Hello friends! Monday was my 40th birthday. I’ve decided to mark this milestone by designing a special birthday tarot spread for myself, and I’d like to begin by hashing out some ideas with you.
If you think you can’t design your own spreads, I am here to tell you that you certainly can. Books and blogs are a great jumping-off point, but doing your own thing gives you much more depth and creative freedom.
Taking Stock of Where You’re At
A birthday reading, much like a New Year’s reading, is designed to take stock of where you’re at when a milestone comes around. We rush through life and don’t often take time to really reflect, regroup and consolidate all that we’re doing and learning along the way.
With that in mind, here are some potential questions to hit this primary goal of a birthday reading:
- Where am I in my soul’s journey?
- What has the past year taught me?
- What can I let go of now?
- What do I need to become aware of?
Part of taking stock also means delving deep into your inner self for recognition and awareness. Sometimes we feel stuck in life, and often we’re failing to acknowledge a particular lesson or situation that keeps presenting itself. When that’s the case, a new approach can get things unstuck rather quickly. We can also grow and co-create when we’re consciously aware of what our soul wants us to focus on.
In terms of getting to know yourself better, consider the following:
- What is the main area my soul wants to work on this year in terms of growth?
- What part of myself must I focus on and acknowledge more?
- How can I develop a deeper connection to Spirit this year?
- What message does my Spirit Guide want to give me for this year?
Forecasting the Year
Many people like to use these readings to get an idea of where they’re headed. While I don’t particularly put a lot of stake in predicting the future with the cards, I do think looking at cards for a broad outlook in specific areas can be useful.
Here are some areas to touch on for outlook questions:
- Where am I headed this year in terms of my (love life, work/career, spirituality, relationship with X, school, or any other topic)?
- What should I be aware of when it comes to (topic)?
- What advice and guidance should I follow regarding (topic) this year?
- What is the main theme I’ll be faced with working on and understanding this year?
My 40th Birthday Spread
Here’s the spread I’ve developed to mark my 40th birthday. It incorporates some of each of the topic areas from above. I generally try to limit my readings to 10 cards because more than that tends to give me sensory overload.
- What’s the most important thing for me to know/reflect upon on my 40th birthday?
- What’s hidden and needs to come to my awareness now?
- What will help with that?
- What does my soul want me to work on this year?
- Advice and guidance for how to accomplish this work
- Outlook for romance and love relationship
- Advice/guidance on how to cultivate love and romance
- Outlook for work and career
- Advice/guidance for work and career
- Message for me from Spirit
Here’s how I arranged the cards in the layout:Remember, there are no rules. You can arrange your cards in whatever way feels right to you. Be creative and follow your feelings. That’s how you’ll build your intuition muscle: by trusting your instincts and not confining yourself to a set of arbitrary rules.
I recommend using a deck for this reading that you don’t use in your everyday practice. This is good for outside-of-the-box thinking when it comes to reading for yourself, because it forces you out of the rut of “Oh, I know that card” and the tendency to associate meanings with particular cards off hand. It also helps you to stop “reading” the cards so much (ie, assuming we already know what they mean, or not really focusing on the image) and to go back to simply seeing them, which is what we should always be doing.
Something else I recommend when doing these milestone readings is that you get out your journal and physically put pen to paper and write out your interpretations for yourself. Especially if you’re experienced to the point where you no longer need to look anything up when you read the cards, taking the time to step back and analyze each of the cards and the overall story and record it in the slow and methodical manner required through handwriting is useful for reflection.
Don’t forget to take note of any cards that jump the deck while you’re shuffling (they may show up in the reading itself or be an additional message) as well as any impressions, thoughts or feelings that spontaneously present themselves while shuffling. For example, I had a really strong impression of a particular card that hit me hard while I was shuffling, in a really warm and fuzzy way, and sure enough, it made an appearance in position 10 when I placed the cards in the layout. These are ways to remind ourselves that Spirit is talking to us all the time, if we’d only stop and get quiet and focused enough to listen.