“We are becoming the systems we need…we have to remember how to care for each other.”   -adrienne maree brown 

The beginning of a year is prime time for engaging in the ancient practice of time travel. We arrive at the three times and pause. It helps to do it on purpose, so perhaps, if you’re willing, we could settle in for a brief reflection before proceeding.  

We arrive together here, at this place where the three times meet. We arrive to look forward and back, to travel in time.  Before we begin, bow again to the four directions, and to the earth below and the sky above. Feel yourself held in the circle of the world for a long moment. 

Now consider all of the ways that the past year challenged you and taught you. Consider all of the times that you met those lessons with willingness, curiosity, and integrity. Call to mind one specific thing from last year that brought you into greater honesty with yourself.  

Where We’ve Been 

For many of us, 2019 was a year of soul searching–-discovering that some things were simply no longer working, both in the collective arena and personally—and finding the courage, to tell the truth. We also uncovered a profound reservoir of strength and ferocity in our ability to listen and act from the ground of love.  

We were called into sober re-evaluation of our core values and beliefs. And we started getting real with each other about alternative systems and ways of being.  

All through the year, we were confronted with growing and indisputable evidence that the old ways are breaking down. The comfort zone of Business, as Usual, grew decidedly uncomfortable as we snapped out of the false security it once promised.  

Throughout 2019, we made our first pass at implementing the crucial shift from separation to participation. The ground has been shifting quickly, calling us to know where we stand and strengthen our roots. 

We are ready for the year ahead because we have found new
ways to become honest with ourselves and each other.  

We are ready for the year ahead because we have learned what
it feels like to have the deepest immovable core of moral authority
struck like a rock again and again. Many of us have discovered our
personal limits when it comes to tolerating bullshit and injustice. 
We are ready for the year ahead because we’ve taken a stark
assessment of our values, beliefs and felt experience, and begun
to find language to articulate exactly where we stand. 

Now here we are… hanging out in the space between stories. But not for much longer. The new story is pushing through, like a new Sun crowning. 

The Path Ahead 

We are looking forward now, and the first thing for you to know is that we are passing through the eye of the needle in 2020. It is a year of dramatic choice.  

Up until now, we have been lulled into dualistic thinking by a dominant storyline that not only lacks subtlety but creates the false impression of an intractable situation—assuring us that none of the world’s ills could possibly be otherwise.  Because Progress, because Business as Usual, because Faster, Better, More. 

This is the year we discover a third point in the equation–one that allows us to break out of the paradigm of us and them and either/or, and forge a path toward the collective and greater good. Now we can see with sharp clarity the unifying synthesis of the stories that have been playing themselves out across our screens, before our eyes, and in our quietest personal moments.  

We have given these stories names… The Story of Separation, The Great Turning, The More Beautiful World. And this is the year that they all become true in equal parts. It is a tipping point year, so your path and your choices matter deeply.  

For those curious about the astrological backdrop, this is playing out as some of our planetary heavy-hitters pile up in the sign of Capricorn. Much has been said about Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter transiting this sign, and I am happy to refer you to anyone of the capable astrologers in our community for a full discussion of this and other astro-themes for the year ahead.  

Suffice to say that we are called to radically re-imagine power dynamics and structures of control in 2020. Belief systems are up for re-negotiation all year as we look at Neptune’s influence on our understanding of reality and illusion. 

While we confront blind spots and navigate the unknown we are, all of us, undergoing a Copernican shift in worldview that places the well-being of the collective at the center rather than the individual

We’re being encouraged to get real about grief and denial, and about the sacrifices we are called to make in service to the community of life. The path is unfamiliar and the stakes are high. Tread with loving purpose and great care. 

I invite you to pause now and take a few deep breaths. As you consider the terrain of the coming year, with all of its knowns and unknowns, give yourself a picture of the world you would most like to come to life. Consider the days and months ahead as a tiny but consequential sliver in the span of geologic time. Imagine this near-future and write about it, describe it, bring back a single phrase, word, or image that you can carry as an inspiration and a personal north star. 

from Dreamfruit Almanac (c) 2019 by Elizabeth Russell

Artwork (c) Kevin Peterson