Friday, January 22, 2021

A Tarot Reading for 2021 - Revealing the Spread, Cards 1 and 2

This is the third in my series of posts about my New Year's 2021 Tarot reading.  Post one where I talk about my choice of deck is here, and post two where I discuss the spread is here.  

So onward!  Let's start with looking at the cards as a whole, just to get a feel for the connections and overall themes.  Then I'll 'flip' the first two.  Here's what's in my spread:

1.  Death.
2.  Five of Swords
3.  Ace of Swords
4.  Five of Wands
5.  Eight of Wands
6.  Tower
7.  Sun
8.  Magician
9.  Page of Cups
10.  Ace of Cups
11.  Four of Coins

Looking at the suits, it’s interesting to see how they are so cleanly split.  Swords (challenges, intellect, thoughts) appear early, referring the background like my inner self and the conflict.  Then the framing forces of the past and present are Wands (career, projects, inspiration).  The intangibles of 2021 are represented by Cups (emotions, relationships, creativity).  Only at the very end do we find Coins/Pentacles (money, resources) showing the tangibles of real-world outcomes.  Four of the eleven cards are Major Arcana, and two are Aces, which is pretty cool as indicators of key themes/aspects of my relationship to 2021.

I've placed the first two cards off to the side, although they are usually dealt to lay across the middle of the center card in the spread.  These two cards form the essence of me and my relationship to 2021, both my role(s) and my true inner self within that context.

1.  Death - Significator.  Okay, so I’m a romanto-techno-weirdo-goth person and thus the Tarot Death card has never been one I’ve viewed negatively.  This card represents change, and I see a lot of positive aspects in that.  We certainly need some change after 2020.  The character in the card wears a mask, already so appropriate for 2020/2021 but in addition, this mask is a plague doctor’s mask.  Creepy appropriate.  It is intended as protection.  The white rose is an homage to Death.  My interpretation is that I see myself as someone trying to stay safe, but also trying to help and to honor others who were not so lucky.  I also think it bodes for my role in 2021 being different from 2020 in some way that may be specifically virus related.

2.  Five of Swords - Me.  This card depicts the winner of a hard-fought battle.  But while the character in the card has indeed won, the victory may have been Pyrrhic.  As my inner self I see this card as a question - what have I gained and what have I lost in 2020?  I have to take my lessons learned forward with me into 2021 or this victory (my continued health and prosperity) will have been at a high price, indeed.  My inner self is one who is glad for victory, but cognizant of costs and compromises.  This is appropriate as Swords as it frames my challenges and thoughts of myself and my place.

Next post, I'll talk about the five middle cards that form the cross.

Image Credits:  Pix by me of my stuff.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

A Tarot Reading for 2021 - Choosing a Spread

This is the second in my series of posts about my New Year's 2021 Tarot reading.  The first post where I talk about my choice of deck is here.  

So with deck in hand, I had to choose a spread.  Since I wanted to "get a read' on my place in the whole year of 2021, I figured a big, complex spread was the way to go.  I picked the Celtic Cross Spread and included a 'significator' card for a total of eleven cards.  The Celtic Cross is often dealt to look like this:

Celtic Cross spread, from the guide to
The Gilded Tarot


Each card is related to the question or situation of interest in some specific way.  The 'definitions' for each card follow here - again this is largely the description provided in the guide to The Gilded Tarot.

1.  Significator. How I feel about 2021 and/or my role in 2021.  This is generally considered an optional card, only added if, as in my case here, I wanted additional info/complexity in my reading.
2.  Me (The Querent).  My relationship to 2021.  This is the “inner me” or the “true me” that has some bearing on issues and situations in 2021.
3.  Crossing.  The major conflict(s) or challenges in 2021 for me.
4.  Foundation.  The basis of 2021, key themes or ideas I will encounter.
5.  Past.  My past issue(s) that will influence 2021.
6.  Present.  Current force(s) shaping my 2021.
7.  Future.  Forces that will affect the nature of and/or the outcome of my 2021.
8.  Myself.  My self-image, which may or may not reflect card #2.  How I see myself approaching/living/being in 2021.
9.  Environment.  How others will view/see me in 2021.
10.  Hopes and Fears.  What I most hope or most fear for 2021.
11.  Outcome.  Probable outcomes for 2021; what will be the nature of 2021 for me, assuming nothing changes from the moment of the reading.

The Celtic Cross spread isn't about predicting or changing the future, it is instead a way to gain insight into a past and present situation, and what outcome(s) might arise.  Whenever you use Tarot cards, it's important to focus on some specific question or situation, since the cards have lots of meanings based entirely on context.  As I noted in my first post, this is all about psychology.  What do I hope the cards will suggest?  What do I *not* want to see?  In what way do they confirm or conflict with my previous ideas?

I of course was looking for insight into 2021 - including, what were the key issues in my 2020 that will influence 2021, what would be the major themes for me this year, what strengths I could access, and what weaknesses I had that would need support.

So I shuffled the cards, thinking about my questions, and then handed the deck to my spouse, who dealt the cards face down.  After that, he turned them over one by one and we pondered the significance ...

Nuff for now; next post to see the cards I drew!

Image Credits:  My pic of the inside of my guide to The Gilded Tarot by Barbara Moore (illustrator for the cards is Ciro Marchetti.)

A Tarot Reading for 2021 - Choosing A Deck

As part of our New Year's revelry, I asked my spouse to help me with a Tarot reading for 2021.  He obliged, and so I have my (pretty awesome) reading for 2021 to share over the next several posts.

Given that I'm a scientist, I'm sure it's no surprise that I do not view Tarot as supernatural.  Rather I view it as a engaging and creative means to uncover some of my own psychology.  Tarot works best for me when I look at a card and consider the implications that I easily accept, and then those I immediately resist.  Also during this time of pandemic, I find myself gravitating to tactile activities that are not computer based.  There's a sort of need for texture, color, and the sound of shuffling cards.  It's very grounding and comforting in a time when so much of the physical world, and the physicality of other people, has been out of reach.

For my 2021 reading I chose my Tarot Grand Luxe deck.  It's my go-to deck for when I want lots of detail, but don't want to work too hard to find the messages.  One of this deck's best aspects is that, unlike SO many other Tarot decks, it includes people with a wide range of skin tones and facial features.  It's a dynamic, vibrant deck that's full of life.  Now if I could only find a deck with a wide range of genders and body types, too, I'd be pretty darn happy ...

Tarot Grand Luxe.  Stunning art, detailed images, diversity,
high-quality card stock and labels that are easy for the eye.

This is a gorgeously illustrated Tarot with largely standard themes.  Because the themes and symbols are standard, it makes interpreting the messages more straightforward than some of my more unorthodox decks.  What do I mean by standard themes?  Let's take a look at a comparison of four of my favorite tarot decks.  I've taken the Six of Coins/Pentacles and the Hermit card from each deck.  Check out the image, with helpful arrows and labels!  :) 

The first deck is the Rider Waite Smith Tarot deck, a variant of the very first decks used for divination published in the early 1900s.  The second deck is the one I've chosen for 2021, Tarot Grande Lux.  As you can see, the first two decks have similar imagery and symbols for both cards.  The Hermit is an old dude with a long white beard, usually carrying a lantern or such and maybe a cane or staff.  The setting is a path or journey.  For the Six of Coins, there is a scale and someone weighing out gold.  It's easy to say, yep, that's a scale and it's being balanced, or that's a lantern and he's looking for something.  I.e. you can get a quick read on the general idea of what you are looking at in the card.

But decks can be a great deal more unorthodox, with imagery and symbols used in new ways, or that are not immediately recognizable.  The last two decks show a progression from weird to weirder.  Revelations Tarot is pretty cool because the cards can be read as they fall, either right-side up or upside down.  I don't usually bother with 'inverted' or 'reversed' readings - if I pull a card and it is upside down, I flip it.  Many people prefer to leave the card inverted, and then interpret the meaning in some way that is reversed to the original meaning of the card.  Revelations Tarot makes that super easy - it's almost like there are two whole decks here, since each card has a top and a bottom image.  However, these images are highly stylized, and combine symbols in unusual ways.  Deviant Moon Tarot is one of my more weird decks, and is perfect when I'm in that headspace.  The images here look nothing like the Rider Waite Smith Tarot, and the moon and tone of the art is vastly different.  So when I'm in a mood for the strange, I'll choose a deck more like this.

Nuff for now, more later.

Image Credits:  All pix are taken by me of my own Tarot decks, except I have cut in the pictures of the RWS Hermit and six of coins into my image from Wikimedia Commons.