Birthday Reading for My Year of The Lovers

Another birthday, another birthday tarot reading! My birthday was July 8th and it was fantastic. My sister came in from Philly and two friends from Boston came for a visit as well and we just lived it up. That’s why my reading write up is a little late! I did schedule in the time to draw the cards on my actual birthday though, because that just makes me so happy. If you want to do a birthday reading for yourself, or have me do one for you, it really doesn’t have to be on your birthday. I just love the symbolism and the nurturing effect of spending quality time focusing on myself on my special annual day.

I’m entering a new tarot year cycle, like you do every year, and this one will be ruled by The Lovers. The Lovers represent personal values and personal belief systems. They come after the energy of The Hierophant which is society telling you the norms of behavior, emotion, action, and belief. With The Lovers comes self-made decisions and choices about what you personally believe and how you want to align your actions with those beliefs. These decisions often involve how and who we love, how we form partnerships, and what we believe and do in our relationships. I’m going to get married during my year of The Lovers! Whoot!

I will get to writing more of my thoughts on what a year of The Lovers entails at a later date, but for now, I’m exploring the possibilities of how The Lovers energy will manifest in my current year through this tarot reading. Here are the cards from The Wild Unknown Tarot deck that I drew and the meanings of the positions below:
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What do I bring with me to this year of The Lovers? Ace of Wands
Creativity, ideas, passion, drive, fecundity. This looks like the best card of the draw to me right now! 🙂 I’m bringing a lot of enthusiasm and fresh energy with me to the start of this year. The Ace of Wands reminds me of all the ideas and creative projects I have going on right now. It feels like I have something wonderful to bring with me, that I am inspired, and ready to create. I can bring sunshine, creativity, and a sense of blossoming into the coming year. There is a lot of potential with the Ace of Wands, the key is to tap into that potential, work hard, and make something happen. Pure potential is great, but it doesn’t manifest on it’s own- I have to make use of it. It is a seed that needs to be nurtured in order for it to grow. My challenge is to keep going when the initial excitement of the year’s beginning recedes and I have still have to do the work of caring for and growing my projects.

What is The Lovers beneficial influence?- V of Swords reversed 
Learning to get along, figuring out how to communicate, refraining from competition. The V of Swords reversed signals the cessation of the classic struggle inherent in all 5 cards in the tarot deck. The Swords often have to do with a battle of the mind, so this year could find me learning how to quiet the negative voice inside my head that says, “You’re not doing as well as others. You are not fitting in. You need to beat the competition. You are not worthy of love. You are doing a bad job at life.” Or any other dark thought pattern that acts to separate myself mentally from those around me because I’ve decided that we are at odds. The Lovers is a card of harmony, it’s about working together towards common goals, it’s realizing that we are all one, and there is room for each of us to succeed. This year is a time for compromise and focusing on shared goals. It is a year for learning to love myself and to value my contribution to the world.

What blocks or oppositions need I be aware of?- III of Swords reversed
Refusal to make decisions, carrying past hurts, stuck in a negative space. Ah yes, the challenge for me this year will also be about the mental blocks that keep me from feeling integrated and whole with the Universe. We are all guilty of getting stuck thinking about how things have gone wrong in the past and sinking into our suffering and sorrow. Life is suffering! Yes, but it is also joy. It is a balance. It is a duality, just like The Lovers. This card shows us the yin and yang of life and asks us to make an effort to figure out the process of integration into a whole self. The III of Swords reversed is a clear warning to me that I will tend towards the negative this year, shying away from compromise, holding onto grudges, and keeping a narrow worldview. That is basically how the mind works in general, so my obstacle is known and acknowledged. Now all I have to do is keep that awareness and not let it stop me from working towards the integrated harmony of The Lovers. That’s it!?

What do I need to learn during this cycle?- The Hermit reversed
Coming out of my shell, spiritual connection to others, involvement in the world. I love being The Hermit, spending my time in quiet contemplation and isolation, exploring my calm inner center and the spiritual mysteries of life. This Hermit behavior is solitary though, and a year of The Lovers is about connection. I would love to learn this year how to connect and how to enjoy that sharing with others on a spiritual level. I want more people to find my tarot business and join with me on this path of discovery and self-awareness. I want to create a supportive and nurturing community that helps to lift each other up, instead of relying solely on my own resources to grown and protect myself. This is a difficult thing for me, it will not come naturally. The next card, The Emperor, has some advice on how I can effectively leave my shell and be more extroverted in the world.

How can I best incorporate these lessons into my life?- The Emperor
Confidence, authority, extroversion, nonstop power poses. The Emperor is the epitome of outward confidence, discipline, and authority. He truly knows what he knows and is not afraid or shy to exhibit that. The masculine energy here means doing and involvement, not being and isolation. I need to define my structures and trust in my foundation. Honestly, I feel like I do have a lot of self-confidence, I’m just not particularly keen on sharing that with others. I feel like the message here is, “Just do it.” Use fire energy to do without overplanning, overthinking it, or hesitation. I really can’t accomplish my goals by being the Hermit, no matter how much I would love it if that happened. Perhaps a bit of time working with the outward energy of the Emperor is enough so that I can build up a sustainable business and then go back within in the future, where I like to hang out.

What area of my life will be most influenced by The Lovers?- IV of Pentacles reversed
Financial stability will be difficult to achieve, feelings of security in the world will be lacking. Things are not looking so well financially for me at this time. Moving to Nashville, car repairs, medical bills, it all adds up and The Willow Path Tarot isn’t quite at the point where it covers all the expenses, nor is touring with Kristen. The IV of Pentacles reversed is all about holding onto your money, perhaps even greedily, but definitely not spending wads of cash on whatever might be tantalizing and shiny in the moment. Perhaps this year I will better define my relationship to money, or at least define it at all. Right now I feel like I am a super responsible money manager, paying my bills, and knowing to the penny what my cashflow situation is. Yet at the same time I am a super good vacation planner budgeting meticulously for the longest, most fun trip. I can earn it, but I can also spend it. What will make me happier though? Getting a steady job and having some money in the bank? Or being self-employed and having the freedom to make my own schedule but without that financial security? Perhaps this year of The Lovers will help me align my financial goals and values with my actual work actions.

What will be the most likely result at the end of this year?- Father of Pentacles reversed
Finances out of wack, time management skills lacking, not succeeding in being an Emperor. The way things are going right now I’m really resisting the need to get out of my introverted state and do more out in the world. The Father of Pentacles is the ultimate business manager. He knows how to market himself, set his financial goals, and work to achieve them. I’m really good at knowing what my goals are, but not on the part about working and moving towards those goals. I make great plans, but I do not execute well. If I truly want to succeed in growing my business, creating a firm financial structure, and feeling secure in my physical world, I need to be more present and involved in that physical world. I need to show up, connect, ground, and interact. This is my wake up call that if I don’t change my outlook on work, home, and finances, I’m not going to make any progress in ruling this domain during this year of The Lovers. The Lovers do not lend me much help here because they are associated with Gemini and Air, which is so my thing, living in the cerebral world of thinking and planning. The energy energy of the Father of Pentacles reversed reminds me that I may be in my air element with a Lovers year, but my element does not support the kind of physical security in the world that I am craving right now. I need to adjust course and work towards my goals more concretely.

Okay, well there you have it, my birthday reading for myself. I feel like there is big work to be done this year and I know where to focus my energy if I am committed to growth. I know there are tons of grounding things I can do for myself to support that growth and I am excited to put in the effort. My life feels purposeful and directed, now my challenge is to follow that feeling.  Wish me luck!

Tarot Jam: The Year of the Hierophant

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Hello, welcome to The Willow Path Tarot and to the second Tarot Jam blog hop! I am hosting this blog hop and you can find here the Master List to all the other amazing tarot bloggers who are also writing posts on one topic together for you to enjoy.

The topic we are writing about is Tarot Year Cards. Each year you can calculate what tarot card is the theme of your year by adding up your birth day, month and the present year and then reducing that number to a single digit 1-9. For example, my birthday last year was on 7/8/2015:

7+8+2+0+1+5= 23, then reduce 2+3 = 5.

Five is the number of The Hierophant. So, this year I’m having a year ruled by the themes of The Hierophant. I have noticed that Hierophant energy is very present in my life. I think it will be interesting to write about the personal experiences I have had with the themes of this card this year in order to better understand the tarot card The Hierophant. 

The Beinecke Library Yale University New Haven, CT

The Beinecke Library
Yale University, New Haven, CT

What To Expect in a Hierophant Year of Your Life:

~The Hierophant represents structure and conformity.

~The Hierophant asks you to follow or question tradition,

~The Hierophant wants you to do things by the tried and true method.

~The Hierophant loves to adhere to the societal average.

 

The Hierophant’s is a disciplined energy that is often depicted in the image on the tarot card by The Pope, or the head of organized religion. The Hierophant is the head of the church, the ultimate authority on how to commune with God. He knows all the rituals and you can always turn to him when you have lost your way and need help connecting to the divine. He has a method for doing that and can do it best, in fact, sometimes he is the only one who can contact God so you have to be pretty tight with The Hierophant in order to get your messages or prayers to God. The Emperor rules over the physical realm of an empire while The Hierophant rules over the kingdom of heaven as it connects to here on earth. The Hierophant resolves the conflict of how to connect our physicality to the divine.

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.

The Sagrada Familia church by Gaudi in Barcelona, Spain.

During a Hierophant year, you can expect to come up against questions of authority, of tradition and of religion in general.  You will likely encounter situations in which you ask yourself if you need to reinvent the wheel or if there is already a way of doing things that will work just fine for you. For example, if your car breaks down, wouldn’t it just be best to go to the mechanic instead of devising your own way of fixing your car? Unless you’re already mechanically inclined, there is no reason to learn what is exactly wrong with your car and how to fix it. Someone else already has the authority on that and you can trust them (hopefully, if you have a good mechanic…). In another example, you may find yourself questioning the public school system, wondering if this is really the best system to educate your children. Perhaps it is working just great for them, but you might still be considering private schools, charter schools, or devising a system for home schooling.

Other times during a Hierophant year, you will question a situation and find that the way things are being done really doesn’t work for you.  Perhaps you are considering how you commune with your God and finding that the rituals and authorities in your church are interfering with your belief system and your personal relationship with God. Or maybe you are taking a closer look at the way tradition works in your family and reconsidering whether your proscribed roles and activities still apply to you and make you feel happy and useful to your family as you grow older. You might be looking at the whole of society and wondering how so many people can say they want to vote for Donald Trump, causing you to question political, societal, and cultural values in your part of the world.

All of this questioning and examining is to be expected in a Hierophant year.  Sometimes you will stick to your time-tested position and realize that it is the best stance for you. Other times, you will find that you absolutely must break with tradition and blaze a new path. This process may be scary, bewildering, chaotic, and exhilarating. This is a year when you decide whether it’s finally time to rebel and make up your own rules, or if the rules exist for a good reason and you commit to following them.

My Personal Experience with The Hierophant this Year:
The Hierophant is a weird and uncomfortable energy for me. I think this has a lot to do with my personality which is often characterized by my natal Moon in Aquarius. The Moon in Aquarius is innovative, thinking outside the box, wanting to be unconventional and explore unique ways of doing and thinking about things.  Aquarius wants to make up her own way of doing things and be creative and free about it, attempting and loving what is new and exciting. Basically put, the Moon in Aquarius is the opposite of The Hierophant. So, needless to say I wasn’t extremely excited to find myself entering a Hierophant tarot year in July. I thought it might be pretty boring and that not much of this energy would actually show up.

Boy, was I wrong. I am constantly thinking about The Hierophant and finding the whole process of communing with him this year very fascinating. First off, I’m deeply exploring my spirituality in a way that I have meant to do for years but could never focus on or understand. I’m realizing that I can be The Hierophant. I can develop my own rituals and systems for contacting the divine. I’ve hesitated in the past about making up my own rituals that resonate with how I experience my spirituality and how I connect with the Universe. I’ve worried that by creating my own systems I’d just be conforming to the idea that systems are necessary. Systems were something I associated with religion and religion was something I tended to disassociate from as much as possible.

A simple ritual of being grateful for the earth is so good for the spirit.

A simple ritual of being grateful for the earth is so good for the spirit. “Thank you Universe for my existence on this beautiful planet, in this healthy body, with a heart full of love.

But I’m getting more and more comfortable with ritual, with examining the divinity of the Universe, with describing what I think is really going on here. Synchronicity would have it that I’ve been invited to attend quite a few church services this year. I haven’t been to a Christian church in years because I find it dull and somewhat offensive in an undefined, vague sort of way. Lately, I’ve come to realize why I find it offputting. Basically, it’s because the Christian church, and actually most organized religion as far as I know, is saying: “This is how you connect with the divine. These are the rituals. These are the words. This is the only way.” So there is one way and you have to learn it and the head of the church, The Hierophant, is going to tell you how…for hour…every Sunday.

I find that totally absurd. Sure, Jesus was a really enlightened guy, but I don’t think he would have wanted to be the only enlightened being or would have argued that the only way to enlightenment is through crossing yourself and putting holy water on yourself and chanting in unison. Those were the methods he used, or the modern church uses, to heighten the vibration of their prayer, but really many intention setting rituals will work to connect with the divine. Call it prayer, call it meditation, call it positive affirmations. Whatever you call it, it pretty much adds up to the same thing: telling the divine what you want, what you long for, what you aspire to, what you have set out to be.

The Hierophant has no feminine counterpart in the traditional tarot deck, which I find troubling to say the least. The Hierophant, as a masculine figure, says to me that men dominant religion and our connection to the divine. Some might argue that The High Priestess represents the importance of the feminine divine, but she is not vested with the same type of singular authority to connect with divinity as The Hierophant. She only connects with the divine feminine, only with a part of the divine which is not placed as highly, or oftentimes is actually degraded, compared to the divine masculine. God is a male figurehead, and men are the authority in saving our souls and allowing us to commune with God.

alstead-library1

The Shedd Porter Library in Alstead, NH, my favorite place in the world when I was growing up.

I would posit that in my perfect deck the figure on The Hierophant would be represented without gender. I don’t have a problem, with the idea of wise counsel, with guidance, with tradition. We all could use some help at times connecting with the divine. It is so wonderful to have people we can turn to when when we need wisdom. Maybe that’s what I would rename the card: Wise Counsel. The connections we make with each other, the sensing and acceptance of our oneness with each other, is divinity in action. The accumulation of our knowledge over the course of human existence is an asset to be used and depended upon. That is why I like to think of Wise Counsel as a library holding all the known books in the world. It is our history, it is the lessons we have learned. But it is our constant questioning and reexamination of wisdom that sets us up for evolution and enlightenment as a species.

Ok, that’s my take on the year of The Hierophant. I hope you found some food for thought here and that you continue along on the hop!  Links back and forward are below!

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New Year 2016 Tarot Reading

A new year is upon us, and with it comes an energy of new beginnings, new plans, and new excitements. This is a great time to take some time and contemplate what you have accomplished, where you are at with your goals, and consider and plan out how to move forward with your life. I designed a special tarot spread to help me examine my life situation, determine where to focus my energy in the coming year, and get inspired for new projects and dreams. Check it out below and consider ordering your own or one for a friend as a New Year’s present for 2016! This spread is completely customizable so feel free to ask me to focus in on any one area of your life or expand to other areas. Right now, I have a SPECIAL OFFER of $5 off if you sign up for my mailing list or even if you are already a newsletter subscriber!  That makes this amazing 7 card reading just $35 instead of the normal $40.  Whoot!  Happy 2016!

My 2016 Tarot Reading

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  1. Reality Check- This card explores where you are at right now in your life. Is this where you want to be?- The World reversed
  2. Course Correction- This card asks what will help you get on track moving forward. How can you focus your goals?- The Fool reversed
  3. Watch Out Ahead- This card examines road blocks and challenges ahead. What will lead you astray this year?- II of Swords
  4. Theme for 2016- This card brings up the central theme or overall outlook for your year 2016. What is your superpower for the year that will give you strength and guidance? What energy will be pervasive this year?- Knight of Wands reversed
  5. Love Outlook- The Hanged Man
  6. Career Outlook- V of Wands reversed
  7. Well-being Outlook- III of Pentacles reversed 

Part I: My Reality Check
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The first three cards of this reading bring into the light where I am at right now in my life. The World reversed really resonates with me after being a constant traveler through this world for the last year and some. The reversal shows that this period of travel is not quite over yet! In February I planning on getting an apartment after 18 months on the road in the USA and abroad. The World reversed reminds me that I’m still wrapping up this time of travel. I am in a period of culmination. I have many life lessons accumulated that I still need to integrate into my consciousness. I have goals that I have not accomplished which require my attention. There are challenges cropping up that are preventing me from reaching my goals, and I need to push through these challenges toward completion.

Now is a great time to ask myself how I can effectively draw this era to a close and get ready to settle down a little bit, starting a new chapter of my life. How can I meet my challenges head on and overcome them? My plan is to move to Nashville, get an apartment, adopt a rescue dog, and perhaps find some part-time work to supplement my income from The Willow Path Tarot. What do I need to do to get ready for that transition? Where do I need closure before I can move forward? How do I deal with potential lack of closure until I can move into the next phase of my life? The next two cards have some advice for me.

The Fool reversed tells me that a lot of time and energy need to go into wrapping up my current life situation before I can move on. It’s a signpost saying: “Stay in the moment.”  I want so much to focus on the future and all the great things that I have dreamed up, my fresh beginning, my leap of faith into the unknown, but unfortunately it isn’t just the right time for that. I’m still bringing closure to the present and need to focus on some mundane life things: getting my doctors appointments made before I lose my health insurance, earning money so that I can make rent payments soon, packing up my things and making sure I have everything in order to move. I’m not quite ready for my new beginning just now. First I have to take care of this year’s business. This is hard for me because I’m so excited, but it’s necessary in order to start out on the right foot when I do get to Nashville. It’s time to address what has to get done first so that my fresh start has the best chance of being successful and free.

My biggest challenge ahead is making decisions with an open heart and a clear focus. The II of Swords brings up my issue of not wanting to choose one way over another, not wanting to reveal myself, and trying to hide my emotional processes. It can be really hard for me to make decisions and I see this indecision as a major character flaw. I can be super hard on myself when I come up against a tough choice, thereby making the situation even worse through self judgement over taking too long to decide things. Working with the II of Swords is my challenge and also a positive change goal for 2016.

I’m making this move to Nashville with my fiancee, Kristen, and we both have a strong desire to make things fair and equal. This is a natural drive coming from the prominent placement of Libra in both of our astrological charts. Sometimes this gives us common ground but it can also be a bit maddening with it’s exactitude. It’s important that the move to Nashville be good for both of us. We both should have our needs met. No one should have an unfair advantage or win more compromises than the other. The II of Swords represents this balancing act that can end up closing doors and keeping us blocked and separate. Constantly being fair and asking what is logical or reasonable can throw a wrench into the march of progress. My challenge is to not get stuck in the tangle of decisions (II of Swords) that need to be made to close one chapter (The World reversed) and start another (The Fool reversed).

Part II: My Theme for 2016

knight of wandsThe energy of the Knight of Wands reversed is going to color my 2016. This is an energy of haste and delay. It is one of frustration and varying degrees of effort and concentration. It tells me that 2016 is going to be a bit of challenge for me! I’m constantly going to be confronted with obstacles and setbacks. Even now, as I try to bring closure to last year, I feel like there is too much to do, and I can’t focus my attention on any task long enough to complete it. If I do try and finish something up, things that are out of my control crop up to prevent me from finishing. The Knight of Wands reversed is a bad ass though, and I’m working up the stamina and courage to drive my creative dreams forward. There is a need for action and advancement this coming year.

The key to working with an energy like that of the Knight of Wands reversed is by first acknowledging that it exists. Knowing is half the battle, they say. That is the great thing about a tarot reading, it can help you acknowledge what is going on in your life in a very straight forward way so that hopefully you can pull your head out of the sand and start working towards solutions. This is not my destiny, I have personal power over my life that allows me to shape my own future. Now that I know there are a lot of road blocks, delays, and frustrations ahead of me this year, I can be prepared for a choppy flow ahead. I can adopt strategies to deal with frustrations and remember to focus on gratitude and my successes, more than wallowing in my delays and failures.

The Knight of Wands also has a personal significance to me, as this card often represents Kristen in my readings I do for myself. Last year, we traveled the country promoting her music. Almost everywhere we went and everything we did was dedicated to her music career. This year, I want to focus more on myself. In order to do that, I need to set aside time for my goals and projects and allow less time for hers. I know that sounds simple, but relationships are often like this. How do we get stuck in a rut and how do we get out of it?

I see the Knight of Wands reversed as a personal challenge to spend more time on working for myself and working on myself. This Knight has a tendency to get anger when situations are out of his control, so I will benefit greatly from finding techniques and practices that keep me calm in the face of opposition. When I grow impatient or restless, as I most certainly will time and again this coming year, having mechanisms in place that soothe and diffuse these situations is going to be crucial. The impulse to rush ahead will need to be tempered with reasoned thinking about consequences and desired outcomes. Things will not just fall into place, so having a system by which I can check in on my progress and my feelings will help me a lot. I need to focus on the things I can control and not give fuel to the fire of that which is out of my hands.

Part III: Your 2016 Outlook
IMG_8399Things seem to be at a pretty calm status quo with my love life in 2016. It’s not very exciting, but it’s nice to hear! The Hanged Man represents a time of being, as opposed to a time of doing. Some times relationships are just fine the way they are. We don’t have to be growing and progressing every single day of our lives. It is fine to take a pause and just enjoy where we are at in the moment. We will both benefit from spending quiet time together, as opposed to always working and manifesting our shared dreams. This year, the best thing we can do for our relationship is find quiet chill time together, especially as we are planning a wedding. Finding time to just enjoy each other and our love is going to be a priority.

The Hanged Man can also bring to mind sacrifice and martyrdom. As this relates to my overall year card of the Knight of Wands reversed, I might find myself making compromises that I wasn’t intending to make. This could add to my overall frustration that I’m not focusing enough on myself and instead spending too much time doing things for my partner. Ugh. Yet, The Hanged Man takes lots of time to make decisions and knows how to calmly access his inner knowledge in order to sense the right direction for himself. When I am feeling pulled in too many directions by my love, I can sit with the peaceful, slow energy of The Hanged Man and get my priorities back into focus.

More fiery wands show up in my career outlook for 2016 with the V of Wands reversed. This card suggests a strong desire to avoid conflicts and comparisons. One of the worst things we can do to ourselves is constantly compare ourselves to other people working in the same field. This weighing of ourselves against what other people do, accomplish and have, mostly just serves to make us miserable. What about finding my own path? What about doing things my own way? I can play outside of the rules. I can do things the way that works well for me. I can define success on my own terms. The V of Wands reversed encourages me to be an individual and do things my way.

When I stop spending all my time comparing myself to what others are doing and seeing if I measure up, I can focus my time and energy on my actual goals. This increased focus is a positive sign for my career in 2016. A V energy is a middle energy though, so this is just an initial hurtle to clear in my journey toward creating a sustainable tarot reading career. I still want to incorporate my work as a tour manager and a librarian into my future career, so this struggle isn’t over yet. It’s just a time when I can put some clear focus into my business and make some progress.

The Knight of Wands reversed combined with the V of Wands reversed emphasizes the creative struggles that lie ahead for me this coming year. The suit of wands is all about passion, fiery creation energy, the spark of new plans and projects, and the motivational desire to get things going. The reversal may point to a need to work through this creativity on an internal, personal energy. Not having much fire in my chart, the reversals may also indicate a blockage or inability to get things started. This is yet another warning note from the tarot that I may have a frustrating and challenging year ahead of me. I’m can heed this warning though and stay present, doing my best to confront challenges and deal with my obstacles in a calm and straightforward way, instead of flying off the handle.

Finally, my physical and spiritual well-being in 2016 is represented by the III of Pentacles reversed. This is a card of creating strong foundations and working as a team to accomplish practical goals. When it is reversed, these aspects my not come so easily. I need to dedicate more time to my well-being. I want to create a firm foundation based on simple principles for keeping myself healthy. This includes eating right and exercising, two things I have not been doing regularly. I may benefit from finding people with common goals who can be my support network. Or I need to find the personal reserves and strength to do these things by myself. The Knight of Wands reversed as my partner combined with the III of Pentacles reversed can be a sign that Kristen will not be a helpful influence, I may need to find other workout buddies or healthy eating supporters instead of relying on her in this aspect.

As far as spiritual well-being in the coming year, one of my goals is to better define what my spirituality actually is. The III of Pentacles reversed tells me that I’m unlikely to find a clear definition of this in the world from other people. This is something I need to figure out on my own, on my own terms. The Knight of Wands reversed is not going to help me here either, as this energy of frustration and delay will only sweep me further away from my quest for a spiritual foundation that is strong and clear for me. I’m interested to see how this well-being card shapes up for me in 2016. Hopefully, all of my internal efforts to achieve greater harmony with my physical body and develop my spiritual practice will succeed in creating a powerful foundation from which I can grow even after 2016.

Part IV: The Wrap Up
I found this reading to be truly insightful. I loved the numerology that showed up in the energy of my current situation with the closing and beginning card 22 The World reversed, then card 0 The Fool reversed, followed by the II of Swords. What a natural progression! I’m in a phase of finding closure before I can move into an excellent new beginning. My challenge is be patient and present in the moment without being distracted and overly involved in a future that cannot evolve without a culmination in the present. Still, I need to plan for that future in order to make it productive and true to myself. The big obstacle is to cut through indecision and keep growing. I kind of want to wait and see what happens but that approach isn’t going to work here, I need to plan and act! It’s a tricky moment I’m in, finding a balance between the present and the future that allows for deep focus on each almost simultaneously.

The Knight of Wands reversed shows me that 2016 is going to present me with many challenges. These will probably leave me frustrated and angry much more than this watery Cancer is used to feeling. It’s great that I’m going to be fired up, creative, and inspired, especially about my career with the V of Wands, but delays and situations which are out of my control, could cause me some real heartache and anger. I know I can always find solace and comfort in the deep, peaceful and tranquil oasis of my love and relationship ruled by The Hanged Man. I know I have a safe haven to retreat to when things get ugly out there. I should be careful not to rely too heavily on inaction and being though, as the Knight of Wands energy of movement will be constantly present and pushing me forward. Too little forward motion will only cause me more frustration. Building a strong and thoughtfully crafted place in my physical body and spiritual being will be a worthwhile project, but probably a solo effort of internal journeying. Overall it looks like an interesting year ahead!  Lots of moving parts inside, but a calm surface for the outside world!

Well, there you have it, my tarot reading outlook for 2016! Please get in touch if you would like to order one for yourself or a friend for the holidays. This reading will only be available till the end of January, so that you can gain that fresh perspective on the year when it is still new. Right now I have a SPECIAL OFFER of $5 off if you sign up for my mailing list or even if you are already a newsletter subscriber!  That makes this amazing 7 card reading just $35 instead of the normal $40.  Just send me an email at thewillowpathtarot@gmail.com for this special offer code after you sign up for the mailing list 🙂 Whoot!  Happy 2016!

 

 

Birthday Reading for Me! Turning 33 with The Hierophant

Yay!  July 8th is my birthday and this year I turn 33 years old.  Numerologically, this is year of The Hierophant for me. I think that a birthday is a wonderful time to do a tarot reading, so I developed a special spread to help process and guide the energies of the coming year. I did this spread last year, and am excited to share another birthday reading with you this year. I had a blast rereading last year’s birthday reading and working up this new one.

The birthday tarot spread I developed is a 6 question spread addressing:  1. how will your current tarot year card manifest itself in your life,  2. what lessons do you need to learn this year, 3. what particular area of your life do you need to focus on this year, 4. what obstacles stand in your way this year, 5. what can help you achieve your goals this coming year, and 6. what kind of year can you expect to experience? I used the Shadowscapes deck to do this reading.

My immediate thought upon seeing the cards was, “Whoa, this reading is HEAVY”.  I had a professor in college who would fail any paper that contained the word heavy as an adjective that described anything besides a unit of measurement, but seriously guys, I can feel the weight of this reading on my shoulders. And it feels heavy. The Hierophant is bit of a difficult year to wrap my head around. I don’t always have the best associates with this archetype, since it represents conformity, dogma, discipline and a general “in the box” sort of thinking- no tarot reader’s favorite place to be. I want to be free and expansive, but there are still so many lessons I need to learn from those who are older and wiser, from society as a social structure that exists for a reason, from all of the cultivated wisdom that can help me on my journey.

Here I am doing my birthday tarot reading at Lake Oologah in Oklahoma.

Here I am doing my birthday tarot reading at Lake Oologah in Oklahoma.

Here’s what I drew:

justiceSS

Justice reversed Shadowscapes Tarot

How will The Hierophant manifest in my life this year: Justice reversed
Here is a card I hear cry out in my own voice: “But this isn’t FAIR!” I have a keenly developed sense of logic. I smile appreciatively when someone tells me I’m rational, level-headed, or that I make “so much sense”. The elevation of logic is a cultural norm in my Eurocentric worldview, so I always want to embody the rational approach. My Moon sign, the sign of emotions, is in the Air sign (read- mind-oriented, logical realm) of Aquarius (read- I want to be unique about my rational). So,I feel emotionally comfy and secure when I’m using my noggin and people think I’m so super smart and different for my perspective. The Hierophant energy of my year wants me to fall in line, though. This year is ruled by an energy of conformity and Justice reversed tells me that I’m not gonna like it. I’ve been living out of a van for the last year, ruling over my own life (read EMPIRE as it was an Emperor year). This year, though Kristen and I are getting an apartment again and it may be weird and difficult to sign a lease, fill out job applications, or do all those normal people things- like have a mailing address. Justice reversed tells me that there will probably be some kick back against the rigidity of The Hierophant. I’m going to want to keep doing things my own way, when the energy around me is all about saying that I need to live inside the box for a while.

worldrxSS

The World rxed Shadowscapes Tarot

What lesson can I learn this year: The World rxed
The journey that I’m on is not over yet. Kristen and I will still be touring around the U.S. for the rest of the summer and then we are going to South America for three months. Still, this year will see us settle down to a greater degree than we have in the past. The World reversed shows me that travel will not be as constant as last year. This is also a card about closure, and I feel an end to a cycle coming on strongly. I’ve learned SO MUCH recently about myself, my outlook on reality, my spirituality, my place in the world, etc. There is a heavy sense of ending around me. This last transit of Saturn through Scorpio is digging up so many of the lessons of the past 3 years that I’m impatient to expound upon. I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready, but the process of ending is frustratingly slow. Sure, I feel ready in my heart, but I don’t feel ready in my physicality, in my timing, in my mind. Something is still off, so hopefully the presence of The World reversed in this position means that this year I will find that culmination and closure that seems so imminent but is sneakily not here just yet.

VI of Cups Shadowscapes Tarot

VI of Cups
Shadowscapes Tarot

What to focus on this year: VI of Cups
Here is a clue to how I can bring about the closure that The World hints at, but doesn’t deliver. The VI of Cups is a card of the past. It represents nostalgia, but also lingering in moments that have already gone by, instead of staying in the present and working toward the future. I need to examine my past and figure out what is holding me back. I could be idealizing a golden age. On the other hand, I could be failing to deal with matters of the heart that still weigh me down or oppress me in some manner. Making peace with the past is difficult for us all. There is always the little voice in the head that wanders if things would be different now if we had acted some other way, if we had chosen some other direction, if we hadn’t done what we had done. I believe we have to leave the past behind us, so my focus this year is to figure out what I’m holding onto from my past that no longer serves me, how to release and let go of that past, and bringing that closure that I’m looking for into the now.

IV of Cups Shadowscapes Tarot

IV of Cups
Shadowscapes Tarot

What will hinder me: IV of Cups
Ironically, what will hinder my process of self assessment and healing the past, is too much introspection. The IV of Cups shows a going within, a time of self examination when the outside world is not as important as the inner world. The warning here is that I must not forget about all the things I need to do with my life to move forward, while I’m examining all the things in my life that I want to leave behind. Here is a reminder to find balance. Yes, examine the past and your past lessons, but do it activitely. My intuition says this means that I can’t do it alone. I need to find outside help. This would tie in perfectly with the energy of The Hierophant, who is often an older and wiser counselor who can help you learn and grow. A personal dream or goal of mine is to find a spiritual advisor who can help me grow as a tarot reader, but also help me process my feelings about my developing spirituality. The IV of Cups is a card of isolation and contemplation, two things I love to do, but will hinder my progress. Here is an opportunity for me to do something outside the norm for myself, even while conforming to a Hierophant year energy.

The Emperor Shadowscapes deck

The Emperor
Shadowscapes deck

What energy will help me: The Emperor reversed
I looove this. Last year was a IV year for me, which is the year of The Emperor. Now I have moved on to a V year, which is the year of The Hierophant. Basically, letting go of what came before will help me move on this coming year. The idea of energy cycles is difficult, especially when I was having such a powerful Emperor year when I felt like I was building up this personal empire. I found so many amazing clients for my tarot business to grow. I also worked hard to build relationships with tons of bookers and clubs in my tour manager career. I feel like Kristen and I could keep this up and conquer the USA as vandwelling musician and tarot readers. But that energy is receding now, and the dream of constant traveling is fading into a desire to get an apartment and a dog and have a home base that doesn’t involve wheels. That is Hierophant energy and I need to accept it and flow with it. It is time to let The Emperor energy go and embrace the new year of my life with The Hierophant.

Judgement Shadowscapes Tarot

Judgement
Shadowscapes Tarot

What type of year can I expect with The Hierophant: Judgement
Here’s why I feel like this is a heavy year of energy. Justice and Judgement are both very serious cards in my opinion, as is The Emperor and The Hierophant. That’s a lot of Major Arcana energy that deals with serious matters. Judgement, card XX also nicely complements The World reversed, card XXI. Before I can find the ending (XXI The World is the last Major), I need to go through the lessons of Judgement. I just did a meditation on Judgement today and things feel very clear to me. I need to heed my inner calling. Honestly, I feel like I have heard that inner calling and being a tarot reader and a traveler and marrying the woman of my dreams. I’m just not sure I’ve told everyone, or lived that inner calling, which I feel is the next step. Being an introvert isn’t going to work, says the IV of Cups. I need to shine my light outward and people are not going to understand or even like it, which goes against my sense of logical with Justice reversed. I need to put the past behind me, I don’t have to be that girl I was, I can be this woman I am to myself in front of the whole world. Until I do that, this cycle doesn’t end. The fact that all these cards showed up in this reading, gives me strength that I’m on the right path. This reading makes me feel like I know what to do and that I CAN do it.

P1070365This year I will work to fulfill my inner calling. I have heard it, now I must act and be living in accordance with that calling. I will do this by bringing about a positive and happy transition from my childhood atheism to my present spirituality. I should look for others who have lived a similar path and I will learn from them. I will branch out to include others in my inner world, letting my heart shine it’s light onto all those who need it. I will let go of some of my vandwelling independence and join the ranks of rent paying, addressed homebodies. I will celebrate and acknowledge what I have done before and be open to take that next Fool’s leap into a new way of living. This reading is huge for me! Thank you so much for being a part of the journey thus far and consider this your cordial invitation to continue onward with me on this willow path.

How are you learning and growing this year as we slowly revolve around the sun on this great planet of ours? Do you know what your goals and dreams are?  Are you working toward them? Do you know what is holding you back and what can support you in moving forward? Are you acting in alignment with who you are? Do you know how to listen to your calm inner center of being? I feel motivated and encouraged by this reading.  I know I have a lot of work to do, both in the physical world and in my internal spiritual development.  It’s a wonderful thing to have the tarot for these exercises in self reflection and empowerment. Please get in touch if you would like a reading of your own!

I. The Magician Year

Tarot Card for Your Year:  The Magician

Our lives flow in cycles. Each year contains a beautiful energetic flow of awakening, growing, harvesting, deconstructing, breaking apart, and going dormant.  All this is followed by another cycle of reawakening, relearning, regrowth, and then more deconstructing, resting, and on and on. A tarot reading is an amazing tool to help you recognize where you are at in the cycle by connecting you with your inner energy.  Life’s larger cycles, made up of multiple years, can be universally applicable to all human experience.We can determine where we are at in that larger cycle using numerology. Numerology and tarot combine perfectly to help us tune into our place in that larger cycle when we pause to reflect and then look forward at our birthday time each year.

To calculate which tarot card is influencing your current year, use the numerology method described below. Simply add your birth day and month to the current year and then reduce the number down to a single digit.  Here is how I added it up for a friend who’s birthday is February 27th:

2+2+7+2+0+1+5= 19   then reduce 1+9= 10 then even again 1+0= 1

1 is the number of The Magician.  Therefore, my friend is having a Magician year!  Now what can a person expect during a Magician year?

The Magician Rider Waite Smith deck

The Magician
Rider Waite Smith deck

A Magician year is one infused with the acts of creation and manifestation. The Magician has an innate power to bring into being anything that s/he is inspired to create. This is a year when you will be able to freshly sense all of life’s possibilities, and also decide which of those possibilities to bring into reality. You are capable of giving your life new meaning and direction this year, with a new start in one area or all areas of your life. You will come to recognize your potential and do something with it- make it real, instead of just a feeling in the air around you, like electricity. That potential is magic, and magic is the wonder and power directed by you this year, as The Magician.  You will feel yourself opening up to the universe, to potential, to possibility.  Know that you are the conduit through which spirit manifests in the physical world and observe that channel, you!, in action.

You are ready to take action!  The Magician is concerned with figuring out his place in the world, and is therefore focused on the external. This world is where we do things! You may feel a surge of energy into your life this year as you act as that channel of spirit into reality. You are a lightning rod, channeling inspiration and brimming with enthusiasm. Take note of what you can bring into this world, what you can make real out of this energy, what is meaningful and adds value to your life.  Take action, use your ability to tap into universal energy, and keep yourself open to drawing on as much of it as you need.

The Magician Wild Unknown Tarot

The Magician
Wild Unknown Tarot

Do not fear that there is a finite amount of creative energy available to you and that you could somehow use up all your creativity.  Do not save it up for a rainy day or worry that you could somehow waste your energy.  Universal energy is infinite, you will never use it all up, so draw more and more in order to grow your creation. In fact, the more energy you channel, the easier it will become to draw on even more as you grow into your power. All creation undertaken with joy and love will add to your life, even if your pursuits seem otherwise “unsuccessful”. Success ultimately lies in your willingness and ability to bring joy and love into your actions and intentions. Do not let self-doubt or lack of confidence creep into your experience.  You have the power to make your world into whatever reality you want to create. No one else can do that for you or take that from you.

The number 1 is about new beginnings. This year you will find yourself passionate about starting a new project, or approaching your life in a new way. This could be something you do physically, but it can also be an emotional, mental or spiritual new beginning. This year is all about being conscious of who you are, how you are, what you are, and feeling fresh and renewed about yourself and your life path. Perhaps you haven’t been conscious at all of these things about yourself.  Maybe this year you discover that you are totally out of touch with your feelings and start a new emotional relationship with yourself.  Or you may notice that you have been unconsciously sabotaging yourself through your mental processes, so this year is when you begin observing those negative thoughts and eradicating them before they destroy your beautiful essence. Recognizing and realizing your being, your eternal essence, your shining soul that is the real you, may be how you connect or reconnect with your spiritual self this year.  Tending to your total human experience of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual balance can and will begin afresh this year if you stay open to it!

The Magician Deviant Moon Tarot

The Magician
Deviant Moon Tarot

A Magician year will find you filled with optimism and enthusiasm.  The personal power that is almost tangible around you boasts up your vibrational level, causing you to feel invigorated and pumped on life.  You not only have the desire to manifest a new dream, but also the energy and drive to do it. Magicians are in good spirits when they are following their passion for manifestation. Her/his general attitude is:  “Yes, I can!”  You may find yourself with an increased ability to focus on your goals.  You know what you want to create, you are enthusiastic and inspired, and you are blessed with the ability to concentrate on the task at hand. Feed your increased ability to focus, as well as your higher level of enthusiasm, by taking special care of your physical body. Make sure you are eating healthy foods, getting good exercise, nurturing your body with sunshine and loving touch. The care you show for your external presence in the world will reflect well on your internal being.

As is only natural, the Magician is also extremely resourceful. As you can notice in the tarot card depiction of The Magician, he has all of the resources at his disposal that he needs to create whatever is in his heart.  The Cup, Pentacle, Sword, and Wand are easily within his reach on his table, representing the elements of water, earth, air, and fire respectively. This is everything that he can use to transmute the immaterial essence of an idea, inspiration or desire into physical form.  He reaches up to the heavens where this essence hangs all around us, and points it down toward the earth, toward the physical plane of our material experience. He is a master of the concept of: “as above, so below.” He will make his world to mirror his soul. Spend some time at your birthday this year to make sure you reflect on, and connect with, what that soul of yours wants to reflect.

The strong energetic influence of The Magician can be difficult this year if you do not know how to channel that powerful energy.  You may find yourself feeling full of magical forces and energy and not knowing how to direct them or ground them in reality, in the earth.  All that energy in your body can cause anxiety, abusive behavior, madness or just a general unhappiness.  If you feel restless or anxious to grow or start something new, look for appropriate channels for your energy.  For example, if you want to start a new romantic relationship, you need to go on dates and meet people.  Be open to the experience of a new person in your life. Sitting at home alone, telling yourself that you will never find the right person, is the most effective way to stay single and waste your energetic potential to manifest a partner. Remind yourself that you are limitless, instead of focusing on your self-imposed limits.

magicianSS

The Magician   Shadowscapes Tarot

The Magician is skillful, so s/he can reach for those resources and know exactly what to do with them. S/he has will-power. Not only does s/he take action and begin, but then continues to work hard on all that s/he undertakes. S/he has follow through. This is a great year for starting a huge new project that will take the next 9 years to manifest. The 1 is the first number in the cycle, so if over the year you are struck with a new realization about what you want to do with your life, or more importantly, how you want to live your life, expect that energy to stick around for the long haul and slowly transform you over the coming years.  Perhaps you want to start a business, or go back to school, or change careers. You have all the resources you need now to make a start of it. You will be starting at the very beginning, remember, so see this year as the first building block of your new path.

Watch yourself for signs of hesitation or outright refusal to begin.  Ask yourself why are you resisting that which you truly want? The answer is most likely Fear. Fear of failure, feel of embarrassment, fear of learning, fear of the dark- whatever it is, fear is what holds us back from living up to our fullest potential.  Put fear away! Please begin! The Magician is here to tell you that the time for doubt and hesitation is behind you.  You are ready.  What if there was no such things as failure?  What if the only things we regret are the things that we didn’t do, and not the things that we did do? Take a leap of faith, demolish fear, allow yourself to create, be powerful, be The Magician!  If all of this sounds completely impossible, perhaps what you will being this year is the slow demolition of that wall of impossible in your life, so that you can realize what is possible going forward.

Once you do begin, The Magician can then easily grow impatient when projects or plans do not immediately materialize!  Progress may be delayed, or you may have taken on a huge challenge that requires much development over many years. Your next step is to surrender to the process, to the cycles of energy, to being at the point you are at now. This is the place where you start from, each day brings you farther along your path, but where you ultimately end up is not as important as how you get there. Do not confuse your life purpose with your life goals. The purpose of your life is always to bring as much love and joy into the world as possible, to live in harmony with your divinity, to bring your values into alignment with your actions. Your life goals could be anything from having a good job, growing a family, being the President, whatever!  Create, grow, falter, and restart, but go along your path toward your life goals with an open heart full of love and joy for this life, and you will always succeed at your life purpose.

How about you?  Are you having a wonderful, inspired year with The Magician? Or are you wondering what tarot card is currently influencing your year in your life cycle?  Use the method I described above to calculate your current cycle or get in touch with me for a personal reading all about your tarot year card at thewillowpathtarot@gmail.com.  Looking forward to hearing about your tarot year!  Blessings!

The-Night-Sky-Wallpaper