Year of 2024 Tarot Reading


Date: 12/23/2023
Deck: Golden Art Nouvea
Question: What will my year (2024) look like?

What a big and exciting question! As the new year approaches, and as I write out this reading, I find myself both reflecting on past years, and envisioning what the next year has in store. I'm thinking about posting a reflection/update after each month has passed. I can ask, how accurate was I? What other lived aspects fell in line with the given card?

Note that this deck contains artistic nudity.

January: [1] Ace of Swords

A shining hand emerges from a cloud, holding a sword topped with a crown and leaves

Keywords: hope, new, something different.

January marks the start of something new and exciting! I'm returning to university after taking a year and a half off. I'm taking Drawing I at my local community college. As a self-taught artist, I look forward to strengthing my foundational skills, and better prepare myself to major in art. Taking this class will prove to myself that I can do this whole school and art thing. It also provides structure to my life, keeps me distracted from negative thoughts, and gets me out of the house. I have hope that this time it will be different. This time I will succeed in school.

I will also hear back from a university, and its art department, regarding my transfer application for Fall 2024. This also gives me hope, a sense of direction, and purpose.

January Reflection:

I drew a reflection card for January. It was the Ace of Swords reversed, which felt quite magical. January so far has been a time of newness, but it has also been a really difficult start to the year. The card pulling reversed indicates to me expectations being flipped on its head. What I did not expect was New Years triggering persistent, intrusive thoughts surrounding death. For years, I have had a fear of dying prematurely, but never this severe or distressing. That was new. I eventually settled into the month and the fears lessened. I think I will be grappling with it for awhile though.

I was greatly anticipating the start of my Drawing I class; I was quite nervous. After the first class, I felt a renewed sense of hope and purpose. For the next few months, I have an objective. We have to keep a journal/sketchbook to take lecture notes in, notes on critique, and use for drawing homework. It felt serendipitous as I've been wanting to keep a sketchbook and actually work in it. Now it's mandatory. There was a large materials list that was quite daunting. One unexpected item on the list was a tackle box. Our professor explained to us that since we're making such a big investment in all of these materials, it's best to take care of them. Simply throwing them in a pencil case or elsewhere would trash them. I feel like this sets the foundation for the class, and future endeavors. Something I have been trying to work on is respecting my things and taking care of them.

Something that isn't new to me are the heavy feelings that accompany the process of creating art. My first assignment I really suffered, making many mistakes, fixing them, but absolutely beating myself up over them. It's something I want to get over because it's debilitating. It's no way to live. When I allow myself to be so negative, I can't help but think, "How am I possibly going to pursue art when it hurts so bad?" I'm working on it, I think.

February: [7] The Chariot

An armored man, holding a wand, stands in a chariot led by two sphinxes; one is black and one is white

Keywords: bridge, pause.

I'm in this weird transitional period, waiting for the good stuff to happen (being a full-time student in the fall). Right now, I just have to keep moving. This time is necessary to get me where I need to go.

I need to keep my goal in mind, focus on my homework, while striking a balance in my life. It's important to try to enjoy this time of relative rest, calm, and low stakes. I will get where I need to go in time. There's no use in rushing.

February Reflection:

Someone once proposed that the number seven, and by extension the Chariot card, was not actually about movement and instead about pausing and waiting. Notice how the chariot is stationary, perhaps about to move. I've since taken on this interpretation. Given what has unfolded, this card is really remarkable. My birth cards are The Chariot and The Tower. My life so far has been full of catastrophes, feeling stuck, followed by great movement, a breaking down of my life, and then completely starting over.

It's still true that I'm in a transition period. There's not much else to do but go to art class. The excitement has worn off and now it's just work. But something happened that promised great movement in my life. After two years of suffering and feeling stuck, I have options. I cried out for help, and it led to my Aunt opening up her home to me. I have total confidence that this will change my life. I plan to move in May, and finally I will get what I desperately need. I can finally rest and breathe. My Aunt is willing to support me in whatever way possible. She's already expressed that she wants to get to know my individual preferences, and that she is intentionally treating me as an adult equal to her. Waiting for May to come has been torture.

I've also started taking testosterone! What a huge step in my transition. In some ways, I've been thinking about medical transition for ten years now. I feel anxious waiting to see how testosterone affects me. One week isn't long enough to tell anything. The changes are largely out of my control. I think about when it'll be so apparent that I have to come out. I was just sick of my life being on pause and feeling like I was in hiding that, in some ways– and primarily due to moving out– I'm ready to be openly transgender.

March: [5] of Cups

A cloaked man turns his back to five cups. The two cups directly behind him are upright, and the three beside him are spilt

Keywords: grief, conflict, looking ahead.

March, historically, has been a busy and difficult month. The anniversary of something negative occurs this month, and every year it brings feelings of grief and pain. On the day of, I usually feel really alone, and like no one around me understands me or is able to support me. It's a unique time. It calls for a reflection. Another year has passed. How do I feel? Lost? Like a failure? Do I feel scared?

There is comfort, though, in that I have the opportunity to turn this day around. I can make the choice to take care of and celebrate myself.

Focus on looking ahead instead of dwelling on past hurts. The future holds a promise that things may get better, and that I have time.

March Reflection:

I think this card is about letting go and continuing to move forward. I knew it was going to be a hard month. It's the last month living with my dad before I move, and the stress is really high. I know I'm making the right decision. I've known for a long time that my environment was keeping me horribly sick, but I hadn't had the means to escape until now. So I'm biding my time and, all the while, feeling that stuck feeling that's accompanied me the past two years. It's always been really difficult for me to look into the future and believe that things will be different. It will be different though. I'll be in a different place and have more support there. It's scary knowing I can't outrun my problems, and that it'll follow me to my new life. Hopefully I'll gain some resilience and health so I can face everything and all that I've been running from.

This month I've been stressed over money and over my health. I've been extra tired, depressed, and dissociated. I'm just surviving right now. But I've just been trying to tell myself to let it all go. I tell myself that it'll pass eventually and work itself out.

My birthday is in March, so I was anticipating that it would be painful, like many years prior. I took care of and celebrated myself– I did all my favorite things– and had a great day. My dad was, in my opinion, being really selfish during dinner and ruined things. I was reminded why I hated my birthday; people make it all about them. I was reminded why I hate family dinners; everyone pretends like I don't exist and I feel invisible. I went to my room and cried. I had to get myself together enough to go out and eat pie. It was deeply painful, and made me astutely aware of the life I was about to leave behind

April: [17/8]: The Star (reversed)

A naked woman kneels, pouring water into a pond. There are eight stars in the night sky behind her

Keywords: wish, surprises, hope.

Something I have always wished for will come true, but not in the way I expect it to. I will likely feel discontent once this wish is granted. Getting this thing, it's supposed to make me happy! Why aren't I happy? Despite this, it's important to celebrate this wish come true. Think about how my past self wanted this so bad. Recognize it as a success to be proud of. Perhaps this is something I can build off of in way of momentum.

A common theme in my life is not recognizing my successes for what they are. Once I achieve something, I move the goalpost and immediately pursue the next thing. It's so important to look back at how far I've come. For example, I'm getting frustrated that I don't know how to code flex boxes, but two weeks ago I didn't know any coding at all. The Star calls me to get in touch with my past self and practice compassion. My past self wasn't as far along, but he somehow guided me to this point, and for that, I am grateful.

I'm still scared though. Scared of my future and what I will have to face. It's important to keep going anyway. There are more surprises to come. Something that comforts me when I'm in misery is that things may not always get better, but they will always change and be different. After all, nothing lasts forever.

April Reflection:

This is where my reflection will go.

May: [4] The Emperor

A man clothed in red sits on a throne, holding the Cross of Life in one hand, and an orb in the other

Keywords: structure, discipline, adjusting, rhythm.

My Drawing I class ends mid-May, and with that comes a sense of loss. The routine I once had is now gone, and so is the structure that came with it. I forsee myself diligently trying to fill the time with something new.

This will be a time of self-regulating, adjusting, and finding a new rhythm. Perhaps I will seek the familiar; I'm well acquainted with having nothing to do. In general, I think I will have to step up to take care of myself.

Like all things, time continues to pass.

May Reflection:

This is where my reflection will go.

June: Queen of Swords

A Queen wearing a sky blue dress points her sword towards the sky

Keywords: integrity, poise, self-assurance, inner strength, truth.

This card invites me to be secure in who I am, and that I am enough as I am.

I know myself well enough to know that, during the quiet moments, I will be beating myself up and comparing myself to others. The thing is, my successes will look different than anyone else's. I struggle with things others do not, and they struggle with things that I do not. I often compare myself to neurotypical and able-bodied people, and it's not fair to myself and not realistic.

I'd like to tell myself stop worrying about how I think others percieve me and to focus on the truth. I am trying the best I can, and I'm doing great. There's nothing wrong with me. I'm not too weird. I'm not too much. I'm not lazy. I have good things to offer.

I want to consider that I am my biggest critic and that what I think are other's perceptions of me may just be projections of my own, self-critical voice. I'm giving myself permission to be myself, and to let myself off the hook.

June Reflection:

This is where my reflection will go.

July: Knight of Pentacles (reversed)

A knight rides a horse and examines the pentacle in his hand

Keywords: bridge, caution, movement.

This card serves as a continuation of the previous. While its imagery indicates movement, it's very likely I will feel that I'm not making enough movement, when in actuality, I'm probably doing a lot. I've often pulled this card when I felt discontented and stagnant. Beware of rigid, black and white thinking, it only serves to harm you.

This month is a bridge to the next month and big landmark: August marks the start of my time as a full-time student. This card reminds me of the Four of Pentacles, where the pentacle is held close to his chest, as if it were precious and in need of protection. The knight here serves as a messenger: he must deliver the pentacle safely. He keeps a close eye on it as he travels. I feel a sense of caution, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm afraid of losing the opportunity to go back to school. I don't consider it wholly irrational. Things have been abruptly taken away before. I can only hope that things go according to plan.

July Reflection:

This is where my reflection will go.

August: Queen of Wands

A queen is seated in her throne, with a wand held by her side

Keywords: readiness, confidence, capable, want.

The time has come. I'm now a university student. After so much time away from school and anticipation, I feel ready and excited for this change in my life.

The Queen of Wands has a resounding confidence, reclined in her throne as if to say, "I've got this." This is her domain. Out of all the cards pulled, I feel the least connected with her. I don't wholly believe that I can handle school. There's this desperate want to be there, and this desperant want not to fail this time, but is that enough?

I'd like to think I have the tools at my disposal to make this work. Establish accommodations, use my coping skills, and remember that I used to be really good at school, and I used to love it. At one time, school was my domain. I really don't know until I try it again, right?

August Reflection:

This is where my reflection will go.

September: [5] of Wands

Five men fight eachother with wands

Keywords: fighting myself, doubts, fear of failure.

Now that I've settled into school, I'm struggling. Maybe I'm struggling to keep up with classes? More likely, my guess is that I will be experiencing major impostor syndrome, especially regarding my art. "It is not enough," I tell myself repeatedly. My art process is inseparable from shame, doubt, and perfectionism. It's really not pleasant. The worst part is that I'm getting in my own way.

At this point, I can ask myself, what do I think others expect of me? More importantly, what do I expect of myself? Can I push past the perfectionism and fucking get shit done?

September Reflection:

This is where my reflection will go.

October: [3] of Cups (reversed)

Three women hold up cups in celebration

Keywords: connection, collaboration, friendship.

My first instinct is that I will connect with my peers, but (because the card is reversed) only on a shallow level, leaving me feeling discontent. Still, this might mean being invited to places, and no longer being alone, which can lead to some joy.

I don't really believe this card though. I'd much rather believe that it indicates collaboration on a group project. I just don't want to get my hopes up, because that shit stings.

October Reflection:

This is where my reflection will go.

November: Page of Cups

A young man clad in light blue and pink holds out a cup with a fish in it

Keywords: connection, initimacy.

While I also don't want to believe this card, my first instinct is that a romantic interest will enter my life. There's a playful energy, filled with excitement and connection. Perhaps I will form a intimate, meaningful connection, platonic or romantic, where we truly click with one another.

Still, my instinct is to be cautious. This may not be a positive relationship. It could be desperate, codependent, and dissatisfactory, as all my past romantic relationships have been. We'll see!

November Reflection:

This is where my reflection will go.

December: [7] of Wands

A man wielding a wand defends himself against six other wands

Keywords: struggle, pause.

December is a month of struggle. As the fall semester concludes, the structure and routine is lost, as well as the independence of being away from home. Living at home is a stark contrast to living at school, and I simply have to muscle through it.

Also characteristic of December are its short, dark days (depressing), and the holiday season, where the family gathers. It's no surprise that family gatherings are filled with grief. I personally feel very alone, sad, drained, and unseen by family members. There's also that peculiar sense of regression, where I feel younger than I am, I feel like an outsider, and I'm reminded of the dysfunctional, early family dynamics.

I could see there being a melancholy just for the sake that another year has passed, and maybe I don't feel as accommplished or done as much as I should have.

December Reflection:

This is where my reflection will go.

Theme: [7] of Pentacles

A man leans on his gardening tool and gazes at a garden filled with seven pentacles

Keywords: harvest, fruition, pause, reflection.

2024 is a year of working hard and building a life for myself. I will have many successes to be proud of. The Seven of Pentacles is a card of pause and reflection. I can look at my "harvest": this is physical proof- results- of the seeds I planted. This year, I will have cultivated my hobbies, taken care of myself, and learned about myself.

Based on the cards drawn, I can safely conclude that what's important is that my successes will look different than everyone else's, it's okay to go my own speed, and that I have to do what's right for me specifically, and only I know what that entails.

Theme Reflection:

This is where my reflection will go.