Happy Birthday Spread (2017)

Monday, 15 May 2017

It was my birthday yesterday and I spent some time reflecting on the way I've changed over the last year. Not external changes, but how I'm feeling and how / who I am Being in my day-to-day life - it seems there has been quite a shift. This got me thinking about what to focus on for the year ahead, and wouldn't you know it, there turned out to be a spread for just such an occasion. Using Beth Maiden's Happy Birthday Spread¹, I pulled these cards from my most trusted deck, The Wild Unknown

Cards from The Wild Unknown - click to enlarge image
To interpret the spread,  I didn't refer to any books (the final quote was added while writing this post from my journal notes), only what I have learned about each card so far, combined with my intuitive feelings about how they apply to the situation. For this reason, the meanings may or may not be aligned with your own experiences of the same cards. 

Card 1. What to leave behind in the past year - 9 of Pentacles: I'm deeply grateful for all that we have achieved as a family - we have two lovely children, a stable home and things have been on a fairly even keel for a while (after a few turbulent years which included births, deaths and relocation). Although I have a sense of fulfilment right now and it would be easy to rest on my laurels, it's time to move on graciously and to look forward.

Card 2. A lesson learned in last year, to carry forward into the next - Father of Cups: Having reached a state of emotional balance and greater equilibrium (I'm a woman, I have hormones - it's all relative!) I'm now able to respond to things in a much more level headed way than I would have earlier in life. The Father of Cups is encouraging me to 'keep calm and carry on'.

Card 3. The next thing I'll learn - Son of Pentacles: This Son is diligent and has the ability to keep his head down to focus on what some might consider the more mundane elements of a project. This is pretty exciting as I do not have this ability AT ALL! With a million-and-one ideas buzzing through my head, I'm great at starting things and engaging others in the task, but can be far too easily distracted when another shiny new project comes along - in Belbin terms, I'm a 'Resource Investigator' not a 'Completer Finisher'. I can already see several opportunities to develop this ability, and it would also help with ticking some long-standing projects off my list!

Card 4. The theme of the year ahead - 8 of Wands: This is something I can't plan for, unless it's to expect the unexpected. The 8 of Wands is about sudden action - a eureka moment or some synchronistic event which marks a new beginning or idea (let's see if I finish it!) This card could be subtitled 'strike while the iron is hot' as it indicates a swift response to that stimulus.

The message I take from cards 3 and 4 together, is that to succeed at something - even if it's something that feels inspired by synchronicity - it's necessary to put the work in and to see it through to completion. In the book 'Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear', Elizabeth Gilbert talks about how inspiration looks for people to manifest ideas into being, but if they don't grab it when they can, it will move on:
I believe that inspiration will always try its best to work with you—but if you are not ready or available, it may indeed choose to leave you and to search for a different human collaborator.  Elizabeth Gilbert
I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me. I have pages (and pages!) of notes in my journals - design ideas and inspiration that moved me, which I wrote down and then did nothing with, only to see them elsewhere some time later. This is the time to change that.

Cards 5 and 6. Something to do to celebrate my birthday - 9 of Wands and 10 of Pentacles: I see the 9 of Wands as an encouraging card - it's saying to pursue what you believe in and to keep going even if things seem tough. This in itself doesn't feel as though it relates to my birthday, but reflecting on the imagery of this card, I can't help but notice that it is literally a stairway to the moon. If you've seen my two most recent posts (about the moon and connecting with the feminine) you might understand why this feels significant and timely.

The 10 of Pentacles is traditionally a 'family' card. I did indeed spend my birthday with my family - my husband, children and my mother - before doing this spread. It was a perfect birthday.

Card 7. A birthday message from my ancestors - 3 of Wands: To me this card is about standing up for yourself and being independent. It's time to do things my own way - to look within where fulfilment and expansive energy will be found. The artwork on this card shows the three wands tied into an inverted triangle filled with beautiful bright colours - the triangle is the symbol of the water element and the feminine. To me, this speaks of remaining open to feminine wisdom and intuition - it's very much aligned with the energy of The Empress (card number 3 of the Major Arcana) and the book I finished a few days ago. In the Guidebook that accompanies The Wild Unknown deck, Kim Krans says:
The Three of Wands indicates you've had continued support from others. With their help, you've formed a sense of self, of your values and morals. But now it's time to rely on yourself for guidance. Clarify your goals, and cast others' needs and opinions aside. The future is infinite and it's yours. 
I really couldn't ask for a better or more pertinent message right now - here's to the year ahead!

¹ If you would like to try this spread yourself, you will find it on Little Red Tarot blog

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