2020: Death of an Emperor

Kings are never without flatterers to seduce them, ambition to deprive them, and desires to corrupt them.    


Many of you will be familiar with the concept of linking numerology with Tarot. In order to get the underlying card for the year, just add the digits of the year, until you get a digit that can be aligned to a number

in the major arcana. In the case of 2020, it goes like this: 2+0+2+0=4…. which in Tarot, is the number associated with THE EMPEROR. As the cards in practice, work in pairs and even trio’s in some cases, we can also assign DEATH (13, 1+3=4) to 2020.

2019’s card pair was The Empress & The Hanged Man.. a year of relinquishing control to allow a more creative and vital force to come to the fore. The energy of 2019 spoke of the opportunity to manifest beauty, creativity and abundance, not by any force or outward displays of power or energy, but rather through the stillness of bringing our own hearts into harmony with our purpose. It was interesting to see the big push for the environment, through climate action, that came in 2019, ans this would very much be the preserve of The Empress… The Hanged Man also representing the “Non-Action” of many governments and “non-believers”  who are actually burying their heads, and refusing to face the truth.

You can go a step further if you like, and add your birthday on to this, to get your own personal card for the year. (ie: if your birthdate is 3rd May, this would translate as 5+3+2+0+2+0= 12/3 The Hanged Man & The Empress which would be your personal energy for the year).

Together, The Emperor & Death suggest quite literally, the death of an old way of being and the necessity for a strong and strategic approach.

Interestingly, the astrology of the year marries quite accurately with the cards drawn, and the red planet Mars, ruler of both Aries and Scorpio (which associate with The Emperor & Death) is in Scorpio as we enter 2020, and will also be in Aries in the Autumn, when he enters his retrograde phase, also accentuating Chirons position in Aries.

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Pluto, co-ruler of Scorpio, and associated with the Death Card, is, through the conjunction with Saturn and Jupiter this year, going to be far more noticeable in people’s lives than usual, so it seems reasonable to expect quite a dramatic ride.

I mean, I am not saying that an Emperor will die, but the tension will be felt in the palaces of power; the cracks will start to show…. its going to take strong and knowledgeable leaders to steer a safe course, and I can envisage a growing tension between “holding on to tradition” and “allowing change”.

For more on the astrology for 2020, you can read more HERE


To find your own personal card of the year, add the day & month of birth to 2020 and keep adding until a single number is reached…. eg: a birthday for May 3rd would be as follows: 5+3+2+0+2+0= 12=3. The energy of the year can be accurately defined by the resulting card, giving insight into the underlying patterns that you may be dealing with over the coming months. Seen as a kind of “mandala for the year”, I find that the Birth-Card can be a very useful  focus tool, for decision making, planning, and for reorientation, when things seem to be going astray. The numbering system that I use, works with all Thoth & TdM style decks.


If your number is One, Ten or Nineteen (which all reduce to one), 2019 will be The Year of The Magus, and will incorporate the energies of the following cards:

The Magus-Fortune-The Sun

I. The source is One, whence things are brought to be,  for chaos is the Primal Unity.


Giving yourself the permission you need to seek your hearts desire brings success. As you connect to all that is creative and joyful in your life, you allow the forces of change and opportunity to flow towards you, and as the wheel turns, all things are possible. You become the master of your own destiny.


If your number is Two, Eleven, Twenty (all reduce to two), 2020 will be The Year of The Priestess, and will incorporate the energies of  the following cards:                      The Priestess-Lust-The Aeon

II. In Two divide the source and end apart to yield the Goal, at which is aimed the start.


Finding true passion in your life becomes imperative this year, as you journey to unite yourself with your true spiritual path. Strength grows when you recognise that your connection with the divine, allows you to express your deepest desires with authenticity,  and in this way, you recognise that your whole life can be transformed.di45Ez6LTIf your number is Three, Twelve or Twenty One (all reduce to three), 2020 will be the year of The Empress, and will incorporate the energies of the following cards:            The Empress-The Hanged Man-The Universe

III. The Three goes forth, the difference to transcend; The First Perfection: middle, start and end.


Finding that beauty is all around you, even in the most unlikeliest of places, will help you to see that all is not as it at first appears. You hold the seeds of the future in your arms, but must have the patience to know that the future is waiting for you, when you can find enough courage to let go of the present, and to walk through the doorway into what happens next.di45Ez6LTIf your number is Four or Thirteen (both reduce to four), 2020 will be the year of The Emperor, and will incorporate the energies of Death & The Emperor

IIII. By Four-square poise an Order is defined, in double pairs the disjoint poles to bind.


Releasing what is no longer relevant in your life makes way for the building of a new personal authority. Endings and loss may surround you this year, but have faith in the process, and the knowledge that you will emerge stronger, more stable and more definite about your path in life as a result.di45Ez6LTIf your number is Five or Fourteen (both reduce to five), 2020 is the year of The Hierophant, and will incorporate the energies of The Hierophant & Art

V. The Five erupts beyond the ordered bounds; the Crisis shows another world surrounds.


A year of rebalancing and transformation continues this year, after the losses and difficulties of last year. This year you are invited to make sense of all that has happened to you recently, and to understand the true nature of your deepest self. Listening to the voice of your own heart leads you deeper and deeper into the gold at the end of the rainbow, as you feel reborn into a stronger awareness of your place in the universe.di45Ez6LTIf your number is Six or Fifteen (both reduce to six), 2020 is the year of The Lovers, and will blend the energies of The Lovers & The Devil

VI. By Six degrees the high and low are wed, and Second the Perfection that is bred.


Events that reveal your deepest fears, lead you into a place where you are forced to contemplate your strengths and weaknesses on a most intimate level. Experiences that confront you with shame, lust, desire and darkness have the potential to illuminate your shadow, and to instigate healing on a most profound level. Wholeness, renewed vitality, and a stronger awareness of what it means to have a balanced relationship will be the reward of your hard won experiences.di45Ez6LTIf your number is Seven or Sixteen (both reduce to seven), 2020 is the year of The Chariot, and will blend the energies of  The Chariot & The Tower

VII. By Seven the array is forced to flee, and yet it holds a Hidden Unity.


Facing the demand for change that is arising strongly within, despite the fear of destruction, leads you into a place of turmoil and uncertainty. Facing the future with a firm grasp, inner focus, and the knowledge that anything lost has outlived its [purpose, will help you to step free of the outdated structures that have been holding you a prisoner of the past.di45Ez6LTIf your number is Eight or Seventeen (both reduce to eight). 2020 is the year of Adjustment, where you have the opportunity to blend the forces of Adjustment & The Star

VIII. By Eight degrees the wheel of nature rolls; Reciprocation balances the poles.


Reorienting your life, and making changes on the physical and material level, will help you to develop a structural framework for the profound inner changes that will come the following year. The balance that has been lacking in your life in the past, will provide a harmonious place from which you can envision the spiritual changes that follow. In this way, you can envision a life where heaven and earth can meet in a perpetual; dance of life.di45Ez6LTIf your number is Nine or Eighteen (both reduce to nine), you are in the last year of the cycle, the year of The Hermit, which incorporates the energies of The Hermit & The Moon

IX. The Nine includes the center with the wheel: the Third Perfection, dawn of the ideal.


You are in the final year of nine year cycle, a breaking down of all that has gone before. Your journey will lead you finally into the places that you most fear. As you walk away from the comfort of the light, you will be challenged to face all the things that you have been afraid to deal with thus far. Through illuminating that which you most fear, you will discover that the essence of your own power lies in the very place that you have been afraid to look, the inner mystery that you have been searching for.di45Ez6LT

I hope that you have enjoyed this post, and that you will join me for more tarot, astrology and assorted shenanigans in 2020. I leave you with a quote from Nelson Mandela, and wish you all the very best for the coming year.

We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.

Number Verses from the most excellent website of John Opsopaus

My name is Joanna Grant, I am an Astrologer, Tarot Reader and Writer, who lives for nowJo Crop in the South West of Ireland. Throughout my life, I have watched as the planets have woven their stories into my life; as Jupiter has brought me the desires of my deepest longings and as Pluto has torn my life into shreds, and eaten the remains. I have answered the clarion calls of Saturn, as he has brought me to new lands, to hardship, and also to deep learning, and have also witnessed that he has never left my side. Uranus has ensured that I have not stayed in any one location for very long, whilst Mars & Venus have led me by the nose on far more occasions than I care to recall, but who have also brought their passionate efe5e34ac3b2f4dc8d851a9fa3eb13d1creative spirit to the fore in my life. Neptune has beguiled and confused me, but also entranced and inspired, whilst Mercury has made certain that I have studied the reasons “why” for everything to the “nth” degree. The Moon, my eternal guide on this journey and the lady of my own chart, has given me my deep love of The Stars, steering me ever onwards along the path to seek The Sun.

At this stage in my life, it is time to give back….. and my long knowledge of Astrology leads and informs my practice in offering guidance and empowerment, helping others to lead a more authentic, productive and magical life. You can read more about me here.

sun_moon final

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