The act of selecting a Year Card is a relatively simple one. Each year is numerologically represented by one card from the Major Arcana. The year card highlights collective energies and patterns for the year in question. To calculate the year card, I use a technique I first discovered in Mary Greer’s book ‘Tarot for Your Self’ but have seen it repeated several times among Tarot practitioners. The process is simple: add up the digits of any year, reduce to a number between 1 and 22 if necessary (the Fool represented by 22 in this process), and find the card that corresponds to this sum. For the upcoming year, 2 + 0 + 2 + 1 = 5. 2021 is the year of The Hierophant. As other examples, the year card for 2020 (2 + 0 + 2 + 0 = 4) is The Emperor; the year card for 2030 (2 + 0 + 3 + 0 = 5) will again be The Hierophant.Continue reading → 2021: The year of the Hierophant
My teenage daughter, (who was thrilled to be included in my first blog post and who loves it when we explore the Tarot), taught me a valuable lesson about the power of the querent. The querent is the name often used in Tarot that is given to the person asking a question. After a particularly challenging reading, she asked me what she could do to make the outlook better. Of course, as any parent would, I began to struggle with the already blurred line of objectivity and responded very generally.Continue reading → The Power of the Querent
A few days ago, Liz Worth posted about some modern classic Tarot books from her personal library. It got me thinking… we must all have collections of Tarot paraphernalia. Some large; some small. Some new and some collected over decades. Regardless, I believe what we choose to add to our Tarot space must say something about us as Tarotists.
Are we just learning? Are we looking for a deeper understanding? Do we lean towards a particular type of deck or system? Do we have favourite authors or creators? Do we blend our Tarot work with other types of divination? Is our work spiritual or practical?
I took a Sunday morning and laid out my current card and book collection. And I posted on both my Instagram story and feed. And then reflected a little more.
Based on my current collection, I know I am a Rachel Pollack fan (since I also lent out 2 others), but also appreciate Janet Boyer and Corrine Kenner. I have a more blended collection between Thoth-based and RWS-based decks than I thought. I have added a few French books and deck since my arrival in Belgium just over a year ago. And the visual appeal of the deck is important to me.
So what’s missing? What’s next?
There are a few limited, modern decks I am hoping to add. I am dreaming of a quick drive to the Belgian Tarot Museum once restrictions lift. This is a must-do before heading back to Canada! I am also looking for a couple of ‘deep dives’ into the complexity of Tarot but have not yet found a fit that I am prepared to commit to yet. I’m open to suggestions!
What about you? If you laid out your collection, what would it reveal? Please share in the comments or post on Instagram and tag me at @peterwhitetarot. Or share on Twitter at PeterWhiteTarot I would love to learn a little more about you and your tarot journey!
This year’s Tarot card calculation offers a bit of a twist.
It is common to identify The Hanged Man (card XII of the Major Arcana) as the year card for 2019. The numerological process for determining this is simple: add the digits 2 + 0 + 1 + 9 together and get 12. I’ve seen it highlighted on my social media feeds, on email newsletters I receive and on blog posts. (Biddy Tarot’s post is a great example.) Continue reading → The Hanged Man and The Empress
I’m going to call this “Tarotive” – is that tacky? 😉
My most recent work with the Tarot involved a style that is new for me.
As I prepared myself and my space for my work, I kept a situation in mind. Currently, this is an issue for which I needed some clarity of direction; the perfect kind of issue for Tarotive work. I reflected on the layout structure I would use but I did not ‘assign’ any meaning to specific positions. I also did not use a prepared spread. Instead, I identified the first card as ‘protagonist’ and let the rest of the story flow in order of the cards. Today’s ‘Tarotive’ work builds on the knowledge that the cards already include narrative elements: characters, challenges, supports, places, and events that can be strung together to form a story.
Since I started my Tarotive on the first ‘Sun’day after the Summer Solstice, I created an 8- card layout, one for each point in the Wheel of the Year. I set the cards out to represent the spherical shape of the Sun and also chose Joanna Powell Colbert’s Earth-themed Gaian Tarot deck (my limited edition deck is still a fave after 8 years!). When I work with my own questions at home, I often gather support resources.
(As a side note… Although I will ‘run through’ my interpretation ‘sans support’, I like to access my Tarot library to add differing perspectives or to sometimes challenge my own thinking. When working with yourself, it’s easy to see only what you want to see instead of what you need to see.)
My narrative begins with me represented in the 4 of Air, weaves through supports, reflections, journeys and endings. My story concludes with ‘The Builder’ from the Major Arcana.
When done, I tend to leave my Tarot work out for a period of time so that I can revisit it and reflect on it. (Tuesday morning as I finish this post and it’s still out.)
I have tried this more open, narrative style several times this month and it seems to be a style for which I’m going to hold space.
Try it! Think of a situation or question for which you (or someone else) are seeking guidance. Visualize a card layout with a representative link to the energy you’d like to draw on for your work; it might be the day, the time of year, a current astrological cycle, the situation… My Sun-shaped 8-card spread is an example of the solstice energy associated with the time of year where I live. Begin the narrative with the querent, wrap it up with the last card, and see where your story takes you.
And, if you feel comfortable doing so, share your experience in the comments. I’m curious to see if this Tarotive style works for you.