Reflecting on My 2022, A World (Key 21) Year

Key 21 from the Rosenwald Tarot Uncut Sheets (1501), Key 21 from the Soprafino Tarot (1835)

I shared my 2021 reflections last December, when Judgement was my year card. In 2022, my year card was Key 21: The World. And what a climactic, intense, fruitful, and life-changing year it’s been. I’m not quite sure yet whether “life-changing” is an exaggeration, but I mean, what’s transpired in 2022 has and will have a significant impact on the course of my life from here on out.

Bolognese Tarocchi (1442), Jean-Baptiste Madenie Tarot (1739), Arcanes du Tarot Kabbalistique (1889), & Grand Tarot Belline (1863)

It’s kind of crazy how my 2021 really reflected a Judgement year (Apocalypse, in the SKT, which was quite an apt descriptive for my 2021…) and 2022 a World year.

Dante Tarot by Guido Zibordi Marchesi (Lo Scarabeo)

Last year it was like the tectonic plates beneath my feet were tremoring. And this year, many of the pieces that fragmented in 2021 fell into place. Re-reading my 2021 year in review with the Judgement card, I sure vague-booked how crazy that year actually was. “Major life shifts happened to me in 2021,” I had written. Ha. What an understatement.

And in 2022, the tremors stopped, whatever pieces were quaking fell into position, and it just so happened that my luck shot up. All the pieces landed in all the right spots.

From The Egyptian Tarot (circa 1780s) by Comte C. de Saint Germain

The numerology of 2022 (2 + 0 + 2 + 2 = 6) means globally it was a Lovers year. One exercise to do when reflecting on your personal year card is to compare it or read it in conjunction with the general year card.

Going with the esoteric implications of The Lovers card, I can’t help but reflect on this year’s Midterm Elections in the US. The results weren’t the change election of a “red wave” as political pundits were speculating. Instead, the results were reflective of people wanting a return to normalcy and moderation. The GOP gained a slight majority in the House, and Dems kept their majority in the Senate. We haven’t seen such close margins since the 1800s, so yes, it’s kind of a big deal.

If we’re observing the geopolitical climate right now with as much objectivity as we can muster, you might notice that the more critical divide going on is not between right-wing politics and left-wing politics. That’s the divide we’re being led to see. Instead, the more pivotal and precarious divide is the establishment vs. the radical (i.e., those seeking to uproot current foundations and reform the system).

The more interesting balance at play is the one going on between orthodoxy and heterodoxy. I’ve been following East Asia politics as well (personal interest and all). That establishment vs. the radical polarity is even more pronounced over there at the moment. Because the Communist Party is considered politically left-wing, though they’ve also become the establishment. When you catch people in a moment of fearless candor, you’ll observe that the radical and the heterodox are gaining support. Likewise with what’s going on with the Iran protests, this world-wide theme of people vs. government.

Key 21 in SKT: Revelation, Card 5 in my work-in-progress Etteilla deck, Card 5 from the Princess Tarots 1875 (Grand Etteilla III)

Now back to my own tarot year card. =) Random rumination: If I’m looking at my year card per the numbering in the Etteilla Tarot, are we to look at the card corresponding with the World card, i.e., Card No. 5?

Or are we to look at Card 21: The Despot/The Tyrant (which I haven’t drawn yet from my Etteilla deck project), loosely corresponding with The Chariot?

Card 21 in the Grand Etteilla

That’s one endeavor I launched in 2022 — I started working on a reconstruction of the Etteilla Tarot, which you can read more about here. I was going full speed ahead with a lot of momentum during the first quarter of the year, but then I had to take a break for this thing, then that thing, and then the momentum just petered off. Now the project is at a standstill.

Etteilla Tarot of Thoth-Hermes (working drafts), Cards 6 and 13

According to Papus, Card 13 of the Etteilla deck corresponds with what we’ve come to know as The Lovers card. Whereas Card 6 (which corresponds numerologically with 2022, if we’re working with the Etteilla) is titled The Stars or The Firmament. Papus associated the Etteilla Card 6 with the TdM Empress.

My 2022 personal year card was Key 21: The World, and the corresponding pip cards were the Threes.

If the Two of Wands (Scepters in the SKT) that marked my 2021 was about seeking expansion and treading out into the beyond, venturing to see new ground, then the Three of Wands for 2022 was about figuring out my place and purpose in this new world beyond.

Uncanny how everything written in the LWB about the Three of Scepters, The Politic aligns perfectly with how my career trajectory went in 2022.

I read the Three of Cups (SKT Chalices) as reconnecting with community this past year. I hadn’t really gone out much to socialize in 2021, so it was really nice finally seeing people in person again in 2022. Like seeing so many old friends and meeting new ones at NWTS (click here for my recap of the event).

I’m grateful to say that I didn’t feel the Three of Swords too much, though if I’m to interpret it as ideological conflicts and amplified stress, I mean, I guess I did feel that on the home front with the father-in-law and I still learning how to navigate our cultural and generational differences.

As for the Three of Orbs, I did enjoy raises and promotions of many sorts in 2022 that resonate with this card.

Tarot of Charles VI (1442), RWS (1910), Thoth Tarot (1944)

The last time I went through a World year wasn’t too long ago at all — 2013. And then before that, it was 2004, the very first time in my life I experienced a World year, according to the maths. =)

I moved from the east coast to the west to start law school in 2004. And 2013 was when I got the offer letter from North Atlantic Books for publication of Holistic Tarot. I’d say those are some fairly life-changing events.

This past year, I ended up in what can only be described as my dream job. In fact, it was several grades above what I even could have aspired for myself. And while that seems like it should be perfect, I spent the first few months struggling with imposter syndrome.

Not only did I start and get about 30% of the way into a totally new tarot deck project, I also signed a new publishing contract, wrote, and submitted my I Ching book. Sure, the very first draft of this book dates back to 2016, but writers reading this know how that goes. =)

Then in April of this year I hunkered down for intensive levels of research and writing to put together an I Ching book I’m really proud of (the contents, that is; there were some typical author-publisher POV differences when it came to layout design and marketing direction).

For those keeping track, this is my Book #3, getting completed in my Threes tarot year.

Health issues is worth a mention. I don’t see how Key 21 or the Threes apply (maybe to some extent the Three of Swords?). Before anyone worries, nothing out of the ordinary, promise!

It’s more about settling in to my early 40s and experiencing mind-body disconnect. My mind thinks I’m 21. My body knows it’s 41. I absent-mindedly stand up wrong and I throw my back out for the week. I’m sprouting more white hairs on my head, my teeth are yellowing. I wake up at the crack of dawn like old people. Nyquil gives me a hangover. I’m getting age spots. It’s all amusingly horrifying.

My annual eye exam this year came back worse. My dentist isn’t happy with the state of my teeth and to be fair neither am I. I got my first crown this year. (World card – Crown of the Magi.. ha, ha.. ha… who doesn’t love a good corny tarot joke.) My immediate reaction when I heard this news was, “I thought only old people have to get crowns.” And James deadpan looked at me and said, “Honey, you’re old.” Shit. He’s not wrong. At the very least, I am now officially, indisputably “middle-aged.” Gods.

Speaking of aging, earlier this year I caught myself in a circuit of toxic thinking I’m not proud of. I was having dinner with these perfectly poised, beautiful women in their early 30s, with their slimmer figures, flat tummies, smooth, dewy, glowing skin, and an in-full-bloom joie de vivre that I was now envious of.

I felt fat and frumpy next to them. In a group photo we took, my shoulders were slumped ever slightly the way my grandmother’s were in old family photos I had seen of her in her late 40s. My hair was looking a bit unruly. They wore fitted sundresses, heels, and jewelry. I had on stretchy sweats and sneakers. I found myself regretting that I chose comfort over style that morning.

You often hear talk of how aging seems to be harder on women. I don’t think aging is harder on any particular gender over the other. It’s hard on us all. I see Hubby struggling with it. The difference may be conditioning. He’s conditioned to soldier on and not complain. I’m conditioned to wax poetic and reflect (aka complain and whine), and write blog posts about my feelings.

This year, 2022, more so than previous years, I felt the weight of aging. (Literally. Argh, I gained 15 pounds!!)

Looking forward, my 2023 tarot year card is The Fool, and in the pips, the realm of Fours. Feels about right. In Mary K. Greer’s Archetypal Tarot, when the sum of your birth month, birth day, and the given year is 22, that’s a Fool year.

My 2022 and 2023 Tarot Year Cards from the Tarot of Magical Correspondences by Eugene Vinitski

I’ve only had two previous Fool years. 2005 and 2014.

Oh, yeah, I plotted out my tarot year card for every year of my life since birth in an Excel sheet. I’m no Excel guru so my screen shot above looks meh, but it does the job. I think it’s interesting to try to spot patterns in your life path. Do you see any recurring themes for every year that, say, The Chariot card was your tarot year card? Or which tarot card has not yet shown up as a year card for you and what does that seem to imply to you? All interesting opportunities for conjecture.

Oswald Wirth Tarot (1889), RWS (1910), Crowley-Harris Thoth (1944)

The letter association I’m used to is Aleph א ascribed to Key 0: The Fool, which you’ll find Golden Dawn decks tend to follow (both Waite and Crowley observed this), whereas per the school of Oswald Wirth, as you see above, Key 0: Le Fou corresponds with Shin ש, the 20th letter of the alphabet (and thus Aleph א is Key 1: The Magician).

In my own experiences, the Four of Wands card has shown up in several different occasions to indicate family reunions and get-togethers, and so I’m looking forward to that being the case again in 2023. =)

The first half of 2023 is most likely going to be consumed by production, shipping, and delivery logistics of the SKT: Revelation, second print run. I Ching, The Oracle will be released in June of 2023, so I think I’ll have to be doing some book promo appearances. You’ll also find me at the Omega Institute for the Masters of Tarot Conference next year.

Masters of the Tarot Conference, 2019

I presented and sat in on panels with Terry Iacuzzo and Joanna Powell Colbert back in 2019, and of course with the organizers, Mary K. Greer and Rachel Pollack. The Masters of the Tarot Conference is in a league of its own, because you get a cozy workshop feel. It’s the only conference where, as a keynote, I actually get to spend one-on-one time with attendees, get to know people really well, and leave with long-lasting pen pals. People are 100% accurate when they call it “tarot summer camp for grown-ups.”

If you’re interested in attending the 2023 Masters of the Tarot Conference, start making plans. =) Hope to see you there!

Your Tarot Year Card?

What was your 2022 tarot year card and did the card accurately express the kind of year you’ve had? What will your 2023 year card be? What are you looking forward to?

Lots of love,

P.S. If you’re not familiar with the Tarot Year Card, there’s a Sightsee the Tarot video tutorial on it, covering Mary K. Greer’s Archetypal Tarot.

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7 thoughts on “Reflecting on My 2022, A World (Key 21) Year

  1. tabithaweber

    I love your blog so much! It gives me a lot to think about. As far as a end of year card I didn’t pull one. As far as a 2023 year card, is that pull in our 2023 planner? I’m new to all of this. Not tarot in general just some of the nuances. How would one go about picking a card for the year exactly? Or the end of the year for the matter?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. tabithaweber

        Thank you. I actually own that book and I’ve worked through some of it but mostly used it for reference. The lady is a genius and it’s one of my favorites. The Star Tarot is actually my favorite for reference. Have you seen it or the deck? They came out with two editions, the first was low quality but the second was better. Anyways, thanks again!


      2. tabithaweber

        Sorry I don’t know why I told you that. Lol I had just woken up and was out of it. “Shakes head” there should be a rule to have a cup of coffee before I go and start replying to things. Btw I just started your book Holistic Tarot and I’m loving it. Though I won’t lie. I’d be curious if your thoughts on the Star Tarot.


  2. David

    Hi, dear Benebell.
    You are kind enought to ask me to keep aside your new edition Revelation tarot for january 1st
    2003…In the meantime, j had the opportunity to pre-order it at the Roi de coupe shop in France.
    J wanted to informe you out if respect because j have great admiration for your work.
    Have a nice day for you.
    Martine David France

    Liked by 1 person

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