Being a long-time Pagan, I find using the Eight Holidays method a good way of getting a general overview for a one-year-ahead reading. The layout looks as follows:


In the Pagan liturgical year, Samhain (Halloween) is usually considered the New Year, so that would normally be the holiday at the twelve o’clock position. For this particular reading, I used this layout in combination with the standard western year, and start with Imbolc at the twelve o’clock position. The cards are then read in a clockwise direction. I have laid out the cards in pairs for each holiday, but you can use just one card for each holiday, or even three cards per holiday. I prefer using more than one card, as it gives you more information.

For this spread, rather than using the Tarot deck, I chose to use The Gilded Reverie LeNormand Fortune Deck. Madame LeNormand was a diviner who was consulted by Empress Josephine of France, and she came to be consulted by many movers and shakers of the day in France. There is no indication she herself used her fortune deck; plans for it were found in her notes after she died. Madame LeNormand’s Fortune Cards use thirty-six symbol cards, rather than the seventy-eight of the Tarot deck, so the possible interpretations can be rather broad. It is up to the diviner to intuit what particular meaning applies to the question at hand. 

I performed this reading on January 1, 2018.

The Year Ahead for the United States

Imbolc: The Bear & The Dog. By early February, the on-going question of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, and their continued attempts to influence U.S. domestic politics are going to come to a head. The Bear can represent power, strength, health, protection, finances, but it can also represent Russia, since the bear is also traditionally associated with Russia. The Dog was puzzling at first, since the Dog represents friendship and loyalty, but when I remembered that the graphic novel series Maus depicted the American forces in World War II as dogs, the association made sense. In the Gilded Reverie deck, the Bear is facing the Dog, who looks straight out, so it looks more like an aggressive move by Russia against the United States. My hunch is, by early February 2018, Russian meddling in U.S. politics  over the past few years will bear it’s first nasty fruit. The U.S. could see a significant change in leadership around this time, given that the next cards in the reading are…

Ostara: The Birds & The Crossroads. The Birds represent verbal communication; talking, discussion, arguing, gossip, even Twitter. The Crossroads represent a choice offered, your path in life, a potentially-important turning point. Taking these two cards together, I predict by late March 2018, the United States as a whole is going to be asking itself, “Where do we go from here?” Everybody’s going to have an opinion about what to do next and there will be much discussion and arguing about it.

Beltane: The Tower & The Sun. The Tower can represent academia, institutions, corporations, non-profit organizations, and government. The Sun represents success, confidence, courage, victory, glory, ego, and charisma. Taking these two cards together, I predict that by early May, at least a tentative decision as to “where do we go from here?” will have been reached, and the U.S. government is going to start finding it’s footing again, after whatever upset happened around late January to early February 2018. Things are going to start looking up for the U.S. by May.

Litha: The Clouds & The Snake. The Clouds can represent, doubts, worries, confusion, conflicts, storms. The Snake represents treachery, deceit, betrayal, hidden things, you may have made the acquaintance of a charming deceiver. The thing to keep in mind about the Clouds card is traditionally, the clouds on the left side of the card are stormy and dark, and the cards on the right side of the card are light and bright. Given that the Snake landed by the light clouds, I’m going to say that by late June 2018, all kinds of treachery, deceit, betrayal, and things kept hidden from the public are going to come to light, possibly as a result of  Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Treachery may come from some little-suspected sources, and what we find out may bite hard. This discovery process will continue over July 2018.

Lughnasadh: The Cross & The Moon. Madame LeNormand’s Fortune Cards were formed by a Christian world view. The Snake and the Cross in this card system have the kind of meanings a Christian would naturally associate with them. Just as the Snake is deceit and treachery, the Cross represents grief, sadness, burdens, ordeals, responsibility, “take up your cross and follow me daily.” The Moon represents fame, honor, love, romance, intuition, psychic abilities, imagination, creativity, and the entertainment field. Taking these two cards together, I predict by August 2018, the United States is going to feel deeply pained and burdened by the events of this year, and will hope that the world sees and honors the pain it’s in, and that the country is trying to repair the damage. This could also be members of Congress hearing from constituents during their August recess and trying to reassure the U.S. public they are dealing with their problems and appreciate their pain.

Mabon: The House & The Whip. The House represents domestic matters and all things connected with the home. The Whip represents strife, conflict, punishment, unrest, arguments, quarrels, the gym, and sex. It seems in September 2018, the U.S. is going to be experiencing a good deal of domestic unrest. Congress re-convenes in September after the summer recess, and that could bring a renewal of arguments there, based on what they hear from their constituents in August. Some U.S. citizens, angry or in denial about what has happened earlier in the year, could be ‘acting out’, staging protests, demanding law changes, or even domestic terrorist attacks to register their displeasure. There could be a backlash of sorts against the #metoo movement at this time, since the whip is associated with sex and especially, the darker aspects of it.

Samhain: The Messenger & The Child. The Messenger quite simply represents news or information delivered. The Child represents an actual child, news of a child to come into one’s life soon, a baby, a toddler, a young child, a pre-teen, a teenager, someone playful or immature. More negatively, it can also represent someone with a childlike–or childish viewpoint; someone whose growth was stunted in some way. Taking these two cards together, I predict around late October to early November 2018, some important news is going to come out about Donald Trump, since he is rather childlike in some ways and for that reason is the child of the most importance to the U.S. It’s possible some child will be in the news now for some noteworthy reason, or that some news the U.S. receives now will have it looking at the world with a childlike sense of optimism, but my sense is this pairing means an important message to the U.S. about Donald Trump.

Yule: The Fox and The Man. The Fox can represent your job, your career, things on the employment front. That is just about the only neutral or positive interpretation of the Fox card. The Fox can also be a deceiver, a false prophet, a master of manipulation, an untrustworthy charmer, a cunning person, someone planning your downfall. The Man in the LeNormand deck represents a literal man, just as the Woman card represents an actual woman. So in December 2018 as the year draws to a close, the United States’ attention is going to be drawn to a clever, manipulative, deceitful man who drew our attention this year, and who was planning the U.S.’ downfall–my guess is this refers to Vladimir Putin. He’s going to be in the news in December 2018. With this placement of these cards, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him named Time magazine’s ‘Man of the Year’ since his behind-the-scenes activities of the past few years will have set in motion much of the events of this year. Also, Vladimir Putin does only one press conference a year, and he does it in December, so maybe he will say something important in regard to the U.S. at this year’s press conference.

One Closing, Hopeful Note

When shuffling a deck of cards in order to do a reading, note any cards which fall out of the deck while you are shuffling. For those cards are telling you something so important, they ‘jumped’ out at you before you could finish shuffling and begin the spread. You can set this card or cards aside and continue shuffling the deck. Or you can note which card it is, then reincorporate it back into the deck and continue shuffling. If you go with this second option and the card which fell out resurfaces in the reading, it’s message is magnified.

As I was shuffling the cards to do this overview reading for the United States for 2018, two cards fell out of the deck while I was shuffling–the Clover and the Mountain. The Clover represents luck, happiness, nice surprises, difficulties turned into opportunities. The Mountain represents obstacles, challenges, possibly the need to take a detour, something big or ‘rock solid’, and sometimes foreigners or foreign matters. Taking these two cards together, my interpretation is this: the United States is facing a very significant challenge in 2018, brought upon it by the interference of a foreign adversary, but luck is on it’s side, and it will be able to overcome any difficulties it faces, no matter how large or daunting the odds.  So with that in mind, have a good 2018!