As I'm trying to put together my predictions for the coming year, I see Archangel Michael in my mind's eye. I don't always get visuals with my psychic senses, but this is a clear image. He's shirtless, as usual, with the typical white angelic robes only covering from his waist to his knees. His torso is tightly muscled, and unusually for him, he's choosing to appear with large battle scars over those muscles, faded from time. I see him leaning back in a chair behind a cherry wood desk, which shows me he's here for business.
"2015 wasn't easy," he begins, and narrows his eyes, "And 2016 won't be either. But there's an important difference between them." He gets up and walks away from his desk, standing with his back to me. He looks at me over his shoulder, and gestures to a vision in front of him. It's an idyllic scene of blue skies over rolling green hills, like a fairy tale landscape of childhood joy. "We carry dreams within us, of exactly the world we want to be in." The blue skies turn into a rainstorm. The rain is warm, but intense. "The storms of life come through, and interrupt these dreams. We think we can't achieve them, that everything conspires against us. But look at what happens after the storm." The rain ends, though the sky remains lightly cloudy. Flowers bloom from the grassy hills. Bees land on them. There is a chill in the air. "We survive these storms, and see beauty where once there was only a blank slate. But we see elements of darkness as well. The bee will sting you, and the rain will chill your body, but without them, no flowers will bloom." The vision had been projected in front of Michael, but we're inside it now. He holds out his index finger, and a bee lands on it. Michael gazes at the bee in silent communication and smiles. After a moment, the bee flies away.
We're suddenly back at his desk. I'm sitting in a chair on the guest side of the desk, he's leaning back in his chair again, fingers steepled before him. He looks at me solemnly. "Were there any questions?"
I get straight to the point: "What are the big themes of this year?" I ask.
"Redemption, first of all. You mortals aren't the only ones who've had a rough time these past 12 months. The work in the spirit realm never gets any easier, but we understand the rewards for it better than you do in the physical plane. You've been through a lot. Most of those reading this, you've been through more than you thought you could handle in 2015. When I say 'redemption,' it isn't about righting past wrongs. It's about finding the peace, the sanctity, the reward for all you've put into your lives that hasn't come to fruition.
You all have suffered greatly. We've felt it up here. We've heard your cries of pain, but our hands were tied. For most of you, it wasn't the time to give you what you needed. For those of you who've suffered, we did what we could to give you exactly what it took for you to make it through. Many weren't meant to make it through, and that's okay. That was their path. And they knew that going into their lives--though mortals tend to forget these things once they're born. The spirit realm has suffered losses as well..." Michael gazes into the distance, looking pensive.
"2016 is the year that all those who have felt like everything was conspiring against them these past few years reap the harvest from all the growth they've been through and all the chaos they've endured. 2016 is the year that those who encountered challenges they didn't know how they'd deal with, finally rise above and bring forth into the world manifestations of these dreams they've held for so long. By enduring the storms, the dreams were made malleable, tempered, and shaped into a form that would be of use in the physical plane."
"This goes along with the next theme: Hustle. 8 of Wands, for the tarot-minded among you. Move. Get going. Nose to the grindstone, balls to the wall, pedal to the metal, full speed ahead. Your dreams take action to manifest, and the Fire of God shall be under all of your asses." Michael smiles wolfishly. "Anyone who thought their dreams would land in their lap shall need to overcome that delusion in order to move forward. And unfortunately, not everyone will. Some will fail, and some will be stuck in past patterns and unable to move forward. The key to moving forward is to move. Keep your body healthy, and if you're able, physical exertion will help you stay grounded. Do what it takes to keep the blood pumping through your veins."
"The final theme I'll mention is Changing of Leadership. Nation-states have elections, and some of those elections happen this year. That is normal--no prediction there. But most of these changes shall herald dramatic shifts in unprecedented ways. The very meaning of what many of these nations stand for shall come under scrutiny and be reinvented this year. Some of these transitions shall not be easy. Some of them shall be accompanied by violence, or disgrace. Many of these transitions shall be forced upon the leaders, and the shock waves shall ripple around the world.
There is good news, however. Local communities, based on common interests and values, shall undergo changes in leadership that are overwhelmingly Just. Many of the current leaders within small communities have gained positions of repute more through charisma than ability to lead. Many of them have abused their power. Many have used their good will within these communities to serve their own interests, unconcerned with the good of all. And many, many of the leaders of small communities who have abused their power shall suffer a fall from grace. Others shall fill in the gaps. Individuals who choose to act justly, with the whole community in their hearts, shall find themselves in positions of leadership over the coming year. They shall find themselves well-regarded, and recognized for their righteous behaviors. This shall not be universal. Sometimes, stuck places and shadows are what the universe demands. But most shall find that when the groups they belong to undergo shifts around which names command respect, those who are most fit to serve the greater whole shall rise."
Michael smiles at me, gently this time. "Relax, kiddo." He clasps a hand on my shoulder. "You spend so much time worrying about things. The time to worry is over. Now is the time to act." We stand up. He walks around the desk, and gives me a warm hug. "You got this, kiddo. You all got this."
(To book Arthur Lipp-Bonewits for a tarot, astrology, or angel reading, you can email him here.)