Year Cards: Tarot for the Year to Come

January 3, 2016


What is a Year Card?


Year cards in the tarot tell you about the gifts and challenges you may face in the year ahead. You know, like your tarot horoscope! With just a tiny bit of simple addition you can find out which of the major arcana archetypes will bring its energy into the deep currents of your life process during this turn around the wheel of the year.


I have been paying attention to my year card for over a decade and I have found it SO HELPFUL. I believe the tarot has lasted through the ages because the archetypes of the major arcana speak to core themes of human experience that transcend the specifics of time, place and culture. The cool thing about starting work with year cards is that one lesson leads to another, and the work of the previous year informs and supports us through our journey of life.


Here’s what to do:


To determine your tarot year card, add the day and month your were born to the current year. Take that total and add all the numbers in a row. If the sum is more than 22, add together the resulting numbers.


Here are some examples:


2016 + 1 + 11 = 2,028  ---> 2 + 0 + 2 + 8 = 12 -----> #12, the hanged man, is your card!


2016 + 11 + 13 = 2,040 ----> 2 + 0 + 4 + 0 = 6 -----> #6, the lovers,  is your card!


Shadow Aspects


Each major arcana archetype also has a companion pairing, called the shadow card. The shadow card is a subconscious aspect of the primary archetype (your year card) that lends complexity, balance and nuance. Sometimes the shadow shows us the great beauty underneath the wound. Sometimes it shows us the wound beneath the beauty.

To Find the Shadow:


If your card is a single digit, you split the number apart so that there is a two digit number that adds up to the original, and starts with the number 1.


Here are some examples:


1 = 10

2 =11

3 = 12


If your card is a double digit, you do the reverse process, adding the two digits together.


Here are some examples:


13 = 4

19 = 10

21 = 3


How to work with your year card:


There are all kinds of ways to work with the archetypical energies of your year card (and shadow aspect). 


  • Start by taking some time to see how the card feels, and what it tells you intuitively

  • Read about the card. I recommend looking at multiple sources to compare and go deep. Here's a site I like for basic information about year/shadow cards

  • Do a reading within the first few weeks. Focus on what you can learn from this card this year.

  • Make a resolution or intention that reflects the intersection of your life and the lessons of the card. The resolution/intention should be simple and easy to remember

  • Talk about your year card with your friends. Get their perspectives. This can make for a very fun group activity


AND… If you need help or would like more information, you can always schedule a tarot session with me that focuses on interpreting and working with your year card. Sessions are deep and fun and start the year off with a ton of useful insight.

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