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crystal ball 2017

I don’t like making New Year predictions for the planet. It’s a lot easier for me to make predictions for people rather than nations. While we say that tarot cards never lie, it’s difficult to know what questions to ask of the cards to get a comprehensive reading for seven billion people at once.

And, since I have a personal interest in what happens next, it’s hard to stay objective.

Looking at 2017 is uniquely problematic for a couple of reasons. First, 2016 was an utterly depressing year in that we had to say goodbye to an inordinate number of beloved celebrity artists – people whose work helped define us, heal us and inspire us.

Why was 2016 such a banner year for celebrity death? I am sure my astrology and numerology friends have some ideas about that. When I asked the cards this question I pulled the King of Cups. That does give me some romantic notion of a heavenly assemblage of our greatest minds, perhaps pulling together to help us, as a planet, find the peace and balance that seems to elude us so.

Truly, the King of Cups also supports the reality-based concept that the 1970s and 1980s brought us a surprising amount of ground-breaking entertainment. The time is coming to say goodbye to many of those entertainers because, well, that was a long time ago and all people get older and die, and many of them don’t get as old as we think they should. The fact is, many of those talented folk battled serious drug issues that factor into their untimely demise.

Many people lament that younger generations of musicians, writers and actors do not have the epic talent of those early stars of our youth. Are we, as a planet, experiencing some kind of creative brain-drain? Are we less likely to produce original thought and amazing talent than we were a half-century ago?

I think not. Fads change, styles change, media changes, but I think talent, and original thought, are inherent qualities in humans. It may be true that, as a culture, we do not currently value talent and original thought as much as we have at other times in history.

More grievous than 2016’s penchant for stealing away our favorite celebs was the United States’ very contentious election season. This energy was felt worldwide; and not just in observing the spectacle of the Pumpkin versus the Pantsuit. Across the planet we have seen signs of a shift toward authoritarianism, perhaps in response to the civil war in Syria. Here in the US, perhaps we are also seeing a predictable backlash against the Civil Rights Movement and the Women’s Movement of recent earlier decades.

Since I’m American and living in the US, my thoughts about 2017 are focused on the United States. It is very hard to ask any American how they feel about the upcoming year, or what they see for 2017, without invoking a heated conversation about the change in government administration that happens in January.

While many of my peers and colleagues expressed their political thoughts, ideas and ire quite freely during this electoral season, I kept my political opinions (and I do have many) primarily to the privacy of the voting booth and letters to my elected officials.

I don’t believe that social media memes create change as much as they create bad feelings.

We live in a divided nation. Of the many people I will read for, teach and interact with, I can only expect half of them or less to share my personal views. I want everyone to feel safe and supported in a reading with me. I don’t think where I stand on political candidates or issues is pertinent to a person’s tarot reading, or to their journey as a tarot student.

I am somewhat uncomfortable with psychics and tarot readers making political predictions. I was really disturbed by the bathrobe-wearing psychic on YouTube, Danielle Egnew, who, in May, told everyone not to worry, that there was no way Trump could be president because it was “Clinton’s time”.

In physics, we say that the mere act of observation changes things. I often wonder, how often is that true when it comes to psychic work? Certainly, we want readings to help our clients make positive change. But, when we make a prediction for the future, are we creating a limitation, or a shift in energy, that wouldn’t otherwise be there? Is there a Prime Directive for professional psychics?

That Egnew’s prediction was bad doesn’t matter; no one gets it right all the time. That she encouraged people to relax, suggesting to an audience who predominately supported Clinton that they didn’t need to work to secure her win, seemed irresponsible.

So, here I am, on the eve of 2017, wondering how to address the year that will be, without making a political statement. I know that many Trump supporters are sure that 2017 will be the beginning of a new era of greatness in America. At the same time, many other people feel that a Trump presidency is a sign of the coming apocalypse and the end of life on Earth as we know it.   Is it possible to make predictions without being influenced by either group?

This is where tarot can really shine. It is very possible (though sometimes difficult) to pull cards and interpret them objectively. It’s a good exercise to try to do this always, especially when reading in situations where we have a vested interest.

Sometimes, the way to be most objective in a tarot reading is to intellectually think about all the possible meanings for each card. Many times, during that process, intuition kicks in and points to a specific interpretation, often in a way that is uncanny.

Getting in to a space where we can separate our fears and hopes from our intuition can be tricky. That’s why supporting our reading with classic interpretations makes so much sense.  Thinking about the interpretations helps keep us detached and objective by causing us to ponder the card more than we ponder the question. From that place of detachment, intuition naturally rises.

Often during the process of considering many possible meanings for a card, we recognize that more than one interpretation may be accurate at the same time. Therefore, multiple interpretations allow for a deeper reading.

This year, I am limiting my predictions to the United States. I will share the questions I asked, the cards I pulled, and my hopefully-objective interpretations.

Feel free to look at the cards that appeared and draw your own conclusions. Tarot speaks to us all.

How will 2017 be for the USA Overall?

The Tower

Let’s all take a breath and acknowledge that the Tower does not feel like a great way to start. Anyone who knows a little bit of tarot knows the Tower feels scary. Those who know a lot about tarot might see this a good sign. The Tower can be destruction and devastation, but it can also be about doing away with what doesn’t work, and making room for what does.

Those who are excited about the Trump presidency are anticipating that kind of change. Those who are concerned about the Trump presidency fear the possibility of the worst aspects presented by the Tower.

The next question, then, is:

What will the nature of the Tower be? How will the Tower manifest in the US in 2017?

 Ten of Pentacles

Interesting that the Ten of Pentacles is associated with real estate, and Trump is a real estate mogul. The Ten of Pentacles also discusses legacy, which, again, is a concern in our divided nation. Some people want to return to a legacy of our past, while others are worried about the more recent legacy of social change being swept away.

So far, we can see how these cards make sense in context, but we receive no clear obvious prediction. However, the Tower and the Ten of Pentacles together could predict a disaster on our home turf. Those two cards could also predict a change in the housing market, like the crash of 2008. 

These two cards could also say that there will be significant policy change around land use and housing development.

Additionally, these two cards could address our crumbling infrastructure, and a plan to fix that critical problem.

How will Donald Trump do in his first year as president?

King of Swords

King of Swords is a decent card for a political leader. It does suggest that he will indeed take office and serve as president. I mention this only because some folks have doubted that possibility.

The King of Swords is a communicator, so I would assume that President Trump will be a deal-maker, and will meet with, and talk with, a lot of people.

This might also indicate that he will not give up his much-discussed Twitter account.

The King of Swords may also indicate a high approval rating for Trump in the first year, since the King of Swords is often seen as doing the right thing.

What will happen in Syria?

The Chariot Reversed

The war in Syria has been the catalyst for many changes around the world. The Chariot reversed suggests that we will continue to not intervene there militarily.  This card may also predict that in 2017 Syria will come to a resolution, but one that does not have much of a sustainable way forward for the future.

What will the US economy be like in 2017?

Five of Swords

The economy will be a subject of much debate this year. A few people will do well, many others won’t. To me, this does not suggest we should expect widespread prosperity this year.

Will there be any natural disasters in the US in 2017?

 Three of Wands reversed

To me, this says we will not have as many severe forest fires in 2017 as we did in 2016, but there may be three smaller areas hit by fire or storms. There is also the possibility of a weather-related infrastructure breach, such as a roof or bridge collapse.

What about human-caused disasters in 2017 in the US?

Ten of Pentacles

This is disturbing because I had already received the Ten of Pentacles in conjunction with the Tower in the beginning of the reading.  Because of this, we must consider the possibility of a human-caused disaster in 2017.

Of course, this begs another question.

What more can we know about this possible disaster?

For this, I pulled three cards.

Seven of Cups Reversed, Page of Swords Reversed, Six of Pentacles Reversed

To me this looks like another young, troubled person who has not gotten proper help, creating a violent disaster.

Of course, we must remember that a compassionate, vigilant society might be able to avert or mitigate any such future occurrence.

Will the US involve itself in new wars in 2017?

Page of Swords

This is a Page, not a Knight, and it is the Page of Swords. Therefore, I would see a great deal of diplomatic activity, but no new military involvement.

Will there be any terror or militaristic attacks on our soil from a foreign power in 2107?

Nine of Wands

I think this says that there is not likely to be, but we are right to be prepared.

What will happen with our national cultural divide in 2017?

Two of Swords Reversed

I believe this suggests that the divide will continue, but we may begin to have some conversations that will sow the seeds of finding common ground.

In order to have the best possible year, what should we each focus on in 2017?

Eight of Pentacles

We each need to consider the value of staying in our own lane, learning new skills, working hard and creating what we need in life. Hard work and education seem to be the greatest solutions to the problems we face in 2017, and to our desire to make 2017 a great year.