Tarot Archetypes in Action
Your Year Cycles
by L. A. Lothian


After you have calculated your Primary Soul (and for some, Higher Soul) Archetypes, you can interpret the gist of your Life Purpose by reading the Year Cycles 1 to 22 below, and simply substituting the word Life for Year.

If you've forgotten how to calculate your year cycles, he's how:

Calculating Your Year Cycles

First, never forget that the year cycles are birthday to birthday, not calendar year.

  1. Add together your month and day. Example: Dan, born Sept. 22, which is 09, and the day, 22, which adds to 31.
  2. Take 31 and DO NOT REDUCE IT FURTHER. Take this number and add it to the year you wish to know about. For instance, 1997 plus 31, which gives us 2028.
  3. Take 2028 and add the digits together. 2 + 0 + 2 + 8
  4. From this we get 12. Dan is in a 12 year, the Hanged Man. We do not reduce this further to 3, though it is understood that 3, the Empress, is a part of his year cycle energy simply because it is a lower octave of Hanged Man. (12 reduces to 1 plus 2 = 3.)


High Priestess Year * 2 *

This is a year of choices: to be or not to be? Should I stay or should I go? Turn left, or turn right, up or down. A high priestess year sets in motion a cascade of decisions, none of which is easy, and all of which have one thing in common--there is no middle ground. Rich or poor, good or bad, dark or light. It's as if somebody has put the high contrast filter on your now black and white life. Jungian analyst Marion Woodsman describes it best--this is about balancing the tension of opposites in your psyche. Time to hit the dark room, process that roll of film you've kept hidden in the freezer--you know, the out takes of all your demons, monsters and bad guys. Time to print and expose them to the light of day. Can't stand your boss? What trait does she express that you repress? That neighbor is a loudmouth so-and-so. What are you afraid to be loud about? Your spouse is a freaking neat freak. Have you noticed, by the way, that you are a slob? Oh, the High Priestess sounds so damn nasty. She is also a psychic wonder woman, so take heart. She will fire up your intuition in this year, so if you start hearing voices, now is the time to listen! Past life memories are her specialty, and you can order up as many servings as you'd like. And does she like to slip under your covers and watch your eyeballs rock and roll in R.E.M sleep. In fact, High Priestess jumps right into your normally mundane dream life in this year--forget the neurotic dreams about being late for work, naked in public, teeth falling out and having to take that exam again, and again you haven't studied. She turbo- charges your psyche and sends you into the realm of Big Dreams: precognitive, astral, archetypal, lucid, otherworldly. If you have never dream journaled, get started! High Priestess is here to wake you up while you sleep. Breakfast conversation will never be the same again.

Empress Year * 3 *

Picture a radiant woman in flowing moo moo dress tending her garden with loving care. If you are a man, no need to cross dress, just don the coveralls. Whatever the gender, the Empress year brings you in touch with your need to nurture and be nurtured. She is earth-mother incarnate. Watering your plants, stroking your pets, hugging your kids are de-riguer. It is a year in which frozen emotions begin to thaw: you cry at the movies, you cry at weddings, you cry at the dry cleaners. You are sucker for the underdog, the lost cause, any cause. A trip to the pound in this year is not a good idea, unless you are planning on turning your own home into an animal shelter. Key is to take this reservoir of love that keeps spilling over, and splash in it yourself! Book a massage, take a vacation, pamper your soul! If you are female, this is a year to learn about sisterhood, to find support and love from women, to meet a surrogate mother-mentor, and to come to terms with your feelings about your own mother, and being a mother. As a man, you will find yourself embracing women as friends, renewing your relationship with your sister (s), coming to terms with your mother, and with how she influences your choice in mates. The Empress is not just about love: she is about creativity that is seeded in the realm of the imagination. She is fecund and fertile, ripe and blossoming, with ideas, plans, creations. That includes procreationís: a conception, birth, or adoption in your Empress year is about the maternal urge at full throttle: this is the child who is wanted, wanted, wanted no matter what. Even though creative juices are flowing in this year, much of what the Empress seeds will not begin to sprout until the following year, when the physical manifestation of Emperor takes over, giving form to the imaginative thought-spark of Empress.

Emperor Year * 4 *

OK, time to claim your kingdom and yell out, "I'm the King of the Castle" (and you're the dirty rascal?) This year is about independence and manifestation on the physical plane. If you have unresolved Father issues, they will resolve themselves! Fathers can die in an Emperor year, and they can also come back to life, in the sense that we forgive and allow them to be people who make mistakes, rather than villainous rulers of our childhood. Issues with authority--claiming your own, bowing to anotherís, can be great lessons in this year. It is also a year about building up something in a step-by-step manner, something lasting and something royal. Think Cheops and his pyramids! Businesses are often incorporated, houses built in this year. However, the highest expression of Emperor is not in lording over employees or slaves, nor in marketing 101, but in learning to SERVE. The good king thrives because he puts the needs of his constituents first. He (or she) learns that true leadership is truly service. This was the message of Christ, leader among us, who said: The least among you shall be first. The good Emperor learns that having a palace (in Pacific Heights) and riches (film royalties) is not enough to claim the one Kingdom that really matters--the Kingdom of God within. The goal of an Emperor Year is to manifest on the physical plane, Divine Expression and Intent. The Shadow side of Emperor is the short-sighted profit motive, the Machevellian end justifies the means, the folly of King Midas with his golden life-destroying touch. In an Emperor Year, harness the highest yield: forget your financial balance sheet, and remember your karmic debt. This will lead to riches beyond your dreams.

Hierophant Year * 5 *

Get ready to learn what it means to listen to yourself for a change. The ultimate goal of this year is to realize you are your own best teacher, advocate, mentor, advisor, and priest. In the meantime, watch as you look for all of these resources outside of yourself! This is also a year which challenges you to play the rules of the game or to disavow those rules. Time to be the iconoclast or the team player. Time to learn how, and now, to climb that corporate ladder, or bail out. What color is your parachute? The color of one who listens to his or her inner teacher! Dogma is the dead give- away of a Hierophant who has lost touch with his or her inner voice. These years separate the sheep from the shepherd, the belonger from the outsider. Time to find your place, or make your place. Entrepreneurs blossom in this year, as do bureaucrats. It is a matter of simply identifying your niche, at least for now. Institutions can play an major role in your self-discovery, from church to state. Medicine, Law, Academics, Government bodies are just a few classically Hierophant institutions that might impact your life in this year. Shadow side of this year: trying to fit your square self into a round hole, or vice versa. This is NOT the time to follow parental/societal/cultural expectations of who you are, but to delve deeply and discover that truth for yourself.

Lovers Year * 6 *

So who is the lucky or unlucky partner? This is a year of union and separation, of seeing yourself in the mirror of relationship. Friendships and relationships which end now will end simply because the lesson for both parties is over--endings in a Lover's Year are D.O.A. and often traumatic. No resuscitating here! Existing relationships that survive the Lover's test have been forged in a crucible of soul-communion --long live those relationships (at least until the next Lovers year). Unions and partnerships also begin in this year. These run the gamut from birth of a child or grandchild to business partnership to marriage, to engagement, to the start of dating. These all share a common characteristic: they are your classic "soul mate", known-each-other-forever re-unions. Expect to learn a lot, and over a lifetime, with any relationship that BEGINS in a Lover's Year. Even divorce or death will not keep this relationship from thriving. Unions in a Lovers Year are about commitment at the soul level to furthering each other's growth by supporting, mirroring, shadowing each other: this is the cypress and the oak, side by side, sharing the same water, same sun, neither crowding the other. This is also your typical screaming Italian union, in which fireworks are the spark that keep each other growing! Hot hot, cold cold, never lukewarm!

Chariot Year * 7 *

Hi ho silver! Time to harness up your trusty steed and ride the Chariot into battle. This is a year of proving yourself in the world, of taking the reins of your life and charging forward full speed ahead. Challenges of all kinds can manifest in a Chariot cycle, from relationship to career to health, but these events are merely the obstacle course erected at the soul-level, through which you test your mettle. Think slalom ski racing, race car driving, horse racing. Cars, boats, planes and trains all figure prominently this year, with travel and/or relocation likely. No place for compromise, nor self-doubt. It is a year of risk-taking, of daring to tackle your dreams. Chariot takes what the Emperor started, and amplifies it by literally transporting it from the confines of the castle, into the world at large. Mergers, acquisitions, businesses expansion, and career lift off are common. Local becomes national, national becomes international, global becomes interplanetary. How you accomplish goals in this year may surprise you. The meek become mad dogs, the bears become bulls. Chariot fires up your yang, your Mars, your will power. At its highest expression, Chariot year challenges you to align personal will with transpersonal, to manifest beyond ego needs and become instead a powerful vehicle for the will of God. In this regard, Chariot can take you in directions beyond your imaginings and you may find yourself radically and suddenly switching directions--career track for mommy track, spiritual devotee for capitalist entrepreneur, Such changes in a Chariot indicate the Ego giving up the steering wheel and saying, you drive! There are no boundaries in a Chariot year, and if you dare to step off the edge of the world, you will find the world is yours.

Strength Year * 8 *

This year is about shedding your skin like a snake in order to become who you really are. This is a year of transformation, and for some this requires a 180 degree shift. For others, living a more authentic life entails a more gentle re-direction. Whatever the case, this year will force you to re-assess who you thought you were for what you are becoming. It's time to trade in the Ego agenda for the transpersonal model. Time to tap passion, creativity, excitement and lust for life, and what the heck, plain old lust. NO SHOULDS ALLOWED is your motto this year. And for goodness sake, if you haven't learned to love yourself, this is the year you will finally get it! When we resist the expression of our authentic selves, this year can present as frustration, chaos, illness and sometimes tragedy. Each of these is a wake up call to a new life, to who we really are. Part of a strength year will always involve looking at ALL of who you are: this means your animal nature, your dark side, your shadow stuff! The less you have stuffed in the closet in a Strength year, the more free you are to recreate yourself and your life. Think of putting your hand in a lions mouth, and you'll have the gist of your Strength year.

Hermit Year * 9 *

The Hermit initiates a 12-month cycle of learning, questing, seeking, teaching, mentoring, apprenticing. It is a time of completionís, of tying up loose ends, finishing projects and relationships, in preparation for a whole new cycle. Shining the light in the dark corners of your life and finding answers. Take time to be alone, to contemplate, and to learn. Those who have never seen a psychic, see one in this year. Those who have never looked deeply for metaphysical truths, venture for the first time into this territory. Truth at all costs in this year. No white lies. Time to meet your Obi Wan Kenobi, or Crone, or Wise Old Man. This may be a real person who comes into your life this year, a spirit guide, or an aspect of yourself! Dreams will speak to you, so listen! Shadow side of this year: falling for guru worship, taking the advice of others over your own best knowing, not following your hunches, mistaking alone for lonely, and forgetting that it is your year to march to a different drum! It is OK to be the oddball this year. Go for it!

Wheel of Fortune Year * 10 *

Hold on to your hat, run for the cellar. This is the year the tornado sent Dorothy and Toto to the land of OZ. The keyword in this year is CHANGE. The motto to survive by: GO WITH THE FLOW. Understand that the changes at hand are seeded at a deep level of your soul, and this is where the notion of fate makes sense. Think of Pat Sajak as King of Karma (Saturn) and Vanna White as his trusted companion, that repository of past life memory, (moon). A look-see at the transits and progressions of these planets to your natal chart might be enough to make you shriek in this year. It is also a clue to what your karmic lessons will be, so tune in to an astrologer near you. You can run, but you can't hide from your Wheel of Fortune Year. OK, it's not all upheaval and chaos. Think then of Ganesh, Hindu Elephant God. This cosmic elephant removes obstacles from your path or puts them there. All depends on whether you are on the RIGHT PATH or not. In your Tao, as the Chinese might say. When you are off the beaten path, off track, lost in the woods, the Universe nudges or shoves you back to the road of your proper destiny. This soul path is the Yellow Brick Road that Dorothy travels, that you are traveling as well. Change of job, residence, city, country, relationship are common manifestations of the seeker re-establishing contact with Divine self, with the right way. Keep to the center of the wheel, not the bumpy rim, and journey will be smooth!

Justice Year * 11 *

This is a year in which the scales of Justice seek the balance point between an once of flesh and a kilo of Karma. This is not just your bathroom scale weighing the sins of chocolate and cheese puffs, but rather a Cosmic Weight Watchers that measures the ratio of spiritual muscle to karmic fat. Karma sharma, you say? Just look in the mirror at the flab of unfinished past life lessons that hang like a spare tire and saddle bags on your aura. By the time you've hit a Justice Year, it's too late to crash into a spiritual fitness course. The best you can do now is throw yourself on the mercy of the court. What if you've been doing your spiritual calisthenics all along, and your aura is trim and fit? This is your year, then, to cash in on some of your just desserts. All those good deeds and thoughts made it into your celestial bank account, and here comes the interest check. Lucky breaks, happiness, success, fame or fortune can all be your maraschino cherry of good karma. Or conversely, you might find this a year to reap what you have sown in misdeeds and ill- thoughts. From bad luck to bad hair days, the scales can tip with little warning into payback territory. If youíve been a naughty soul, it's a good a time as any to say your Hail Mary's, right any wrongs, to forgive and forget, and hope Justice will prevail in your favor. What goes around always comes around, and this is the year to learn that lesson once and for all. Legal battles, contractual difficulties, parking tickets are all external manifestations of an internal imbalance. Find your own middle ground this year, the balance point. Zen Buddhism anyone?

Hanged Man Year * 12 *

This is a two layered archetype-- Empress, with her call to creativity, procreativity, nurturing, self-nurturing, imagination and love. At the same time, you are experiencing the challenging higher octave of Hanged Man! If Empress is Mary Had a Little Lamb, then Hanged Man is the theme melody to Twin Peaks, or better yet, a depressing Pink Floyd tune. Your challenge in this year is simple (heh heh): SURRENDER. Yeah, right. Well, at least give up control, and realize that you are not going to conquer this addiction, or self-defeating behavior pattern, or neurosis, all by yourself. Sure a therapist or 12-step program will be helpful, but in the end this is about saying, OK GOD, I GIVE UP. Show me the way? You choose, I'll follow. What are you in crisis about: workaholism? alcoholism? martyrdom? Too many times, a health crisis becomes the wake up call in a Hanged Man year. So wake up before your body forces you to snap to attention. What may have been fine for years is suddenly no longer tenable to the soul within. That co-dependent no more relationship? That TV addiction when you could be meditating? That unresolved mother stuff--oh dear, did I forget to mention? You have some heavy lunar-maternal stuff coming down the chute in a Hanged Man: clear the closets, clear the air, tell mom what you think, tell your kids to be quiet! Whatever the case, do not expect smooth sailing as a mother, or with mother. This goes for you men too! Did I mention this is a highly creative year?

Death Year * 13 *

Don't worry, Death is only one side of the coin. The other is rebirth. This is not a year of physical death (phew!) but the dying of some part of who you are in order to make way for the beginning of something new. Death is a higher octave of Emperor and so expect many of those same themes--independence, leadership, authority to play out in this year. But also, be ready and willing to make dramatic shifts in your life, in your priorities, in your career, in every realm. Favorite death year examples include the corporate exec who resigned to join an ashram; the accountant who quit to become an artist. Death need not be so revolutionary, it all depends on how well you have been listening to your soul all along: if you love your work, then it will love you back in this year, with new levels of achievement and acclaim. It is when we have not been true to ourselves that life seems to betray us in a Death Year: fired from the job we hated anyway, left by the spouse whom we long ago emotionally abandoned. OK, so maybe Death can be a bit of an earthquake, but who ever said that life was easy. When you cease to be afraid, to walk into your fear, you have become complacent and are no longer growing. Death says tsk tsk, not anymore! Ways to co-operate with Death in this year? Take up bungee jumping, rock climbing, parachuting, or anything that scares you to death. Terrified of public speaking: time to sign p for an acting class. Afraid of dogs. Time to volunteer at the pound. By engaging our fears in a Death year, we say to this archetype: you don't have to sneak up on me, I am willing to grow. In a Death year, the best defense is a good offense.

Temperance Year * 14 *

Take Hierophant and add a touch of angel dust. This is a higher octave of the Pope energy contained in Hierophant, raising religion to spirituality, traditional medicine to energetic healing, commercial art to High Art. In this year, expect to find the rules of the game you played in Hierophant, no longer apply. Rather, in this year you learn to play by cosmic rules, leaving behind forever the instructions by Parker Brothers. Monopoly? Nah. Try Pictionary, or maybe Scrabble--drawing and writing are hallmarks of Temperance, with a quantum leap in your creative abilities that comes from channeling the muse. This is not art of the tortured psyche, the personal poetry, the abstract statement. This is universal art--it touches the humanity and the divinity in all of us. Think Oscar night, think Pulitzer. Don't forget to thank your mom!

Devil Year * 15 *

Take naked Lovers and chain them to the cloven-hoofed Pan. You don't have an orgy, but you do have a carnal moment. Passion, lust and mirth are staples of a Devil year, so don't pick this one to join the monastery. Devil teaches us about the illusions of the material world, by giving us the chance to live and play in this world. Think of Buddha before he sat by that river and got religion. By the end of this year expect to have really LIVED it up--yeah yeah, that's DEVIL spelled backward. Just like Satan speaks to us backward in old Led Zeppelin tracks, this year has a way of playing tricks on us: what we think we see often turns out to be just that: What we think. If there is any year to finally GET the Course in Miracles, and join the .00001 percent of the population who have managed to plow through it, this is it. The lesson of this year: don't change the world, change your mind about the world. Or as good old Seth, of Seth speaks, liked to say: You Create Your Own Reality. The trick, or course, is in learning how to uncreate that mess!

Tower Year * 16 *

I've fallen and I can't get up! Oh yes you can. Stop whining about that thunderbolt that blasted you from the top of your Ego Tower, to the jagged rocks below. Get out your first aid kit and pick yourself up by the shoelaces. This is the Year that you learn the basics of shock-trauma. Check out Uranus natally and transiting, if you want--won't tell you the voltage headed your way, but may give a clue to timing. Remember Dannion Brinkley, the guy who was fried by lighting while talking on the phone, then got a direct line to heaven. While up there, he got the Big Picture for the next thousand years, and even learned to turn on the lights without touching the light switch. Dear Dannion had what we might call a Tower Experience. Time to buy a lightening rod and quit golf at the country club. By the end of this year, you'll conduct more than a little electricity---you will have experienced ego death and like Lazarus, come back from the dead. Time for a new hair cut!

Star Year * 17 *

Nothing short of Divine guidance is at your disposal this year. You could meditate standing on your head on a crowed subway train, you're so centered. Astral entities, angels, guides and God are all shoving and pushing in line to get a word in edgewise: you are like a big satellite receiver in this year, the top of your head a wide open chakra. Don't worry about astral bad guys, by the time you reach the Star, you are protected by celestial armor. This is a year to follow your star, to shine you light, to be a beacon for the lowly rest of us. Oh, and don't forget to sign autographs in between bursts of brilliance.

Moon Year * 18 *

Why do cerberus guard the gates to the underworld? I mean, why not emus or squirrels. Maybe because those mutant dogs have sharp teeth and hair-raising snarls that make you think thrice about stepping into that lunar landscape. The moon is shaman territory, the underworld where Hades held Persephone captive. Is that a hint. You betcha. Having a moon year, means a probable abduction into the world of your own subconscious mind, the shadowy realm of your repressed baggage, and for some, a trip through the carnival fun house of your soul. Heavy stuff, and you have planet Pluto to blame. Transform, transform, transform. On the bright side, you could be asked to the White House for dinner... Just kidding.

Sun Year *19 *

Why do I want to hum a John Denver tune, any John Denver tune. Well, it could be because the sun is so, well, sunny. This is a good year by any standards: health, wealth, marriage, career routinely flourish under the sustaining rays of the sun: when this year shines in your life, your only job is to bask. Oh, and to share some of your radiance with the rest of humanity. It's a trade off for purgatory in the Moon year before. Everybody into the pool!

Judgment Year * 20 *

Back to the hard work. Judgment calls us to follow nothing less than our life purpose. No excuses, no calling in sick for your destiny. This archetype depicts the image of an angel trumpeting, while people rise up out of their graves. It's a Judgment day kinda thing. Key is the grave you rise up from--is it your job, your marriage, your whole darn life which has gone to hell in a hand basket, and is about as stimulating as a day with the dead? Something has to give here, and in a Judgment year it is usually the status quo. When you hear your trumpet call to new life, don't be surprised if your worldly concerns give way to humanitarian predilections--this is your Mother Theresa meets Ralph Nader year. Don't forget to keep a mailing list!

World Year * 21 *

We are the World, we are the People. For at least a season, and then another coup d'etat, massacre, genocide gets in the way. A world year is about the dance of life, about unity consciousness, about the needs of the many being the needs of the one. This is your year to get with the Enlightenment program. First stop: worldly success. Before you can be an agent of God--in the world, but not of it--you just have to get your hands on the gold, and do a Donald Trump. World years make you rich, make you famous, give you all your desires on a platter. At the end of the day, you come back to yourself. At least, that's the rumor.

Fool Year * 22 *

This is a year of trusting the universe, of being a voyager and a vagabond, of adventuring though life. The Fool is us, the journeyman through the incarnations of the physical plane and through the previous 21 archetypes. Along the way the way the Fool learns one thing: the only constant is change. Live by this rule of thumb in a Fool year, and trust that no matter your course, you will find a hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast or manger waiting at the end of the day. Key concept: Leaps of Faith. How foolish!

The Magician * 1 *

Due to mathematical impossibility and the cosmic plan, there are no Magician Year Cycles, only Magician souls. This way, Magicians never need to share the limelight. The Magician is the ultimate networker, schmoozer, PR woman, spin doctor and communicator. These verbally adept souls could take their fine art of communication to Sothebyís and auction each golden word. Past lives scribing and scribbling for pharaohs and kings make Magician's the perfect presidential speech writer, with kindlier, gentler nations at their disposal. At the end of the archetypal day, however, Magicians eventually tire of the sound of their own voice and the sight of their own rhetoric.(Think Rush Limbaugh at mid-life crisis). Inevitably these wordmeisters look for the meaning of life in Save-the-Sea-Cucumber causes, or any calling that in which the means does not justify the end. Down with Machiavelli, up with Ralph Nader! (Think Ted Turner and his small donation to the United Nations).


Copyright 1996 - 1997 L. A. Lothian
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