Monday, January 2, 2017

Esoteric Heart of the Year

The Esoteric Heart of the Year
The Winter Solstice! Christmas! New Years! The Epiphany! They're all well known holidays. But few know the mysteries that surround the twelve days between the Winter Solstice, (or December 25th) and January 6th. Esoteric teachings say this period of time is significant. It's known as the "spiritual heart" of the year or the time when the Sun is reborn bringing its light to
the world. And the twelve days are ruled by the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

Before Christianity arrived, ancient cultures celebrated the New Year on the Winter Solstice, the darkest and longest night of the year. On that morning people gathered to watch the sun rise and light the long chambers of their places of worship. That gathering was a festival to call back the sun, knowing it was the giver of harvest and without it, life would cease. In 5,000 BC Persian historical records describe the gatherings. Tribal fires burned all night, feasts were laid out, and prayers offered for the sun to be reborn. Its return symbolized the victory of light over darkness and is still celebrated today.

But what about the "twelve holy days" mentioned in the ancient texts? Some calendars were unable to account for twelve days every year, so they left them unmarked. The twelve days coinciding with their ancient "New Year" were set aside as days out of time, and therefore must be sacred and holy. The Magi, astrologists, and shamans knew the sun was at its lowest point relative to the earth. For three days it appeared to "stand still" increasing the effect of darkness. They watched, waited and measured, realizing the sun didn't begin to move until the morning of the fourth day. Day by day, unobserved by the populace, the few minutes of additional sunlight
were recorded. Not until the 12th day did the people begin to notice the change. By January 6th the ordinary person could detect there was more light in the sky. On that day, light had truly overcome darkness, the growing season could begin, there would be a harvest and so they celebrated it as the Festival of Light or the Epiphany

There's an esoteric practice associated with the 12 Days which can be a period of reflection or purification. But it requires a commitment to its purpose. It begins after the "Stand-Still period" of the Winter Solstice.  So, starting either on Christmas Eve or on Christmas morning, light a candle. Ask this question: "What does this day (first, second, third, day etc) have to teach me to further my soul's purpose? I await this guidance through dreams, insights or messengers during the day." Because this is a journey of 12 days, engage it in any way you wish - by journaling, meditation, prayer, or walks in nature and be aware of where messages may be sent.

Observe and be mindful throughout the day, then journal each evening. Each day represents the
12 months of the calendar year and 12 astrological signs. For example, Day 1 is January named for the God Janus, master of beginnings and endings. Reflect on Janus or new beginnings or endings. Or consider the astrological sign Capricorn's self-discipline and responsibility.

When I did this practice in December 2015, I had a dream the first night about "reconstruction." In it I was told I had the tools, skills and talent to make or remake anything.  Later in the day, while discarding some old flowers in a vase and changing out towels, I made a connection with the dream. The insight was, discard the old and replace with new. Insights, dreams or messages continued every day of this practice.

Done with intent and dedication, this is a deep practice to take you from the longest night to the festival of lights. The symbols received and the interpretations that come day by day are remarkable. Especially when you go back and look at them a year later. Some messages predicted an outcome. Some offered insightful guidance on a specific issue. All the messages, whether dreams, insights, even a phone call, or something read on the internet, related to the day and month. It is a worthwhile endeavor in your spiritual life. If you put your personal heart into the Esoteric Heart of the Year these twelve days will serve as a brilliant guide for the upcoming year. 

                                                                                           Jo Mooy - December 2016   

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