by Pauline Edward
(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)
The individual years of the Nine Year Cycle build upon each other with an organic flow that reflects the natural progression of events and circumstances in the life experience. Each number adds an essential component to the growth and development of the next and eventually to the whole. The cycle begins with an initial burst of energy and a sense of renewal in the 1 Personal Year, it then progressively builds to a peak in the 8 Personal Year of accomplishment, and then winds down and fades out in the 9 Personal Year of completion and endings in preparation for the next Nine Year Epicycle. The more effective a person is at integrating the lessons and opportunities of the climate generated by the numbers encountered along the way, the more successful will be their experience of this and subsequent periods. For example, a person who works hard at establishing healthy relationships in a 2 Personal Year will be more likely to encounter opportunities, or "lucky breaks," in their number 3 Personal Year by knowing the right people in the right places.
The 1 Personal Year
The 1 Personal Year is a time of new beginnings, filled with enthusiasm and renewed energy. It is the ideal time for making adjustments to all areas of life, especially if events in the past have lead to distractions or outright loss of direction. The 1 Personal Year is often experienced as an important crossroads. It is a key year in that it is the one time when it is possible to effectively break away from the past and, if necessary, even establish a completely new direction. This is the time to abandon old patterns and launch new projects. For those who have followed a healthy path, this can be the time for taking the next big step forward, either by upgrading activities, or slowing things down if getting ready for retirement.
The 2 Personal Year
In the 2 Personal Year, the energy of 1 divides, separates, and projects itself outwards and becomes 2, establishing a climate of duality: self and others, action and response, inner and outer, dynamic and static. That which manifested from the core of the self in the 1 Personal Year must now find its form outside itself. Having become 2, the 1 is now polarized. This can create tension, both from within and without. Wherein the last year there was a sense of limitless possibilities, now boundaries, obstacles, and limitations are beginning to appear. It is not uncommon to experience feelings of frustration and impatience in a 2 Personal year. This is a time for cooperation and receptivity. Yet, as much as cooperation is essential at this stage of development, many people are overly sensitive to the input of others, even resentful of the meddling and intrusion of outside forces. New projects and activities begun in the previous year are vulnerable in their early stages of development. Discernment is required in all interactions with others now.
The 3 Personal Year
When moving into the 3 Personal Year, a sense of relief is common, like a valve releasing built up steam. The joining of one with another produces a third energy, just as the fusion of sperm and egg produces an embryo. The energy of the 3 helps relieve much of the tension caused by the polarization of forces that was experienced in the previous year. In the 2 Personal Year, the focus was on balancing all aspects of relationships. It was self versus other, seeing that my needs are met while yours are being met. In the 3 Personal Year, energy explodes, possibilities abound, and what seemed previously guarded and tentative, too sensitive to be brought forth, too vulnerable to be exposed to external scrutiny and potential criticism, now begins to bubble to the surface. New projects and ideas that emerged over the past two years are now seeking an outlet for uninhibited manifestation. What was on your mind is ready to be expressed. The 3 Personal Year is often a time of much creativity, social activity, and optimism.
The 4 Personal Year
There are three keywords that accurately describe the tone of the 4 Personal Year: work, work, and more work! Like it or not, this is the year during which energies are best spent attending to the details and responsibilities of home, family health, and work. This is not a time for grand ideas, making a big splash, or fast and furious growth and expansion. Essentially, it is a time to focus on the meat and potatoes aspects of life. The previous 3 Personal Year probably brought some exciting new ideas, perhaps a little shaking up of the social life, some romance, a little fun, and no doubt a variety of experiences. Moving into the 4 energy is a bit like adding a fourth leg to a three-legged chair. It has a stabilizing effect. This is a foundation period, time to set down roots, time to be organized, time to buckle down, and focus on the task at hand.
The 5 Personal Year
The stabilizing force of the number 4 gets a little shaking up in the 5 Personal Year. Fatigue, pressures from overwork, and feelings of restriction can build up in a 4 Personal Year, so that the energy of the 5 Year is usually quite welcome. It is often experienced as an increased desire for freedom, a need to loosen the holds of daily habits, and a yearning for change. The addition of a 1 to the 4 breaks up the structure and neat order of the 4 energy. In the 5 Personal Year, it is time to do a little dance and break up the routine. It's a bit like adding a fifth leg to a chair, only this leg is longer. If a proper foundation has not been set in the 4 Personal Year, the destabilizing energy of the number 5 can be disrupting, causing uncertainty, chaos, or poor judgment. With a strong foundation in place, this is a great year for travel, expansion, innovation, and new experiences.
The 6 Personal Year
After the excitement and rapid progress of the 5 Personal Year, there is often a need to settle down, regain balance, and perhaps reconnect with a sense of direction if the last year resulted in a tailspin. The addition of a 1 to the 5 energy establishes a new level of balance and provides opportunities for increased rewards through service to others, career advancement, and improved personal health and inner peace. The 6 Personal Year brings attention on family and home life, and in particular, on all responsibilities for others, whether at home, in the community, or in the workplace. While attention to the needs of others increases, it is possible to benefit from the comfort and support of home and family. This can be an excellent period for healing, establishing new priorities, and balance, as well as for artistic and community activities.
The 7 Personal Year
As a counterbalance to the pull of responsibilities and relationships of 6 Personal Year, the addition of a 1 to the 6 generates the unusual and sometimes challenging energy of the 7 Personal Year. The 7 Personal Year brings a period of temporary withdrawal from the hustle and bustle of worldly and material existence. This is the number of the inner life. It requires getting in touch with innermost values and desires, sometimes creating conflict with the materialistic standards of the world in which we live. This is a time of recollection, a time to gather up inner strength and resources in order to be better prepared to go all out in the big 8 Personal Year coming in the next year. This is not the best time for pursuing material and financial goals. This is an excellent time for all solitary activities such as study, reading, meditation, or for developing a field of expertise.
The 8 Personal Year
This is the big year, the peak of the epicycle. Composed of two 4s, the 8 is about as solid as it gets. The person who has worked hard, was connected to their true life purpose, and applied the necessary efforts at the right times will experience success, accomplishment, and great satisfaction this year. For those who lived the past years without structure and purpose, floating along without direction, this year could be frustrating and discouraging, even filled with difficulty and additional stress. There really is no magic formula: hard work leads to results; the absence of work leads to failure and disappointment. This is the year in which are reaped the fruits of the labors of the previous seven years. This is an excellent time for career, professional, business, and financial activities and projects.
The 9 Personal Year
The 9 Personal Year wraps up the epicycle. This is often an important year in that it can mark the start of an important transition period in life. It is a time of completion and integration, a time for taking stock and winding down. This year the focus should be on wrapping up projects, bringing things to a close, and preparing to release the past and move forward. It is not uncommon to experience nervousness, anxiety, and heightened emotions, or even a sense of disorientation or confusion in a 9 Personal Year. An unknown future lies just around the corner, not yet fully determined, while the past remains all too present. Many people experience an explosion of creativity in a 9 Personal Year, giving them lots of ideas for possible future projects. It is very easy to become completely distracted now, as possibilities seem to jump out at every turn. This is a time to consider possibilities without making long-term commitments.
By keeping the natural progression of the Nine Year cycle in mind when establishing goals, projects flow more smoothly and fewer challenges, delays, and obstacles are encountered. Knowing what to do and when to do it gives a greater sense of control and increases confidence, and generally leads to a more positive outlook, all of which naturally contributes in increased success and more satisfactory results. The Nine Year Epicycle clearly indicates the what and the when of decisions, goals, and resolutions.
Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2007. All rights reserved.