Zodiac Spread for 2009

January 4, 2009 § 1 Comment

Spread: Zodiac Spread (plus one card for 2009, see previous entry)
Deck: Tarot of the Magical Forest
Date: Thursday, January 1, 2009, 10:10pm

I first heard about the spread from Episode 37 of the Tarot Connection podcast.  Though familiar with astrological signs, I’m certainly no expert, so the associations with each house are based on the version from this episode.

1. Aries – Knight of Cups (clarification: Queen of Swords)
2. Taurus – 6 of Pentacles
3. Gemini – Hanged Man
4. Cancer – 3 of Pentacles RV
5. Leo – Death RV
6. Virgo – 5 of Swords RV
7. Libra – Magician
8. Scorpio – Emperor RV (clarification: 9 of Wands RV)
9. Sagittarius – Strength
10. Capricorn – Ace of Swords
11. Aquarius – (pulled 2 simultaneously by accident) 9 of Cups RV, 7 of Cups RV
12. Pisces – Ace of Pentacles

This is a long entry, because it basically looks at pretty much every different aspect of my life for 2009.  The details are mainly for my own reference.

This is a pretty complex reading, which I take to mean will be a pretty complex year for me.  To make it a little easier, I’m going to break it up into some categories.  There will be a lot of challenges, but primarily personal ones rather than outside forces.  I sub-categorized the rest of this summary:

Relationship with B
The Magician and 3 of Pentacles RV points to me and B, particularly me striving to maintain our relationship and us postponing our efforts to build a home and new family together.  No surprise here.

Work/Career as English Teacher in China
The 6 of Pentacles discusses my position of power and privilege in my new line of work and location, and along with the self-interest and aloof isolation of the 5 of Swords RV, I’ll probably face some challenges in collaborating as a teacher and figuring out how to really serve my students’ needs instead of just my own needs, or my own perception of theirs.  However, the salary does have its perks, and will help me feel more comfortable about my financial situation (Ace of Pentacles).  In addition to issues regarding my job, this spread may talk about culture shock and my attempts to try (or try not) to become accustomed to a new culture with different rules, norms, etc (Emperor RV + 9 of Wands).

Social Life

This reading makes me question my desire to be the popular social butterfly, making me value my own way of connecting with people: I socialize with fewer people than most, but I strive for more meaningful relationships with these people.  The Ace of Swords also points out that I need to cut to the truth in my social relationships, implying that not only should I examine my own nature more honestly, but also that more genuine relationships will be more beneficial.  Others will see me as a creative, reflective individual, possibly also temperamental and unrealistic.  This year will also see a complete overhaul of who I socialize with, as I’ll be leaving one country and living in another, though it will probably take some time to adapt and make new friends (Death RV).

Spiritual Growth, Interests, Hobbies, Activities, Etc
Two of the majors in this spread point to my personal growth and well-being: the Hanged Man and Strength.  This year I’ll need to learn to let things happen rather than trying to over-plan and control what experiences I have in China.  Death (RV) and the Hanged Man together imply a need to let go of the unnecessary and surrender to other forces at work rather than my own plans.  I need to have patience and welcome new opportunities, and when/if I do this, I’ll be able to make room for a lot of personal growth.


I consider myself to have many sides to my personality, and this reading shows it: there’s the Knight of Cups’ sensitive, imaginative ways, and also the Ace of Pentacles’ grounded, practical nature.  Both of these influences will be particularly beneficial this next year (though to be fair, I guess they’re almost always beneficial, especially when working in tandem).


1. Aries – Knight of Cups (clarification: Queen of Swords)
First House – House of Self: Self-Awareness, Self-Expression, Individuality, Personality, Outward Appearances & Stimuli

This house is all about one’s personality, especially those parts seen by others.  I remembered someone previously interpreting the Knight of Cups as the romantic champion, the Prince Charming who perhaps is more in love with love than with the person s/he is supposedly in love with.  I couldn’t get this interpretation out of my mind when I drew this card, which really confused me, because I don’t think I generally act in such a manner.  I drew the Queen of Swords, and got the distinct impression that she told me to look again at the Knight of Cups.  Looking again, I see someone who seems happy-go-lucky, joyful, and kind-hearted in an outgoing way.  In the distance there is hope yet for a home, but now I’m adventuring and looking for love, not romantic love but rather love of self, of life, of new things to know.  This makes more sense to me.  Joan Bunning attributes these qualities to the Knight of Cups:


To be fair, I think that I could be seen as any and all of these things by others, depending on the person and the times they observe my behavior.  Since being in a new place will be emotionally straining, I’m also sure that some overemotional and temperamental qualities will be seen.  However, I also think that I’m a sensitive and imaginative person who is reflective and introspective, and I think these qualities will easily be seen by the people I will work with and socialize with in China.

2. Taurus – 6 of Pentacles
Second House – House of Possessions: Sustenance, Resources, Money, Self-Worth, Wealth Values, Luxury, Talents.

I recently looked at the 6 of Pentacles for study. I think this represents where I’m getting my resources and money: from being a person of greater wealth than most around me (currently making a decent salary in a wealthier country, and I also will be making a very good salary by Chinese standards) to a person of greater status than most around me (an American, a teacher at a university, an English speaker).  I’m the “have” who will be surrounded by many “have-nots”, and while I’m working in a profession that gives them knowledge of Western culture (which is in a more powerful position in the world) and the skills of English (the language of power), even though it may not be solving the greater issue: there shouldn’t be the emulation of one culture and language above others.  However, that is how I will earn my living.  That is how I will feel important and valuable in the world.

In addition, the last time I went to China was the first time in my life that I saw beggars, numerous beggars, every day as I went about my daily life, so this could also have a very literal interpretation of where some of my money will be going.

3. Gemini – Hanged Man
Third House – House of Communication: Logic, Mental & Spiritual Development, Curiosity, Hobbies, Short Journeys, Siblings

First off, I have to say it: I love the Hanged Man.  Seriously, I get really happy when I see this old friend in a reading.  A lot of people are apprehensive about him, but not me, I’m a big fan (albeit not the most faithful follower).  I think most people could use a good helping of this card in their lives, including myself.  Also, I’m a Gemini, a sign that lends itself to needing a little extra Hanged Man in their typically busy lifestyles, so I’m personally quite thrilled the two could come together in a reading!

I see this card playing out in a lot of possible aspects of this house, but in an overall similar way.  I have the tendency to create little tasks for myself in order to improve any given aspect of my life.  Health?  Develop a better routine of taking vitamins, doing x type of exercise for x amount of time, going to bed promptly at x time and therefore getting a strict x amount of sleep.  Chinese learning?  Study x chapters of x textbook a week, read x number of news articles or song lyrics, make flashcards and study them daily, complete little essay assignments.  Spirituality?  Meditate every day, do yoga x number of days a week, journal about a spirituality topic every week, do a daily tarot reading, research some list of topics … and so on and so on.  It’s just how I deal with things: perhaps it’s a symptom of my love of school, or my love of order and organization, but whatever it is, it gets old real fast.  It doesn’t take long for me to get sick of my routine assignments and rebel by just not doing anything.

It’s a problem.  Anyway, I think this card is telling me to watch out for this tendency, and instead, just let it all go.  I won’t become a more spiritual person by writing out a to-do list to check off.  I won’t become better at Chinese while living in China by completing little independent assignments rather than getting out there and communicating.  I need to just let go of my need to keep things orderly, and instead just embrace the opportunities for growth and learning that come my way.

4. Cancer – 3 of Pentacles RV
Fourth House – House of Family & Home: Domestic Scenes, Environment, Roots, Security, Comfort, Tradition.

When I saw this house, even before drawing a card, I cringed.  This house is going to be severely neglected this next year, because basically everything it stands for is going out the window: I’m away from everything familiar and comforting and going to something entirely different and new, which is exhilarating but scary as hell for a homebody like me.

I once read an interpretation of this card that said this is when one’s hard work will be recognized, when learning a new skill or practice is finally starting to pay off.  The fact that it’s reversed here is no surprise: the home life and partnership with B that I’ve (we’ve) worked hard at, while not totally worthless, is going to be put on hold for this year, and since reversals sometimes imply delays, this is talking about the very long delay of the comfortable home life I love so much.

Joan Bunning says this card is about teamwork and planning, and I guess this makes sense too: our joint planning for living together, starting a new family, etc is on hold.

5. Leo – Death RV
Fifth House – House of Pleasure: Beauty, Creative Expression, Romance, Social Activities, Recreation, Children.

The Death card came up in a recent reading about China, which is appropriate, as I’m leaving my life here and starting a new (albeit temporary) one in China.  This certainly is the case for my social activities and recreational activities; in fact, these will be two of the biggest aspects of my life facing this sort of complete and total change.  I hadn’t considered some of the other aspects of this house though, particularly beauty and creative expression.  Certainly these will also change; I will find very different kinds of beauty in my new life, and if my hobbies change, then certainly my creative expression will too.

6. Virgo – 5 of Swords RV
Sixth House – House of Health: Work, Duty, Responsibility & Personal Growth, Employment, Service.

My job will have me feeling quite isolated.  As I pick up the pieces after some struggle, I will be distanced from everyone I typically depend on, and I will have to clean up my messes without help or even much of a morale boost.  Sure, someone can listen to part of the story and be on my side, but that doesn’t mean their standing next to me, supporting me.

Joan Bunning says this card is all about self-interest.  That made me really think: maybe my work is too focused on my own goals, my own needs as a developing teacher, rather than my students’ goals and needs.  Certainly this would also cause me to feel isolated: I am not alone if I am helping others.

7. Libra – Magician
Seventh House – House of Partnership: Marriage, Friendships, Business Relationships, Karma, Compromise, Contracts.

I’ll be putting forth a lot of effort and willpower into maintaining a long distance relationship with B.  I’ll also be concentrating on building new contacts, friendships, networking, etc, so this makes a lot of sense.

8. Scorpio – Emperor RV (clarification: 9 of Wands RV)
Eighth House – House of Sex, Death & Rebirth.  Shared Resources, Inheritance, Support From Another, Regeneration.

I must say, I’m always confused about the Eighth House.  Another description of this spread says that this is the House of Extremes, but I’m not sure if that’s much help to me either.  The Emperor is usually a card of authority, structure, and regulation, and while I might be a fan of structure, this is one of my least favorite cards.  I think he’s pig-headed, and I think this deck agrees with me, because the Emperor is literally a pig.  All I can think is that the Emperor means I will have a difficult time happily following the rules and authority of a different society with different values.

I asked for clarification and got the 9 of Wands RV, which wasn’t particularly helpful.  I generally see this card as someone tired but feeling accomplished after some struggles.  Joan Bunning points to defensiveness (building a wall) and perseverance.  I can see that I may have a difficult time adapting to a different society’s rules, but I’m unclear how this pertains to sex, death and rebirth.  Perhaps this is the Tarot’s way of describing culture shock and developing a competence interacting in another culture — a death of old perspectives and values and the development of an appreciation and acceptance of new perspectives and values.  This is actually the only meaning I can glean from these cards at this time.

9. Sagittarius – Strength
Ninth House – House of Philosophy: Expanding Inner & Outer Selves Through Travel, Education, & Spirituality.

I think this is the part of my life that will help me recharge, find my inner strength and patience: by doing what it is I intend to do during my year and a half in China, namely traveling, learning Chinese language and about Chinese culture, and (another goal simultaneously) becoming a more spiritual, whole person.  This will be a gradual process, but soul-feeding and worthwhile.

1/4/09: This line in a Rumi poem reminded me of this card:

Be patient.
Respond to every call
that excites your spirit.

– “Cry Out in Your Weakness” by Rumi (from The Essential Rumi)

10. Capricorn – Ace of Swords
Tenth House – House of Social Status: Career, Society, Public Reputation, Place in Community.

I love having aces on my side.  In my career, this is the beginning of a pursuit of knowledge and truth, specifically regarding a better understanding of Chinese language and culture, which will be a foundational starting point for my career path (teaching Chinese as a foreign language).  For my reputation in society or place in community, this represents honesty, cutting to the truth of things, which will be a helpful influence in such a high context culture.  Joan Bunning also says that this can represent the fortitude to overcome adversity and solve problems, which is always welcome.

11. Aquarius – (pulled 2 simultaneously by accident) 9 of Cups RV, 7 of Cups RV
Eleventh House: House of Friendships: Friends, Society, Philanthropy, Aspirations, Free Time, Ideals & Goals.

I inadvertently picked up two cards at once, so I’m going to interpret both of them.  Joan Bunning says the 9 of Cups is often known as the “wish card”, meaning a wish will be fulfilled, though not always for the best (kind of a be-careful-what-you-wish-for situation).  The 7 of Cups in this House reminds me of an ideal I have in my mind of me easily socializing with new friends, going out in the evenings to do social things, and being generally popular.  However, this is not at all a realistic image of myself: I’m not a social butterfly, and though I occasionally try to be, I usually don’t enjoy being in such situations; on the contrary, I’m typically simultaneously bored and uncomfortable by them.  I prefer less friendships, but closer and more meaningful ones.  I don’t want a social buddy, I want a confidante, a kindred spirit, a human connection.  I don’t want to go out on the town, I want good discussions, quiet evenings, appreciation of the arts.  I think this pair of cards is having me question my daydreams about being the savvy social butterfly so that I can see beyond the illusion and figure out what friendships, relationships, and leisure activities will actually bring joy and fulfillment.

12. Pisces – Ace of Pentacles
Twelfth House – House of Subconscious: Psychological Health, Emotional Experiences, Unconscious Memories, Seclusion, Secrets.

Another ace, though this one is more elusive; go figure, it’s the House of the Subconscious, so I’m guessing it’ll take a while to figure out.  All I can guess for now is that I will probably feel financially stable and won’t be worrying about day to day expenses quite so much, which will likely make my mind at ease.  I’ll be earning a very good salary by Chinese standards, and so my everyday life will be quite comfortable: I can eat out however often I like (especially because of so many inexpensive restaurants), I can travel within China quite easily, etc.  This could also point to a sense of groundedness and practicality that will serve as an underlying base to the rest of my life, assisting especially in my psychological health and emotions.


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