We’re nearly a week into the new year. I almost wish I were a prophet and could predict with assurance that 2019 will be better than 2018—less filled with hate, name-calling, lies, and all-round trumpery (pun intended: “trumpery” is “worthless nonsense”).
When I wrote my daybook, Pagan Every Day, here’s how I began today’s essay:
The Saxons of northern Europe called the first Monday after January 6 Plough Day and honored Freya, “the Venus of the North.” As a goddess who engages in indiscriminate sex, Freya is the spirit of the earth’s fertility. Like Persephone, she is in the underworld during the winter, but early in January we already see hints that she might be rising. We’ll soon set our ploughs into the earth and plant our crops.
We can think of planting our crops in both literal and metaphorical ways, but my best guess is that we’d best think of them metaphorically, at least in the so-called developed world, because our part of the world is mostly urban now and if there’s literal planting, it seems to be mostly done by agribusiness. If we’re not farmers literally broadcasting seeds, how do we plant metaphorical crops for 2019?
We can start with numerology, which I studied back in the early 1980s about the same time I was reading books on metaphysical and occult topics, learning the tarot, and reading every book about the Goddess I could find. (There were already lots of them.) As you no doubt know, numerology is based on the meaning of numbers. Whether we’re working with a name, a birth date, or a situation, we use a chart (which you can find online) to convert letters to numbers, then we add the numbers and reduce them to one number that becomes a kind of prediction. It’s important to remember, of course, that true divination does not forecast a fixed and permanent future. Instead, it notes what is likely to happen if things keep going along the path they’re on.
According to my numerology teacher, 1 means creation and individualization; 2 means love, gentleness, service, harmony; and 3 means self-expression, personal creation, optimism, inspiration. One is also the beginning of a new cycle (year, life, experience, adventure), and 9 is “complete expression,” or the end of a cycle, life, experience, or adventure. It’s interesting that 9 + 1 = 10 = 1. The end always leads to what we call a new beginning.
So let’s do some numerology with 2019. We add the numbers and reduce them to one number that will characterize the year: 2019 = 2 + 1 = 3 + 9 = 12 = 1 + 2 = 3. This means that 2019 is a “3 year,” which can (and may) lead to self-expression, optimism, inspiration, talent, sociability, friendliness, and kindness. (Note that there are two 3’s in the calculation; maybe they reinforce the idea of 3-ness.)
Self-expression, optimism, etc. are good crops to be planting this month! These are crops that need to be growing here. If we think politically, as so many of us have been doing for two years, we can hope that the new diverse and Democratic majority in the House of Representatives will grow and harvest these crops and bring an end to trumpery. What do you think might happen this year? Where are these metaphorical crops best planted? How will we feed and fertilize them? How and where will they grow?
Several years ago, I moved into what I call tarot numerology. Our new year’s 3 corresponds to Card III of the major arcana: The Empress. You know of course that there’s a nearly infinite number of decks with their own illustrations, but most of them show Card III as The Empress. She is the Earth Mother, Mother Nature, the Great Goddess. My tarot teacher said The Empress advises, among other things, “as above, so below,” and when we get The Empress in a reading, she’s usually telling us that new things will be born, there will be productivity and creativity, there will be good crops.
Our reading of 2019, therefore, is that we are possibly entering a new year of good crops—those metaphorical ones I listed earlier: self-expression, optimism, inspiration, talent, sociability, friendliness, and kindness. A couple months ago, we elected 100 women to a U.S. Congress that is more diverse than any Congress has ever been before. Can these women, perhaps individually, more likely collectively, embody the Goddess?
I’m going to stop writing now because I want you all to finish this post for me. Give me—give us—your ideas and plans for planting new crops in 2019. How can we bring self-expression, optimism, inspiration, talent, sociability, friendliness, and kindness into our weary society? We can keep voting, of course, but what else? Organizing? Marching? Writing? Please think about this new year and then tell us what you’re thinking. What’s gonna happen??
Note: The cards are from the Tarot of Meditation, drawn by Marty Yeager; the Motherpeace Tarot, created by Karen Vogel and Vicki Noble; the Gaian Tarot, drawn by Joanne Powell Colbert; and the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, drawn by Pamela Coleman Smith (who did not receive any credit for her work for nearly a century. Oh, look—it’s the patriarchy in action again).
Barbara Ardinger, Ph.D. (www.barbaraardinger.com), is a published author and freelance editor. Her newest book is Secret Lives, a novel about grandmothers who do magic. Her earlier nonfiction books include the daybook Pagan Every Day, Finding New Goddesses (a pun-filled parody of goddess encyclopedias), and Goddess Meditations. When she can get away from the computer, she goes to the theater as often as possible—she loves musical theater and movies in which people sing and dance. She is also an active CERT (Community Emergency Rescue Team) volunteer and a member (and occasional secretary pro-tem) of a neighborhood organization that focuses on code enforcement and safety for citizens. She has been an AIDS emotional support volunteer and a literacy volunteer. She is an active member of the Neopagan community and is well known for the rituals she creates and leads.