As the cold begins to subside on this New Year’s Day, I decided to look at the upcoming new year and what it might hold for me. I used the Gaian Tarot and Joanna’s New Year Spread from the companion book Gaian Tarot: Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves by Joanna Powell Colbert. This year, 2011 will be an Emperor year (2+0+1+1 = 4), which happens to be one of my birth cards, so it will be an important or eventful year. The cards I pulled will help me see how things may unfold.
Card 1 — What do I leave behind in the old year? The Tree
Also known as the Hanged Man in other decks, the Tree tells me this is the year to leave behind confusion, sacrifice, and feeling that everything is upside down in my life. And that is exactly how the final quarter of the old year ended. Some health issues arose, throwing me off balance, out of focus, and wallowing in a “Why me?” attitude. Spending many hours in doctors’ offices was not an enjoyable use of my time, although important diagnoses were made and a plan for surgery in the spring was put into place. So I can walk into 2011 with a clear path of what lies ahead for me. I will have great support from my partner and friends, and have a list of who is willing to help out during my recovery. And since 2011 is an Emperor year, I will be in charge of my health and recovery, and will find balance and stability as the year goes by.
Card 2 — What do I open up to in the new year? 2 of Water
In the companion book, Joanna says of this card: “You have a caring, compassionate connection to another. You choose…to continue a relationship based on a deep heart connection, as you recognize and honor the Divine in each other. This connection brings you healing and joy” (p.97). My partner and I have been apart while he attended graduate school and works on a 3rd year fellowship, which will earn him national licensure. He is greatly enjoying his time in California, and has been reluctant to move back home, while I have been unwilling to move to California. Since my health issues have arisen, plans have changed. He will be at my side during my surgery and recovery, and will move back here this year as we make sure I am healthy again. After a couple of years, we can begin to find a place we would both be happy to relocate to. His decision has helped me a great deal in looking forward to the surgery and recovery, as well as making up for the time we have been apart. He is an amazing man, and I am so very lucky to have him in my life! He is a huge part of the balance, stability and clarity I have at the start of this year year.
Card 3 — Key opportunity of the new year: Temperance
Joanna tells us that Temperance “offers the serenity of the middle way between polarities. Embrace the different parts of your personality and life’s experiences, both light and shadow, joyful and painful. They all combine together, resulting in your unique individuality. [Temperance] also indicates someone who may be in need of healing…and [she] will facilitate that” (p. 57). What an perfect message to hear! During the last months of 2010, everything seemed very black and white, very either/or. So Temperance helps me envision a more holistic life and to accept the ups and downs that it may bring, and to grow from the lessons it teaches.
Card 4 — Key challenge of the new year: Magician
The Magician plays his drum, caught up in the rhythms he creates. He creates his magic with his hands, and my livelihood is made by using my hands as well. There are also handprints on the cave walls, and Joanna says that “The hand creates magic…[and] hands bring the Unseen into the Seen” (p.12). This a a magnificent challenge for me in 2011. I have lost my spark, my rhythm, my desire to be an active participant in my own life. This year is a time to embrace my creativity and inspiration and to enjoy my life, my family and friends who bring me such joy and happiness. As Dolly Levi says in the musical Hello, Dolly!, “It’s time for me to rejoin the human race”, and that’s what I am going to do in this new year!
Card 5 — Hidden concern: Death
Death is also one of my birth cards (1+3 = 4) and reflects the shadow side of the Emperor. There are times when I cannot be in full control of everything in my life, and must be willing to relinquish that control to others. A huge challenge for an Emperor, and for me as well! I like to be in command and make my own decisions, but when my surgery comes, that control must be delegated to my doctor and his team, to my partner and friends, as I let go of the issues that have compromised my health. Death is also a sign to begin the process of downsizing in my life, as my partner and I look forward to the joining of our lives together in a new home. He has reduced the amount of stuff in his life, and I am beginning to see what I can let go of, also a big challenge for me. I like being surrounded by the things I have collected over the years. But I realize it is time to let go of much that has been cluttering up my life, making it hard to move forward. It will not be an easy process, but will be very beneficial in the long run.
Card 6 — Deep widsom/advice from Gaia : 9 of Earth
In the Gaian Tarot, nines “depict the qualities of solitude, experience and wisdom. We have reached a level of self-mastery, peace and wisdom that has been hard-won. [Nines] represent the ability to live in the present moment” (p.130). This card is a culmination of all that I have accomplished in my life to this point. Joanna words really resonate for me: “You’re at the peak of your creative powers, and are well paid for your work. You are connected to your family and community, yet have time alone for creativity and spiritual pursuits. It is a time of peace and plenty, both internal and external” (p.134). This is such sage advice — to focus on the present moment and to enjoy the fruits of my labors. I have accomplished a great deal over the years, and have wonderful memories of many people, places, and events. Instead of rushing to do more, now is the time to sit back, reflect upon, and enjoy what I have done, and how it has made me who I am today.
Card 7 — Key theme of the new year: 4 of Water
How fitting, that for my key theme for the new year, that I pull a 4! (Remember, that 2011 = 4, as well as the Death card) Fours signify balance, stability, boundaries, structures, and (in the Gaian Tarot) sacred space. The girl gazes contemplatively into the waters of Chalice Well, a sacred site in Glastonbury, England (a place that I would love to visit one day). This card shows me that keeping my emotional reserves fully replenished will be crucial this year. It may be time to visit a scared space, especially one that has a body of water (a challenge when you live in a desert climate!). 2011 is not a time to allow my emotions to overflow, or stress me out; instead, it will be wise to go with the flow (recognizing that Temperance is my key opportunity for the year). It will be a good time to sit and reflect and see what lurks beneath the surface of my emotions. I can examine what is there and not let it overwhelm me.
This was an amazing reading! Nothing new, but certainly a strong reminder of what is important to focus on in the coming months. 2011 seems to be a year of growth, healing and balance, all of which I need in my life at this time. Heartfelt thanks to Joanna Powell Colbert for creating the stunning Gaian tarot deck and book….it’s truly an inspiring part of my deck collection!
Images from the Gaian Tarot © 2010 by Joanna Powell Colbert