Onward & Upward: A Tarot Spread for the Coming Year

Onward & Upward: A Tarot Spread for the Coming Year

By Sterling Moon

I think most of us can agree that 2018 was a doozy and many of us are hoping that the new year will usher in much needed hope and freshness. Every January I do an extended tarot reading for myself to see what I can divine for the coming year. One year ago, I came up with my own “New Year’s Spread,” which can be used at the beginning of the coming year, birthdays, or any time the rug has been pulled out from under your feet and you need some help figuring out what your new normal will look like.

Now, while I often feel like I have one foot in some ethereal astral plane and one in the human world, I am actually a pretty skeptical person when it comes to the divine and magickal. I always tell my clients that free will is more powerful than pretty pictures on pieces of paper, which from a cold and practical stance, is essentially what tarot cards are. As such, I have always given my own year ahead spreads a bit of a side eye because I generally believe that if we don’t like what is presented to us in the cards, we have the opportunity to change the course. Although some things are always going to be out of our control, such as other people’s choices, global and political circumstances, and phenomena in the natural world, we can choose how we react to even to the hardest of situations. I started 2018 by testing out my own New Year’s Spread, videoing the whole thing and reading it out loud like I would for a client. I went back and watched it about 5 times over the course of the year and it was spot on. My initial interpretations matured over time, with some cards having a different context than I originally anticipated, but it was eerily accurate. It foretold significant life changes, betrayal, growth in several specific areas of my life, and shifting priorities based on the needs of my family.

So, as a gift from my skeptical and mystical heart, I offer you the following opportunity to see what the coming year may have in store. I have tried to break it down so even those of you who are new to tarot can find it accessible. I recommend that you record your reading or take detailed notes. If any of the cards trigger confusing or negative feelings, sit with them. Write them down or make a note of them in your recording. Remember that the whole thing won’t make sense on Day 1. Revisit your reading a few times over the course of the year, with your final review one year from now. May it bring some light to the shadows, babies.




Preparation: Close your eyes and take a few big breaths. Envision that you are surrounded by a perfect circle of light, any color that comes to mind. Ask out loud for your guides, ancestors, and highest self to assist you in identifying any information that may help you in the coming year. Thank them in advance for their assistance. When you feel settled, shuffle your cards and begin.

Cards 1-3: What 2018 brought into your life - You can read these as a cluster that tell a story or as individual components that likely represent the beginning, middle, and end of the year.

Card 4: Dominant lesson of 2018

Card 5: Health and wealth - This will provide a message about opportunities and challenges to how you make money and/or how you take care of your physical body.

Card 6: Ideas, conflict, communication - This will provide a message about opportunities and challenges to how you learn and ideas and “Aha!” moments you may have. It may also offer lessons about how you perceive and engage in conflict.

Card 7: Passions and ambition - This will provide a message about opportunities and challenges to what drives and motivates you. May also contain messages about your creative ambitions.

Card 8: Relationships and emotions - This will provide a message about opportunities and challenges to how you relate to others, how others may treat you, and your emotional landscape.

Cards 9-11: Themes for 2019 - Interpret each card on its own. They may tell a story by the time the year is over!

Card 12: The springboard to get you started in the best way possible - This is your final card meant to give you an immediate push. Remember - if it is a card that triggers a negative reaction, this could offer an opportunity to search for the proverbial silver lining or it could even offer a warning of things to avoid.