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Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year Spread

It’s New Year’s Day here in North America, so I am going to celebrate with a spread for 2015.

I am using “Joanna’s New Year Spread” from Journey through the Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert (Llewellyn Worldwide). My deck is Tarot of the White Cats, with artwork by Severino Baraldi (Lo Scarabeo).

The Spread


The Positions

1. What do I leave behind in the Old Year?
2. What do I open up to in the New Year?
3. Key Opportunity of the New Year
4. Key Challenge of the New Year
5. Hidden concern (pull from bottom of the deck)
6. Deep Wisdom / Advice from God/dess (pull from middle of the deck)
7. Key Theme of the New Year

My Reading


1. What do I leave behind in the Old Year?

KING OF SWORDS – My impression of this King in this deck is that he is judgmental, stern, and inflexible. Kate Warwick-Smith describes the King of Swords using these keywords:

  • Advisor (“knowledge in its pure state”)
  • Dictator (“leaves out the human element when considering options”)
  • Pragmatism (“ability to focus, concentrate, and be mentally determined”)
  • Ruthlessness (“when we sell out our dreams and refuse to acknowledge our emotions, we deny a part of ourselves”

I am being encouraged to consider which of these King-of-Swords qualities I need/want to leave behind in the Old Year. The choice is mine.

2. What do I open up to in the New Year?

TWO OF WANDS – When I look at this card in this deck, I get a sense of patience, optimism, confidence, and receptiveness, along with the idea of a partnership or a balance between seemingly opposing energies (the number Two). The LWB suggests that I widen my mental horizons, act, learn, and experience new emotions.  Joan Bunning views the Two of Wands as a card of “personal power, boldness, originality.”

3. Key Opportunity of the New Year

TWO OF PENTACLES – Looking at this card in this deck, I get a sense of juggling or balancing two “sides” or two types of energy. The cat on this card does not have a happy expression on his face. To me, he looks a bit worried or perhaps he is just concentrating on his task. The LWB offers an interesting idea: “When everything is changing follow the favorable wind without, however, relinquishing morality.” Bunning offers the keywords “juggling, flexibility, fun.” Pentacles is the suit of Earth, representing the physical, material world, which suggests to me that a key opportunity of the New Year will be to maintain flexibility and balance among real-world needs, responsibilities, and situations.

4. Key Challenge of the New Year

THE MOON – The Moon could certainly be a challenge to keeping it all together in the physical, material world. From the LWB: “A fascination with mystery can lead to dangerous places. Unpleasing surprises can occur without necessary protection.” And from Bunning: “Fear, Illusion, Imagination, Bewilderment.” Perhaps a key challenge for me could be preventing my imagination from “going off the deep end” to the point that I do not see, appreciate, or take hold of what matters in the day-to-day physical world. In the pale, shifting light of the moon, I may think I see things that are not there or fail to see something that is very real.

5. Hidden concern (pull from bottom of the deck)

KNIGHT OF CHALICES – The Knight on this card looks at me with what seems to be a sensitive, caring expression. His horse seems spirited and restless. Warwick-Smith describes the Knight of Cups using these keywords:

  • Lover
  • Possessor
  • Desire
  • Rejection

The idea of this Knight as a fear of rejection – or a tendency to “reject someone or something we feel we cannot have or do not deserve” – resonates with me in this case. A hidden concern for me could be my relationships and the role(s) I play in each of them.

6. Deep Wisdom / Advice from God/dess (pull from middle of the deck)

STRENGTH – This card immediately reminds of one of the children’s books I wrote: Big Cat, Little Kitty. From the LWB: “Even the stubbornest people can be convinced through kindness and a touch of charm, but it’s best never to trust wild animals.” Bunning’s keywords: “Strength, Patience, Compassion, Soft Control.” From this card (which is usually one of my favorites in any deck), I always get a sense of being brave enough to approach a “wild beast” with quiet confidence and an unshakable belief that unity is with that untamed energy is desirable and attainable.

7. Key Theme of the New Year

THE FOOL – In short, this card suggests the theme “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” It refers to fresh beginnings, new adventures, and unexpected opportunities. Yet the messages “follow your bliss” and “trust the universe” are balanced by a warning to avoid being foolhardy or reckless. The key is to be open to taking a risk or stepping outside my comfort zone without throwing caution completely to the wind.

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~ Zanna