by Karin Ugander and Christopher Penczak
This article is part 1 of a two-part series.
When we began looking at the year 2021 from a numerological and symbolic/mythic perspective we were struck by what the numbers said and the potential impact on people and the world. A most significant year in every sense of the word. The symbols lead us to the myth and legend of the Holy Grail, something that has influenced the Western world for centuries. In this article Karin guides us through the numerology of this very exiting year while Christopher guides us into the deeper mysteries of the Grail. We hope that you will enjoy the ride. Here we go!
2021 Looking at our Planet from the Outside
To understand the numerological energies of 2021 we begin by looking at 20 and 21 separately. The tarot card related to the number 20 is The Aeon. In some tarot decks it is called Judgment. On the card you can often see people rising from their graves, reaching for heaven and ascension. This is also one of the tarot cards with an angel on it (the others being 6 The Lovers and 14 Temperance/Alchemy). The Aeon speaks to the turning of cosmic months in the Procession of the Equinoxes. We say the dawning New Age is the Age of Aquarius, the Water Bearer.
A powerful symbol from our modern Grail mythos comes from the Glastonbury Zodiac. The Glastonbury Zodiac is a series of landforms around the Glastonbury area, depicting variations of the twelve zodiac signs. First envisioned by the artist Katherine Maltwood as a “Sumerian” Temple of the Stars in the British landscape dating back to ancient times, the reality of it defies modern convention, mixing age-old landscape features with the relatively modern to depict an esoterically coherent zodiac. Aquarius in the Glastonbury system is the Phoenix, formed out of the Glastonbury Tor. This mythic birdof rebirth holds the Chalice Well in its beak, conjuring the image of an illuminated heavenly bird pouring the healing waters of the Holy Grail upon the land to usher in the new Age of Aquarius.
In the Aeon we get a chance to step away a bit from our lives and look, make an evaluation of how we have lived and make new decisions. Number 20 is the letter T in our alphabet. The letter itself is like a stick with a small shelf on top, like a bird’s perch. In one sense working with number 20, weare the birds perched on top of the stick, looking down on our lives and our incarnation. Do we like what we see? What will we do with it? Will we continue as before, or will we take another path?
One of the challenges with the number and energy of 20 is if we step too far away, losing the connection to our lives and taking no responsibility. What does rainforest devastation have to do with me? Or on a personal level, what do my relationships have to do with me?
Perhaps this will be one of the challenges during the 21-century. Will we be so disconnected from life and earth that we take no responsibilities over life on the planet? Or, will we get a unique perspective, looking both backwards and forwards at the evolution of the planet (like we can do sitting on a high perch) and make positive changes for the continuation of life on this planet?
The Universe and the End of a Cycle
This takes us to the number 21, the tarot card of the Universe. This card represents The World, as it is called in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, meaning our planet and the whole of creation. It is also the final card of the Major Arcana, a journey through the tarot.This signals the importance of this year. From the year of 2000 the Aeon card, 20, has met each and every one of the trump cards from the magician 1 (2001) all the way though to now the final card of The Universe 21 in 2021.
What does this mean? On a global plane we as humans will look at our world from outside. We can expect space programs to make big advancements. We will look at our place in the Universe with new eyes. A cycle of time is ending and something new is being born. In our cycle of the Procession of the Equinoxes, the Universe card embodies the new Earth, at the end and now beginning a new cycle, a new cosmic month after the Aeon card.
On a personal level we, like the tarot card of the Universe, have a chance to tie-up loose ends, to come to a conclusion in our lives, and hopefully learn what truly is important to have a meaningful life. How will we end this journey through the Major Arcana? Will we begin the new cycle on a higher level (with the tarot card The Fool as number 22) with increased awareness? Or will fall to lower frequencies (with The Fool as number 0) working our way up again?
Number 5, the Physical Activator
We continue our journey by adding the numbers 20 + 21 = 41 and we keep on adding 4 + 1 = 5. In numerological terms we call this 41/5. The year of 2021 is 41/5. In the world of numerology it is important where we get the final number from. There is a major difference, for example, between 14/5, 23/5, or in this case 41/5.
Let´s take a look at the number 5. The numbers 1, 5, and 7 are all activators, always on the go and up to something. They are inventive and ready for change. What differentiates 5 from the rest in the group is that the number 5 is a physical activator where as 1 is a mental activator and 7 is an intuitive activator. The number 5 needs to feel, touch, and create on the physical plane.
There is a radiating energy with the number 5, making it charming, attractive, and seductive. On the bright side we have entertainment, adventures, learning, fun, and romance. On the darker side we have, addiction, lies, deceit, irresponsibility, embezzlement, and laziness.
You can say many things about the number 5, but it is never boring. In Qabalah, 5 is the sphere of Mars, of Geburah, and deals with energy and often destruction. The fives of the Tarot embody this energy in the four elements, with the Five of Wands called Strife, the Five of Discs called Worry, the Five of Swords called Defeat, and the Five of Cups called Disappointment in the Thoth deck of Aleister Crowley and Lady Freda Harris. Hopefully your year won’t have only this darker side to it, and we’ll enjoy more of the charm and adventure. Mars is always necessary action that brings change. We can expect a year filled with activity. Probably not the same kind of activities we had going on before the pandemic, but still there will be many things to do and explore. If you find yourself bored, perhaps you have to look at your own unwillingness to participate in the things that areactually taking place this year.
People born with the life lesson number 5 have jobs like: artist, adventurer, scientist, researcher, travel agent, artist agent, scribe, teacher, journalist, musician, salesperson, and athlete.
The 5 as a Wakeup Call
In the StarCode Healing system we work with something we call the Rampsystem. It has 13 portals running 3 codes of awareness. Each of the portals explains different levels of consciousness. Each has its virtues and vices, its gifts and challenges. No portal or ramp is better or worse, they’re just different levels of creation. The Rampsystem has numbered gates, portals, and paths to it, not unlike the Tree of Life.
Ramp number 5 is called “The Bell”. It is a wakeup call. When we enter that place things are set in motion for us to move and awaken from our slumber. For some the wakeup can be to fall in love, have an outstanding meditation with clear vision, find salvation, have a god-like experience, meet real witches, or find a soul mate. For others it can be the loss of a loved one, a relationship break-up, losing a job, or something happening from the outside, making change inevitable. Ramp 5 and the number 5 doesn’t have any valuation of one event being better or worse than the other. The power behind the 5 is change.
I Want This, or I Believe That This is What I Want?
With the number 5 there is a lot of desire. At the most basic level is wanting to touch, smell, feel, and be alive. On a higher level it is wanting to be loved, wanting success, knowledge, and perhaps even fame? Now the tricky part: What if the things I want, are not what I truly need, or the things that will lead me to happiness? Of course they can be, but many times they are not the same thing.
The Number 41/5 and Ace of Cups
When we add 20 + 21 we end up with the number 41. The number 41/5 relates to the tarot card the Ace of Cups. In many decks we can see the Ace of Cups overflowing with water: the sky is clear and beautiful. All seems to be well. But one does well to remember that all Aces in the tarot contain raw power, and the Aces have the power to be both good and bad. They initiate new beginnings, but they can lead to many different things.
The Ace of Cups is a manifestation of the Holy Grail. The Holy Grail is a mystery, but we can approach the mystery through the element of water, and find the holy cup or cauldron. Today, many think of the Holy Grail as the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper, relating it to the Christian mysteries of sacrifice. It becomes a pivotal part of the later Arthurian myth cycles, where the land becomes blighted and the knights, to heal the land and the people, must seek the redemption of the Holy Grail. A vision appears at the Round Table explaining this mystery and the knights go forth on a holy quest that is as much an inner journey as an outer adventure.
Arthurian tales straddle the line between the emerging Christian times and the ancient Pagan, and then set the older stories in the far more Romantic era of shining knights and fancy castles, where the historic reality, if there is one, is more of chieftain warlords and forts, but the connection to the Pagan past is important. Rather than the cup of Jesus, many believe the first Grail is the cauldron of the Goddess, the cauldron of regeneration and inspiration that King Arthur sought in the earliest poems about the Grail.
Today, the Grail in the form of the Ace of Cups, is one of the four magician’s tools, one of the four hallows of the Witch, along withthe wand, blade, and stone or pentacle. In other stories, the Grail takes the form of these tools, also embodies in the three other aces. The aces can seem wonderful and clear, as they are the highest and brightest ideals of water, fire, air and earth, but also represent our challenges to attain and embody those ideals.
People born with the number 41/5 in their name or as a life lesson number has a special glow to them. They stand out in a crowd. It is like they have a spotlight just for them, following them wherever they go. As a child this can be difficult because whenever something happens, and a lot of things happen around a 41/5 person, they often get blamed for it. With this Ace of Cups energy, they bring a sense of happiness and love, but when they fail to embody it, they reflect back to us when we fail to embody happiness and love, so many will choose to blame them.
On a collective plane this means that this year we will probably get even more obsessed with celebrities and famous people in the spotlight. We will become obsessed with the ideal, and can use media to deflect our own quest upon those already in the spotlight, rather than focus on our own journey. We may also become more addicted to reality-TV and documentaries. The shadow side is that we are equality prone to give the same people we admire the blame if something goes wrong and our expectations are not met. The key of these Grail teachings, and really all spiritual teachings, is to be able to then recognize the patterns within us.
If you are a teacher, public person, or the like, you can expect this year to become more intensive. The energy of 41/5 helps you to reach out to a bigger audience, but you also need to prepare what it means to be in the spotlight, both good and bad. Do your best to embody your ideals and live from them, but also realize you are human, on your own quest, and while you can inspire others, your path isfor you alone to live.
To Not Become Blinded by the Light
On a personal level the energy of 41/5 can make it hard to really see. You can become blinded by the light of a person, a project, or even an idea.You fall in love with them so much that you don’t see the reality of the situation, even if it’s not right for you. It’s when you fall in love with love, the kind of energy exploited by someone who seduces you and robs you blind.
This year we can easily project our wants and needs into our relationships and close environment. Just because I really, really want something to be true, doesn’t make it true. This year it is extra important to stay alert. My shamanic teacher told me, “the best way to have allies is to learn how to be a great one yourself.”This year of 2021 it is most certainly so. Remember to be an ally to the people close to you. If something doesn’t add up, start asking questions. If you get that aching feeling in your stomach that something is wrong, talk to your friends. Do some research. Don´t be fooled by appearances.
When the Heart Hurts and Shadow Training
In its fullest potential number 41/5 has a big heart connecting the powers between the upper, middle and lower world. It is the channeller giving advice and radiating love. When the Ace of Cups shows up in a tarot reading, or the number 41/5 in a numerology chart, they speak about a big opening. The heart is opening up and it yearns for a bigger flow of energy. Just like ramp number 5 it can be either a pleasant opening, or a more troublesome one.
People who are truly happy are usually pleasant to hang out with, but if you are experiencing loss or grief their happiness can be difficult to be around. Same thing if you are recovering from a painful relationship breakup. Seeing people being in love can be a very difficult thing. Thoughts like “Why is this happening to me?”, “What does he/she have that I don’t?”, “What have I done to deserve this?
It can also be in regard to success on different levels. “Why is he/she so successful?” “That should have been my thing!” All those emotions and feelings are many times not something that we are proud of having, but they are there and we need to acknowledge that if we want to continue to develop and help our hearts to grow. The acknowledgement of a hurt heart and the understanding that there’s something missing in my life, is many times the call of the soul asking us to go further and dig deeper.
41/5 and Fellow Travellers
As we journey through life we may have the good fortune to have fellow travellers with us on the path. Friends, family, fellow witches and healers. It feels good to have someone else close to you during challenging times. This year though, we may not be able to connect and “hold hands” in the same way.
One reason is that everyone is doing a lot of processing themselves in the most unexpected ways. One friend may suddenly divorce, another find a new job, move to another part of the country. Suddenly the well-known has changed and the pieces of our lives has changed to new positions. Remember, number 5 is a physical activator. But this also means that new people can walk into our lives as well. New neighbours, co-workers, partners to our friends.
In the Grail Mythos, we have the paradox of the Company or Fellowship of Knights from the Round Table, yet the reality that each on the quest for the Holy Grail must go alone. We have those who walk along side us for a time, but we will ultimately be challenged at points and feel quite alone in facing those challenges. On the other side, there is the fellowship of those who have attained the mystery of the Holy Grail, and even still, their a solitary nature to their fellowship.
What About Me?
With 41/5 being a high energy number people are going through big, fast shifts of energy and awareness. If you are the one making the “jump” it can be scary in the sense of feeling alone in a new place. If you are standing by someone else making a big jump in their lives, you can feel left out or abandoned. What about me? What about my hopes and dreams?
In the quest for the Grail, the “jump” is often embodied by a series of challenges. There is a questing beast that must be encountered and tamed. The taming is often through the showing of compassion as much as the skills of the warrior. The jump can be embodied by the chasm separating the questing knight from the castle. The bridge that connects the two sides is described as a sword, and the knights must walk the blade’s edge, often discarding the armor that would unbalance them or drag them down. Otherwise the knight must climb down into the abyss and brave crossing the water. There is an aspect of having to leave behind one’sold life to enter into something new, and be changed by that process. Before we do, we evaluate what we are leaving, and what we are hoping to find on the other side.
This year, I highly recommend spending time with the people who are important to you. Connect, talk, have fun, even if it is over the internet. When we go to school it is clear that our time together with our classmates is limited. Even if we keep contact later on, we all know it will not be the same. As adults we sometimes forget the winds of change and are lulled into believing things will always stay the same, but eventually they won’t. For many of us, life is about to change and the great puzzle holding things together is moving the pieces. You never know where you or your friends will end up. Some of our friends will have already made the leap, and they can inspire us. Others are not even thinking about the leap, and for a time, they can distract us. Not all distractions are bad. Everything is not so serious all the time. Other friends are peers, also at the edge, contemplating the leap, and even though we do it alone, it can be helpful to know others are doing it too.