Alchemy of Self with the collective and personal tarot card themes for 2024

"Alchemy of Self: Integrating your Personal journey with the energy of the New Year 2024"

A 'Strength' card also appears in my "inner Compass Oracle" Deck.

In this blog post, we’ll embark on a unique exploration, blending the universal wisdom of the personal and collective tarot cards for the year 2024 —the alchemical merging of collective and personal energies that will guide and empower you throughout the next 12 months.

To embark on this journey, arm yourself with the tools of introspection: your trusted tarot deck, a journal to capture your insights, a pen to script the narratives of self-discovery, and collage materials to bring the symbolism to life in a personal work of art —a dynamic synergy to unlock the intuitive guidance within.

2024: a #8 year - Corresponding Tarot Card: 'Strength'

As we take our first steps into the new year, we find ourselves under the empowering influence of the ‘Strength’ Tarot card (associated with the Zodiac sign of Leo), the beacon of inner fortitude and courage. Calculated by adding the digits of the year 2024 (2+0+2+4), the number 8 emerges, aligning with the ‘Strength’ tarot card, which holds the eighth position in the Major Arcana.

The 'Strength' card in my 'Inner Journey Deck'

Let’s first explore the symbolism of the Strength card, delving into its meaning and relating it to the significance it holds for our mental health and personal growth.

Rider-Wait-Smith Tarot

The traditional ‘Strength’ card painted by Pamela Colman Smith is illustrated by a figure gently taming a wild lion. The lion stands for our innate power, our “wild” instinctual side and our passions and emotions. This card encourages us to handle our untamed nature with wisdom and compassion, to own our inner power, and acknowledge that true strength lies not in force but in gentle bravery.

Meaning and Symbolism:

  1. Courageous Compassion: The Strength card embodies the courage to confront our own passions and emotions, as well as life’s challenges, with a spirit of compassion and inner calm. Taming the lion symbolizes our innate ability to master our primal instincts through love and understanding.

  2. Inherent Strength: The infinity symbol above the figure’s head signifies the limitless nature of our inner fortitude. It serves as a reminder that we possess an infinite wellspring of courage and resilience, ready to be tapped into during times of adversity.

Psychological Significance:

Building strength is not just a physical endeavor but a psychological one. It involves:

  • Self-awareness: Understanding your thoughts and emotions is the first step in cultivating inner strength through self-knowledge. Being attuned to your needs and desires contributes to a more balanced and fulfilling life.

  • Emotional Regulation: Developing the ability to navigate and regulate your emotions, especially during challenging situations and in relationships, is crucial for building self-discipline and inner balance.

  • Self-Compassion: Being kind to yourself in moments of internal and external struggles fosters a compassionate inner dialogue, reinforcing your capacity to overcome obstacles with love and understanding.

  • Trusting your Instincts: Trusting your instincts requires tuning into your gut feeling. It involves embracing uncertainty and vulnerability and contributes to the development of your intuitive internal compass.

Synchronicity Unleashed: A Personal and Collective Dance

Combining your personal year tarot card with the overarching energy of the ‘Strength’ card for the year 2024 can provide a nuanced and personalized perspective on the themes and soul lessons that may unfold for you. Here’s a creative way to blend these two energies.

How to calculate your personal year tarot card

Calculating your personal year tarot card involves summing up the digits of your birthdate and the current year. The process, popularized by Mary K. Greer in her book “Tarot for Your Self,” helps you discover the specific tarot card that corresponds to your personal year. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Reduce Your Birthdate to a Single Digit:

    • Take your birthdate (day and month) and add the individual digits together.
    • If the sum is a two-digit number, continue adding the digits until you get a single-digit number.

    Example: If your birthdate is January 15 (01/15), add 0 + 1 + 1 + 5 = 7.

  2. Reduce the Current Year to a Single Digit:

    • Take the current year and add its individual digits together.
    • Again, if the sum is a two-digit number, continue adding the digits until you get a single-digit number.

    Example: For the year 2024, add 2 + 0 + 2 + 4 = 8.

  3. Add the Single Digits of Your Birthdate and Current Year:

    • Take the single-digit sum from your birthdate and the single-digit sum from the current year, and add them together.

    Using the examples above, if your birthdate single digit is 7 and the current year single digit is 8, then 7 + 8 = 15.

  4. Reduce the Final Sum to a Single Digit:

    • If the sum from step 3 is a two-digit number, add the individual digits together until you get a single-digit number.

    Example: 1 + 5 = 6.

  5. Your Personal Year Tarot Card:

    • Match the final single-digit sum to the corresponding Major Arcana tarot card. The numbering in the Major Arcana goes from 1 (The Fool) to 21 (The World).

    Example: If the final sum is 6, your personal year tarot card would be the card numbered 6 in the Major Arcana, which is The Lovers.

By following these steps, you can calculate your personal year tarot card and gain insights into the energies and themes that may influence your life during the specific year. This method is a fun and intuitive way to connect with the wisdom of the tarot and explore personal growth and self-awareness.

Here are some key words for the  10 single digit Major Arcana Tarot cards numbered 0 to 9. Explore the meaning of your personal tarot card for the year 2024 through the following tarot spread and journaling.

0 – The Fool:

  • Keywords: Beginnings, Spontaneity, Initiation, Trust, stepping out into the Unknown

1 – The Magician:

  • Keywords: Manifestation, Power, Conscious Creation, Resourcefulness, action

2 – The High Priestess:

  • Keywords: Intuition, Mystery, Inner Wisdom, Between the Visible and the Invisible, Divine Feminine

3 – The Empress:

  • Keywords: Nurturing, Abundance, Creativity, Emotional Richness, Sensuality, Feminine Energy

4 – The Emperor:

  • Keywords: Authority, Structure, Leadership, Mastery, Divine Masculine

5 – The Hierophant:

  • Keywords: Tradition, Spiritual Guidance, Education, Inner Teacher, Beliefs

6 – The Lovers:

  • Keywords: Connection, Choices, Relationships, Major Decisions, Alignment of values, Soul Connection

7 – The Chariot:

  • Keywords: Determination, Control, Moving Forward, Boundaries, Willpower

8 – Strength:

  • Keywords: Courage, Resilience, (Self)-Compassion, Maturity, Taming one’s Ego

9 – The Hermit:

  • Keywords: Introspection, Inner Wisdom, Retreat, Soul Searching, Self-Discovery

Personal Year and Strength Card Integration Spread: 

As we dive into the spread, remember that this is not about telling the future. Consider it an exercise in co-creation—a dance of energies between the universal forces embodied in the Strength card and the unique tapestry of your personal year card. The revelations will be as unique as your fingerprint, and the insights profound. The full meaning might come to you in the form of several intuitive revelations as the year progresses.

  1. Personal Year Card: The Foundation

    • Start with your personal year tarot card. This card represents the foundation of your experiences and personal growth for the year. Reflect on the qualities and themes associated with this card as it relates to your individual journey.
  2. Strength Card (Major Arcana #8): The Guiding Light

    • Put the collective card for the year (‘Strength’) next to it.. This card represents the overarching energy of 2024. Contemplate the symbolism of the ‘Strength’ card for you personally and how its themes of courage, resilience, and inner strength may influence the collective energy around you.
  3. Integration Point: The Crossroads

    • Now with your eyes closed intuitively draw a third card. This card signifies the intersection of your personal journey and the broader energies of 2024. Consider how the themes of your personal year card and the ‘Strength’ card intersect and interact. What unique insights or challenges may arise from this combination?
  4. Personal Empowerment Action: The Creative Spark

    • Choose a card that symbolizes an action you can take. This card represents a proactive step you can take to align your personal growth with the strength and empowerment themes of the year. Consider it a creative spark that ignites your journey.

Journal Prompts for Reflection:

  1. Foundation Reflection: How does your personal year card’s energy lay the foundation for your experiences in 2024? What personal strengths or themes are highlighted?

  2. Strength Card Contemplation: Explore your thoughts on the Strength card. How might its qualities resonate with your aspirations, challenges, or personal growth for the year?

  3. Intersection Insights: Reflect on the card drawn at the crossroads. What insights emerge when considering the interplay between your personal year card and the Strength card? Are there unexpected connections or revelations?

  4. Creative Spark Action: Consider the action card. How can you creatively channel the combined energy of your personal year and the Strength card into a proactive step for personal empowerment?

A personal example

My personal card for the year 2024 is IX The Hermit (‘Introspection’ in my deck). The Hermit suggests a year of seeking inner wisdom and spiritual growth. The bear in the cave on my version of the Hermit card invites me once again to go within for deep self-reflection in order to awaken and brighten my inner light. The Hermit with the #9 also signifies the end of a 9-year cycle (#9 being the last single digit number). There might be a lot of closures and coming full circle. In addition, the Hermit happens to be my Soul Card (adding all the digits of day, month and year of your birth until you get a single digit), which tells me that 2024 might be quite a significant spiritual year. 

The intertwining energies of the Hermit and Strength suggest that my personal journey aligns with the overarching theme of approaching the year with gentle and balanced strength and the power of going within for new spiritual insights. 

3. Integration Point: The Crossroads

Card: Justice/Cause & Effect

The Justice card symbolizes Truth and Integrity. It reminds me that I am responsible for my thoughts and actions. Perhaps the maturity and wisdom gained through introspection with the Hermit can now be brought into the external world. The Goddess of Justice encourages me to apply my strength and newfound wisdom to make decisions that align with fairness and my personal truth, ensuring a harmonious integration of my inner and external world.

4. Personal Empowerment Action: The Creative Spark

Card: The Emperor/Leadership

I chose this card consciously because besides all the introspection and inner wisdom and strength seeking (which I did a lot in 2023) I want to be ‘out in the world’ as a leader in my field. The Emperor card gives me the confidence to actively align my personal growth with the collective Strength and the integrative Justice energies. The Emperor encourages me to utilize the insights I have and will gain to create a strong foundation for personal empowerment. This creative spark involves taking charge of my life with confidence and thoughtful decision-making.

Integrated Reflection: The interplay of the Hermit, Strength, Justice, and The Emperor suggests a profound journey of deep self-discovery, balanced strength, owning my decision-making, and taking empowered action to reach a higher level of maturity through authentic leadership. Wow, that sounds very much in tune with Saturn transiting my sign until 2025. I look forward to how this year will unfold with these themes guiding my path and I would love to here how your journey is unfolding

Creative Expression Activity: "Strength Collage Integration"

And because this topic calls for another collage activity, here it is:

Create a collage that blends images and symbols associated with both your personal year card and the Strength card. Arrange them in a way that visually represents the alchemy between your personal journey and the overarching energy of 2024.

In the collage above I chose the wise Owl as my leadership mentor and companion. The crystals symbolize ‘pearls of wisdom’ and the element of Earth (strength). The hands in prayer position symbolize compassion, introspection and spiritual practice. The written text symbolizes my personal truth & integrity statement. The lit candle represents inner light and higher consciousness.

Ritual: "Strength Affirmation Activation"

Last, but not least, create a daily affirmation that combines the themes of your personal year card and the Strength card. Repeat this affirmation as part of a daily ritual, infusing your thoughts with positive energy and empowerment. Alternatively look for keywords in magazines, cut them out and add them to your collage.

May you have the strength, courage and self-compassion to break the patterns in your life that are no longer serving your highest good.

Here’s to a year of self-empowerment and the harmonious blending of personal and collective energies!

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