Happy New Year! As we bring 2017 to a close, and welcome the New Year, many tarot readers are consulting their cards. What lies ahead for us in 2018? Could we really predict such a thing? Well, regardless of whether you use tarot as a divination tool or not, one thing is for certain. Politics continues to be a strong subject going into the New Year. But why is this, and what impact will it have in many people choosing their year card for 2018? Let’s start the year off by discussing one of the most hot button topics, Strength vs. Justice in the New Year.
Where We’ve Been In 2017
The year of 2017 was filled with divisiveness, contrasting views, and a whole lot of extremes. Taking a look back at the year card for 2017, we discover an interesting thing about where we’ve been before. At surface value, the card for 2017 was marked unquestionably by fate. Perhaps this explains the strong themes of extremes. The Wheel of Fortune is not often known for being in the middle. No, many of us understand what it’s like to either be at the top or bottom of Fate’s wheel. Digging a little deeper, we discover the presence of The Magician throughout the year of 2017.
This looks different for many people based on your political outlook. Was 2017 a year of skillful intention and willpower or trickery and deceit? The answer to that question is largely individualistic, but we can gauge the theme of Mercury’s presence rather well. Mercury is often associated with the Greek god Hermes, and well, Hermes is associated with money. Did it surprise anyone to seek the record spikes this year on Wall Street? Probably, but that doesn’t mean it should have.
Oddly absent from the year of 2017 is The Sun, or clarity. We see this playing out all too well throughout. For all the protests, press coverage, and bickering among ourselves, what did we really gain for it? If we’re honest, we won’t find much there. Furthermore, the combination of all three cards leaves the lingering impression of masculinity. Yes, many of these themes are easy to talk about in retrospect, but there were initially there for us as well. So, what happens if we take a look at what’s ahead? Does any of this change? Could we possibly gain anything in terms of context moving forward?
The Year Of 2018
Taking our first glimpse into 2018, we already get hints at a complex year. Choosing this year’s card is tough, as it depends largely on what system of tarot you utilize. Traditionally, 2018 should be the year of Strength. But, the common system today says the year’s theme should be one of Justice. Adding to this complexity is the reduction of this year’s number in terms of Numerology, leaving us with an additional card in the mix. Many tarot readers are, admittedly, choosing a card they like, or whichever the majority prefers. This though, leads us to the first intriguing event of 2018: choosing a theme for the year based on politics, unknowingly so.
Themes of Strength
Taking a look at the more traditional themes first, 2018 should be marked by Strength. Admittedly, I am personally biased toward Strength as the year’s card. However, at face value, this card makes sense. If we take a close look at the card, we notice what is commonly knows as the infinity symbol above the woman’s head. This symbol also appears in The Magician card, likewise, above his head. Here we can see the progression of an idea with time. It feels natural, probably because it is natural. The infinity symbol itself is an interesting one within tarot, because it represents not infinity, but the eternal endurance of the spirit. Somehow this seems important moving into the new year.
Strength symbolizes much more than the eternal spirit however. At first glance, we see a woman taming a lion. This stands for kindness and spirituality conquering our more primitive nature and the desires that go along with it. That taming of our primitive nature seems entirely possible through concepts best represented by religion or a sense of higher purpose. This past year, I heard many people debating the role of religion. I likewise noted themes of questioning a sense of absolute right or wrong. It appears 2018 is a year in which we return to these ‘traditional’ values.
Likewise, a theme embodied by Strength lies in the yellow background. The lion on the card is linked quite heavily to Leo. But, Leo is a fire sign, and thus, linked to the element of fire. With that reasoning, the color of the background should be red, not yellow. This intriguing lesson is due to the fact that Strength corresponds to the Heart Chakra, or, the element of Air. That explains the yellow background, but what does it mean for us? Well, this means Strength relates to us in terms of our thoughts. Remember that return to ‘traditional’ values? It seems hinted at in more than one way. We must all tame our thoughts, our beliefs, as well as our outward actions.
Those that gravitate toward the Strength card for 2018 will more than likely be of a conservative bent. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s simply worth noting. The year will be perceived in terms of kindness, optimism, and a returning to traditional values. Overall, spirituality remains a core theme of the year. People who relate to Strength probably understand 2017 in terms of its hidden aspect, or that of monetary trends, skillful acts, and steadfast willpower. In the long term, this should be a more positive year for you over 2017. But, that doesn’t mean conservatives should neglect the presence of Justice either.
Themes of Justice
If we take a look at the more common theme for 2018, we discover the year is marked by Justice. In an effort of full disclosure, I’m quite fond of the themes embodied in the Justice card. Those who gravitate toward the Strength card, might likewise find themselves drawn to aspects of this card. To make an impossible choice easier, it’s best to evaluate the themes this card represents. The first thing we might take note of, is how Justice seems to be a more discreet followup to 2017. We see this in the fact both The Magician and The Sun contain bright red fabric. A quick glance at Justice, and we see Lady Justice wearing the same bright red fabric. Clearly, there’s a link between these concepts for those willing to seek it out.
Justice itself though, is best represented by the objects she holds. In the hands of Justice is both the sword and the scales. Each of these symbolizes an idea in itself. The Scales of Justice, are best known for representing balance. But a balance between what? Well, the balance is between the past and the future. This is an optimistic outlook, especially when combined with the sword. The sword is less recognizable to many, but it is actually the double-edged sword spoken of in the bible. This sword has the ability in traditional teachings to speak truth, and also cut out lies. To many, this is an important concept moving forward into the new year.
Taking a look at the more abstract concepts embodied in the Justice card, we see the contrasting colors of red and yellow. This is more prevalent than in Strength, but actually symbolizes something similar. The color red represents passions, while the yellow color represents thought. Justice actually molds these two things together perfectly. Practically speaking, this means 2018 should see a return to our core selves. Our passions should match our thoughts, and with that, something more solid should manifest from the effort. This though, may come with a huge downside, that of feeling indecisive. There’s a slight fear of upsetting people still, but hopefully it dies down a bit this year.
Perhaps the most important themes embodied by Justice lie in its echoes of The High Priestess card. The most obvious of these comparisons is that of the two pillars, or columns. In terms of Justice, these pillars represent civilization and order. Since those who gravitate to Justice will be more liberal leaning, I think this a notable theme. For those who find Justice the year card of 2018, the year will be perceived in terms of truth, our current society, and the merging of passion in action. There seems to be less of an optimistic look, but it comes with a higher emphasis on thinking things through. But, as always, it’s best not to forget the presence of Strength either.
The Hidden Themes Of 2018
As has already been hinted at, there’s a hidden concept to 2018. The number 11 using Numerology, reduces down to 2, or the High Priestess card. This is why we see echoes of The High Priestess within the Justice card itself. Admittedly, this symbolism is mainly within the Rider-Waite Smith system of tarot only. But, that doesn’t mean the themes are any less applicable. The High Priestess has come to represent the female divine, or the passive nature of creation. In some ways, this is a much needed rest from the dynamic power of The Magician in 2017. It is also, luckily, another natural progression, especially when considering progress.
The High Priestess herself represents the concept of intuition. Usually this card depicts themes of the moon, which many people finds resonates with them. This is probably because within psychology, the concept pertains to our subconscious selves. It’s actually difficult to explain the High Priestess card in terms that aren’t abstract. At its core, the card represents the mysterious, the unexplained, and the things we simply know without explanation. In many ways, it’s easier to understand this card in relation to Justice. But more tellingly, tradition links the High Priestess to the concept of Understanding. Even better, this is Understanding in contrast to Wisdom.
In practical terms, this gives a little context to 2018. If we combine the themes of Justice and Strength, then we’re left with an undercurrent of the High Priestess. Better put, when we consider returning to ‘traditional’ values and turning passion into action for the greater good, there are some things we just know to be true. For example, many people agree we know what is morally right and wrong. Others, might say we simply know how to treat one another. The cards hint that 2018 will be a year where this takes center stage. At a surface level though, it will be difficult to see that sense of simply understanding something on that intuitive level. Quite frankly, that makes perfect sense, as how are we to gauge common perception or common sense.
The Missing Themes of 2018
The last element to analyzing the year ahead lies in its missing card. There are certain numbers within tarot that belong to a group of three. In this case, the number is 20. Numerically, 20 will reduce down to 2, linking it to the numbers 11 and 2 within tarot. For 2018, it represents a possible missing element. What’s of startling interest, is that you’d expect 10 to share in the group. After all, 20 divided by 2 does equal 10. The Wheel of Fortune card was also an element of 2017, so why is it missing? Well, it’s actually not missing. Tarot works in terms of themes, and the Wheel of Fortune simply gives added context when considering the missing card of Judgement.
When considering the Judgement card, the first thing that stands out might be the red wings of the Rider-Waite Smith depiction. This is because we have here another fire based card. Fire is ultimately linked to passion, and so we see this belongs perfectly within our symbolism. However, it’s a missing element. Why? Because Judgement is actually a card that stands for a sense of higher calling. The cross in the flag is not actually a religious symbol, but a literal one. We find this card speaks to a choice, a crossroads in our lives. This is not yet a theme of 2018, not in the least bit. If anything, we’ll be lucky to notice its absence, but even that is difficult.
Why then, is it important to study a missing theme? Well, it has to do with what not to look for in the year ahead. Many of us want there to be a sense of higher calling, especially if themes of ‘traditional’ values resonates with us. Perhaps this happens on a personal level, but it will not be true of the whole. There will be no great awakening in 2018, or even in 2019. For those who resonate with themes of Justice, the lack of Judgement is also important. It hints at a missing conclusion. There will not be a punishing element of Justice in 2018, but more of a focus on wisdom or understanding. That, well, that is how the Wheel of Fortune plays in here a little bit.
Where We’re Going In 2018
When trying to predict the overall theme of 2018, it’s important to remember that no one concept prevails. The main reason there is a choice between Strength and Justice has mainly to do with themes of Leo and Libra coming together. In Crowley’s system of tarot, this is represented by the concepts of Lust and Adjustment. When we ourselves combine these two things, we start to truly grasp 2018. The passion of the spirit often requires adjustment when put into action. I suspect this is the true theme of the year ahead of us. It is also why optimism and accountability on a personal level are important.
Whether you’re conservative or liberal, we find there is more that we have in common than separates us. I know, many people don’t want to hear that, on either side. But, it’s one of those things we know intuitively to be true. There’s a reason so many tarot readers look to a year card. We share experiences, core experiences, and we are all vastly shaped by the environment and communities around us. This doesn’t mean we can’t maintain our individuality either. Threads simply weave through time, and we either embrace them or fight them. But nevertheless, we interact with the same threads as everyone else.
In the case of 2018, these threads are especially felt. Leo is a strong-headed sign. Libra is an especially thoughtful sign. Together, the two can be an extremely rewarding merging of ideas put into practice. The presence of the High Priestess shouldn’t be forgotten. Through coming together, through playing on our strengths and not our weaknesses, we discover secrets we were all meant to share in. Spiritual or not, the concept transcends many of the feelings we want to leave behind in 2017. There’s a reason many of us are hopeful looking ahead in 2018. Yes, there’s a new slate to write on. What we choose to write is up to us, but it is also, a shared experience to reflect on later.