The coming year marks our initiation into the new world. We have only been playing so far, and like the teenager, 14 years into their new life, it is time to grow up. This is a pivotal period in the history of humankind, so I can reveal one fragment from my unpublished work The Key To Time.

Pattern is the curse of man. Numerology allows us to understand pattern, in the hope that we may transcend it. If we cannot, then the matrix surely has us.

2014 brings a warning from history. The year reduces to 7 (2+0+1+4), which in the Tarot is shown by The Chariot. The year will be high speed, with fast moving events. The global trends already set in motion will gather pace, and at times it will seem as though they have a life of their own, and that we are merely subject to the inevitable. It will only seem like that though. Developments and advances in all forms of travel may be expected. We may expect progress in the crossing of the North West Passage, cutting trade times between China and the West, as well as advances in personal transportation, including electric and driverless cars. We may also see advances in space travel. With the number 7 always associated with science and discovery we might see some genuine scientific breakthroughs.

2014 is the first 14 year of the new century and millennium, 14 being shown in the Tarot as Temperance, whose lessons are flow and balance. There will be renewed interest in the redistribution of wealth and opportunity across society. The word du jour will be tolerance, and occasionally intolerance. In a literal sense there may even be some attempts to divert large rivers or waterways. The imagery of the card is strongly connected to water, and it is hard not to see flooding of some kind.

To look forward we must also look back, to the corresponding years of previous centuries. The core lessons of Temperance are tolerance, time, patience, flow, acceptance, give and take, movement and change. This is what 2014 asks of us. But can we deliver? The last time we faced such a challenge was in 1914, the spirit of which is more alive than many would care to admit.

Then, as now, the old world (in 1914 the British Empire, in 2014 the American Empire) is challenged by the new (then Germany, now China). The specifics of the challenge are different, but the principle is identical. Today’s dominant world power, the USA, is challenged like never before, economically by China, militarily by Al Qaeda and politically by radical Islam, not to mention being riven from within by partisan infighting. Contemporary accounts from 1914 show us how inevitable people felt war with Germany was. They just thought it would always come tomorrow.

Maybe we now live in more enlightened times? Regular readers will know that, after initial reservations, I see President Obama as the right man at the right time, the man least likely to do something rash. But then again the 1914 British Prime Minister was the level-headed liberal reformer H H Asquith. So we might be a little careful about putting to much faith in one man.

The pressures of 1914 are patterned into the global psyche. Britain particularly faces a profound identity crisis, as she did before. Back then she faced Irish Home Rule, Coalition government and shrinking world influence. And so the wheel turns again, albeit this time Scottish separation is the lens through which we will greet it.

We may yet experience a Glorious Summer of 2014, as we did 100 years ago, but if we are to avoid subsequent calamity then the global lesson must be one of adjustment and compromise. Wherever there is failure to do this, wherever there is intolerance, reaction and a hard line, trouble will not be far behind. The year knocks on our door to ask ‘how enlightened are you, really?’ Our answer is not yet written.

These are pivotal times because they are early times, seed years of the new millennium. Whatever is begun now will be with us for more than a lifetime. It is not just the now that we have to be mindful of, it is the consequences of the now. The last couple of years have seen the appearance of many repetitive dates – 11/12/13 being the most recent example – but it must be reiterated that our task is to understand pattern so that we may transcend it, not repeat it.

We have a fundamental choice to make over the next three years. 2014 (Temperance) is followed by 2015 (The Devil) and 2016 (The Tower). I will write more about the long-term picture another day but throughout this period we should remember that the micro is the macro, as above so below, and the personal is the global. We may be powerless – in the wider sense – to influence lunatic Islamists, power crazed oligarchs or vacillating politicians, but we can much better manage the energies of our personal lives. If enough of us do this then positive change will result.

2014 is therefore, more than any other year, the time to be tolerant, to adapt and flow with change, to move, to give, to take, to balance, to negotiate, to discuss and to accept. All this must be done with a clear goal, a positive forward momentum, with a quiet determination. It is not the year to simply roll over in the face of challenge, but neither is it the year to fight. The paradigm of ‘surrender or fight’ is redundant. Another way must be found. Like the tree we must stand and yield at the same time. The patterns of the past must be broken if we are ever to fulfil our potential. Do this in your life, work and family and please encourage others to do the same. We may then have many more glorious summers to look forward to.