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Celebrating Cycles - Divination for Anniversaries

Tarot spreads for anniversaries, image by Nellie Levine
Many of us do divination on our birthdays, laying out tarot cards or selecting runes for the coming twelve months, open to inspiration and prepared for challenges in the year ahead. These are major readings, to which we may devote much time and contemplation, and which often continue to serve us as we move forward in life, recalling their messages.

We can turn to our divination tools for anniversaries too. Readings done for these special days can offer us deep reflection on the past, present, and future of what we are celebrating. They are particularly inspiring for wedding anniversaries or career milestones, but can of course be applied to any anniversary. They help mark the day with a sacred, personal act that can be wholly private, or shared with others.

Use the following short, original layouts with any versatile divination tool as a jumping off place, and then expand upon these ideas or create your own for your individual needs and circumstances.

Readings for Wedding Anniversaries
Relationship Anniversaries Spread
When we celebrate a wedding (or other relationship) anniversary we often reminisce about how we met our partner, the early days of our relationship, great times we have had together, and challenges we have worked through. We have hopeful expectations for our future, and often rekindle romance. A reading for a wedding anniversary might take these points into consideration, or it might highlight how each partner has grown as a person, and should focus on love and laughter. Any difficult cards or signs (if using a non-card tool such as runes) should simply be read as challenges faced - or to be faced - together. Make this reading an intimate and insightful part of anniversary celebrations.

Layout Positions:
Decide ahead of time who will be "Partner One" and who will be "Partner Two."
1. Meeting - how the couple met, the significance of the meeting, etc.
2. The main role of Partner One in the relationship.
3. The main role of Partner Two in the relationship.
4. How Partner One has grown in the relationship.
5. How Partner Two has grown in the relationship.
6. The future of the relationship, as Partner One envisions it.
7. The future of the relationship, as Partner Two envisions it.
8. The overall future outlook for the relationship; its true potential.

Readings for Business Anniversaries
Business Anniversaries Spread
The celebration of an anniversary for a business or other collective project usually involves a group of people and many different elements that have brought experience and success. The focus can be more practical than for a wedding anniversary, but could also be lighthearted and fun. It might look at stages of growth and concentrate on continued success.

Layout Positions:
1. Ideas/inspiration - the first impulse in creation of this business.
2. Beginnings - early days, getting started.
3. Hard work - what it took to get established.
4. Growth and development - how the business has changed over time.
5. The team - is everyone cooperating?
6. Direction - what is the project's focus?
7. Unique challenges that may lie ahead.
8. What must change in order for continued, inspired growth.
9. The overall future outlook, and true potential.

Readings for Healing or Recovery Anniversaries

I speak from experience when I say that days, weeks, and months are counted during recovery from a life-changing event, and yearly anniversaries are significant, often anticipated days. In 2003 my husband was hospitalized with a life-threatening illness and underwent major surgery. His recovery was long and slow, and sometimes it felt like the only way to move ahead was to simply live one day at a time - as trite as that sounds! An anniversary reading for healing or recovering from an illness, surgery, or other life-changing event will provide necessary illumination to emotions, fears, or physical problems that may otherwise remain hidden in shadow. Consider it good therapy - a reading can make you aware of the strength that has gotten you through, progress made, or help and assistance from others. It might also show where you are now: emotionally (are you still burying grief or sadness?), spiritually (have you regained your faith?), and physically (are you taking care of your needs?). And, it should point the way to further progress, offering hope and trust in the future.

Healing Anniversaries Spread Start slow with this one... you can draw a card, rune, shell, or symbol at as early as a one month anniversary, two at two months, and so on, moving up to what you feel you can deal with; or you can do a simple past-present-future reading. If you are using the tarot and your experience involves a serious illness, consider removing the Death card. Although the Death card is understood to represent transformation, it might be hard to ignore an actual fear of death or turn for the worse, in this situation.

Most people who are involved with the intuitive arts feel they take responsibility for their lives - and use divining tools to make wise decisions in order to create the life they want. Looking back at a difficult experience might involve determining its underlying causes, and ask questions such as these: was life out of balance? Were personal hopes and dreams ignored? Were there unresolved emotional issues? These types of issues can be revealed and answered through a reading, and this reflection can be immensely helpful in present and future approaches to life.

Layout Positions:
*Never rely on divination to diagnose; always seek professional, medical help for questions regarding health issues. Also, it's very important that no matter what crisis you are performing a reading for, that you do not cast blame on yourself - health issues are most often very much out of our control. My advice is to conduct this kind of reading only if you can be truly nonjudgmental towards yourself.

1. The experience itself, what happened, the situation.
2. The main focus of or reason for the situation.
3. Influences that helped ensure a positive outcome.
4. Your general attitude while going through the experience.
5. How others close to you helped or didn't help.
6. The strength available for moving on.
7. Important action(s) that may be taken for continued progress.
8. Spiritual elements - has faith been regained?
9. How you are dealing emotionally.
10. Challenges that may still be ahead.
11. Coming full circle - where you are right now.

Anniversary readings can be a lovely, memorable part of celebrations or personal reflections and rituals, and a unique way to involve others. Most people are intrigued by divination and will enjoy their involvement, and appreciate your trust in inviting them to participate.

Choose a divination tool appropriate for the occasion and set up a place where there is room for all. Spread out a nice cloth and decorate with candles, flowers, or symbols of your celebration. The reading can become a ritual with the addition of just a few special items. Remember to enjoy the reading and accentuate the positive. Record the reading so that it can be contemplated alone later, and ask any guests to write down or simply share their impressions. Above all, honor your anniversaries as days that mark important events in the passage of your life.

by Nellie Levine

You might also be interested in my In the Mood for Love Tarot Spread, or my Conflict in a Friendship Tarot Spread.

I have to note that the wedding photo in the main image is of my Great-Aunt Annie and my Uncle Jack - she was a great woman, loved by everyone; the champagne and flowers were from my own 25th wedding anniversary a few years ago.

Publishing tarot deck reviews, original tarot spreads, articles, and personal reflections for tarot enthusiasts, practitioners of the intuitive arts, and followers of alternative spirituality since 1999. Woman owned.
All writing, reviews, and photography © Nellie Levine, unless otherwise noted. 1999-2022