I am not a big fan of readings that look at a full year ahead, but since I’m feeing optimistic and curious about 2020, I decided to lay out a few cards that would focus on just the first quarter of the year. The Golden Art Nouveau Tarot seemed an appropriate, and very lovely, deck to use, since I received it last month, and there is a brightness and beauty to it that reflect hopefulness.

After reflecting on what I was looking to understand from this reading, I quickly sketched out what card positions would mean, and came up with the following:

Cards 1 & 2 would show me Love / Marriage, and Friendship / Community, with card 3 offering advice on these areas.

Cards 4 & 5 would show my Creative and Spiritual Life, with card 6 offering advice on these areas.

Cards 7 & 8 would show Work and Money in my life, with card 9 offering advice on these areas.

Finally, a 10th card would show an underlying influence to everything – this was purposefully not going to be an “outcome” card. The entire reading was meant to show potential, and in that, hints of any outcome.

The cards I drew were as follows:

1 & 2: I The Magician, XIV Temperance

3: Eight of Swords

4 & 5: Ten of Cups, Ace of Wands

6: Two of Wands

7 & 8: Nine of Cups, Eight of Pentacles

9: XIII Death

10: Eight of Cups

Laid out, all of these cards create a beautiful picture. As I looked over them I saw a few significant Major Arcana cards, as well as some very positive Minor Arcana cards, and also a couple less positive ones. In addition, the three Eights stand out.

In cards 1 & 2, I see some really positive influences at work for Love / Marriage, and Friendship / Community. I am not surprised to see the Magician representing my marriage… it might not seem the most intuitive, or the most romantic card, but the Magician represents great, established skill, as well as the power to manifest what you desire. I see these as apt associations for my marriage (which I’ll be celebrating thirty years of this Spring!). He and I have been through very, very much together, see each other as best friends and soul mates, are still in love, and when things have gotten tough, we have known how to work together to get through. Not necessarily the most exciting interpretation, but it’s what immediately comes across to me with this card in this position.

For Friendship / Community, I have a slightly trickier time, but do think Temperance is a good choice for this position. Friendship often confuses me! I have had numerous friendships over the years that have brought unique challenges as well as actual emotional pain. I (like everyone, I hope!) treasure and honor my friendships, but am also wary sometimes of those that are confounding or difficult, as they have at times become abusive to me. Temperance seems to be saying balance is needed, as is common sense, and even moderation. Moderation in friendship? Ah… when you love and invest deeply in a relationship – even “just” a friendship, things can get extreme. This has happened to me, and I’m left wondering what the heck is going on. So, from the beautiful angel on this card, I hope to remember to be calm and controlled, avoid extremes, and take care for myself.

As card 3, the Eight of Swords shows me that I likely feel confined by something right now, in these affairs, and I can simply release myself from any such binds by myself. I know this of course… this is not the first time I have encountered this card! 😉 So, what do I feel confined by? Certainly not my marriage, so I combine this with card 2, and recognize easily that there are elements in current friendships that I am feeling a bit unnecessarily bound by. Looking again at that angel, I feel like I need to remember to take care of myself, that balance and moderation are called for. I feel this is crucial (like every other element of the reading) to the success of the rest of the cards.

In cards 4 & 5, I see great, positive energy that is truly fulfilling and exciting. I think these cards can be read a little differently in these positions, so bear with me… The Ten of Cups, representing my Creative Life, can be looked at a few different ways. My first impression is that it shows a very fulfilling time, and creative energy or work that might actually benefit my home and family life. However, I can’t ignore the usual meaning of this card by itself, that of a truly fulfilling and happy home life. This may help my creative life, or, seen another way as well, may be where I express and exhibit my creativity. I’m not sure about that last thought, but who knows… whatever it will be, the Ten of Cups assures happiness.

The Ace of Wands is another great, fulfilling card, representing the exciting beginning of something new. To represent my spiritual life is a fairly thrilling thought, because sometimes it feels like I’m always ready to embark on a new path forward (!), and I enjoy change. There is much vigor in this card, as well as motivation and pure energy. Confidence and courage are also indicated, and it’s important for me to remember as well, to believe in myself going forward.

The advice for these areas of my life is seen in the 6th card, the Two of Wands. It is telling me to assess where I have been, making sure to give myself credit for any previous work or accomplishments (because as we move forward, we often feel rather dull or even depressed about our previous efforts – this can be especially true for me), and to look to the future, to the path ahead, to where I might go. Prepare to set forth!

Cards 7 & 8 show Work and Money, and these cards are fairly interesting ones. The Nine of Cups really does not seem to show work itself, but rather the pleasurable rewards of work – enjoying life, feeling pleased and satisfied with accomplishments. I can’t believe my life will be so easy as these cards seem to be indicating… But, if I combine the Nine of Cups with the Eight of Pentacles (card 8), it makes quite a bit of sense. The Eight of Pentacles of course shows a craftsman at his trade, working hard, developing his skill, and through this hard work, skill, and patience, success is achieved.

Haha, what would a reading for the future be without the Death card? Here it is located in position 9, offering advice on Work and Money, and this card may be the one I ponder the most in the coming days… Be ready for a rebirth, a new day, a new beginning. Leave something behind in the past, to pursue something new. Become a new, stronger person. The question is, what I leave behind…

The underlying influence is shown in the final, 10th, card, the Eight of Cups. This seems to offer a quiet (but significant) echo to some of the cards above, especially Death. It shows a figure walking away, having left behind her what no longer brings fulfillment. Something else beckons her, and she’s not even looking back. This card shows moving away from things that have continued for too long, making a change that has been needed for a while.

Again, I see much that is very positive in this reading. The changes indicated are of no surprise to me. I have a habit of moving on from things in a way that seems sudden and unexpected to others, but in fact I have considered for a long time. Currently though, it is a little difficult because there are a number of things I have been thinking of walking on from… does this mean I leave them all behind?…

Anyway, if these cards are a true indication, the first quarter of 2020 looks like it will be positive and exciting. I embrace it, and am ready to get going!