The Year in Review: 2022 By the Cards
If you’re a subscriber to my newsletter, then you know that at the beginning of 2022, I put together a vision board using tarot cards using Radleigh Valentine’s Angel Wisdom deck. (See photo below.) The idea also came from Radleigh, who has been my tarot teacher for the last three years. The object is to select a tarot card that best represents your intentions for each month.
At the beginning of each month, I reported on the card of the month, and even tried to maintain the theme of the card throughout the month in each subsequent newsletter.
It’s rather astounding how each month produced some form of manifestation of each card, although not always the way I had originally envisioned it. It seemed fitting to conduct my review of 2022 through the lens of the cards—what I envisioned, and what came to be.
By the end of 2021, I had decided to become a professional card reader and Reiki practitioner. I was already working with clients, but I was going all in—an Etsy store, scheduling system, even designing and publishing my own oracle deck. I had accepted that my writing career as I had known it was over, and although I still wanted to write the occasional novel and had one on submission via my literary agent, it was time to move on. Thus, when I put together the vision board, I thought about the kind of business I wanted, along with some other life changes.
I selected The Magician for January: “What you need to be a success will manifest.” What better way to kick off 2022? It was my way of setting the tone for the year (and the Major Arcana number for the card is Roman numeral 1). I spent most of the month making additional revisions to the manuscript following several rejections from publishers. I also outlined a schedule of tasks for the oracle deck, and was already ahead of the outline.
February was all about The Empress: “Creative projects will be very successful.” I harnessed that energy with the manuscript revision as well as the oracle card deck. The Empress also represents abundance and prosperity. I connected with a Reiki Master via Instagram, and received distance Reiki specifically targeted at unblocking the energy surrounding my finances. Additionally, I was doing card reading and Reiki sessions for clients, and wouldn’t you know it, Radleigh Valentine opened a class for building your own tarot business—of course, I signed up for it, using some money I’d received for my birthday (abundance and prosperity!). I remember February being a very productive month, and I felt well on my way.
The card for March was the Ten of Water (Cups in traditional tarot). This card depicts a family walking under a rainbow. It could mean a loving marriage, a good relationship with children, even a “happily ever after.” For me, it was specifically about being with family and friends. My husband and I traveled to visit his family and friends in Texas. From there we went to New Mexico, where we attended a Celebration of Life for our dear friend Jon, whom we lost the previous August. After two years being separated from loved ones and social connection, March marked the beginning of re-entering a world of hugs and human interaction, of dining out and being in the world. We left Montana in winter and returned in spring, and I could feel the change of season, both literally and metaphorically.
I also started the tarot business course, but took a break from it to travel. Revisions completed (at least, for that go-round), the manuscript was back in my agent’s hands and back out on submission to publishers.
For April, I selected The Wheel (known as The Wheel of Fortune in traditional tarot). The Wheel signifies “a very positive change in your life”—new beginnings, travel, relocation, buying a house, a turn of fortune, etc. My husband Craig and I had a second trip planned for the end of the month—this one was to a city and state that we thought we were going to move to. We had both been there before, but this time we wanted to look around, try to picture ourselves living there.
Here's where things didn’t manifest the way I expected. For one thing, there was a significant shift in my life—my father passed away. On one hand, he was 93 years old and thus it didn’t come as a surprise. On the other hand, I don’t think you’re ever quite prepared to lose a parent. He died a couple of days before Craig and I were scheduled to take our trip. Because my dad had requested not to have a funeral or memorial, we decided to take the trip anyway. And although we had made the most of our visit, we noticed something important: we weren’t feeling that heck, yes in terms of it being a place we wanted to live. One of the major lessons from our time in Maine was to pay close attention to that feeling. We had ignored that when we’d moved to Maine—forced our feelings, in a way. Prior to our trip, we’d believed that this other city was going to be “the one”—discovering that it wasn’t had left us disappointed and a little befuddled. If it wasn’t Maine, and it wasn’t this place, and it wasn’t Montana (for me), then where? And yet, listening to our intuition this time was quite gratifying.
In terms of fortune, two things happened: for the first time in many, many months, I’d reached 400 sales units of my backlist. For years, whenever I saw my monthly totals, I lamented how I used to sell hundreds of books per day. But I chose to see this as a big win, and to celebrate it.
The second thing was that I contracted Covid. Our trip had coincided with the ending of the travel mask mandate (even though we still masked in airports and on the plane). After successfully avoiding Covid for two years, I was mad as hell that my streak had come to an end. The night we flew back to Montana, my throat was on fire, and I was down for the count for several weeks. Which leads me to May…
May’s card was the Six of Air (Swords in traditional tarot). The image on the card depicts a family in a boat rowing to safety, the storm clouds behind them. Back in January, I’d envisioned several things: following our reconnaissance trip, I thought we’d be making plans to officially move there. I also thought by May of 2022, we’d be looking at the pandemic in the rearview mirror, hence “the end of a challenging time.”
And yet, here I was in the throes of Covid-19, my dad having recently passed, and back at square one in terms of trying to find a place to live that fed both Craig’s and my souls collectively. My tarot and Reiki business was on hold, as was my attention to the business class. Moreover, I’d gotten news from my agent regarding the manuscript: she’d exhausted all her contacts regarding publication, and had gotten all rejections. This wasn’t as much a reflection on my book as it was the publishing industry still reeling from the effects of the pandemic.
And yet, May was a turning point. As I healed from Covid, I made the decision to self-publish what came to be All of You. That decision lit a spark within me. Suddenly I felt the way I did when I first self-published Faking It twelve years prior—like I had nothing to lose. I felt confident that I could sell it, that it would make its way to readers.
Something else within me healed. As I resumed the tarot business course, I discovered a recurring theme as I completed the preliminary exercises: As much as I enjoyed card reading, as much as I enjoyed being of service to others, my heart’s desire still resided in writing and publishing. And then the big breakthrough came: I finally stopped being afraid of getting my heart broken again. Because, as I said in my conversation with Tiffany Yates Martin, writing and publishing is a business of broken hearts. Like in romance, there was no avoiding it. All I needed to do was re-calibrate my expectations.
Oh, and I decided to take up a new hobby: crocheting. I’d been wanting to learn for a while, and having covid made me stop putting it off. YouTube was a godsend. I watched countless videos, and fell in love with it. I found the practice to be reflective, even meditative, perfect for a writer.
Next came June and mid-year. The Ace of Earth (Pentacles or Coins in traditional tarot) is about a windfall of wealth and/or prosperity, or a new job or career opportunity. Back in January, I’d envisioned being immersed in my business and doing well. I’d envisioned a clientele, my oracle deck to be ready for publication, and perhaps even a space outside of my house to conduct readings and/or Reiki.
However, June saw opportunities of a different kind. I set a publication date for October 11 (I liked the numerology) for All of You, and immediately went to work promoting it. The previous year, I had designed a cover for the book so I could better visualize it—I’d never thought I’d actually publish the book with that cover. Yet my husband turned the cover design into something professional and beautiful. I kept working on the novel—revising, editing, and proofreading. Additionally, I landed podcast interviews and for the first time could fully talk about my experiences with rejection, and my healing breakthrough. I felt completely reborn.
And what of my tarot business? I kept seeing clients, kept posting weekly videos, but I knew something significant had changed within me. At first, I tried to find ways to merge the two endeavors, including setting up a Patreon that mixed tarot readings with writing and storytelling. But every idea felt too forced. I was in love with writing and publishing again. I was excited about the future. Oh, and guess what: remember when my sales units surpassed 400? Well, they kept going up. It was as if once I had unblocked the thing that had been truly holding me back, everything else unblocked as well. I was indeed feeling more prosperous, not only financially but also creatively.
July is always “the month in my way.” Between the anxiety from Independence Day fireworks (and where I live, the noise continues well before and after the 4th) and the dog days of summer, I don’t get much done. Knowing this, I had selected the Seven of Earth (Pentacles or Coins) to represent July. It’s about giving the seeds you planted a chance to grow, and giving yourself a rest and time to plan for what’s next. And that’s exactly what July was all about. I continued to learn to crochet. I planted more seeds for promotion. I looked ahead to what book(s) I wanted to write next. I put the publication of my tarot deck on hold.
August resumed with the Page of Earth. In tarot, a Page either represents a student or someone youthful. It could also represent someone learning something new, taking a course, going back to school, etc. Back in January, I had selected this card with the intent of setting up online courses. I had figured by August that my oracle deck would be in the world, and I would teach others how to publish their own. I also considered tarot classes for beginners (I already taught one class in person), and maybe Reiki classes as well.
Instead, I felt as if I was re-learning the publishing business and getting reacquainted with the market. I was also reading a lot and became active on BookBub. The image on the card depicts a woman sitting at a desk, surrounded by books, with one open in front of her. I was certainly feeling the energy of books, and it was a loving, comforting energy.
September! Fall! My favorite time of year! The card for September was Three of Earth. “Do what you love! Recognition for the highest quality of work.” I wasn’t doing what I’d thought I would be doing when I selected the card in January, but I was officially a novelist again. I was an author. And I was already getting advanced feedback on All of You: “This is Lorello’s best.”
Moreover, during a road trip to Great Falls, Craig and I discovered our heck, yes as far as relocation was concerned. And although I’m not yet ready to share that publicly, we were elated by the revelation.
October, the month Craig and I got married and honeymooned (six years ago) was represented by the Two of Water (Cups), which is the card of love, romance, and union. “Falling in love or the resurgence of a love relationship.” I was not only celebrating my wedding anniversary, but also my resurgence of my love relationship with writing/authorhood. The launch of All of You, and readers’ excitement as much as my own, made October a magical month. (Craig winning a High Plains Book Award the same month was also delightful.) Together, Craig and I felt like we were finally back on the track where we began. We felt like a power couple again. We were excited for what was to come.
I selected the Nine of Earth for November. For some reason, I always think of my grandmother when I see this card (specifically from this deck). It’s about being successfully self-employed. Back in January, this was what I wanted for my tarot business. When November arrived, my backlist was now selling one thousand units/month, and I was over the moon about that. All of You got excellent reviews and feedback, and I was especially selling a lot of print copies. I immersed myself in NaNoWriMo, and finished five days ahead of schedule with a first draft of a new manuscript.
Oh, and Duran Duran got inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
November came with sorrow as well. One of my beloved uncles passed away. I was devastated, especially since I couldn’t get home for the funeral. As well as everything was going, some things had yet to work out. I was awfully homesick, and that continued well into December, especially when Craig made an emergency road trip to Texas when his stepdad had a massive heart attack. (Thankfully, he’s OK.) Although I fully supported his going, I was resentful of the fact that he was able to be with his family in a time of need and I was not. Needless to say, despite my keeping up appearances on social media, I was quite depressed for the two weeks he was away.
Which brings us to the final month of 2022, and the final tarot card: Nine of Water (Cups). Radleigh says this: “Nine of Water, wish comes true; what you want now comes to you.” Thinking from the end, in January I wanted all my “wishes” to come true by December.
They did. But they were different wishes from what I had initially intended. At the time of this writing, All of You is poised to be one of the top-selling books at This House of Books. I have multiple manuscripts awaiting me for 2023. I’ve crocheted a hat, a scarf, a cardigan, and a sweater. (Fingerless gloves next; perhaps even a blanket.) I have an additional vision board for our relocation plans. My backlist continues to sell. I cut my hair. And although I didn’t get to see Duran Duran live or go home this year, I’m hopeful for next year.
I’m still grappling with the losses of Jon and my uncle and even some lingering issues with my dad. I’m still homesick for the northeast coast. I’m not yet at the sustainable level for what I affectionately call “Elisa Lorello, Author 2.0.” But I am optimistic and grateful and so very blessed.
And what of the tarot and Reiki business? What about that class?
I’ve decided not to resume the tarot business in 2023. Nor the class. Was it a waste of time and money? Certainly not—that class led to my breakthrough and healing. So did reading tarot, both for myself and others. I’m grateful for all of it. Tarot and Reiki still play very important roles in my life, and I’ll never give them up.
In fact, I’ve got my cards selected for 2023’s vision board. Which cards? You ask. Well, tune in to my newsletter next year. I can hardly wait to see how they manifest.
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I'm an author of commercial women's fiction and a writing instructor. My claim to fame: I can say the alphabet backwards.