Our current New Year occurs 11 days after the December 20th, 2013 Winter Solstice. As we enter into the first quarter of the new year, the sun begins it’s slow return to the Western hemisphere, and increases with more light as it approaches the Spring or Vernal Equinox on March 20th, 2014. Our Spring rebirth festival known as Easter, celebrates renewal and the birth of new young animals and green plant shoots, sprouting up, growing quickly into the ripe months of Summer. There is a pregnant culmination with the Summer Equinox or Solstice of June 21st, 2014.
‘Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull, “Inter Gravissimus” on February 24, 1582 that established the Gregorian calendar as the new and official calendar of the Catholic world (a large dominance). Since the Julian (previously established by Julius Caesar) calendar had fallen ten days behind over the centuries, Pope Gregory XIII designated that October 4, 1582 would be officially followed by October 15, 1582. The news of the calendar change was disseminated across Europe. Not only would the new calendar be utilized but ten days would be “lost” forever, the new year would now begin on January 1 instead of March 25, and there would be a new method of determining the date of Easter. *
Only a few countries were ready or willing to change to the new calendar in 1582. It was adopted that year in Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, and France. The Pope was forced to issue a reminder on November 7 to nations that they should change their calendars and many did not heed the call. Had the calendar change been promulgated a century earlier, more countries would have been under Catholic rule and would have heeded the Pope’s command. By 1582, Protestantism had spread across the continent and politics and religion were in disarray; additionally, the Eastern Orthodox Christian countries would not change for many years.’ (*http://geography.about.com/od/culturalgeography/a/gregorian_2.htm)
All that said, what does this mean to us as we enter our next ‘New Year?’ Symbolically, energetically, it is a collective time to think ahead and to plan the very small seeds of ideas of what we want to foster and create as we inch towards Spring. The real planting time starts in March. If anything, January is about cleaning house. Literally getting rid of junk. Clearing up your personal feng shui. Clean up old Karma. Put things away. Create order. Get ready to plant some new seeds in the Spring, that will grow into shoots and then roots in the Summer. Positive seeds and sturdy roots, that can be fruitful and bountiful in the Fall. Fall harvests will be of your diligent efforts, celebrated abundantly with thanksgiving into next Winter. And so the cycle continues.
We cannot deny our connection to the seasons, and how they affect our lives. Even the most detached high functioning person is aware of it to some degree. I encourage you to become even more aware of your connection to your natural environment and how it affects you. Happy cleaning, happy cleansing, happy planning, happy seeding, and Happy New Year!