New year’s day. I lay in bed this morning, reading yesterday’s paper. As there are none today, I’d bought Saturday’s and saved it. But reading it felt kinda wrong.
The news was all round-ups of 2011. The magazine was filled with fashion ideas for ‘tonight’. There seemed something so very silly about waking up on the dawn of a new year and reading…yesterday’s news. Last year’s news. Well, I thought, making a cup of tea and returning to my duvet, it doesn’t affect my inability to complete the crossword, so who really cares?
I’m capable of making a big deal out of new year. I’m one of those list-making, resolutioning, clean-sheet loving people who likes to experience a sense of liberation and hope as she moves from one year into the next. I’m sure it’ll wear off eventually, but it is nice to have this symbolic date where we might all choose to feel we can put the mistakes of the last twelve months behind us and look forward to those new and shiny ones. A Judgement or an exciting Ace, or perhaps a Six of Swords or an Eight of Cups if that’s what’s needed.
So after a rainy day of fires and knitting and walking and brandy, let’s do a short, simple reading. Nothing major, just asking for a message or a little internal light for the new year. I’ve not read for myself for a long time, and today feels like a good time for looking ahead.
I’d brought three decks with me to this tiny Welsh hideaway. The Wolf Pack is simply not tarot – not for me, anyway. The Secret Tarot – well, we have yet to bond, though I’m so far enjoying my explorations into its semi-baroque, semi-steampunk, semi-naked mysteries. That leaves the Tarot of the Magical Forest. My cute little heartstring-tugging fluffy big-eyed BFF of a deck; a deck that could only ever tell me lovely things, gentle things. That’ll do nicely.
I used a spread from the accompanying little white book:
- Roots – what has brought you here
- Trunk – the direction in which you are growing
- Leaves – resources you are using
- Dead leaves – things you are letting go of
- Branches – the summary of the reading
1. Roots – what has brought you here – Knave of Chalices – “understanding sensitivity”, says the book. This fellow is a student of his own emotions, one with a heart that, like his cup, is waiting to be filled. I can relate to a cad that brings me to new year with an eagerness to know myself emotionally, to be sensitive to the needs of my heart and the hearts of others.
2. Trunk – the direction in which you are growing – Six of Chalices – “scruples and indecision cause inertness”. Oh. I like the interpretation of this card, I’m just not too happy to see it here! Is this the direction I’m heading? Emotional inertia, inability to move my heart forwards? Sometimes I wonder..
3. Leaves – resources you are using – The Devil – I’m a believer in the idea that there is no inherently bad tarot card, but that each contain good and bad within them…still, it’s hard to see how I might use The Devil’s energies favourably. Am I one of his poodles, chained to his post, unmoving, unblinking? Or am I Black Basilisk himself, standing high, bony wings ourstretched? Is bondage my favourable condition? Must I feel or exert a power like The Devil’s?
4. Dead leaves – things you are letting go of – Judgement. Am I to let go of the feelings of rebirth and reinvention that I treasure?
5. Branches – summary – Queen of Pentacles – “feel responsibility”. Wow. So to conclude, the summary of this reading is a character who is maternal, loving, nurturing, a provider. Someone who’ll make you a nice hot dinner and give you a hug and make you feel warm and safe and like everything’s going to be okay. An admirable card and a character I much admire, but not particularly someone I’m seeking to be right now. So is she me? Future me? Or somoeone who’s going to be coming into my life?
I feel pretty strongly that she illustrates the person I’m gonna turn into if I carry on my path. And I could do worse, I know. The Queen of Pentacles is awesome. But I feel that this reading is setting me up for a year of emotional stagnation, telling me my dreams will come to nothing and that I will stay put, not challenging myself, not developing myself.
I pinch myself and remind myself that I don’t believe in fortune telling. What is my reaction to these cards? Disappointment. I don’t want to stagnate! I don’t want inertia, bondage or indecision. The idea that I might be heading in this direction scares me…and rings true. Rings a tiny little bell at the back-bottom of my mind. Those little bunnies and foxes and lambs – well, they’ve given me some food for thought.
Six of Chalices, from the Tarot of the Magical Forest by Hsu Chi Chun and Leo Tang
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.