There are so many things we use to wrap our heads around why we exist, from tarot to astrology, numerology or religion.

By Tess Giberson

Especially around the beginning of the year or a new life cycle, we turn to these in search of greater understanding for our present purpose.

As a tarot reader, my personal practice isn’t fortune telling but more of a way to connect the dots.

So instead of a future “prediction” tarot spread for a new year, I like to work with the major arcana cards that correspond numerologically to the year.

For 2018, we add the individual digits 2 + 0 + 1 + 8 to the sum of 11, which can then be reduced again to 2 (1 + 1). In the traditional major arcana, card 11 is Justice and card 2 is the High Priestess.

While declaring an entire year to be ruled by two tarot cards might be presumptuous, it makes sense if we’re approaching time as a non-linear, cyclical concept. Before the creation of a linear calendar based on the sun, time was kept by watching lunar cycles.

Instead of a linear progression of things we do right and wrong because we’re inherently born sinful and need to do something to fix it, non-linear time works in cycles of evolution. We don’t experience the invitation of a tarot card once and then move on to never go through it again.

A tarot card can show up repeatedly as a cycle we move through and each time we’re invited to learn something on a deeper level.

Tarot ArticleWhen we pull tarot cards, they’re always invitations for us rather than things that happen to us. Meaning, the High Priestess and Justice won’t be events that happen to us in 2018 but invitations offered to us to evolve.

I currently am working through my own repetitive cycle with the Empress and they tend to haunt my readings.

It used to make me uncomfortable, and sometimes angry, as the Empress is a card traditionally interpreted to be a sexy earth goddess/mother and I’m non-binary with mommy issues.

The repetition of this cycle (which is now at about seven months) gave me the space and time needed to make a mess in my brain and rewire my preconceived notions around community, kinship, and family.

In the same way I’ve experienced cycles of evolution with tarot, I hope my explanations of the High Priestess and Justice and the invitations and medicine they offer provide an ephemeral thread for us as a collective to connect the dots this year and evolve.

The High Priestess, ruled by the moon, is the second card and part of the first cycle in the major arcana. The major arcana is comprised of three cycles of 7 cards, for a total of 21 cards. The first cycle of the major arcana explores our egoic identity and individualism, which my mentor describes with the mantra of “I am”.

And so, the invitation in the High Priestess comes through an archetype we’re invited to embody.

When I think of the High Priestess I think of Joan of Arc—genderfluid teenage heretic burned at the stake for fighting corruption within the church and cross dressing, who was devoutly convinced they were divinely chosen for this mission and who spoke with angels for guidance before making a decision.

The High Priestess reminds us that we already know the answers we’re seeking this year.

2017 was ruled by the Magician and Wheel of Fortune, invitations for us to learn how our freewill and destiny intersect.

She asks us to look within for the wisdom we carry in our bodies, to spend time alone with ourselves and understand how fucking magic we truly are.

The moon imagery in the card correlates to matriarchal communities that kept time by moon cycles, and each month community members who menstruated did so together as a ritual to ask for wisdom from spiritual guides, which the community would then base their decisions off of.

In 2018 this is an invitation to drop in with our higher self (the person we want to become) or spiritual guides, to spend time in contemplation before taking action so that our actions produce the results we desire.

If crystals are part of your practice, I recommend working with moonstone (for developing a relationship with the moon), amethyst (for forging connections), apophylite (for creating sacred space), and selenite (for gentleness and protection when holding space).

Justice, card 11 and ruled by Libra, is part of the second cycle of the major arcana.

In this cycle, we transform from our individual identity to our collective identity through an egoic death (the card is literally called Death) and rebirth into soul.

Justice, as one of the cards that comes before Death, is part of the preparation for the shedding of ego.

Justice invites us to consider that we are always exactly where we are supposed to be at exactly the right time, and the confusing part is that it usually shows up when we’re experiencing injustice.

But we cannot change systemic oppression if we’re out of touch with reality. We have to move out of denial and ignorance so we’re available to learn how and why injustice is happening, and rise up to meet it.

Justice encourages us to mobilize, to move beyond activism as a Saturday brunch event to a method of collective survival. Justice asks us how we can be of service to the collective, how allies can become accomplices, and how we can support each other in situations of injustice.

Justice reminds us we can take direct actions as a group to protect each other and our future: form a solidarity group within your apartment building against rent hikes, unionize your workplace, resist gentrification in your neighborhood, remind neo-nazis there isn’t space for them in 2018.

2017 was ruled by the Magician and Wheel of Fortune, invitations for us to learn how our freewill and destiny intersect.

They taught us to reframe our perceptions, to accept what the universe offers us and transform poisons into antidotes. 2017 exposed injustice, not just on an interpersonal level but also on a collective level through tools like social media.

This year we are now being asked to show what we’ve learned and step up. “I can’t believe this is happening” is no longer an option in 2018. •