Tarot and the New Year
Now that Christmas is over, I’ve begun to concentrate on the next holiday to come, a twin holiday actually: New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. So, of course, I recently asked myself, “Which Tarot card says Happy New Year?” but as I browsed through one of my Tarot decks, I saw that there is no one card that qualifies. As usual, there are two important factors that suggest this variety of cards. The first is the fact that there are various features that make up this twin holiday, and the second is the fact that each card has a wide spectrum of meaning. With that in mind, I set out to see which cards say New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to me. The following is my list, but it will be interesting to hear what the rest of you say about this too.
First, here are some cards that relate to the New Year in general:
The Hermit: This card suggests “Father Time” since in older decks (such as the antique Visconti Svortza Tarot deck) the Hermit holds an hour-glass rather than the lamp we generally see him with now. In that same vein, the baby we typically see on the Sun card may represent the New Year baby. Also, this card can literally represent the start of a new trip around the Sun, i.e., a new year. Similarly, the World card can indicate “completion,” such as the completion of a year, and the Fool may then indicate the fresh start of a new one.
The Wheel of Fortune is a classic indication of change, such as the change from one year to a new one, as is the Death card, which we can think of as the “death” of one year in preparation for the “rebirth” of a new one. Also, in my Tarot of the Masters deck, the winter scene on the Death card can indicate the winter solstice, which proceeds New Year’s Day by a very short time.
All of the Aces indicate potential, opportunities, and new beginnings, which we typically associate with a New Year.
Here are a few cards that relate to specific aspects of New Year’s Eve and Day:
The Six of Wands reminds me of the Rose Parade, while the Three of Cups (and to a lesser extent, the Nine of Cups) reminds me of the partying that is the hallmark of New Year’s Eve. And then the Four of Cups can illustrate a New Year’s Day hangover.
In my Tarot of the Masters deck, I illustrated the Two of Wands with a sporting competition, which can imply the many “Bowl” football games with which we Americans ring in the New Year.
And how about New Year’s resolutions? There are a few cards that I would relate to this ubiquitous aspect of ringing in the New Year.
The planning that many people see in the Two and Three of Wands (depending on how you view them) can indicate our New Year’s resolutions, and the Justice card, which signifies “cause and effect,” says that the changes we want to see in our lives depend in a “cause and effect” way to our ability to keep those resolutions.
If you view New Year’s resolutions as burdens or restrictions, then the Ten of Wands and the Eight of Swords can illustrate your opinion of them, but if you view them more positively, then the Fool, the Aces, and even the Seven of Pentacles can illustrate them.
On New Year’s Day, I generally look back at the readings I did for myself over the course of the prior year to see how they worked out. However, another fun New Year’s activity that the card associations here suggests is to take one of these cards and do a guided visualization into it to see what the Tarot may suggest you need to know for the coming year.