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Theme Card for the Year

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on January 5, 2010 | Comments (22)

To get an overall idea of what this coming year holds for you, determine your Major Arcana card of the year. This is calculated similarly to your birth card but uses the current year rather than the year you were born. For example, if you were born on March 8, 1968, you would add up 3 + 8 + 1968 and reduce down until you reached a number less than 21. In this case, 8. Your birth card would be Strength or Justice (depending on what deck you use). Your card for 2010 would be 3 + 8 + 2010 and would reduce down to 5, the Hierophant. Your card of the year indicates the themes, challenges, and gifts you’ll face in the next twelve months.

For those interested, my card(s) for this year are the High Priestess/Justice. Because my number was 11, some people reduce all double-digit numbers down to a single digit while others only reduce those over 21.

What kind of year is in the cards for you?

Speaking of years and such, my birthday is coming. I’d love to do a special birthday reading for myself. What are some of your favorite birthday spreads?

Reader Comments

Written By Lunaea Weatherstone
on January 5th, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

I actually calculate the year card on my birthday, not at the new year. Because my birth date determined my life cards (Fool/Emperor), it makes sense to me that the card for each new year would be MY next year, not the calendar year. So in my case, I add up the date for September 2 plus the current year — for example, my last birthday was 9 + 2 + 2009 = 2020 = 22 = 4, which happens to be the same as my birth cards (and that feels very auspicious!). Other than that, I don’t do any special birthday readings, but I probably will when I see the suggestions people give you here!

Written By Brandi Palechek
on January 5th, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

Great idea, Barbara!

My birth card is #6, the Lovers.

My card for 2010 is #10, the Wheel of Fortune. 🙂

As for birthday spreads, I like the Twelve Houses of the Zodiac spread http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1748 because it covers just about every area of life and it allows for a card to represent each month.

I also like the Your Birthday Sunflower Spread from the Mystic Faerie Tarot http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1435. 😉

Written By Brandi Palechek
on January 5th, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

Or if you reduce it down to 1 digit my card for 2010 is #1, the Magician.

Either way, if I go by the cards, it is going to be a very, very interesting year to say the least.

Written By Irmata
on January 5th, 2010 @ 2:52 pm

I’ve _got_ to try the zodiac spread!

For the year card, if I calculate from my birthday, I’m halfway through a Judgement/High Priestess year. Starting Jan 1st though, it’s Hanged Man/Empress. The most accurate picture of where I am right now is the crossover of HP and Empress; discovering and working with HP energy, while slowly moving into a place of love. It’s a “re-do” year 🙂

Written By Jennifer
on January 5th, 2010 @ 5:34 pm

I don’t understand how you reduce down. Is it mathematical or just eliminating numbers?

Written By Karyn
on January 5th, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

I got card #15 for 2010 – the Devil. I’m not really proficent at tarot but I should be worried right?

Written By Brandi Palechek
on January 5th, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

Hi Jennifer,

All you have to do is add up the numbers.

For example, my birthday is 08/08.

To determine my card for the year first I add 8+8+2010=2026.

To reduce the number further, I add 2+0+2+6=10.

I could go one step further and make it a single digit by adding 1+0=1.

Written By Rose Vanden Eynden
on January 5th, 2010 @ 5:45 pm

I love this idea, Barbara! Looks like you and I have the same card (11-2) for this year! What will the High Priestess and Justice bring to us? 🙂

Sometimes for birthdays, I will do a 12-card reading, one card per month, highlighting themes in the works for the year ahead. If you’re an astrologer, you can also do a 12-card reading, one card per house, to see what Spirit will bring you in those areas of your life.

Written By Barbara Moore
on January 5th, 2010 @ 6:01 pm


This is a great opportunity for you to get more proficient 🙂 Read all you can about the Devil card. As with all cards, there is a continuum of meanings.

On one end, the card is sometimes said to harken back to Pan and hence to playfulness and fun. On the other end, we find things like being controlled by bad habits. Explore the whole spectrum and see how you can work with the energy this year.

So, you don’t necessarily need to worry.

Written By Shari
on January 5th, 2010 @ 6:58 pm

Hey Barbara, I just did the spread I normally do for my birthday for the new year as I hadn’t done it on my birthday. You can see it on TFL here:

I created this spread based on the Dark Moons from Gail Wood’s book Rituals of the Dark Moon.

ps Karyn, I’m a Devil/Lovers, and have learned to totally embrace my Devil side. Each card has healthy and unhealthy aspects, so as Barbara says.. no I don’t think you need to be worried 😉

Written By Tamra
on January 5th, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

Dont worry needlesly…the devil…can represent endings and new beginnings…no worries!:)

Written By Kim
on January 5th, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

Birth card is the Empress and my card of the year is the Hanged Man. I must say that the Empress suits me fine and the Hanged Man explains a lot about the particular place and time I am occupying.

Written By Helen
on January 5th, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

I do this every year Babs – it gives great insight into what the lessons for the year are about, for example last year was 12 the Hanged Man for me and yes it was a year of stopping, reflecting, changing perspectives, even a year of scarifice when I choose to give up my job and loose an income in the hope of gaining something far more valuable and I did, I concentrated on my writing, which has resulted in two of my poems being selected for publication this year.

So this year is a no.4 The Emperor a year of learning about setting boundaries, understanding my limitations developing my sense of identity, and believing in my own abilities. The Emperor has showed up to teach me how to believe in myself and take control of my life more.

Written By Helen
on January 5th, 2010 @ 9:07 pm

Hey Babs I just designed this birthday spread for you – hope you like it! 🙂





1: What foundation do I need to create for this coming year?

2: What personal strengths do I bring with me to help me do this?

3: What are the challenges I may have to face?

4: What is it I want to achieve?

5:What new energies/influences are now entering into my life?

6: How can I best use this new energy/influence to help me achieve my goal/desire.

7: What is the overall outlook for the coming year?

Written By Shell
on January 5th, 2010 @ 11:21 pm

I have a wheel of Fortune year. I’m looking forward to see what will come after a challenging and growth stretching Hermit year I have just had.

Written By Linda
on January 6th, 2010 @ 8:35 am

Wonderful idea! Never tried this before 🙂 Thank you for the formula!

My birth card was “The Chariot” and this year’s theme card was “Lovers”. Sounds promising since a long relationship (7 years) just ended in November/December, or maybe my love for Tarot keeps growing even stronger as I continue the artwork on my own deck.

It’s interesting how the cards even showed that breakup to me months before, in the form of death. In december I got a reversed devil card, I guess showing that I will let go of old habits and will be free from any chains that are holding me back, and it was correct again. I’ve never felt so independent and peaceful as I do now 🙂

Written By Mary
on January 6th, 2010 @ 8:38 am

What does it mean when your birth year and new year are the same number? 4 by the way.

Written By Ty
on January 6th, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

My year card is the Lovers. I had done a seperate draw for the year, and got Death, but since I had read Donald Michael’s article on the card from a few days ago, it got me fired up for the New Year. I could use some evolutionary change, and the Lovers seems to indicate I’ll have some choices to make along the way, which only seems logical.

Written By Barbara Moore
on January 6th, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

Helen, thank you! How sweet. I will do this on my birthday and let you know how it goes. Hugs!

Written By lada
on January 6th, 2010 @ 2:26 pm

so, my card for the year is #6: the lovers.
a card I *never* see in spreads.
as if choices don’t continue to be a troubling theme.

on April 15th, 2010 @ 10:26 am

Hi, I loved reading your notes and would love some feedback on the birthday spread. (29 01 1960)
Not sure if I did this right but came up with the WORLD /LOVERS

Is that correct and what does that hold in store.
Awaiting your reply with bated breath.


  1. uberVU - social comments  on January 6th, 2010 @ 7:32 am

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