Tarot for the New Year

The strange energy around the secular new year (December 31st / January 1st) has always fascinated me. This is often a time when many of us feel an odd pressure to “get started” doing a lot of things, but in truth, our bodies and minds are still in “winter hibernation mode” and we are prone to feeling exhausted by winter SAD. Perhaps because I am simply getting older, or perhaps because 2020 was an especially stressful and depressing year for me, I have been experiencing winter SAD more than ever before (I usually experience summer SAD, since I am more of a cold weather person than a hot weather person). Because of my lack of motivation and energy going into 2021, I felt wholly uninspired by the concept of “New Year’s Resolutions”, and instead of make any, I decided to return to a tradition (which I tried out a few years ago, but then stopped for some reason) of reading Tarot on New Year’s Day. I found it to be more in line with what I personally needed this year vs past years.

While I sometimes use Tarot as a divination method for direct communication with my Gods, spirits, and ancestors, more commonly, I use it as a form of intuitive and ritualistic self care. I find Tarot to be an incredibly helpful self-development tool, as well as a good way to see how I might be supported by my Gods/spirits/ancestors at any given time. For me, reading Tarot on New Year’s wasn’t really about “literally predicting how the year will go”, as it is my belief that our futures are constantly in flux and changing based on both our actions and decisions, as well as external factors outside of our control. Instead, this reading was more about understanding some key options / possibilities / recommendations I might want to pay attention to in order to loosely plan out my projects and goals for the year: times of year when specific activities might be especially supported by my Gods/spirits/ancestors. This plan will inevitably shift and change as time passes, but it felt good to at least form a plan as a starting point.

Here are some notes regarding my reading. I used the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot by Uusi, one of my favorite decks. My entire reading is centered around my intended projects and goals for 2021. I wanted to document the reading here for easy reference, and because I want to compare it to a similar reading I plan to do mid-year (to check in on my progress with said projects and goals).

2021 Reading

  • January – The World (Reversed)
    • Themes of the Month: Delays; seeking closure but not finding it yet; struggling to let go of the past; unfinished business
    • Advice for the Month: Do not attempt to rush into a bunch of new projects / initiatives – you are still recovering from a very difficult year, a year full of trauma. You need to give yourself more time to heal and recover.
  • February – The Ace of Pentacles (Reversed)
    • Themes of the Month: Hesitancy; being conservative with money; focusing on stability; feeling out of one’s element; lack of readiness
    • Advice for the Month: It might be best to seek professional help with goals & initiatives at this time; spend more time planning, and less time doing – there’s no need to rush things
  • March – Five of Swords (Reversed)
    • Themes of the Month: Conflicts that seem to linger despite trying to move on; the re-opening of an old wound; giving up or backing down does not necessarily equate to failure – sometimes it is the best choice
    • Advice for the Month: Avoid anything that causes tension, too many raw emotions, and/or unnecessary stress. It is okay to walk away from something that isn’t working out.
  • April – The Queen of Wands
    • Themes of the Month: Optimism; inspiration; confidence; creativity; curiosity; showing more of one’s “true self” to the world
    • Advice for the Month: A great time to act! Go after your goals with ferocity and determination.
  • May – The Tower (Reversed)
    • Themes of the Month: Self-initiated / self-instigated upheaval & transformation; Calling into question major life choices / beliefs
    • Advice for the Month: Do not to resist change at this time: be open to new systems, routines, beliefs, and environments
  • June – Nine of Cups (Reversed)
    • Themes of the Month: Disconnection from your dreams; over-indulgences and “empty” pleasures; feeling too influenced by what others think will make you happy vs what actually makes you happy
    • Advice for the Month: Instead of looking externally for validation and happiness, look internally. Pause any projects at this time if needed and work on creating authentic happiness for yourself, even if it seems like you are doing what others expect or feel you should to do.
  • July – Page of Pentacles
    • Themes of the Month: Focus; practicality; tangible outcomes; learning new skills; enthusiasm; commitment; readiness
    • Advice for the Month: Now is the time to start a new project, or pick back up a halted project. Seek every opportunity to further your goals along.
  • August – Five of Wands (Reversed)
    • Themes of the Month: Inner conflict and/or conflict avoidance; feeling tension between your beliefs and the beliefs of others; wanting to please people
    • Advice for the Month: You may feel susceptible to wanting to believe what others believe at this time – if so, do not fall victim to it. Figure out what you believe. You have nothing to prove to others.
  • September – Two of Wands
    • Themes of the Month: Growth; openness; steadiness; decisiveness; sustainability & balance
    • Advice for the Month: Now is the time to focus on the long-term vs the short-term; it is time to evaluate project progress and make adjustments based on what you envision wanting long-term (focus on sustainability).
  • October – Four of Wands
    • Themes of the Month: Joyful celebration (especially with others); a return to the familiar and comfortable; appreciation and gratitude
    • Advice for the Month: When you are experiencing rapid growth and expansion, it is important to take a moment to slow down and really savor your success.
  • November – Ten of Swords
    • Themes of the Month: Challenges & hardship; grief; betrayal; the final ordeal; a necessary roadblock or setback
    • Advice for the Month: What can be learned from painful experiences? This is, ultimately, an opportunity for growth and setting yourself up for future victory – pay attention, and do not despair.
  • December – Two of Cups
    • Themes of the Month: Love & trust between two people; flourishing relationships; deep connection, compassion, shared values, harmony, and partnership with others
    • Advice for the Month: Spend time with loved ones, and cherish your closest relationships. Now is a time to focus on the people in your life, not your projects/goals. You have done all you can this year, now take some time to be present with loved ones.

Based on the above reading, I have decided to plan out my year as follows, in terms of the various projects I want to work on in 2021 (*this is a starting point; I will re-assess this plan with a mid-year reading in July). These are the activities that my Gods/spirits/ancestors will be most likely to support me on during these times (but of course I can do other things, as well):

  • Jan – Rest & recovery
  • Feb – Project planning (short-term)
  • March – Project planning / start to do some work on projects
  • April – Full speed ahead! Work on projects
  • May – Work on projects, but listen to intuition & take a break if a sudden need for a change in your process and/or rest arises
  • June – Rest; enjoy pleasures / pursue happiness
  • July – Work on projects
  • August – Work on projects
  • September – Evaluate all project health / progress. Project planning (long-term)
  • October – Stop working! Celebrate! Enjoy success! Rest & recovery
  • November – A failure may be experienced during this time – if so, learn from it, and continue working on projects
  • December – Rest & recovery (spend time with loved ones!)

Leave a Reply