While “New Year’s Day” may be a purely arbitrary date, its passage gives us the opportunity to achieve a greater state of self-awareness when we devote some time to assess the past 12 months of our lives, reviewing our accomplishments and disappointments while making resolutions, and setting goals, for the coming year. It’s times like these when the symbolic language of the Tarot can speak most intimately to us, and provide us with insight and guidance into the year ahead if we are willing to engage in the work of serious self-examination.
Of course, this spread need not be confined to New Year’s. It can be laid out anytime we feel as though we have reached the end of a certain phase in our lives and are about to embark upon a new journey, or for those times when we feel that we are situated at a “crossroads” and are wondering to know if we are heading in the right direction or if a course correction is in order.
This spread utilizes a Significator card to represent the querent, and while you are free to use any Court card you prefer, I recommend using The Fool since he embodies the principle of “pure potential”—the “Now” of our lives that is yet to be made consciously manifest—with greater fidelity than any other card in the deck. The cards are laid out in the following sequence:
4 3 Fool 1 2
The questions posed by the cards are, roughly:
(1) What have I managed to achieve this past year that I hadn’t before? Or, if the card suggests it, How or where have I fallen short in achieving my goals?
(2) Who or what helped me to achieve my goal? Or, Who or what has held me back?
(3) What obstacles confront me looking into the coming year?
(4) What can or should I do to overcome them?
(5) Who or what can help me to achieve next year’s goals?
(6) Given current events, what is the likely foreseeable outcome?
If the querent wishes some further clarification, four additional cards can be laid down beneath the others, such that the spread now appears like this:
4 3 Fool 1 2
10 9 8 7
The additional cards can be said to represent the four stages of the upcoming year, the four levels of human consciousness, or any combination thereof, for example:
(7) Winter, intellect, the inner mind: The situation as it is perceived.
(8) Spring, emotion, the outer mind: The situation as it is felt.
(9) Summer, perception, the ego mind: The situation as it is projected.
(10) Autumn, sensation, the body mind: The situation as it is experienced.
In the coming days, we’ll examine a sample spread to see what we can learn about ourselves as we head into the next “chapter” of our lives. Until then, I wish you all a prosperous and fulfilling New Year.