Tarot contributor Jessica tells me what the cards hold in the year ahead – and gets it right.
Last month, I wrote about the universal card of the year for 2020, The Emperor. In that column I also described a couple of very simple processes for finding a personal card of the year. For February, I thought it would be cool to explore some other ways connect with the Major Arcana’s archetypes and see how the cards we choose—and the cards that choose us—interact at the micro and macro levels. And Jordan, my hostess and patron, has offered to be my subject for this process.
Calculating Your Birth Card
Your birth card is, not surprisingly, connected to your birth date. Jordan’s birth date is May 26, 1981, so to calculate her birth card, we add 5 + 26 + 1981. This equals 2012, so we keep adding. 2 + 0 + 1 + 2 = 5. Jordan’s birth card is The Hierophant. Exploring how this card interacts with The Emperor will give Jordan some food for thought as she considers the year ahead.
The word “hierophant” is Greek, and describes someone who presides over religious rites. Pamela Colman Smith chose to depict this figure seated on a throne and wearing the papal tiara—in fact, this card is even called “The Pope” in some decks. We might even interpret this card as a spiritual version of the secular ruler we see in The Emperor. For those of us who have an unhappy relationship with patriarchal religions, The Hierophant might stir up some unpleasant associations – but The Hierophant can also represent the best that traditional faith has to offer: continuity, connection, community. And just as The Emperor encourages us to step into our own power, The Hierophant invites us to chart our own path to the divine.
The Emperor and The Hierophant are powerful cards with a dynamic resonance. Jordan will, of course, know what this pairing says to her, but this is the message I’m reading: Jordan was born with a desire to understand the inner workings of the universe and her place in it. 2020 is the time for her to look closely at what she has learned so far, honor the wisdom she has gained, and create a plan for integrating spiritual practice into her life.
Calculating Your Card of the Year
Last month, I suggested a few different ways to find a personal card of the year: having a reader draw a card for you, drawing a card for yourself, or sorting through the Major Arcana until you find a card that speaks to you. Now I’m going to share one more method – one that’s similar to calculating one’s birth card, again using Jordan as a model.
Jordan’s birth date is the 26th and her birth month is May. This gives us 26 + 5. To find her numerological card of the year, we use this year instead of her birth year: 26 + 5 + 2020. This equals 2051. 2 + 0 + 5 + 1 = 8. Jordan’s card of the year for 2020 is Strength, numbered 8 in the Major Arcana.
Strength is about self-mastery, but it is not—to me, anyway—about domination and control. It’s about operating from and for our highest good, and I am convinced that this kind of work requires a superabundance of kindness. I adore what Beth Maiden of Little Red Tarot has to say about this card, so I’m just going to quote her here, “Strength asks you to go to the places of pain, anger, greed, and fear in your life. It wants you to acknowledge that these things live within you, and to own them. And to pour love all over them. To ‘tame them’, so that your loving heart is in control.” What a wonderful guide!
When I look at Strength alongside The Emperor, my first thought is that 2020 is the year when Jordan becomes accountable for herself, to herself. This does not mean that she has to work alone, but it does mean that she should not look to external authorities to define her truth.
Strength might also be calling her to step up to the dark side of The Emperor in terms of hierarchical systems. (Fun fact: “hierophant” and “hierarchy” have the same root, hieros, which means “sacred.” The idea that power structures are divinely ordained tells us a lot about how they persist even when they suck for most of us.)
Strength is, in short, a very personal card; it’s really about how you deal with yourself.
Well…damn. That was spot-on in terms of where my head’s at, and where I’m hoping to find myself in the coming months: Accountable for my choices, thoughtful about my place in the world, and actively working to find community and connection. Also, yes, let’s please step up to The Emperor and burn it all down, thanks. I strongly encourage anyone who enjoyed this to reach out to Jessica for a personal reading – you can request one via her Etsy site, Queen of Wands Intuitive Tarot.