Why your annual reading in two shots?
For pragmatic reasons of what is real, not what is imagined or desired.
Let me give myself as an example.
I’m the type of person who is constantly curious. I’m curious about everything, because I like to learn new things all the time.
In my divination practice, I try all sorts. And by all sorts I mean, all sorts of schools, layouts for cards, so-called spreads, what reading is appropriate when, and so on.
I’ve also asked myself this question: What is the best reading method that will give me insight into how the new year may pan out for me?
I’ve tried other people’s suggestions as to what’s a good idea. Is there guidance I can follow month by month? A twelve-card reading? A 21-card reading for good fortune? A 10-card reading for self-indulgence? A 32-card for who calls on you, who dies on you, and who makes you happy?
I’ve tried the Astrological Wheel, the Horseshoe layout, the Celtic Cross, and a number of other oracular strategies, both from our Western pandemonium and the Eastern. I’ve even offered these types of readings to others in my professional consultations.
All fascinating. But as far as reading for my own new year is concerned, I don’t like any of them. I only like the classical layouts up until the point when I have to declare myself defeated by the culture of the calendar, journal writing, and keeping up with tracking and tracing.
I fail at all of it.
If I did an Astrological Wheel reading for my new year, I’d find it excellent while I’d look at all the single cards falling into the 12 houses right then and there.
It’s always entertaining to know what ME is going to be doing when it comes to self-expression, possessions, communication, domestic affairs, education, service, relationships, other people’s money, spirituality, public life, friends, and foes.
Or else, if I did a 32-card reading in the Eastern style of the Gong Hee Fot Choy spread, I’d get mighlity amused to know what will disappoint me, how I’ll do in the gratitude department, whether I’ll welcome the tax man or not, and what paper work I’d have to deal with in the future.
Fun but impractical for me, as neither of these annual readings cut it for me. They don’t cut it for me, simply because they require constant checking back. Did this come to pass, how about this other thing? Going back and checking with the calendar or my journal all the time is just not something I’m good at.
What interests me in practices of divination is what cuts it. Literally. And how deep.
I read for the cut to the bones. Nothing else. This means that I make zero compromises in my readings. This means that I don’t take sides, and hence offer a preferred reading to the one the cards on my table suggests. This means also that sometimes it hurts to have to admit that what I see in the cards is not something that I want to see. But I take the cut over the smoothing it out.
In principle, I actually think of my cartomancy as martial arts cartomancy. There’s hardly a single piece of writing or instruction from my hand that does not emphasize cuts. Three divination books and some 500 free essays online are all about using cards in order to make sharp, precise, clean, and elegant cuts, along with an appreciation of what a deep incision can reveal. Right then and there.
So then, what am I looking for in my reading for a whole year, when I know already that checking with the calendar and older entries in my journal is most definitely not something I will ever do?
Rise and Fall
You see, what attracts me to applying martial arts principles to my cartomancy and to everything else that I engage with, from love to war, is a sense for what’s essential according to timing. How does my intention to do something rhyme with my motivation for it, or indeed, with my acting upon it when the time is right?
While knowing when the time is right for something is a whole art in itself, there’s something that we can observe without much training. This is noting when there’s a rise or fall in whatever we experience. We all know the highs and lows of life.
In other words, there’s a time when events are rising and when events are falling. Perhaps all you need to know about your new year is when things are on the rise for you and when they are not.
It’s enough to do a reading consisting of 2 sets of a 3-card layout for each in order to get a sense of what you can expect.
If you’re not a calendar person, you might appreciate cutting it to the bones with delivering two sharp lines for yourself that you can be sure to remember. After all, reading like the Devil is all about being a skilled samurai.
Ask your cards the following:
- What will rise for me in the next year? (you can also think of this in terms of what you will experience more of)
- What will fall for me in the next year? (you can also think of this in terms of what you will experience less of)
Single cards locked in predetermined positions are not nearly as dynamic or as interesting as the cards acting and functioning together in a synthesis.
You might just discover that martial arts cartomancy is also your thing, and that the lines you get for your new year will serve as the most poignant oracular voice you can hear.
More concretely, to give an example, here are two readings relating to the questions above for my new year. You’re now my witnesses.
What will rise for me in the next year?
Death, Tower, Force
What will rise for me is more cuts. What I can expect is to put an end to all conflict and resistance.
Well, this one doesn’t surprise me at all, as this is what I do on a regular basis already. I slash through a lot of disturbance, taking the bull by its horns too. I don’t have a tendency to dilly dally with what I’m not already on the same page with.
Fair enough. Sometimes, though, I wish I could just relax, but if more cutting is in the picture, then so be it.
What will fall for me in the next year?
Judgment, Devil, Charioteer
What will fall for me, diminishing, as it were, is any relation of dependence. What I can expect less of is to create strategies of reliance.
The Devil knows all about attachments: attachments to public calls, popularity, or any other loud circus. The Devil also knows all about attachments to a particular type of self-affirmation through costume and fanfare.
This set of cards doesn’t surprise me either, as what I’ve already been doing this year, what with my leaving the world of academia, is precisely engage with strategies of non-reliance, non-compromise, and non-negotiation.
I made the decision to not depend on public opinion and appreciation. As with public opinion and appreciation, now they love you, now they hate you. Seen in contrast with the above, if what is on the rise is cutting all drama and overreaction, then even logically speaking I can ask myself: How can I expect to be loved? Why would I even want that? I think I’m going to start laughing at the very idea.
What I love about myself when embodying the Death function is the fact that cutting affords me the space above likes and dislikes, preferences, and all the other things we associate with the desire to feel good, to have others make us feel good, or for us to make them feel good.
I go for seeing things as they are, not for what makes me feel good.
As I’ve already strengthened and disciplined my Zen practice this year, both for myself and in all of my teachings, I think that if I can experience less dependency on any one specific image (of myself and others), I can only congratulate myself.
So there you have it. A whole year in a few cards boiled down to what rises and what falls. I don’t think I’ll need to check with my calendars to see if any of this will come to pass.
All I will need to remember is how my rising and my falling matches what the cards say here right now: more cuts, and less dependency. I’ll take that.
Have a great winter solstice, and a happy new year.
Stay in the loop for cartomantic activities.