2014 Predictions: A Year of Optimism and Struggle

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  January 4, 2014 — 7 Comments

The beginning of a new calendar year usually means a flurry of predictions. These prognostications can be educated guesses, fervent hopes, pessimistic fears, or, in some cases, spiritual messages via divination, omens, or other supernatural methods. One widely reported instance of a yearly divination tradition is the Ifá predictions from Cuba’s Santeria priests, who’ve been gathering for nearly 30 years to make predictions and recommendations. This year the reigning divinity is Olokun, accompanied by Yemaya, and they are predicting a year of generational conflict and ecological imbalance.

“Afro-Cuban priests warned Thursday that the new year may be marked by outbreaks of disease, environmental disruption, familial disorder and conflict between people and nations that risks spilling into war. In the annual “Letter of the Year,” a commission of “babalawos,” or Santeria priests, also predicted that 2014 could see the death of important global political or religious leaders, and elderly people in general. They did not, however, name any names.”

In an interesting twist this year, three different groups of Santeria priests, one in Miami, and two in Havana, all agree that Cuba will have an “optimistic” 2014.

For the first time in memory, New Year’s predictions issued by three groups of Cuban Santeria priests — two in Havana and one in Miami — have agreed: The communist-ruled island faces an “optimistic” year. Now the babalawos are trying to figure out exactly what the prediction, or “letter,” means. […] “There is no precedent for the three being identical,” said Ernesto Pichardo, head of the Lukumi Babalu Aye Church in Hialeah and part of the group that issued the Miami “letter.” “Now the question is what road to follow … More precision is needed.”

At Patheos, Lilith Dorsey comments on the unique nature of this alignment of readings, calling it “unprecedented.”

“In the religion of Santeria (La Regla Lucumi) the New Year begins with a divination. Many Santeria houses (spiritual centers) perform their own divination. Special note however is paid to the readings done by the larger spiritual houses. These readings give predictions, prohibition, and insight into the coming year. Devotees use these predictions as guidelines for the coming year. It is a very good idea to follow the rules dictated by your spiritual home. I have several cautionary tales about how someone didn’t follow a food prohibition and then got ill, or didn’t follow a sex tabu and then got an STD. There are a few things to remember when reading this information. First, follow the instructions of your own ile, and your godparents first and foremost. Secondly, if you are not initiated into the religion this information is provided for informational purposes only. Fortunately or unfortunately Santeria is not a home study religion, and it can not be self taught, everyone is different and needs the individual guidance and support that come from belonging to a spiritual family.”

Dorsey also shares the Yoruba Cultural Association’s letter for 2014. For a deeper picture, you can look at many different yearly Ifa readings from many different groups and councils, here.  Meanwhile, the faithful take to the streets in Cuba to ask the powers for a prosperous year to come.

“Cuban followers of the Santeria faith beat sacred drums, sacrificed animals and sang ceremonial songs in the Yoruba tongue Monday to give thanks for the year’s blessings and ask for prosperity in 2014. About 200 believers and onlookers thronged Havana’s most important market, Cuatro Caminos, for the ceremony dedicated to Eshu-Elegbara, the deity associated with markets and commerce, and also protector of the universe. “This year was good, it was prosperous,” said Victor Betancourt, a “babalawo,” or Santeria priest.”

Naturally, Santeria isn’t the only faith that engages in divination, though few Pagan organizations formalize yearly divination in such a manner (usually readings are personal and done for clients). There are, on the other hand, plenty of Astrologers giving 2014 forecasts. Whatever your method, Dorsey’s warning to treat these various readings as informational if you aren’t entrenched in the belief system or school in question is well heeded. As for their accuracy? Only time will tell.

“Carol Mayer, a self-described “undercover psychic” at Benicia’s Angel Heart 4 You, 501 First St., (707) 745-2024 also sees improvement on the horizon. “Twenty thirteen was a very difficult year for everybody, so I guarantee 2014 will be a better year for everybody; a really wonderful year for all of us,” said Mayer, who said this prediction comes also from observations as a local business owner.”

Have you done divination or oracular work for 2014? Just have a strong hunch about the months to come? What are your predictions and advice for the coming year? Feel free to share them in the comments, and welcome to 2014!

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • Tauri1

    ““Afro-Cuban priests warned Thursday that the new year may be marked by outbreaks of disease, environmental disruption, familial disorder and conflict between people and nations that risks spilling into war. n the annual “Letter of the Year,” a commission of “babalawos,” or Santeria priests, also predicted that 2014 could see the death of important global political or religious leaders, and elderly people in general. They did not, however, name any names.”

    This is so vague. On top of that we already have “outbreaks of disease” (flu etc.), environmental disruption (earthquakes and volcanoes), familial disorder (phwt!!! Just look at any news headline!) and conflict between people and nations that risks spilling into war. (well, duh!!! That’s already happening.) And their “prediction” of the death of important global political and religious leaders? Ariel Sharon is probably on his deathbed… no news there, “and elderly people in general.” Well, of course the elderly are going to die! They’re at the end of their lifespan.

    Notice, however, “they did not, however, name any names”. That’s because they haven’t got a clue any more than they have a clue about what tomorrow’s lottery numbers will be.

    There are so many variables out there that to make these types of predictions is akin to reading the newspaper’s horoscope columns. They are so vague and all encompassing that they become irrelevant.

    • kenofken

      Doing divination on the scale of an entire world and year can only produce a very low-resolution picture, at best. As long as everyone recognizes that, there’s no harm in putting out such vague predictions, and they might do some good by providing landmarks which might relate to our own outcomes in that time period. Generally I won’t even attempt to divine on a large scale. When I keep it to myself or one other person, and one specific question or issue within a month or two, I get good results.

      • Ursyl

        It’s no prediction at all to say that events that happen every year are going to happen this year.

        I could have “predicted” as much.

        • kenofken

          I don’t think the priests making the predictions would purport that they’re psychic geniuses by forseeing that old people or some world leaders will die this year. I think it’s more that they’re offering their impressions that these sorts of events or themes might have a particular importance for members of their own communities in this year.

  • Charles Cosimano

    Oh hell! At least Jean Dixon was funny. Did these brilliant prognisticators and readers of entrails also predict that there would be snow in Wisconsin and that a mailman would be bitten by a dog?

  • http://blacknyx.tumblr.com/ BlackNyx

    My prediction is that all of the people commenting above are turds.

  • Lēoht “Sceadusawol” Steren

    A lot of people are expecting a major societal disruption/collapse. We can see this from the surge in interest of survival preparation and associated industries.

    Personally I think such a thing is inevitable, it is a case of when not if. Do I think we will see outbreaks of disease, environmental disruption, familial disorder and conflict between people and nations that risks spilling into war in 2014? Certainly, and probably on a larger scale than 2013. But I don’t think it will be big enough to significantly disrupt western societies. Yet.