I’ve been threatening to start a blog for sometime now, and it seems appropriate to start my first entry on the eve before what looks to be a very interesting and dynamic year- the 2015th Gregorian year after the theoretical incarnation of Jesus of Nazereth. As a primer to much of the blogging that I foresee covering, I highly recommend reading though my home pages to get a more complete picture of my philosophy and practice. This blog will cover varying, interrelated topics that spawn out of the areas of service that I provide, with a particular focus on cosmic ponderings and their ramifications. By cosmic I mean both astrological interpretation of events and people, as well as broader, space-time considerations that help shed light on the realities we experience. Within this context however, I also endeavor toward the deconstruction of the dominant cultural paradigm that operates in a seemingly perpetual state of imbalance, injustice, and general reckless incompetence. I also intend to promote and propose strategic solutions for a new direction towards a more just, sustainable, and sacred world.
Much of my core spiritual practice revolves around the remnants of Celtic tradition that has been reinvigorated in the past centuries along with elements from various other occult systems. Most of the world we live in, along with the entire lexicon of astrological language that I practice originates in the Roman world view. Being born into this system, it is impossible to escape entirely the influences of centuries of social construct, and yet, I find it necessary to look at the areas where I believe Roman-Christian culture has lead us astray, and the calendar is one of those areas I have always felt lies behind our disjointed and dysfunctional relationship with the world and each other. Rome was a society that specialized in institutional power- which manifested in many areas of life, some helpful, others not so much. It is this juxtaposition between the searching of my own indigenous heritage and naturalist philosophy, and the imperialist nature of Roman-descended society that will frame my writing here.
The counting of time is said to be a crucial aspect of how a given culture perceives reality, and therefore how they act and react with that given reality. Our current paradigm operates in a Heliocentric counting which suits me fine as a Sun-worshiper, and for the sake of simplicity I won’t delve into Lunar calendrical systems. Lately however, I have been contemplating a strange and deep resistance I’ve had to placing any kind of weight on celebrating the New Year of the Gregorian Calendar. Its ostensibly arbitrary nature alone is enough for me, as an observational astronomer/astrologer, to dismiss it as a holiday of little significance. It is not aligned with the Solstices or Equinoxes, nor with the cycles of the moon or any other observable cosmic phenomenon, and thus a poor reckoning for time. New Years Day stems entirely out of a hodge-podge of political and religious agendas that still influence our collective consciousness- for better and for worse. The Gregorian calendar we currently use is a descendant of the Julian calendar, developed by Julius Ceasar in 46 BCE, which itself was based on the older Roman calendar. All three of these calendars were heavily manipulated by superstition and gross human egotism (July being named after Julius and August for Augustus for example). By contrast, various other calendrical systems throughout the world designate different new years dates that correspond to observable cosmic alignments and rhythms; the Chinese New Year being the second New Moon after Winter Solstice (and the animal of that year being the sign that Jupiter is in on that New Moon), in India various sects celebrate at different times either roughly around the Spring Equinox or the Sun’s entrance to Sidereal Aries (April 14 or 15). Tropical astrology of course also designates the beginning of its year also at the Sun’s entrance to Aries on the Spring Equinox, though of course an Aries that is not visible. It seems only fitting that the counting of our orbits around the Sun should begin at an observable cosmic occurrence- such as a Solstice or Equinox- rather than a moment deemed important by emperors and popes.
In popular culture, it is perhaps the biggest event in which people routinely commit (and recommit) to making themselves and/or the world better- you would think Christmas would evoke such feelings, but no. It is celebrated in countries around the world, largely due to centuries of Western political domination and colonialism. The great amount of pomp and ceremony that surrounds it outshines just about every other holiday at least in Western culture, neck-and-neck with Christmas to which it is closely linked. And yet, we have very little story describing it’s importance aside from it’s when we change the number of our calendar. The link with Christmas of course is not accidental- it being the time when the Church deemed to be the birth of their savior despite there being no historical evidence to support this designation. The choice of December 25 for the birth of Jesus is a hotly debated topic which I will not attempt to cover here. In accordance with Jewish tradition it is said, eight days after his birth he was circumcised and named, which would have been January 1. This is a convenient happenstance since January 1 had previously been the start of the Roman year, and was marked by the counsuls taking office. The New Year at its foundation was primarily a political/legal event that only gradually and somewhat accidentally became the grand opportunity to better oneself that we know today.
So in wrestling with these layers of history and convention, I have come to a place where I reject New Years as a important holiday for me personally and cosmologically, but still recognize it as a significant rhythm in our world simply on the basis of its agreed upon nature. The sheer force of human emotion and will create a swell of power that is nonetheless worthy of reflection and declaration. In another blog post, I’ll address the astrological implications for this year based on the pattern present on January 1, 2015 CE. Like all things however, New Years Eve/Day too will eventually be subject to the passage of Time, and will someday be replaced by some other holiday as our calendar will likely be changed. When this will occur I cannot say, nor hold any hope of seeing that change in my lifetime. Perhaps someday, after we have thrown off the yolk of empire and the colonialism of our minds, we will address the hidden and subtle inequities embedded in our sense of time and realign it to something more in tune with the greater rhythms of Nature that envelope us.
This entry was posted on Thursday, January 1st, 2015 at 12:11
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