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The nine-year cycle that lasts from 2008 - 2017 is the most important nine-year cycle in centuries. It's a pivotal cycle, so impactful that it changes the direction of our complete evolutionary path. Within this nine-year cycle, the year 2012, a 5 Universal Year, represents the actual hinge-point -- the Mayan calendar tells us this too, even if many have gone a bit overboard in their interpretations.

Change is the only constant in this universe -- a truth we tend to ignore as we go about our daily routines. Fortunately or unfortunately, the year 2012 promises to bring that reality back to the foreground of our collective awareness. Dominated by the number 5, 2012 is dramatic in terms of unexpected twists and turns -- all of which take place within this longer cycle that is, itself, a major turning point.

In this pivotal year of 2012, there will be change, change and more change, covering everything under the sun: the economy (in the U.S., Greece, Italy and Spain, to name a few), politics (like continuing Arab unrest, shocking election results in the U.S., expanding demonstrations such as the Occupy Wall Street movement and escalating unrest in France and the UK), the environment (including poisonous clouds over parts of Asia, China in particular, nuclear waste disasters in developed countries, and an alarming increase in worldwide health issues such as asthma and autism), and anything else you can think of. Nothing will be as expected. Earthquakes and floods, wildfires and hurricanes are just the tip of the iceberg. Economic power slips from the west to the east and back again. The largest economies in the world are held hostage to their own greed, and therefore their survival becomes dependent on the weakest. The political arena, already a three-ring circus, continues to get sucked deeper into the quicksand.

2012 is a time of separation and a growing clarity -- who really wins and who really loses; who grows and who is diminished. A sizeable chunk of the world population will see hope in all those changes, and rightly so. These transformations are due, or else they wouldn't happen. It's a cleansing of sorts and it smoothes the road ahead -- the doctor is IN, so to speak.

Whether you see it yet or not, the future holds a promise so exquisite, so unbelievably beautiful, your imagination could never, in a thousand years, produce the dream to match it. Yet before the world can see and recognize that promise, we have to turn a corner. And that's what this nine-year cycle is all about -- and the year 2012 especially.

With the vibrant, rebellious, and unconventional 5 entering the picture and bombarding every aspect of life for all of 2012, those who have difficulty accepting change will face a harder path. This is not a good time to put your faith in the status quo. Instead, just keep up your sails, relax and let the wind do the rest. You'll be just fine.

Now look at what's coming to your life in 2012 -- get your personalized 1-Year Numerology Forecast from our sister site, Tarot.com! +

Keep reading for Hans' month-by-month predictions for 2012 +