“Past and Present I know well; each is a friend
and sometimes an enemy to me.
But it is the quiet, beckoning Future, an absolute stranger,
with whom I have fallen madly in love.”
~ Richelle E. Goodrich, Slaying Dragons
I always savour New Years’ day as a traditional time of quiet and reflection. At this threshold point it’s like standing on a pathway looking back and waving one last goodbye to the past before turning eagerly towards that “absolute stranger” who beckons ahead.
While resolutions are not something I have ever found particularly motivating, what I do find helpful at this threshold is spending time thinking about the overall theme of the previous year, long before setting any new intentions or goals. Since 2020 also marks the start of a brand new decade, I've also been reflecting on the ten year span that was the 2010’s.
Some of the questions I like to ponder are:
How did this past year/decade turn out differently from what I thought it would when I was standing at this same threshold point last year?
How did the last year/decade exceed more than I could ever have imagined?
What major accomplishments or milestones did I achieve?
What do I want or need to do more of that brings me joy?
Did anything occur that was not expected, maybe even heartbreaking?
Is there anything that I regret and need to make right?
And, most of all, what did I learn and how can I apply it going forward
A few other things I enjoy working with at the beginning of a new year are numerology, the Tarot and a theme or keyword.
Numerology is a complex subject but time and time again, I have found that knowing the “numbers” (the Universal Year Number and my Personal Year Number), plus their associated energies is an amazingly accurate compass and guide for keeping me oriented and on track. At the very least, it provides an anchor I can return to for help understanding why things maybe aren’t working out the way I expect. More often than not, it’s because I’ve been working against the energies of my numbers rather than with them.
In numerology every single digit number from 1 through 9 has a specific energy signature or vibration. The Universal Year number is calculated by adding all the digits of the current year together to create a single digit. 2020 is therefore a “4” Universal Year because 2+0+2+0 = 4.
Knowing this number can provide insights into what will be felt globally by all of us throughout the new year. “4” represents order, responsibility, stability, home, manifestation, conservation, peace, physical reality and practical solutions. It is the number of good, solid work and of getting “stuff” done.
With the entire world working this “4” energy, 2020 will be a time of greater vision and accomplishment, of being collectively invested in building a long-lasting foundation for our world. If we are wise and use this “20/20” vision well and, if we are willing to take personal responsibility, there is huge potential for us create real and lasting solutions for both ourselves and our planet.
Each of us also has a Personal Year Number which works in conjunction with the Universal Number. This is found by adding together your day of birth, your month of birth and the current year, then reducing it down to a single digit.
For example, my Personal Year Number for 2020 is my day of birth (12) + my month of birth (5) + the current year (2020). 1+2+5+2+0+2+0 = 12. I then reduce that down to 1+2 = 3 which means I am in a “3” Personal Year for 2020.
The energy of “3” is very active with a strong focus on creativity and different ways of self-expression, imagination and inspiration. It is also optimistic and joyful. If I work that playful energy in conjunction with the practicality of the Universal 4 energy, there will be all kinds of potential available for me to creatively and imaginatively build that solid “4” foundation.
Numerology plays a big part in the Tarot as well, so on New Year’s Day I like to choose one of my favourite Tarot or Oracle decks and do a “year ahead” reading.
This typically takes the form of shuffling the deck and laying out one card per month in a circle, clock-like fashion, with one card at the centre to represent the theme of the year to come. I then either take notes or photograph the spread so that I can refer back to it throughout the year for ongoing guidance.
My final New Year’s Day activity is to choose a word that I can live and breathe into day-by-day throughout the months ahead. It too can be an anchor whenever things feel unsteady. This word might be inspired by my numerology or Tarot spread or be a word that has kept appearing to me in the weeks leading up to the end of the year.
Typically, this word is just for the coming year but sometimes it becomes the theme of an entire decade. I often don’t recognize that until I have a little hind-sight though. “Becoming” was the word I chose in 2010 and it certainly came to reflect the next nine years too as Dancing Moon Designs found a new home at the Alton Mill and my art, writing and service to others underwent a complete transformation.
Since so much transformative energy is still available to me in 2020 through both my Personal Number 3 and the Universal Number 4, I have chosen the word “unfolding” for the year and/or decade ahead. It feels right and is a natural progression from “becoming” ... because transformation rarely happens quickly. It is process that must be given time to ripen and mature, time to unfold, like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis.
If you have visited my website in the last couple of weeks you might have already noticed this “unfolding” process already starting. My website has just undergone a complete re-design, as has the look of my newsletter and other communications, all evidence of Dancing Moon Designs having been like a caterpillar during much of 2019, quietly undergoing a transformation.
In my “1” year in 2018, I planted many seeds which were carefully nurtured through the seasons of my “2” year in 2019. Nurturance is not immune to difficulties though and 2019, sadly, brought significant challenges and loss for my family, as well as many moments of deep questioning.
But, just as in Nature, there is a compulsive and mysterious guiding force that continues to push us onward, that “absolute stranger” – the beckoning future. The vision of what I see ahead for my art and for Dancing Moon Designs in the decade to come has been like a North Star lighting the way and my newly redesigned website represents just one of the steps in that unfolding journey.
If you haven’t already had a peek, I invite you to visit the “new” www.dancingmoondesigns.ca, take a wander through it and let me know what you think. And be sure to download my free e-book Awakening to Nature, a “best of” compilation of seasonal nuggets of wisdom from the past six years of my newsletter. It is my little New Year’s gift to you.
As you peruse the website, you will note that you can now register and pay online for workshops as well as order products such as journals and pendants. I will be adding more items very soon and also introducing online classes and self-guided learning modules a little further down the road.
As Dancing Moon Designs’ journey continues to unfold, I welcome feedback and questions about what aspects of “beauty, truth and wisdom” you would like to see more of or that perhaps I might be able to shed some light on in my newsletter, blog and other offerings.
In support of that, please email me any questions you have about specific spiritual topics, Nature, ancient wisdom traditions or practices, my artistic process, or creativity in general. The more esoteric or existential the better, but simple questions are welcome too! It will be invaluable to me to see what you, my loyal followers, are thinking of and asking questions about. In future newsletters throughout the year, I will choose the most intriguing ideas to explore and share with you and others on my email list.
And, just to make it a little more fun, everyone who submits a question or feedback within the next couple of weeks will be entered into a random draw to win a large print of Rise, my newest painting. It was created at the Winter Solstice and carries the energy of the new decade ahead.
Please be sure to email me by the end of Sunday January 12 to be included in the draw. The winner will be announced in my next newsletter at the end of January.
As always, you can register any time for my ongoing drawing and acrylic painting classes. A brand new year and decade may be just the perfect time to take a leap and start exploring your own creativity. You can join anytime and take as few as just four session or as many as you like. Some of my most loyal students (thank you, you know who you are!) have been with me for 3-4 years which is a wonderful testament to just how enjoyable these classes are.
I also offer private sessions in drawing and painting if you are a nervous newbie or want more personal guidance.
In addition, I am available for a variety of private consultations on spiritual matters or for shamanic healing work. You can click here to find out more about what an individual session with me might entail.
And finally, if you were intrigued by what I wrote here about numerologyand want to learn more, my first Mystic’s Circle of 2020 on Thursday January 15 (now entering its fifth year!) will be taking an in-depth look at this ancient divinatory art, so if you have been wanting to join the Circle or reconnect after a period away from it, this will be a great starting point.
Lastly, I want to wish all of you a very, very Happy New Year with all the wonder and blessings it potentially holds! And I look forward to more creating, learning and “unfolding” with you as we walk the path through the beckoning decade ahead.
CJ Shelton Artist, Instructor & Facilitator
Dancing Moon Designs Illuminating the Creative and Spiritual Life