New Year’s Resolutions

It has become a practice, by now… A little before midnight, on the last day of the year, we think about the year that passed and what we would like to get in the New Year that is just arriving. We then compromise ourselves with certain goals that we would want to see achieved. Here in Portugal, for example, it is customary to make a wish for each of the 12 strokes that announce the New Year, and to seal our commitment to our wishes with a raisin. So, 12 raisins, for 12 wishes, at the stroke of midnight.

There’s a big fuss. Pandemonium on the streets. Happy wishes of prosperity and abundance for all. Quoting from the MC 900 Feet Jesus’ song,

“I resolve to stop smoking, quit drinking and to lose 180 pounds,” he mimicked. “And I also resolve to spend every waking hour doing my utmost best to promote peace, love and universal understanding amongst all my fellow man, no matter what their race, religion or national origin may be.”

And partying continues.

The next day comes. Most people have already forgotten what they wished for, and re-enter their mundane tasks. Some, still on the effect of their resolutions, start to act upon them. Of these, most will eventually fail. For some reason or another, they will not get what they wished for. They will not even, get very far from where they were. Procrastination will creep in. Or maybe it’s just that other matters will impose themselves. Or we will let them impose… Whatever the case, we will simply fall off the road to that golden place we so much wanted to go on the Year’s very first few seconds.

Not that it’s important to get there. But what is important is to do the work, to be diligent and actually treat theses resolutions as part of our main priorities for the whole year. And to actually walk the path to get there. And even if you don’t get there, well… at least part of the path is already made. We’re nearer to our goals and getting closer to them. And at the same time, understanding that it’s all about the travel and getting there. Progressing as people and, in the meantime, actually getting something made.

With this in mind, I posed the question: What is the best way to achieve the goals we set out for ourselves for this year? Three cards were drawn from Pamela and Joyce Eakins’ fantastic Tarot of the Spirit:



7 of Wind (Swords) is the first card. Many tongues. Entanglement. Swords and snakes mixed up with one another. Swords that become snakes. Or snakes that become swords. Swords are supposed to cut things down. To represent our balance. Our equilibrium. Not to be all soft and messy like a plate of spaghetti. What then have we gotten ourselves into? What was supposed to be crystal clear is instead a very big mess. Maybe because we have to find the time for our resolutions? Or perhaps because we ask for more than we can chew?

The second card, The Hierophant, will tell us why: we’re used to things a certain way. There’s a sense of tradition here. And habit. Notice how the main figure is placidly seated, without a care in the world. Things will sort out by themselves, he seems to say. And then, the two figures below almost seem to be hanging out on the threads of the Pope’s sleeve. Tied up little dreams that seem amusing, but not really something to be concerned. The same light that was seen in the first card as descending from above, is now seen just hanging there… above the pope’s head. A small inverted “V” almost pointing out that yes, we should address our dreams and aspirations, but at the same time, firmly attached to a strong stone chair.

So, first step is to get up. To actually see those goals as possible, and not as some fancy dream. To wake up and clear the mess. To make way, literally, for what we want to achieve.

And, then, as the last card seems to imply, to actually go out of ourselves for what we believe in and do that extra work. Brother Water seems to tells us that the trick is in not letting everything overwhelm us. Or drown us. But there’s something more interesting in this card: the way the the colors evolve from the dark tones of the water to the white clear tones in the sky. We see clouds partings and a clear yellow light right above the head. The same light we already saw above the Hierophant’s head now shines brightly and is enough to make the figure look up instead of down. There’s faith here. Faith in ourselves and in the fairness of our goals and that fuels us to go even further.

So here then is the Maelstrom’s wish for 2015: that you have enough faith in yourselves that it will move you to actually go after what you want. To push you even when tiredness and hopelessness and all those other snakes try to sneak between your feet. And actually do the work that will get you there.

A happy 2015 for you all 🙂

2 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions

  1. That Seven of Wind also reminds me of talking and talking about something you are planning to do, and using all your energy in the talking rather than the doing. By the time you get around to taking some action, you’re exhausted from speaking about it. That’s true I find.

    1. Yes. It’s almost like you’re allowed to dream about your things and talk about it and that should be enough. And well, it is part of the process… But just as long as it keeps you motivated and pushes you to do stuff. To pass from the concept stage to actually start to adress it and work upon what was dreamed

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