|Fournier TdM and Dodal TdM|
It's my birthday and I've decided to use Angelorum's birthday spread. The card in the middle is my year card, and the other cards clockwise from top are 'area of life most affected by year card', 'aspect that will be most challenged by year card energy', 'avoid this in the year ahead', 'do more of this in the year ahead'.
My year card is Strength, because I use TdM, and Strength is 11, not Justice. I also don't see the point of reducing the number again and having two year cards, so I'm leaving La Papesse out of the equation.
Looking at the spread, there's a good balance of suits here -- one each. That always feels reassuring to me, a balance of elements. We have numbers 5, 9, and 8, and by some reckonings, Knights are 12, which reduces to 3. The Coins and Cups on the left are the 'soft' suits (as described by Yoav Ben-Dov), which can be regarded as feminine, receptive, and favourable. The Swords and Wands or Staves can be regarded as masculine, outgoing, and challenging. The fact that they have taken sides in the spread rather than mixing themselves suggests that there may be a bit of dichotomy or struggle between them. However, the lion is on the 'hard' side of the spread, and the lady is on the soft side, and we know who is winning that struggle! The message of the pips echoes the message of the trump -- gentleness will win out over savageness. I like the way the Cavalier de Epee is facing in toward the spread; it makes it feel complete of itself. When cards on the edges of spreads face outwards, it makes me feel like the message is incomplete and more cards need to be drawn to see what they're looking at. Strength and Knight facing each other also feels right to me, especially as the position is 'area of life most affected by year card.' So that area is not running away from it, but to me it looks like the two are engaged in conversation about it.
My 'main spiritual lesson' of 2017 comes from Strength. My spiritual teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, wrote a poem called 'Recommendation' in 1965 during the Vietnam War, calling on his fellow protesters to be strong in the face of hate. I've italicised those lines that resonate with the Strength card for me:
Promise me this day,
promise me now,
while the sun is overhead
exactly at the zenith,
Even as they strike you down
with a mountain of hatred and violence;
even as they step on you and crush you
like a worm,
even as they dismember and disembowel you,
man is not our enemy.
The only thing worthy of you is compassion,
invincible, limitless, unconditional.
Hatred will never let you face
the beast in man.
One day, when you face this beast alone,
with your courage intact, your eyes kind,
(even as no one sees them),
out of your smile
will bloom a flower.
And those who love you
will behold you
across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying.
I will go on with bent head,
knowing that love has become eternal.
On the long, rough road,
the sun and the moon
will continue to shine.