Thursday, January 21, 2016

Crazy 8s: My 2016 Year Cards

New Year, new you. Right?

The 2016 Year Card

Because I was indisposed with a pretty bad cold at the beginning of the year, some of my celebrations are a bit belated, including the calculation of my 2016 Year Card.

Calculations for the Year Card abound on the Internet and in Tarot books, but the basic formula is...

Birth Month
+ Birth Date
+ Current Year (2016)
       # # # #    --> # + # + # + # = Year Card


I have no idea what I'm doing

Without giving away too much about my birthday (it's still early in the blog and it's no fun if I give up the mystery now), I got the result of 8 (VIII).  Oh yeah!

So this should just be a matter of flipping through a deck and finding number 8, and... Oh.

Well, shit...

That sure throws a wrench in the works.  Or DOES IT?!

As we can see, the card in position 8 depends on the deck.  Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS)-based decks, which are more common, place Strength as 8, while Tarot de Marseilles (TdM) decks, which are more traditional, place Justice as 8.

Now, some of my favorite decks are TdM-style (which should be obvious by the sheer number of Justice cards up there).  Still, I often use and adore many RWS decks because, c'mon, they really are much more accessible.

So what to do in this conundrum?  Use both cards as my 2016 Year Card, of course!  (Because I'm greedy...)

An Issue of Dual Year Cards

The main issue that I see with the Strength/Justice Year Card Combo is that it's not unique.  Unlike every other special snowflake in the Major Arcana, Strength and Justice get a bit mixed up between standard RWS and TdM Tarot decks.  (I'm not taking historical decks, like the Ettiella, into account here.)  This means that both 8 and 11, the numbers that they get switched to, can refer to either Strength or Justice.  So, basically, people who calculate either 8 or 11 for their Year Card numbers will share the Strength/Justice Year Card Combo.

If you really wanted to focus on just ONE card's energy for the year, you'd have to make a choice:  go with Strength or go with Justice.  You could certainly base your decision on the type of deck you prefer or even on the particular energy you want to work on for the upcoming year.

But let me tell you why I'm going to use both Strength and Justice as my 2016 Year Cards.

What Strength and Justice Mean to Me as Year Cards

They say that two heads are better than one, so why shouldn't this be applicable to Year Cards?  Two cards and two energies can combine their focus, modify each other, and work with each other.  It's rather like a 2-card reading, except somehow more... weighty.

Justice is a card that describes the relationships of, well, justice (the cold, impartial adjudicator), balance, and fairness.  Is justice indeed being carried out, or is something unfair or biased going on?  It is a card that definitely questions whether or not an outcome or decision is fair.

Justice also asks us if we have balance - between work and play, talking and listening, masculine and feminine, self and others, etc.  If something is in excess, the sword of Justice is there to cut it ruthlessly away so as to restore the balance of the scales.  It is a compromise of one side (the side of excess) for the sake of balance in the total picture.

Strength can, of course, refer to literal strength (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.). However, the Strength card is often interpreted as the power that is mutually gained by two (or more) parties as a result of collaboration.

In the typical depiction of Strength, a physically weak maiden tames a physically strong lion through the power of her will/presence/heavenly angelic aura.  In taming the lion, the maiden gains his strength as an ally.  For his part, the lion seems to want to be tamed because within the maiden lies the promise of gaining a power beyond that of the physical body.  It's a give-and-take of energy that benefits both the maiden and lion.

Within the give-and-take of power in Strength and the balancing of the scales in Justice, we can see a slight overlap in the two cards' meanings.  There is a complementing, sharing, and compromising that goes on between two opposing sides:  between the two scales for the larger picture, and between the maiden and the lion for their mutual gain.

What the Strength/Justice Year Card Combo is suggesting to me is that the upcoming year will be one of discovering how to complement and compromise.  Sometimes, the situation will warrant a kind touch and damn good inter-personal skills.  Other times, I'll have to stand my ground and sacrifice the unnecessary activities/things - no matter how much I'm attracted to them - to be fair to myself, my time, and my health.

The two Year Cards also interact well with each other.  Strength can lend conviction and determination to decisions I'm pondering, as well as a spark of inner courage to do what is fair and just, even if it's unpopular.

Justice can inspire me to find a balance between strength and vulnerability. Too much of either could spell trouble.  And I'll admit to being predisposed to the strength side of the spectrum (Who, me? Bossy and demanding?  OK, maybe a little...).  Still, by learning to rein in my aggression - tame my very own lion, if you will - I'm not becoming *more* vulnerable or weak, which is something of a fear of mine.  With Justice, nothing is added; shit only gets cut.  The amount of vulnerability won't change.  Only, the whole picture will come back into focus as the scales regain equality.

Yup, 2016 will definitely have a lot of lessons for me.

The End

As this post is quite long enough, I'll leave my other thoughts on the 8: Strength/Justice 2016 Year Cards for a later time.  I'll also check in every once in a while regarding the Year Cards to see how their energies are manifesting as well as how I'm learning their messages throughout the year.

Thanks for reading through all the way to the end!

Let's have some cookies together

Go on in love!

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