I had a conversation about New Year traditions at the hair salon yesterday. My lovely long time stylist asked me if there is anything I do in particular, and I mentioned that I’ve adopted some customs that I learned about when I lived in Japan, like eating Toshikoshi Soba for long life, strength and to welcome the New Year, and that you shouldn’t clean your home on New Year’s Day (don’t sweep away your good luck) and you shouldn’t use a knife (don’t cut or sever your good luck).
I asked her about her family traditions, and she introduced me to the Greek custom of smashing a pomegranate on your front step or front door for luck and abundance. This immediately captured my imagination. And I am SO doing that this year.
The pomegranate is a beloved object, a symbol of the Goddess, of female fertility and power, of abundance and richness. It seems otherworldly, something to be admired rather than eaten, and yet so tart and surprising on the tongue. To eat a pomegranate is a form of worship, of honouring the magic we can find in this world.
The pomegranate is a crucial part of the story of the Goddesses Persephone and Demeter, an epic journey to the underworld, the explanation of why we have the seasons, a reminder that sometimes it is necessary to go into the shadows and to rest so that light and growth can return.
The pomegranate also appears in the Tarot, traditionally and notably on the High Priestess card. I see Persephone in this card, the gateway between our world and the next, she is who is able to move between those worlds, she who sits in perfect balance between the light and the dark. The pomegranates on this card remind us that although the High Priestess exists in the realm of intuition, spirit and ritual, she still has the power of fertility, of manifestation, the seeds of her wisdom will come to fruition.
When she was in the underworld, Persephone is said to have eaten six pomegranate seeds. The result of this action was that she was bound to spend six months of the year there (our winter), and six months in the upper world (our spring and summer).
All of these musings on pomegranates inspired me to create a Tarot spread for the New Year, centred on those six powerful pomegranate seeds. Give it a try on New Year’s eve, or as dawn approaches on New Year’s Day, preferably as you enjoy a pomegranate yourself. As you interpret each card, place a pomegranate seed in your mouth, knowing that the cards will bring wisdom and that wisdom will change you.
Pomegranate New Year Spread:
There is no fixed layout. Scatter the cards of your whole deck face down, as you would scatter those pomegranate seeds on your front door for luck. Choose six cards that call to you, let your intuition be your guide, and then interpret them in this order. If you can, eat a pomegranate seed as you read each card, absorbing the wisdom there, knowing it will change you.
- The outlook for the year ahead
- Where my luck lies
- Plant these seeds now
- Put this on hold for now
- What is already growing
- Do this to attract abundance
Let me know how this spread speaks to you, and I wish you a New Year filled with abundance, beautiful mysteries, and good luck.