Out of the Lover’s Year, Into the Chariot

The Lover’s Card from the Smith-Rider-Waite tarot

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

The Chariot card from the Smith-Rider-Waite Tarot.

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.

Entering Gemini Season

On Wednesday, the sun leaves the fixed earth sign of Taurus and enters the mutable air sign of Gemini. In the northern hemisphere we have been deep in the throes of a spring that has been fairly mild where I live. We will be entering into an energy of change, from being seated in spring to beginning the transition into summer. Those in the southern hemisphere will be experiencing a similar change, from the throes of fall into the transition to winter.

Gemini season also brings with it a restlessness that only air signs can bring. Gemini is the air sign of air signs, the restlessness of air combined with the changeability of mutable energy. Each of these energies are upward bearing, causing our thoughts and actions to sometimes be unfocused and scattered. This type of energy is very different from the Taurus energy we are leaving: downward-bearing, earth-bound, focused on the comfort of the concrete and material.

As the sun enters Gemini, pay attention to how the energy changes your thought processes. Gemini is all about problem-solving, analyzing, and learning about new ideas. You might find yourself more in your head than usual, and you might be bouncing from idea to idea.

Gemini is ruled by Mercury, which corresponds to communication. While paying attention to your thought processes, you can also pay attention to how you communicate those thoughts to others. Is your communication as scattered as your thoughts are? What are some things you can do to help your focus? How can you convey your thoughts and ideas in a way that is meaningful to others?

Physically, Gemini corresponds to the hands, arms, and lungs. We see some of this correspondence play out in the way Gemini is related to Mercury and communication. Our hands are our most-used tools, so you can also pay attention to how you use tools to help you to communicate your ideas to others, or how they help you make your thoughts and ideas more concrete. Are there tools that will better serve you in these areas? Is there some work you could be doing with your hands that might bring you a measure of peace during this crazy time, like a hobby? Are there herbs you can use as tools to increase your lung health, especially during this lung-centered pandemic?

Gemini and the Tarot

Gemini is associated with the Lovers card in the Tarot. Most people associate the Lovers card with relationships and finding love, or with commitments of some kind. I have never found this definition of the card to resonate with me, not because I don’t have relationships or believe them to be important, but because I don’t believe them to be so important as to warrant a card all about them. One thing I have learned from my Tarot teacher, Lindsay Mack, is that Tarot is for everyone. If there is a card definition that could leave out an entire section of people, then that definition needs to be revisited, and I think that this card is an example of that. One of the best podcasts of Lindsay’s that I have ever listened to explains that you are your own lover. Your soul desires a relationship with you. I believe that is a much better definition to this card, especially considering that there are so many of us, myself included, that are so disconnected from our bodies and souls, living up in our brains. This is what our society asks us to do every day – it is actually how we are educated, to look at things from a brain-focused lens, but the Lovers asks us to step away from that lens and reconnect with who we truly are on a soul level. This Gemini season might be a good time to meditate on the Lovers card and what it means to us, and find out who we are on the soul level and not just on the brain level, which is how everyone outside of us knows us. We use that identity so much, and a lot of us identify with that exterior identity more than we do our eternal soul identity simply because we have not taken the time to get to know ourselves on that level. Through the Tarot, Gemini season asks us to reacquaint ourselves with our soul identity.