1st January as the Western calendar year 2019 begins
I was never one to celebrate the change of calendar as a child. Plagued by the pang of deep Irish guilt as an adult when surrounded by an ocean of revellers on the 31st December, enthusiastically counting away time, eagerly anticipating a dawn that would miraculously wipe away what has come before, opening up the infinite possibility of a landscape as yet unchartered, insincerely making promises to themselves that they could not keep, I just never felt ‘it’. It was, for me, just another day. I felt great excitement on the eve of my closest companion’s birthdays and still to this day never see clients on the re-birth day of my family; I adore the dive into the long Irish nights heading towards the solstice; I love the ascent of light during the climb into summer when it is still bright after 11pm. It wasn’t until I re-discovered astrology that I understood why.
Aside from the fact that there are many different calendars in existence, each culture observing their own New Year; outside of the fact that our calendar has indeed changed over time, causing a peasant’s revolt when folk felt that they were being short changed by their imperious rulers, losing pay as the West moved from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar; outside of the patriarchal worship of the Sun, the Lord of Light; the 1st of January has no astrological significance at all, taking place as the Sun traipses through the middle of the tropical zodiacal sign of Capricorn (in the West) or the end of Sidereal Sagittarius (in the East). The middle of a sign, not the start or the end, but the middle!
Even though the history of astrology has been overtly influenced by a Northern hemispheric, seasonal, patriarchal bias, its legacy remains extant within our cultural celebrations – the seasons being marked by the passage of the Sun and many of the Christian celebrations hark back to a celestial origin, marking time that was deemed significant as the Sun ‘reached’ certain ‘sensitive’ points in the sky. In the North, the death of the Light around the 21st December marks the start of the rebirth of the Light on the 25th December, when the Sun starts to ‘move’ upwards towards its most Southerly declination on the 21st June, and could be seen as the start of the New Year, if you believe that a circle has a beginning! (This, however, does not hold for the South, as the Sun is at its maximum light and starts its descent on the 25th December toward the darkest day on the 21st June.)
On a personal basis, you have many dawns – once a year on the day that the Sun returns to the same zodiacal longitude as it was on the day you incarnated (around your birth-day); once a month, when the Moon returns to the same position as it was located during your birth moment; indeed you have a dawn of your mind-light, your heart-light, your desire-light, your nourishing-light etc. let alone the differing scripts and patterns that you contain within you that have their own ontology and time line, as depicted by the waxing and waning nature of the planetary aspects held within your birth moment that grow spirally through time. If one of those moment coincides with the 31st December, then a dawn it truly is. If not, I am sorry to rain on your parade, but there is no energetic significance of the 31st December or 1st January for you.
It is, however, the one time that it is socially acceptable to reflect back on what has gone and to anticipate what can come, and for that, perhaps there is merit, let alone the fact that it is a time of merriment, which is a welcome relief to those enslaved in the West by the life sapping Victorian work-system, though being Irish there is no need for an excuse to host a gathering and to liberate yourself in a sea of Dionysian ambrosia!
Having said that, if you mark this transition from one calendar year to another, may I wish you all the best for this coming Solar year and I hOpe that you gain much insight and depth of understand into your sOul’s passage throughout 2019.
My best wishes to you
Andrew Smith © 2019
1940’s photo unknown source