Discover more from devils & fools
on new beginnings
reflections & announcements for january 2021
happy new year, friends! whether you’re someone that celebrates every second of the transition between calendar years or someone that prefers to move through the change more slowly and quietly, i hope that 2021 brings you joy, growth, blessings, and deep magic. i shared a spread and community reading a few days ago that may feel perfect for today, if you’re looking for a tarot ritual to follow, and i also have some announcements before we dig into beginnings within the tarot.
devils & fools in 2021
as we move into this new year, i’m taking the opportunity to shift a few aspects of this newsletter. the core work will not be changing - this is still a space for tarot, first and foremost, and will feature a free post for all subscribers at the top of each month exploring a particular theme that’s been on my mind. free subscribers will also receive periodic community readings, announcements, and updates, totaling 1-2 posts per month.
for paid subscribers, you will continue to receive exclusive monthly posts as we approach new astrological seasons, as well as early access to studies, e-books, and projects as i create them. you will also continue to receive posts exploring the different moon cycles through tarot - but now that we’ve examined all of the main phases of the moon’s journey, i’ll be adjusting this particular offering moving forward. paid subscribers will receive an exclusive post at every new moon, with information on certain phases of the cycle as well as their signs. rather than grouping these by calendar month, i’ll be following the moon’s cycle itself, but you’ll still receive the same information.
i’m also thrilled to announce that this year i will begin publishing individual card studies, which i will put up for sale on my website as they are created. featuring correspondences, exercises, rituals, and insights, these card studies will encourage you to build a personal relationship and set of meanings for each card in the tarot, allowing you to expand your understanding of these cards. i’m not holding myself to a particular publishing timeline for these, but hope to release the first one by the end of this month. these studies will be available for $14 each on my website, and paid subscribers will get first access as well as an exclusive preview every time a new one is shared.
lastly, you may have seen my recent announcement on twitter that i have accepted an offer of representation from a brilliant literary agent, jill marr. i have several tarot projects already in the works, and am incredibly excited about what this year may bring, so stay posted for updates.
make sure you’re following me on instagram and twitter, because i’ll be announcing the re-opening of my personal tarot readings (paid subscribers will get first dibs), as well as posting updates about my new e-book offerings (including a PDF version of my popular major arcana archetypes study) and some new deck interviews that i’ll be sharing on my website. prices will be updated for my existing e-books next week, so if you’ve been thinking about purchasing my study guide or tarot 101 guide, head to my website now before the prices go up.
thanks for sticking with me through all of these announcements, and for being here.
now, let’s dig into the idea of beginnings in tarot, the fresh starts and unlimited potential, the opportunities that shimmer in the distance and entice us to start moving in a new direction. what does it mean to begin something? how can we understand this simple concept more deeply through the lens of tarot?
take a few deep breaths, shake out any tension in your body, and let’s dive in.
new beginnings in tarot
we put a lot of emphasis on the word, the idea, of new. there can be real joy in a beginning: the opening of a door, the unfolding of a road map, the blank first page of a journal. there’s a sense of expansive, infinite possibility; rich magic, exciting opportunities. all of that potential can feel inspiring, powerful - but if we aren’t sure what to do with it, which direction we want to take it, a beginning can feel overwhelming, shapeless, confusing. with all of the pressure to grow and evolve, to become something more, it may feel like we’re not sure what we’re chasing, what we’re trying to invite in or leave behind.
what is the value in a new beginning? at its core, what does a beginning really mean? how do we know when we’re starting something, and how do we define or decide what that something is? what if we’re more excited about an ending? what does tarot have to say about starting over, and how does that differ from starting fresh?
when we think about beginnings in tarot, the main archetype that comes to mind is the fool itself: the hero of our journey through the major arcana, the figure we watch grow over the course of 21 distinctive cards and events. the fool is curious and eager, ready to take a chance, trusts their instincts and impulses, knows that they are ready for more. they have built a life that they love, and yet something has captured their imagination, has slowly been consuming them with longing and dreaming. when we meet the fool, they are just beginning to take that first step, just setting out on a new and unknown path. a true new beginning, the fool embraces the mystery of all that is ahead, anticipating both successes and challenges, knowing that they will evolve along the way.
we find this same energy in the four aces of the minor arcana, the sparks and seeds that take shape through each of the four elements. these aces also represent beginnings, but are more specific than the fool, speaking to particular areas of our psyche. the ace of wands is a new passion, a crackling creative fire, an opportunity to set the world ablaze with something that represents our truest, most personal soul desires and inspirations. the ace of swords is a brilliant new idea, a sharp and insightful perception, a shift in perspective that pushes us to grow and expand our minds, to view and consider the world through another lens. the ace of cups is a magical new connection, a shift in our sense of self or the building of a beautiful relationship that helps us meet the needs of our heart and spirit, our most emotional and private self. and the ace of pentacles is an important new long-term investment, a legacy that will outlast our life, a chance to care for the physical body and our tangible, sensory experiences here on earth.
across all of these cards, we see the same kind of drive and purpose: anticipation, joy, uncertainty. there’s a craving to create something, to embrace change, to see the potential ahead even if we aren’t completely sure what shape it will take. the fool may know what their dream is, may recognize how that dream will impact every part of their life, but they don’t necessarily know precisely how they will reach that goal. the aces give us the tools to begin a new cycle, the flickers of insight and inspiration that we need to get started, but they won’t do the work for us. all of these cards offer beginnings in and of themselves, but they also make space for more, urging us to peer deeper into the void, to let ourselves experiment and play, to see what happens when we make space for options. they represent the opening of a door, but we still have to decide when and how to walk through it, and what we will do on the other side.
what are we really doing when we begin something? these cards show us that beginnings create in an opportunity for change, for shifts, for something new. we acknowledge what is working, yet give ourselves the chance for different, for unexpected. we invite in the unknown, and consider what our personal magic could do with time to find form and space to grow.
we open our eyes to potential, and see what happens.
new beginnings in life
many people love the idea of new, the prospect of beginnings, the chance for a fresh start. it feels clean, focused, infinite in its beauty and potential. but sometimes we first need to revisit, reassess, reconsider the journey that we have already been on, to consider if what we really want is a shift in direction rather than a new path. at the top of this new year, you might not feel called to start something fresh, something original, something completely different - instead, this may be an opportunity for you to adjust and adapt, to evolve, to lean into a shift or start something over again. consider the sixes in tarot, the lovers, the idea that sometimes we clarify our purpose by starting down a path and then adjusting along the way. is there an old beginning that you left behind, that a piece of you has been longing to return to? have you been building towards an important conclusion, one that isn’t quite here yet?
if you’re feeling pressure to set brand new goals and resolutions, to overhaul your life and introduce ten new habits and generally change everything you don’t like about yourself in one fell swoop, allow me to gently encourage you to abandon that notion. change, real lasting change, rarely happens overnight - it instead requires consistent, incremental adjustments; a steady commitment to slow growth. the fool does not just rush straight to the world, with no backsliding or evolution. instead this is a long, progressive journey, one with false starts and revelations and powerful changes. it is a constant learning, an intentional opening and reopening. it is choosing, over and over, to keep going, and to let ourselves be altered by the process.
remember the pages of the court in the minor arcana, these children and students who are starting out on a brand new journey. just like the fool, they are stepping into the unknown, unashamed about their lack of knowledge, comfortable in where they are. they understand the magic and potential present in growing without restriction, in playing by our own rules, in making our own mistakes. what fires are you lighting, blades are you sharpening, vessels are you filling, seeds are you planting? what have you been preparing, that may be ready to see the light? what are you putting away, that you can leave behind to grow or rot? what are you eager to explore?
you might not know what your beginning will become, not yet. but sometimes a fresh start just means grabbing the handle of a door and slowly turning it. sometimes it means opening our eyes a little wider, looking around the beaten path we’ve established to see what forks in the road we’ve been overlooking. sometimes it means letting our imagination spin out, expand, go to places we haven’t let it go before. sometimes by simply thinking about what a beginning might look like, we find one.
other times it’s enough to know what you no longer want, to be able to recognize patterns or cycles or habits or old dreams that aren’t part of you anymore. what isn’t working? what are you ready to set aside? beginnings don’t have to be born out of endings, but if you are going through a natural conclusion right now, an inevitable end, give yourself space to consider what you might be making room for. what have you stopped investing in? where has your energy been naturally flowing instead?
as we honor this start of another year, be gentle with yourself. beginnings come in different ways, at different times, and you may need to give yourself space to process and reflect before jumping in to the next big cycle. how are you showing yourself grace? where can you release pressure and instead allow your instincts or intuition to guide your path? what are you eager to begin, and how can you take small steps towards that beautiful, far-off goal?
wishing you a bright and brilliant new year, friends.
images from this post feature cards from the true black tarot. all photographs by meg jones wall.