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A review of my 2023 reading.

Bull and Dove Illustration by Bill Hallinan

As the winter equinox passed, I was reminded of this photo of our bedroom window and an image of the bull and dove, done by my friend Bill Hallinan. The bull is the Apis bull or Isis and the dove the bird of Ishtar. The Apis bull is the solar bull, the representation of the fertility of the soil and pro-creative power. The dove, which in Ancient Greek is per-isterá which literally means, the bird of Ishtar, and is associated with Aphrodite. The light of our bedroom sun between the bulls horns is the solar power that brings renewal and rebirth to the earth. The start of something new.

Before starting my 2024 reading, I wanted to review the reading of 2023.

The cards were right, this was not a year for hope or certainty.

The question I established for the reading back in January 2023 was "How do we emerge from these tensions and divisions and find some bridge to heal our wounds of separation?".

The reading was very clear... The reversed Elpis (Hope) was a clear 'no' to my question - there will be no hope and my desire for bridging and healing was misguided. 2023 played out exactly that way, the war in Ukraine continued, there were many civil wars around.the world, most notably in Sudan and Ethiopia, and the attack by Hamas on Israel and the resulting military action in Palestine...No, this was not a year of hope or building bridges - quite the opposite.

In January 2023 the cards also told us that this would be a complex and difficult year - with many different perspectives emerging. We were advised to focus on the tangible rather than the emotional and not get wrapped up in hearsay and extrapolations. This is very difficult in a world so dominated by social media and this year, saw the decline of twitter, the growth of platforms with the intention of seeding division and conspiracy theories and the US political system became dominated by assaults on truth and lies... most notably division around the speaker of the house and the republican rebels and George Santos.

I really wish the advice of 2023 Aeon reading had been seen by more people. It could have been a very different year if this advice had been followed: Card Phronesis: "If you are facing something that you are uncertain about, don't make it up. Don't hope that your intuition is right, or your assumptions are correct, find someone who has direct experience or who might have real experience or knowledge. The scales at the top of this card represents the balancing of these different factors. The need to weigh up different perspectives and calculate risk and reward. To hold yourself and others to account."

We really did learn to help each other....because nature made us.

The continuing climate crisis gave us many occasions where communities were forced, despite their divisions, to act together. We saw this in the tornados across the US; the flooding in California, Greece and Burning Man; Storm Daniel across Europe; wild fires in Canada, Greece and Hawaii; earthquakes in Nepal, Turkey, Syria and Morocco. Where often divided communities were forced, by the hand of nature, to help each other. Where governments and rescue services were stretched to the limit and communities and civilians came together to provide help and support for one another.

From a personal perspective, I felt 2023 was a year where relationships, friends and family became much more of a focus. Some relationships that were difficult, created unnecessary stress and drama were abandoned and the positive, supportive and mutually beneficial were deepened. This was the year our friends discussed communes or the power of collectives, sharing of resources and collective contribution to events, dinners, gatherings and heavy loads others experienced. I hope others had similar experiences because this really was where the limited joys of 2023 were to be found.

There were celebrations to be had:

A new King in England; the official end of the pandemic (despite seemingly more cases this holiday season); fake-news law suit wins against Fox news, Alex Jones and Giuliani; corporations seem to be taking their climate and social responsibilities more seriously (but we wait to see if there's meaningful action); legal cannabis and psychedelics; renewable energy tipped 50% of supply...

But all in all, this was a year of little hope and only very early signs that as we will move forward into 2024 with a new and different mindset...I think we all feel something has to change...I think 2023 was the point of realization that we can't continue as we have been.

As predicted in the 2023 reading:

"Change starts in the mind...2023 will be the year we all start to get our heads around where we are heading before we orient our life/lifestyles to that future".

I will be posting a reading for 2024 in the first week of January, Hopefully, this will give us a clue as to how the collective mind-shift we are experiencing will play out.


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