I meant to share about my annual tarot reading at the beginning of the year, but somehow (completely unsurprisingly) time slipped away from me. Better late than never, I suppose! 

For many years I have done a “Wheel of the Year” tarot reading, a spread of 13 cards with 1-12 representing each calendar month and the 13th representing the year as a whole. My annual reading has been a personally meditative and thought-provoking practice, and has deepened my relationship with and understanding of the cards. 

That said, I’ll admit that my first thought upon seeing my 2023 card was: “…well fuck.” Nothing like a 3 of Swords to give any optimism a sharp reality check, haha! However, when journaling about the reading I had something of an “aha!” moment, and it has completely shifted my perspective. 

I really appreciate the perspectives of other tarot readers, and love to learn from others whether through readings, workshops, podcasts, etc., and I was struck in that moment by Davis Carr’s writings on the 3 of Swords for The Hollow Valley Tarot + Guidebook:

…[The] Three can activate our minds and send our thoughts racing, bringing up themes of anxiety and catastrophization. But the Three also contains within it the possibility of harmony and support. …When the Three of Swords appears in a reading, you are being invited to tend to your basic needs, to prioritize your mental and psychic comfort, to shore up the foundations of your life. It is a card about agency….

HWB has always operated from an ethos of radical self-care, and with this perspective and Davis’s insight, I am truly embracing my 3 of Swords year— a year to heal old wounds. Fully acknowledging “the culture of Jungian psychology in America and its often-difficult relationship with race and racism…” (citation), I am exploring what Jung referred to as shadow work. I am interrogating people-pleasing tendencies (check out my thoughts on The Banshees of Inisherin and pressures to “be nice”), doing some challenging and healing work in therapy, and exploring ancestral work while striving to break chains of intergenerational trauma… in between binge-watching trash tv and snuggling my cats. 

So yeah, here’s to learning to love the 3 of Swords, it’s a trip. 🖤

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