This is one of several articles I am inserting about past Tarot Years, from 2004-2006. They were originally articles I wrote on my now defunct Well.com blog location. I hope you’ll find them interesting and helpful.
As I have been explaining, combining Tarot and numerology, we can learn about some general traits and patterns that can be anticipated in a given year.
This year, 2006, is 2+0+0+6 = 8. In the Majors, VIII is Strength. Or is it the Justice card?
One of the most controversial things that A.E. Waite did when he and Pamela Smith created their new Tarot deck in 1909, was to switch the Eight and the Eleven of the Major Arcana. In earlier decks, such as the Tarot de Marseilles, the order of the trumps was Eight/Justice, Nine/Hermit, Ten/Wheel of Fortune, and Eleven/Strength.
While some decks today remain true to that earlier interpretation, the Rider-Waite-Smith decks and their countless modern derivatives show the Eight as the Strength card.
Volumes have been written by Tarot scholars analyzing and arguing over the wisdom (or not) of this change. Being a lesser mortal with fewer esoteric leanings, I choose to simply follow the Waite-Smith lineage, so let us agree that this is the year of Strength. But perhaps just keep in the back of our minds that Justice (fairness, legal matters) may play an important part.
The key question to ask ourselves this year is, “Is this the path with heart?”
Last year, we all went through some troubled times when we may have had to bite our tongues and even repress our feelings in order to cope with the challenges. The choices made in 2004 (The Lovers year) were ones that, for better or worse, we were obliged to simply move forward upon, setting the direction of last year’s energy.
But now, it is vital that our essential instincts be wide awake once more. The world needs us to be passionate, committed, and to act. This is the year to face our shadows and give awareness and healing compassion to our fears. For that is the only way we can “tame” them.
The Strength card has been likened to a Vestal Virgin, tending the sacred flame. She is crowned with the cosmic lemniscate, the symbol of infinity and dominion. She knows that fire can be a fearful thing, if one does not understand it and pay attention.
Tending this potentially destructive force requires grace and intelligence. But she is unafraid, and in fact calls this fire sacred. She knows her power lies in understanding, not conflict; she controls by her acceptance and not repression.
In a Strength year, our courage may well be tested. This is a time to reconnect on a deep level to what you love most about your life; the people that empower you; the passion that gives you the will to face your fears and conquer them. It is a time for expressing the great joy of being both human and animal, for reveling in your lust for life.
This year, we must learn to rise to the occasion and be comfortable with a certain amount of risk. There may be difficulties ahead, but the gift of Strength is great fortitude.
We can tap into the Source that gives us infinite courage, starting with knowing that our greatest strength lies in embracing our lives fully and following fearlessly where our hearts call us to be.