Starting 2016 with Strength, courage, and home: my New Year tarot reading

There’s something about big turning points in your life that make you want to break out the big tarot spreads. Whether they have five cards or seven or nine, bigger, more specialized spreads seem to have more gravity or meaning. And why would you pass up an opportunity to try a new year’s spread on, well, New Year’s Eve?

I tried that today. I pulled up a new year’s spread, shuffled my cards, and laid them out in a tarot spread I’d recently discovered. But for some reason, they turned out so wrong. Each card was reversed. And while I’d completed a reading like that yesterday — and I do believe such spreads happen for a reason — it felt… different. It was like yesterday’s energy hadn’t disappeared. As if I hadn’t cleansed the deck well enough, and the previous day’s energy had rubbed off on my cards and my reading.

So I breathed, aired the room out, lit a candle, and shuffled the cards again. Shuffled thrice, turned half the deck around, then shuffled four more times to make it seven. I closed my eyes, slowed my breathing, calmed my thoughts, and laid out a simple three-card spread.

And suddenly things made sense again.


As my dogs fell asleep by my side, my mind was on the coming year — how to sweep negativity out the door and regain my focus for what I want to be a year of change. And so my question was:

What should I let into my life, and out of it, this 2016?



strength_rws_lgYou are stronger than you know. I am stronger than I know.

When I joined my agency last year, I was excited and motivated while my then-partner (now-senior copywriter) was burnt out. How that turned itself around in 2015! As the year went on, I became more and more burnt out, constantly wondering why I was doing this thankless job, why I hadn’t quit yet. The only thing I truly looked forward to in the second half of the year was my trip to the United Kingdom — three weeks of awe and wonder that got me through the last two months of the year.

In Strength, the lion represents the year I’ve had. It spoke too loudly and roared too much to make itself heard; it wasn’t devoid of happiness, but it was full of louder, more negative things; and most of all, it wasn’t good to me. As Strength, I close its mouth gently, with finality. Its time is up. It’s said enough.


wands09The Nine of Wands shows someone who’s been through a lot — and god, do I know how that feels. But how can you live life constantly looking over your shoulder or talking about the shit you’ve been through?

The Nine of Wands tells me to let go of bitterness, fear, and telling people what to fear. Warning new people of the travails of work may have been one of the most damaging things I’ve done this year. While I meant well, I may have made them fear something that they had the potential to love, all because I hadn’t been able to love it myself. Next year, I need to let people figure things out themselves. After all, it’s their life — and their adventure.

ADVICE: Two of Cups

two-of-cupsLast night, while talking with old friends from Australia over the largest glass of sangria I’ve ever seen, I realized that 2015 was my Year of the Hermit — minus any success. For one reason or another, I withdrew from the world, and I can’t even say that I nurtured connections with a select few instead.

The Two of Cups tells me to look for connections in my life in the coming year. To put myself out there, first of all. To be on the lookout for relationships that will last without discounting those that already exist. To be open to the idea of love. And to finally, finally believe I deserve it.

The Year Ahead

On New Year’s Eve every year, I come up with a theme that I want to define the next twelve months. Or at least I did once, when I called 2013 my Year of Exploration. I can’t remember what I came up with for 2014 and 2015, but 2016, I believe, will be the Year of Home.

Home isn’t only where you grew up or where you’ve lived, and family doesn’t end with blood. And this year I want to find new homes — in new places, with new people. I want a place to stay and a place to grow, however painfully. And I saw that in the Two of Cups — in the little house on the hills behind them. It’s small, but it’s theirs.

2016 will be my year. And I hope it’ll be yours, too!

Happy New Year!

See you in the morning xoxo

New Year’s Eve reading, read at 6:00PM.

Photo by Buzac Marius on Unsplash.


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