Divination For 2020: Our Most Intimate Goals and Our Deepest Fears

Divination For 2020: Our Most Intimate Goals and Our Deepest Fears January 1, 2020

This is the fourth year I’ve done a New Year’s divination asking “what does the coming year bring for me and my religious community?” While divining for an entire year is so general that it’s of questionable value, last year’s reading was scarily accurate, especially for me and those closest to me.

For us, 2019 was “the year everything was on fire.” Seeing The Wheel and The Tower at the center of last January’s reading didn’t make what came any easier to deal with, but it did make it easier to understand.

Sometimes understanding the context of a difficult situation can make all the difference in getting through it.

I mostly ignored last year’s call to focus on magic. Even before this reading I’ve been hearing – in that half intuition, half UPG sense – that I’ve put it off too long and it has to be a priority for me in 2020. Last year might have gone a little better if I had paid more attention to my own Tarot reading.

So if you go to the trouble of doing divination or astrological readings or such – or going over the readings of those you trust and respect – take it one step further and keep what you learn in front of you during the year.

And with that out of the way, let’s take a look at what this year holds for us. Once again I’m reading with the Celtic Tarot, which seems to speak to me better than any other deck.

A year of our most intimate goals and our deepest fears

As I have started doing more and more often, I intended to “just read the damn cards.” But even paying only minimal attention to traditional positions in the Celtic Cross, the first two cards stand out above all the rest: The Lovers at the heart of the matter, and the Nine of Swords crossing it for good or for ill.

This will be a year of our most intimate goals and dreams. Those things we want so badly, so desperately… and yet we dare not speak its name. For we fear what might happen if our dreams were made known to those around us. And we fear even more what might happen if we actually made them a reality. Not because we fear ridicule or persecution, but because reality demands a response.

What do you want most of all?

Is your desire greater than your fear?

A year of conjuring resources – and then using them wisely

The second thing that stands out in this spread are the four Shields. In the Celtic Tarot, Shields take the place of Pentacles, which took the place of Coins in the earliest Tarot decks. This is the suit of materiality – the suit of resources, financial and otherwise.

The Queen and the Page are both contemplating their shield, using it as a focus to invoke what it represents. Like attracts like. The Page is deep in the forest, while the Queen is at its edge. The forest is a place of Nature’s bounty, but it does not give up its treasures easily. Or safely. But they are skilled magicians, and they will conjure what is needed.

When they do, the person in the Two of Shields will balance them, and the person in the Six of Shields will distribute them. There are not so many they can be spent extravagantly, but there is enough for everyone to have what they need.

What do you need?

How will you conjure it?

Will you spend it wisely?

We do not fight alone

The appearance of the Ten of Swords is never a pleasant thing. The Nine of Swords represents our fears, but the Ten shows them come to pass.

Remember that this is my reading, for me and mine. If you’re a casual blog reader who occasionally attends an open circle somewhere, this may mean nothing for you. But the closer you are to me (in every sense of the term) the more this applies to you.

This is a case where position matters – the Ten of Swords shows up in the “you as you see yourself” position. I won’t say I feel defeated, but 2019 was a difficult and painful year for me. This card feels appropriate.

The Father takes the place of The Emperor in the Celtic Tarot, but this card is not The Emperor. It is the Father, the One who has inspired and nurtured me since I was a scared and frustrated little boy retreating into the woods. The woods were a place of comfort and safety. A voice deep in the woods reminded me “keep working – this won’t last forever.” And it didn’t.

We do not fight alone. Our Gods and our ancestors are our allies. Some of us have other allies. Occasionally they fight alongside us. More often they remind us why we fight, and tell us how to fight effectively.

You may be severely wounded, but you are not dead.

Your Gods and ancestors can do what you alone cannot.

And together, even ten sword wounds can be healed.


The Six of Wands is what we want. We want to fly in on a dragon, blasting our enemies and fixing what’s wrong with a flick of our wands.

The Six of Swords represents reality. We will come in via modest and ordinary means. And when we arrive there will be more fighting to be done.

But we are well-armed with swords to spare, and as the hooded figure in the prow of the boat indicates, we have magical resources that our enemies do not. Oh, they use magic, but they don’t really believe in it – and that limits them. We have no such limitation.

The Tower does not appear in this spread. I do not for one minute believe Tower Time is over – that won’t happen in my lifetime, nor in yours. But while the irreversible change of The Tower will continue in 2020, that is not the emphasis of this year.

Rather, this year’s emphasis is on us: our dreams, our fears, our willingness to work diligently and effectively, and our commitment to fight for what is right with all the weapons at our disposal, both mundane and magical.

What do you want most of all?

Is your desire greater than your fear?

Desire alone is not enough. Leave “name it and claim it” to the New Age hucksters and the Prosperity Gospel preachers. There will be fighting, and fighting always brings casualties.

But this fight – this year’s fight – is one we can win.

May it be so. May we make it so.

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