2022 was a heck of a year. For some reason I thought that a Lover’s year couldn’t be all that bad. It would be about getting in touch with myself and what is really important to me, so a lot of introspection and identifying how to move forward.
The Lover’s year was about that, but rather than giving me time to contemplate what was important to me, it brutally and ruthlessly showed me. The realization that stress is killing me came into sharp focus through a hospital stay where I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and diabetes. Both have gotten markedly better after very intentional stress reduction and lifestyle changes. Two more of my immediate family members were also hospitalized this year, with life-changing consequences for each of them. This brought the importance of family and health into focus. My spirituality also came to the forefront in my life as a major way to relieve stress and turn focus away from the stress-causing commercial, capitalist culture we live it. Through my spirituality, community has also take a place in my priorities. My family couldn’t have come through what we have come through without the community we have around us, and I want to continue to grow that community moving forward.
The year wasn’t all brutality. My long-time partner and I got married in a small ceremony out in nature. It was truly beautiful and included everything I hold dear. My family was brought closer together and what is truly important to me came into sharp focus. So positives definitely came out of the crazy that happened this year.
Reflection of the Lover’s Year
I say all of that to say that the Lover’s year is a time to become very clear about what is important to you, what is moving forward with you into the new year, and what needs to be left behind. So take a moment to reflect on what 2022 brought you:
- What are some specific occurrences that took place in your life in 2022?
- What did each of these things teach you about yourself and what is important to you?
- What did each of these things teach you about what needs to be left behind as you move forward?
By taking this time to reflect on the past year, you can gain some clarity about what needs to move forward into 2023 and what needs to stay behind. Another way to gain this clarity is to do a tarot spread. Using this spread can help get you started on your reflection process if you are drawing a blank with the reflection questions.
2022 Lover’s Year Reflection Spread
- What has 2022 shown me is important to me?
- What is moving forward with me into 2023? (Draw up to 3 cards)
- What needs to stay behind in 2022? (Draw up to 3 cards)
Moving Into the Chariot Year
2023 marks the beginning of the year of the Chariot, because when you add the digits of the year together (2+0+2+3) you get seven, the number of the Chariot in the Major Arcana. I have a Tarot Deep Dive I did on the Chariot in the past, but I would like to take time to expand on that post and really apply the meaning to the present moment. Obviously, your present moment is going to look different from mine, but the energy of the Chariot is something that we all face universally, so some of what I discuss here may apply to you. You can take what resonates and leave the rest.
So when we talk about the Chariot we are talking about the vehicle that moves us through life. In dream interpretation, cars (a type of chariot) can stand for where we are going in life and the means we are taking to get there. So in the Lovers year we spent a lot of time defining what is important to us and what in our lives is moving forward. Now with the Chariot year we are defining how we are moving forward with those things. So there are a lot of different ways this can go for anyone, depending on what they defined as importand and necessary to move forward.
The Chariot card corresponds to the sign of Cancer, and the sign for Cancer is the crab. When we look at the crab, we see that the crab moves around with his shell on his back, and he does this for a while but then eventually he outfrows that shell and needs to find a new one. But the old shell is safe. It protects him. So in order to leave that shell, the thing that is familiar and safe, the crab has to make himself vulnerable while he moves to the new unknown shell.
And that’s always the hard part, isn’t it? Stepping out into vulnerability. We like the safety of where we are. But the thing is, the crab can’t grow if he stays in the same old shell. Just like us, he has to move to a space of vulnerability in order to grow. If we are willing to move forward with these things that are important to us, we may have to become vulnerable as we are finding the right vehicle to make that happen.
There is another aspect to the Chariot that we need to think about as we begin the year. In the Smith-Rider-Waite deck, the sphinxes are not only two different colors, but they are also pointed in two different directions. When we are talking about going anywhere, in any vehicle, we always have a choice about which direction we should go. And a lot of times, more than one direction looks appealing to us. But if we are constantly going back and forth about what direction to go in, we will never end up getting anywhere. The key to this is looking at the options that are open to us and striking a balance between them.
When its put like this, it seems to simple. But stepping out in vulnerability is hard. Being willing to open up to your authentic self, to the things that are important to you, is hard. But this is what we will be working on all year in terms of our growth.
So here is a spread to help you get started on this journey:
The 2023 Chariot Year Spread
- What is moving forward with me into 2023? (Use the cards you pulled in the last spread, or draw new ones)
- How am I being invited to move forward with these things? (Draw one card for each item from the last question)
- How can I step out in vulnerability in order to make this direction happen?
- How can I achieve balance when I have more than one option open?
Hopefully this will give you a good place to start on your journey into Chariot energy. I will be posting more about the Chariot and the energies of the 7 as we move forward into the year.
Let me know how your spreads turned out in the comments, or any other thoughts you have about the move from the Lovers year to the Chariot year.