Calculating Your Tarot Year Card

When I calculated last year’s tarot card–Death–my initial reaction was “God damnit.” I’d just come out of what felt like a death year, and I didn’t know how much more “transformation” I could take. Out of convenience, I decided that the tarot didn’t know what it was talking about, and some radical, alternate interpretation of Death would reveal itself as the year unfolded.

Oh, the vanity. Oh, the hubris. The tarot knew exactly what it was talking about, as it always does. The year prior was absolutely my Hanged Man year; I’d mistaken my acceptance of certain absolute truths as Death. If I’d been adequately reverent (Tarot! How may I serve thee!), I may have planned better and been better prepared for what came.

What’s all this chat about yearly tarot cards? Firstly, a yearly tarot card is a card from the Major Arcana that’s numerically related to your birth month, your birth day, and the current Roman calendar year. The most common formula of calculating it is as follows:

First, add the digits of your  birth month, birth day, and the current year together. If you were born on November 11, for example, your equation would look like this:


Next, take the total from the previous equation, isolate its digits, and add them together:


Using the Rider-Waite Major Arcana numbered from 0-22 as a reference, the number 14 corresponds to the Temperance card (yep, that’s my birthday and my yearly tarot card, folks). So, Temperance would be your tarot card of the year.

While researching, I found a less common (but equally relevant) method of calculating your yearly tarot card: Isolate the digits of your birth month, birth year, and the current calendar year and add each together. Using my birthdate as an example, the equation looks something like this:


Now, if your total is in double digits (10 or more), isolate them and add them together, like so:


Using this method, my yearly tarot card would be The Hierophant (he and I have an interesting relationship, so I’m going to stick with Temperance for now).

Your tarot year card, once calculated, should provide you with your personal theme for the coming year. It acts as a guidepost, a place to turn when you become lost or things become confusing. For example, when I was in the throes of shedding my skin and letting go of a stale conception of self, Death could act as a visual reminder that “all things must pass.” And one can take comfort in this–knowing that no matter how rough it gets, the levy will eventually break and the healing waters will rush forth.

And this year, Temperance will remind me to take a break when I’ve pushed myself too far. It will tell me that yes, I need to take that daily walk. And when I falter, it will be there to hold me and push me back up.

See. I found a way to make end a dry, informative post on a sappy note. Bring on the balance, Temperance!

Much Love, and Happy Cardslinging!