At the beginning of the year, it is common to perform a reading for the year ahead to see what it’ll bring. In addition to a reading to look ahead, I find it equally important to look back. In other words, a performance review.
Throughout the year, I pull a card for each new and full moon. I meditate upon them for the duration of those moon phases and then set them aside when I draw another card. During the month, I would write down any notable experiences and thoughts.
When the year is done, I lay out all the cards for one large reading. Rather than foretell, the cards explain. They come together to tell a story. Story telling is a useful way to gain understanding. They put events in perspective. This way of looking back allows me take a few steps back and review the past year with honesty.
Using two tarot decks, it’s possible that some cards appear twice so the first thing I do is search for duplicates. They all proved to be significant – not just the cards themselves, but the timing of when they presented themselves. The Queen of Pentacles shows up at the beginning and the end. Justice, a theme for this period of my life, shows up in Taurus and Pisces – my Sun and Moon signs.
Then there are cards that jump out at me. I see the pain in the 5 of Cups is a result of pattern of refusal to take responsibility in certain areas in my life.
Aside from seeing my flaws, I am also given the opportunity to credit myself for the progress I’ve made. Yes, the Devil showed up more than once, but she has also been transformed during that time. The first time she visited, I feared her. Upon her second visit, I understood that she wasn’t hunting me down. Rather, it was I who called upon her. She wasn’t my captor; she was my scapegoat.
I worked with this spread all night. The story it told made my heart ache with regret for the mistakes I’ve made, but also sigh with relief to know that I made it through some pretty tough times. It put smiles on my face to be reminded of the joy and love I’ve felt and helped me gain a new level of gratitude to see how Magick is always working to align my soul to the universe.