April 2004 Tarot Passages Spread of the Month
Wheel of the Year Tarot Spread by Kim Huggens
 

This spread is designed for use as a "What's in store for me this coming year?" spread, but it is slightly different from your usual month-by-month round-up spread.  Instead of having cards representing each month of the year, and instead of looking at specific events that will happen in the querent's life each month, this spread does not pay any attention to dates or months.  It focuses on the themes that will run through the querent's life for the next twelve months, and can also be used at any time of the year.  I have found it to be most effective when done on birthdays or New Year's Eve, and it makes a very nice 'gift reading' for a close friend. 


This spread is based on the Pagan 'Wheel of the Year.'  The use of the eight festivals here is are used as representations of concepts, just like we might use the different growth stages of a flower to represent different aspects of our lives.   Even though the spread is based around concepts and festivals that have associations with dates and months of the year, this spread does not address when the events are going to happen. So, even if lots of cards that indicate transition appear at Imbolc, it does not mean that transition will occur around February 1st in the querent's life!

The Wheel of the Year spread is most useful for Pagan or Wiccan querents, though for querents who are unfamiliar with the concept of the Wheel of the Year, simple explanations about what each festival represents should be provided.
 

There are three cards for each part or position of the spread, and there are eight positions or parts. Since Yule represents the birth of the Sun from the depths of Winter, I begin the reading with that holiday.


Yule/Winter Solstice: Three cards. Yule is the time of the rebirth of the Sun from the depths and darkness of Winter, and so these three cards indicate that which will be born into the querent's life during this year, the new beginnings and projects, or the sudden birth of ideas, feelings, and aspects of the self.

Imbolc: Three cards. Imbolc is the time of the first stirring of the earth from beneath the Winter snows, and the rekindling of the flame of life. These three cards indicate that which will begin to grow in the querent's life in the coming year, but will not bear fruit fully for quite some time. That which will bud but not flower, that which is in the very first stages of creation, and that which will 'simmer under the surface' in the querent's life.

Ostara/Spring Equinox: Three cards. This is the equinox, so it is a time of balance. These three cards indicate that which will bring the querent's life into some sort of balance during the coming year, and keep the querent in balance and moving towards their goal. 

Beltane: Three cards. Beltane is May day, a time for sexuality and passion. As such, these three cards indicate the passions that will come into play in the querent's life this year, and how the querent's life will grow as a result. These cards also indicate that which they will love most this year and give most attention to, and that which will 'fertilize' his or her life and make him or her grow (physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually) during the coming year.

Litha/Summer Solstice: Three cards. Litha, or the Summer Solstice, is the time when the Sun is at its peak and is highest in the sky. As such, these three cards indicate the querent at his or her peak in the coming year, and the projects/events/ideas that will reach their peak for the querent.  It can also indicate the best part of the year, the achievements of the year, and the full fruition of plans in the querent's life.  This is the querent and his or her life, at its best. 

Lughnassad: Three cards. Otherwise known as First Fruits or Lammas, Lughnassadh is the beginning of the harvest. These three cards indicate that which will come to bear fruit this year in the querent's life, but will not quite be ready for a full harvest for a while. (Notice this is the opposite festival of Imbolc, where the flowering is delayed.- the opposite in some way to harvest being delayed.)  These cards indicate the projects or aspects of the querent's life that he/she is beginning to see the fruits of his/her labors in. The rewards are starting to show themselves, but they are not quite ready to be grabbed fully yet!

Mabon/Autumn Equinox: Three cards. Mabon, the opposite of Ostara, is the middle of the harvest, as well as another time of balance. It represents bounty and joy, and that which will be bounteous in the querent's life in the coming year, and that which will bring joy and cause for celebration.  These cards can also indicate the full harvest the querent will reap from their past ventures and hard work. 

Samhain: Three cards. Traditionally, Samhain is the end of the harvest, when the Celts (the 'creators' of this festival) culled their herds. As such, these three cards indicate what will die in the querent's life this year, what will come to an end, and what he or she will cull from his/her life. It will also include what the querent will get rid of because it is no longer necessary.

Blessings: Three cards. A nice way to end the reading is to make three blessings from three cards. These cards can represent advice for the querent, or it can indicate what is 'on the querent's side' during the year, helping and keeping him or her going. 


For this reading, I also found it useful to work out the querent's Year Card, so that it tells you the general theme of the year.  To do this you add the month and date of birth (e.g- July 17th becomes 17/07, so 17 + 7) to the current year. (Example: 17 + 7 = 24.  24 + 2004 = 2028)  You then add up the separate digits of the final number until you reduce it to a number less than 22.  (2 + 0 + 2 + 8 = 12)  That number is the number of the Major Arcana card that is the querent's Year Card (in this case, the Hanged Man) and it tells you generally what kind of year the querent can expect to have.  If the querent's year card turns up in the reading itself, it is useful to pay particular attention to where it has turned up, and why.  (Note: 22 = The Fool.) 


You might also like to look at what suit is most predominant in the cards you have dealt, as that may give you some clues as to another theme of the querent's year. (For instance, if there are more Wands than any other suit, you might say that this year is going to focus on creativity and putting talents to work, or that it is going to be an unusually creative and active year.)

I found it easiest to lay the cards in a circle of sorts, so that the three Yule cards were at the bottom, the three Litha cards at the top (Litha and Yule are both Solstices and so they are opposite in the year aswell as in the spread!), the Spring Equinox cards in the middle left, the three Autumn Equinox cards in the middle right, and the Cross-quarter festivals in between:



...............................Litha 1, 2, 3...............................

..........Beltane 1, 2, 3...............Lughnassad 1, 2, 3........

Ostara 1, 2, 3.......................................Mabon, 1, 2, 3.............

..........Imbolc 1, 2, 3.................Samhain 1, 2, 3................

...............................Yule 1, 2, 3.................................

Blessings, 1, 2, 3.

During the reading, you may find that you begin to build up a clear picture in your mind as to the main theme running through the querent's year.  Often you will also be able to see this theme developing as you go around the reading: you may see the theme reach its apex at Litha, or see the fruits of it at Mabon.  Whatever happens, I have found this reading preferable to normal month-by-month forecasts since I think it goes deeper. Month-by-month readings can be limited, in that they only focus on what happens within that single month, and it can be very difficult to build up a continuous picture of the querent's year on a more in-depth scale.  But with the Wheel of the Year spread, we are not limited to 'this is what will happen in July...'  We have the year as a whole laid out before us, and so we can not only pick up on specific events, but the deeper effects of them, and how they will affect the rest of the year. 
 

Kim Huggens is a 19 year-old Pagan Tarot reader, reading Philosophy at Cardiff University.  She has been studying tarot since the age of nine, and runs talks and workshops on different aspects of the tarot.  She is President of the Cardiff University Pagan Society, and runs an online tarot course at www.witchschool.com.  She lives with her boyfriend in Cardiff, and currently has a tarot deck collection of over 150 decks.



Spread 2004 Kim Huggens
Page 2004 Diane Wilkes