This week, we looked back at the year through the stories that made headlines here at The Wild Hunt and beyond. As the seasons shift, we pay tribute to the year’s successes, and remember the failings.Today, we look forward through divination. While the practice of predicting the future year’s events does happen, most commonly through the “New Year’s resolution” or similar, divination practices are used more officially in many religious groups. One of the most famous is La Letra del Año (Letter of the Year) offered annually by the Lukumí priests in both Cuba and Florida.
As columnist Manny Tejeda-Moreno explained in a 2016 article, “The letter is not just a statement, but rather an event that culminates in its release …. As the new year enters, the priests, through castings and discernment, gauge the change in energies, and offer their guidance to maintain spiritual balance and strength.”
Tejeda-Moreno goes on to explain in detail how the letter is derived. He writes:
The Letter of the Year is a tradition within the Lukumí and Ifá community. While it is unclear if the tradition originated in Africa, it is well known within this community that the first of these letters was probably cast by Ño Remigio Herrera Adeshina Obara Meyi, a Nigerian-born freed slave and priest of Ifá (babalawo) in Havana, some time around the 1830s. Since that time, the letter has been cast in a variety of locations.
As he notes, the letter is eagerly anticipated every year, and taken very seriously within that community.
In that spirit, we asked three different divination experts to use their skills to look forward at the coming year: Lou Tanti-Florez, Diotima Mantineia, and Yaya Nsasi Vence Guerra Nsasi. What should we expect? Which way is the energy flowing? What do we need to prepare for or even look forward to experiencing? Here is what they had to say:Lou Florez-Tanti is a “teacher, spirit worker, medicine maker, priest, activist, and artist who has studied with indigenous communities and elders throughout the globe.” He is a member of AIRR, the Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers.
Florez-Tanti offered his insight using the tarot. He says:
Diotima Mantineia is an astrologer, tarot reader, and intuitive. She has been offering professional readings since 1991, but has been studying far longer. Her “personal spiritual path is rooted in the Western mystery traditions, the principles of yoga, and a profound connection with the natural world.” She follows a Wiccan path, and uses “various magical and shamanic practices for healing and to live in harmony with nature.”
A number of salient social issues voiced in 2017 will continue to gain traction and attention, as well as the movements toward reparations. These will start unfolding in the new year. From the global immigration and refugee crises, to sexism, misogyny, transmisogny [sic], and gender violence, there are indications of a critical mass. People will be awakening to the systemic and institutional oppressions [sic] which have allowed these behaviors to be enacted at the individual and organizational levels, and awakening to the uplifting of the voices which have been silenced both in local, national, and international communities.
As part of this movement we are advised to address not only the individuals which have committed these acts but sit with the discrepancies between our core values and how they are addressed and tended to in our everyday interactions.
One of the main concerns in this work is to become of aware of justification and defensive narratives and allow ourselves to break open in order to break through.Tenderness, stamina, and flexibility are our allies in the work this year and we are required to reposition our internal energies so as not to buckle under the weight, constraint, and pressure of these issues.
Using astrology, Mantineia offers this insight:
With Saturn’s recent move into Capricorn, 2018 is on track to be the year of the reality check, both on a personal and global level, but that doesn’t mean everyone will sit up and take notice. Some will still be lost in a fog of illusion, delusion, and deception, and manage to stay in denial as reality swirls about their ankles like a rising flood.
But there will be consequences: outcomes will depend on our willingness to set boundaries, demonstrate self-discipline, work hard, and respect the work of others. Saturn in Capricorn can actually bring tremendous rewards, but only to those who have put down a solid foundation and done the necessary work.
Meanwhile, pie-in-the-sky Neptune is also prominent this year, particularly in the U.S. where three critical charts (cardinal ingress charts) feature Neptune fogging up the works. Neptune can open us to new realms of consciousness and lead to spiritual awakening, but not without risk of getting lost in the fun house.
A disciplined spiritual practice and trusted mentors should be the foundation any deep spiritual explorations you undertake at any time, but especially this year. Epidemics of both mental and physical illnesses will be a concern, as will the ramifications — both good and bad — of drugs of all kinds.
When outer planets (Jupiter and beyond) change signs, that shift heralds important changes in the zeitgeist. In May, the planet Uranus moves into Taurus. Like Capricorn, Taurus is an earth sign, so that element will express itself strongly, and we’ll see increasing environmental shifts and changes, particularly sudden and surprising ones.
Overall, you’ll want to pay attention to the practicalities this year. Be prepared for the consequences of not only your own actions, but those of others as well. If you have a spiritual practice that involves the elements, work with earth, and learn its lessons of planning and patience.
Yaya Nsasi Vence Guerra is a medium, activist, educator, and poet. She is a practitioner and initiate of Ifá in Lukumi, a Yaya Nganga in Palo Mayombe, and a devotee of Santa Muerte. Nsasi is also a reiki master, and a member of both the World Metaphysical Association and the Accreditation Council of Holistic Healers.
Nsasi used tarot “to open the doorway. Then [she] let the guides speak to [her].” She offers the following insight:
The state of the world and the state of [U.S] society under this president will give way to a new wave of seekers looking to believe in something more. There has been a breakdown of social structures, and people are questing to come back together in unity and belonging. So people are going to want to come together in groups with seekers looking for a sense of purpose.
As a result, there will be a surge in nontraditional spiritual practices, including alternative modes of healing.
Events will continue to happen in the government; revelations of past histories will come to light in both government and world affairs. However, Trump will not be impeached. There will be issues of inflation in the U.S., and European banks will continue to trigger issues with the euro. China and Russia will join forces.
There will be more violent earth changes in the western parts of the U.S.; volcanoes, earthquakes, and another major flood in an Asian country. Universal energies will be out of sync and out of balance, both connected to anger and aggression on local levels as well as in the political arena.
However, there will be peace based on the events that come out of the aggression later in the year
Women’s issues and women will come to the forefront. Women will come into power and facilitate the process of peace, There will be an up and coming women’s leader to support world change.