It’s been a whole year since I posted shared an in-depth reading with anyone. Going back to reread my annual reflections for last year ignited so many emotions in me. Even though I withdrew heavily from sharing my practice, I want to reconnect with it this year as I feel like I could have benefited from internalizing those messages in a more intentional manner.

As a reminder, I am referring to Kimberly (@fablesden)’s alternative to the Wheel of the Year, which you can follow along here. To honor my return to this practice, I am using the first deck I ever purchased: The Dreaming Way Tarot.

Wounds and Healing

Active Wounds – Justice: My anchor card for 2021 was Judgment – a card that calls upon us to reckon with self-evaluation and reflection. Do we like who we are by the end of the year? Justice carries a similar energy with it, but challenges us to be honest with such assessment rather than trying to smooth over the cracks of our experience from the past year. Truthfully, the end of the year was painful. While, the blind figure of justice holds the sword and scales as an impartial assessor of our lives, I couldn’t help but pick and pick at all the seams of myself.

Moments of Healing – Eight of Swords: It is so striking to me that these two cards have swords and blindfolds. While Justice holds the sword firmly at the hilt, the figure in the VIII of Swords is surrounded by swords with their hands in their pockets with a nonchalant air despite these seemingly threatening and oppressive forces. This reminds me of the cycles mental cycles we can find ourselves in with self-judgment, self-imprisonment, and doubt. How do we bring down the walls we’ve put up around us? To even recognize that there are walls there? If the wounds of 2021 are a result of perceived injustice or dishonesty, then the pathway to heal is to allow ourselves to be more vulnerable and take our time to carefully find our way out.

Contraction and Expansion

Moments of Contraction – The Hierophant: The order, regulation, and tradition of the Hierophant are elements that I find difficult to connect with on a personal level so I’m not entirely surprised by its placement as a moment of contraction. When I keep in mind the lingering wounds from 2021, the Hierophant reminds me not to apply to such rigid concepts of justice when reckoning with my life choices. A little flexibility and openness can go a long way to avoid receding too far inward.

Moments of Expansion – Ace of Swords (R): There is a strong presence of swords including their utility and symbolic presence across the spread. In this position, the sword is a reminder that in order to expand you need to know how to wield it responsibility. Even as it can provide a crystalizing idea or breakthrough, it can also cause pain and destruction. To expand, we must understand how to utilize the tools at our disposal — including resistance to weaponizing our own thoughts. [Sidenote: this is the exact card in the exact same placement as last year. Clearly this is something I should continue to mull over!]

Stressors and Opportunities

Major Stressors/Challenges – Five of Swords: The figure on the right holds all of the resources and ideas and in is heading forward without any consideration of those left behind. The barren winter landscape only heightens the degree to which this will affect the figure on the left. One of the major stressors and challenges ahead are conflict and the fear that such events will result in a great rift between people and resources. And as the Sword is an introspective suit, inner conflict can also cleave ourselves in two.

Opportunities, Inspiration/Luck – Knight of Wands (R): This knight poses the contrast between one’s capacities and application of those skills. Though the knight has confidence, determination, and skill, this requires working in tandem with one’s environment or else they may risk heading in the wrong direction altogether. This is a reminder that opportunities will come if we can lean on others for support even as we attempt to remain true to our own vision and spirit.

North Star and World Energy

North Star/Anchor Compass – King of Swords: Given the prominence of swords in this spread, it’s no surprise that the Anchor for this year is the King of Swords. There is the potential to be disciplined and edified as much as there is to be irrational and controlling. The tip of the sword rests on the hem of the King’s tunic – a reminder that a sharp wit can come with its own pains.

Overall World Energy – Ten of Cups (R): If last year’s energy was a resistance to change without exercising patience, this year’s energy moves its focus away from the individual to the community. Unfortunately, its just as out of joint. Even as advice regarding wounds and healing focus on the internal, others such as the moments of the stressors and opportunities are preoccupied by others. Though we might long for mutual aid, homecoming, and family, that requires work coming from both ends: self-realization and a desire for others to meet us partway. But is the world ready to share its resources and energy to achieve such a goal?


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