On Thursday evening, five of us gathered to explore how Birth Cards, Year Cards, and Month Cards from the tarot might interact to offer us insight and guidance. We employed many parts of the brain by using simple math, wordplay, crayon drawings, and story.
All three types of cards are derived from one’s date of birth. There are different ways of calculating these. For Birth Cards, I currently use the system taught by the Tarot School of New York. For Year Cards, I have recently developed my own means of calculation that seems to be very accurate and relevant. Month card calculations are my own too.
To work out Birth Cards, add the date, month, century, and year of birth. That is, the year of birth is divided into two two-digit numbers rather than one four-digit number. Then we reduce the sum to numbers of 22 or less, because there are 22 Major Arcana. There’s always a pair so that a continuum or full spectrum of life exploration is possible. We’ll use my own as an example. I was born on the 9th of June, 1967. The math for this is:
9 + 6 + 19 + 67 = 101
This sum will not only be helpful in figuring out Birth Cards, but will come in handy later on for calculating Year and Month Cards. In this system, if one receives a three-digit sum the first two digits are treated as one number and added to the final digit, so I do this for mine:
10 + 1 = 11 The eleventh Major is Justice, so this is one of my Birth Cards. It, too, can be reduced:
1 + 1 = 2 The second Major is the High Priestess, so it’s also one of my Birth Cards. Both of these are mine for a lifetime.
A person’s Year Cards run from birthday to birthday. It’s a personal year rather than a regular calendar year. My method of figuring out Year Cards for any year of life (I’m going to focus on this current one) is to add the date and month of birth to the two sets of two digits of whatever year one is exploring. In the case of me in my current Year Card energy:
6 + 9 + 20 + 10 = 45
To this, I add my original birth sum of 101, then reduce it to something under 22, in this manner:
45 + 101 = 146 14 + 6 = 20 The twentieth Major card is Judgement, also known as Aeon or Awakening.
So, for one year, from my last birthday to the next, my Birth Cards — Justice and Priestess — are wearing the costume of Judgement. It’s as though the lifetime qualities wear Year Card-coloured glasses for 365 days, then changes them when the next birthday arrives.
My card for this month of February, 2011 comes from adding 2 + 20 + 11 and getting 33 to which I add my original birth sum of 101:
33 + 101 = 134 13 + 4 = 17 therefore my Month Card at the moment is the Star, the seventeenth Trump card.
Our wordplay on Thursday evening first consisted of listing qualities we noticed in each of the four cards we came up with via the math. My own included the following.
HIGH PRIESTESS: spirituality, intuition, altered states, meditation, deep feeling, non-verbal Knowing, Dark Feminine, connected with Universe, tuning in, keeper of mysteries.
JUSTICE: balance, justice, fairness, peace, objectivity, reciprocity, equality, legal matters, equilibrium, stability.
JUDGEMENT: evolving, maturing, moving one, rite of passage, growing up, progress, entering the next phase, liberation, awakening, true calling, upgrading, stepping over the threshold.
STAR: resources, abundance, plenty, grace, generosity, directing the flow, in the flow, astrology, ease, humility, the means are at hand, a legacy that shines on.
Then we created sentences that began with the words “this month” and contained elements of all four cards. My own sentences for February, 2010 include:
This month, the legality of tarot reading can progress by working with it easily and gracefully.
This month, the Dark Feminine awakens a sense of justice in me through generous reciprocity.
This month, objective non-verbal Knowing can be upgraded through astrology.
This month, the long-shining legacy of my true calling is in harmony with my spirituality.
- This month, my abundance is stabilised by stepping into my next level of intuitive awareness.
Our group’s next activity was inspired by Mary Greer. Using crayons, we each drew a picture in which something from each of our four cards had to appear. Anything from one card image could interact with any other card’s symbol or character. After using our self-created pictures to tell “once upon a time”-style stories, we gave our drawings titles and one-sentence summaries. Then we used those ideas to come up with a doable action or ceremony to perform within 48 hours. Here’s mine:
Title: “Our Lady of Thunderous Peace“
Summary: I experience graceful evolution by meditating on peace.
Action/Ceremony to Do: Play “Dona Nobis Pacem” on Jaiya‘s Invocation CD and chant along with it while offering healing energy to Mother Earth.
Imagine taking an hour or two each month to blend our Birth Cards, Year Card, and Month card, then aligning ourselves with that by performing simple actions. We’d be more in harmony with our True Selves and with the Cosmos. Blessed be!