Ambiguous Omens: My Birthday Tarot Reading

It was my 30th birthday this past Friday, and I decided to do something a little different. I’ve been seeing a few friends posting various tarot related things on social media, and I got it into my head that I wanted to do a tarot reading for myself on my birthday. I have a tarot deck that I’ve had since I was 17 or 18, so I dusted it off and put it to good use.

Actually, I needed to give myself a refresher first. Luckily, I’ve recently started watching DarkSunlight’s YouTube channel. She’s got videos on tarot readings, and I watched those to get myself back up to speed and to get inspired. In fact, I used her Samhain reading as inspiration for my birthday reading. I found that that particular layout worked really well for what I wanted to get out of this experience.

Oh, and did I mention that my tarot deck is super nerdy? It’s a Shakespeare deck that I got in Stratford, Ontario when I went there for a school trip. The book is written by A. Bronwyn Llewellyn, and the paintings are by Cynthia von Buhler, and each and every card is delightfully Shakespearean. Given that I went on to study theatre, English lit, and film in university, this deck is really perfect for me.

In my late teens and early 20s, I got really obsessed with learning about all about tarot cards. And although my interest waned in later years, I have still always been really fascinated by tarot cards. I think the only reason I started to lose interest was because that was during the time when my depression got really bad. I lost interest in everything. So, it’s felt really good over the past couple of years to re-introduce myself to all of the things that I enjoy as I get better at managing my depression. I guess this is just the next thing I enjoy that I get to re-introduce myself to.

Now, going into this reading, I knew I was going to have some strong biases. There are two main things on my mind right now that I knew would influence my interpretation of the cards. First and foremost, now that the chaos and upheaval of 2020 is behind me, and there’s new chaos to look forward to in 2021, I’m putting more work into my career goals. The pandemic allowed me to make a shift that – I hope – will allow me to work towards my dream job. Even just since the new year I’ve been putting in extra work to make these dreams a reality. The other thing on my mind is my family. I’ve been going to therapy to help me deal with the difficult family relationships I have, and I am working towards setting safer, more appropriate boundaries. I have also been learning to prioritize my found family and the family I have made for myself.

I won’t be sharing some of the more personal thoughts that came up during this reading (those are just for me), but I’d like to share what the first year of my 30s might have in store for me. While doing the reading, I took notes on the passages of the tarot book that stood out to me – the things that I felt would most likely apply to my unique situation in life. Here we go!

February: Magician – Shakespeare: My inner theatre nerd is pretty pleased that this is the card I got to start of the first full month of my 30s. The magician is presented as a creator, and this card speaks of mastering your tools of intellect, emotions, actions, and the material world. Although there is an emphasis on self-confidence and self-reliance, there is also mention of receiving guidance from either your own knowledge or that of a facilitator.

March: Lord of Quills – Armado (Reversed): Reversed, this card indicates someone acting delusional or out of control. Someone may be out for revenge, trying to cause damage, or trying to get away with something. This card also points towards feeling overextended and wrung out. Given that I’ve pushed myself past the brink of exhaustion before, this doesn’t entirely surprise me.

April: IX of Coins: I certainly like the sound of this one. This card speaks of gain, self-fulfillment, material comfort, and financial security. It also signifies a strong sense of identity, knowing your worth, and achieving a sense of well-being.

May: Hierophant – Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester: A few people came to mind when reading that this card can signify learning that comes from an established group with traditions. Although there is mention of conforming to rules and established authority – not always my forte – there is also mention of seeking education or self fulfillment. In terms of education, that is certainly a situation where I would do what I’m told.

June: Abbess – Aemilia: As this is the card of physic powers, spiritual knowledge, and women’s mysteries, I got a mixed bag of thoughts and feelings while thinking about this one. It speaks of the union of opposites, seeking or offering advice, listening to your intuition, while representing all aspects of womanhood. Quite a lot came to mind when I read about this card, so it’ll be interesting to see what the month of June has in store for me.

July: II of Coins: Another card that mentions to coming together of opposites, so now I’m really curious about what could happen regarding that. There is also mention of a difficult situation, extra responsibilities, an unusual turn of events, and too much (or too little) of a good thing.

August: VI of Chalices: This one seemed a little sad to me as it speaks of regret, nostalgia, rethinking a situation, and considering a mixed opportunity. At the same time, there is mention of seeking support from friends, and new opportunities arising from prior efforts. So, it would seem that there is a silver lining to this one.

September: III of Quills (Reversed): It looks as if those mysterious opposite forces might settle down in September because the reverse of this card indicates that conflicting forces could be in balance. Recovery begins, and there is a feeling of relief as disaster has been averted. At the same time, pain might be denied or dwelled upon, leading to a breakdown. I am all too familiar with that sensation.

October: Queen of Scepters – Katherine of Aragon (Reversed): Narcissism, isolation, and selfishness – oh boy! This seems to point towards someone who may be weak willed, procrastinating, directionless, hysterical, unpredictable, or scattered. It also indicates that your ambitions may be frustrated, or you don’t have the right opportunity to show off your abilities.

November: VII of Chalices: This card ominously warns you to be carful what you wish for. Although there could be a temptation to sample everything, beware of over indulging as judgement could be clouded by illusions and temptations. I guess I’ll have to be extra careful to stop and think about what’s going on in my life when November rolls around.

December: VII of Coins (Reversed): Given the fact that I usually go overbudget on Xmas shopping, it doesn’t surprise me that this card promises worries about money and theft, anxiety, and complications that never seem to end. It also mentions that commitments could feel more like burdens than goals. Sure sounds like the holiday season to me.

January: Queen of Chalices – Hermione: The first month of 2022 sounds like a good end to the first year of my 30s. This card mentions fairness, honesty, practicality, kindness, joy, passion, and pride. It also represents the maternal and the artistic, as well as the ideal of womanhood.

Clarifying Card: X of Chalices (Reversed): Happiness may be short lived. Great. Emotional upheavals could surface, but I am getting to be an expert at surviving those moments. And there could be an over indulgence in emotion. Well, given that that’s me everyday, I feel like the deck is just roasting me with this card.

Going through this reading, lots of specific people, situations, plans, and goals came to mind to do with family, and career, and other personal stuff. Whether this has given me an accurate description of the year to come or not, it was certainly a helpful activity. I took the time to really think about each of the things that came to mind with each card, and it made for an interesting exercise in self-reflection. It forced me to really consider some of the goals I had set for myself, and pushed me to commit to doing certain things I had been (and still am) scared to do. No matter what happens this next year, whether my interpretation of the cards is accurate or not, this reading has given me the confidence I need to really step up and make the most of the first year of my 30s.

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