If you have practiced or paid attention to tarot at any length, you have probably heard the years referred to as belonging to or being ruled by a card from the Major Arcana. If it is a “Chariot year”, for example, this could give some beautiful guidance about certain themes we can pay attention to in our own lives. In this case, it would be as if the themes of the Chariot card were a sea that we are all swimming in for the year, and we could see those themes manifesting in differently in our individual lives. To take this concept further, we can bring another level of complexity by considering our Personal Year cards on an annual basis.
Just as we calculate the year cards by adding each digit of that year together (for example, 2023’s equation would be 2+0+2+3 = 7, or VII The Chariot.), we’re going to use our birthdates to find our personal Card of the Year, or more accurately, of the 12 months between our birthdays in the current and upcoming year. Said another way, instead of using the Gregorian calendar to determine the yearly cycle, we’re going to look at it through the lens of birthday to birthday, as it’s about our own cycles on earth as it goes around the sun.
Once again, to calculate the card of your personal year:
- Numerically write out the month and day of your birthday followed by the current year.
- Add up each single digit.
- If the sum is between 1 and 21, look at the Major Arcana tarot card that correlates to that number to find your Card of the Year!
- If the sum is greater than 21, you will add up those individual digits, reducing the number just until it is under 21.
Example: Let’s say February 18th is your birthday. If the current year is 2023, this person would add 2+1+8+2+0+2+3 = 18. This person would therefore be in a Moon year right now until February 19, 2024, as the Moon is card 18 (XVIII) of the Major Arcana.
If someone has birthday that has not yet happened in the current year, they would still be in their personal tarot year from their last birthday. Remember, we’re looking at the year as a personal cycle within the 365 days between one birthday and another. For example. if they have a birthdate of August 5th and its 2023, but you’re doing this calculation in July, they would be at the end their previous personal cycle. During this time, we’d calculate their personal card of 8+5+2+0+2+2 = 19, so this person is in a Sun year. On their next birthday, August 5th 2023, they will move into a Judgment (XX) year next because 8+5+2+0+2+3 = 20.
It’s cool to go back through your life and calculate the Major Arcana card of each year and notice how they have related to major events in your life. Note that when we calculate our year cards, they move in 9-year cycles that can be tracked over the course of our lives (I learned this from Erin Aquarian @erin_maiden).
So, what could we do with this knowledge about our cards of the year? It might be helpful to think of the energy of your Card of the Year as a guide for next personal cycle. Set up altars and repeat affirmations for that to connect with it’s energy. Consider what resonates with your card astrologically and connect with its season or planetary transits. For example, in a Devil year, you might connect with Capricorn season or transits in Capricorn as they occur. Any time you pull that card in a daily reading or a spread, you might feel especially called to check in with yourself around that energy. Try creating a digital altar by setting your phone background to an image that resonates with the energy of your Personal Year card. Use your card as one way to frame and reframe the context of your life throughout the year.
I encourage you to calculate your cycle for this year and tune in to the resonance of your tarot cycle! What lessons have you been learning so far?
Victoria started engaging with the tarot and with astrology in 2015 during what she later learned was a Tower year. Her practice integrates tarot and astrology, with the goals of achieving more self-empowerment and greater self-understanding through these tools. If you’re interested in having an astrology/tarot reading geared towards growth and soul connection, you can book Victoria for a virtual reading. Learn more @thescalesofthegoat on Instagram, or at https://www.thescalesofthegoat.com