedly saying in this reading that I want to do less in 2017, strive less, do less, and be more. I want to spend more time in meditation, practicing yoga, enjoying what I have, etc. The Queen of Cups challenges me to meet that promise to myself. She is calm. She is intuitive. She listens to her inner center before taking action. I love this Queen of Cups. I relate to her so much as a Cancer Sun sign. Yet I also struggle with her. I worry that I am too introverted and too introspective. I hesitate and I procrastinate. But is that really what I am doing when I take time for myself? The difference I want to create this year is that instead of feeling like I’m procrastinating I want to simply not to have anything to do. I want less deadlines, less projects, fewer goals, and more contentment with what I already have. The Queen of Cups is my role model, she is my ideal. She is inside of me and I must recognize and honor her and her spiritual calm.

The Queen of Cups is a healer. She is a mirror reflecting the depth of the soul. What I find inside of myself is a pure light that I want to reflect out into the world to help us all heal and be whole. I want to be nurturing, supportive, and caring. I want to shine out love and compassion. I want to inspire other people to shine out their own inner light. The world is full of shadows, many of them walking fully formed and threatening to stamp out the light that we shine. We are all made of darkness and light, that is fine. Yet the light has a responsibility to shine on those shadow places, to bring the subconscious to light and to work towards healing. I want to be a safe harbor, a place where the creative souls can be inspired, rest, heal, and figure out how to go forth with whole, shining hearts.

The year 2017 is numerologically represented by The Magician ( 2+0+1+7= 10, 1+0 = 1, one is the number of The Magician). The Magician is a magical manifestor who stands for new beginnings, creative endeavors, and personal power. When I apply the Magician energy to my year I came up with the IX of Pentacles, a lovely card of gratitude, culmination, proper use of skill, and personal satisfaction. I think I am going to like this Magician energy. I’m going to use it’s manifesting powers to actually create a year of luxury and abundance. The IX of Pentacles is self-confident, self-sufficient, and has access to the good life. I can access that good life myself if I simply decide to accept the abundance which already exists within my world. I also know that I am capable of completing the tasks before me. I have the skills and the resources I need to get things done. I am upleveling here with The Magician and his mundane Muse, the IX of Pentacles.

The overall theme of my 2017 is represented by the King of Swords. This is the only Swords card I got in this reading and I love this placement. The Swords have a masculine energy of logic and cool reason. I’ve been really emphasizing a lot of feminine energy in my reading with the Queens, Pentacles, and Cups cards. This King brings some needed balance and an action plan to my reading. First of all, the King of Swords stands for truth, honesty, fortitude, and the intellect. He will help me relate to the world around me which is still running on the same old patriarchy crap it’s been doing for thousands of years. I still need to operate in this society on many levels so it is good to have this King and his cool, calm, and wise energy to help me deal with the world around me on a practical level.

A King is also an authority on making plans come into reality. It is all well and good for me to say that I want to have more time for being, but on a practical level I also have to schedule that time into my day and find ways to integrate self-care into my life. For example, the King of Swords can see that yoga will fit nicely into my day after morning pages and schedule that in. Or he knows that I need to make chiropractor appointments, not just dream about structural alignment. Notice that the King of Swords is sitting and facing forward in this image from the Rider Waite Smith deck. I like this doing energy because it is focused on the present. This King isn’t looking to the past for answers or living ahead of himself in the future. He is dealing with the present moment, fully present and concentrating on the task at hand. I like that kind of masculine energy. Then I can float back to nonlinear time 🙂

One of my favorite things about this reading is that I got three IX cards: the IX of Wands, IX of Cups, and IX of Pentacles. The number 9 is symbolic of endings, culmination, and success. I like having three of them in this reading because it makes me think that 2017 can be a year where I fully experience my accomplishments. Instead of working towards something, I can be at somewhere. Nine is the number of Universal love, of faith, inner-wisdom, spiritual enlightenment, strength, and life purpose. I go into 2017 with a lot of optimism. I mentioned upleveling before, and it is a difficult and often painful process, but taking my life to the next level is an amazing goal. There are whole levels of happiness, achievement, physical health, and intelligence that I haven’t even dreamed of yet!

This reading has helped me focus in on what I actually want out of the year, what my intentions and goals are for 2017, and how I can work effectively towards those goals. I know it is may seem kind of silly to have my major goal for the year be: Do Less. But it’s hard to do less!, especially when doing more is supposed to earn you more money and make you feel more accomplished. More, more, more is pretty much the mantra I hear shouted at me whenever I interact with my American culture. Whatever! I don’t want to accomplish anything major this year and I’m not going to feel guilty about it. I intend to feel gratitude for my loved ones, enjoy what I have, be present and peaceful, and do whatever needs to get done with my full concentration and devotion.

Happy 2017!!!