A Year Ahead Spread

By Sheri Harshberger

New Years is an expected time for the ubiquitous "Year Ahead" spread to be used for readings. It has many forms, many I have seen are wheel shaped with at least 12 cards (each corresponding to a month) in a circle and one card, the "outcome" or "advice" for the year in the middle. There are many variations to this pattern, mostly involving throwing more cards at each of the 12 positions with the purpose of providing additional information for each month. Many other variations on this type of spread are linear (cards in a row) and matrixes (4 rows of 3 or 3 rows of 4). There may be many more. These type of spreads are usually used for general "I just want to see what's coming up over the next year."

This time of the year, I've been thinking a lot about trees and how many people have projects they are working on, and thought of a variation that I have tested on myself and have been using on clients with good results, and it's fun to layout and look at, so I thought I would share it.

The pattern uses a minimum of 13 cards (one for each of the 12 months and a "star") and is in the shape of a tree. More cards can be used for each month and even the "star" as desired. What is interesting here is the "star" (the "S" below), which I locate at the top of the tree. My variation is to not have the 13th card be outcome or advice, but to be a significator for what the querent wants to accomplish or work toward during the year. The card(s) for each month provide the info needed in that month to make progress toward the goal. You can have the querent pick the significator card by looking through the deck and finding the image that they resonate with the most, or you can pick it based on what they tell you. If you are going to do a "general look ahead" type of reading, you can make the "star" advice or outcome (or use the astrological sign designation to pick out the applicable card for significator) as in a typical year ahead spread - making this a nice seasonal variation of the usual wheel pattern. I like to use it for focusing on goal/accomplishment work. Enjoy-- and feel free to share your own variations on the "Year Ahead" spread as well as comments on this one!


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