unlocking the energy of the true New Year
Every year, as the earth revolves around the sun, an organic human calendar emerges. Whether humanity likes it or not, we are forced to live in alignment with this calendar, and over the centuries we have laid down the rhythms of our daily world according to this celestial clock. Although different cultures have interpreted natural rhythms in different ways, the timing of our lives, from the great religious festivals to the day we do our income taxes, has its direct reflection in the heavens. February 2, the Celtic festival known as Imbolc, is one of eight great crossing-over points between the movement of the heavenly spheres and the world of humankind. As we shall see, it is really the most natural time to celebrate the true New Year. The ancient Celts referred to this period leading up to Imbolc as the time of the ‘Ice Moon’ and saw it as the most powerful time for sowing the seeds of future dreams.
Arachne’s Web – unlucky for some
There are many ways of computing calendars. Different cultures have used different methods and mathematics, but the greatest truths have a tendency to endure in the ancient mythologies left behind by our ancestors. One of these myths involves the spider and her web. Spiders have always been connected to calendars for various reasons – perhaps the main one is that they have eight legs, which reflect the eight natural divisions of most human calendar systems. The spider is also intimately linked with the figure of the Goddess, who weaves the web of time and matter. Arachne, symbolic of the spider-Goddess in many cultures, is also deeply connected to the moon, since Arachne represents the thirteenth sign of the zodiac and the thirteen moons of the lunar year.
The number thirteen, despite its reputation in folklore as being unlucky (possibly due to the 13th card in the Tarot deck being the ‘Death’ card), is actually the number of transformation and renewal. Traditionally, the thirteenth person represents the master, or the hub of the circle of twelve, symbolised in the west by the figure of Christ amidst the twelve disciples. In order to pass through the illusion of the weave of time and space, one has to brave Arachne, the Goddess sitting in the centre of the web – and one has to ‘die’ to one’s small self and embrace the wider life of the Higher Self.
All these themes are deeply connected to Imbolc, the festival of February 2. Imbolc has long been a festival associated with the fertile power of the Goddess (the word ‘imbolc’ literally means ‘ewe’s milk’).
In the Gene Keys Synthesis we also have a natural calendar that lays the hexagrams of the I Ching (the 64 ‘Gene Keys’) around the wheel of the Zodiac. In this calendar, appropriately, given the above, we see the sun move into the 13th Gene Key each Imbolc, around February 2.
Gene Key 13 – The Fellowship of the Ring
The traditional name the Chinese give to the 13th hexagram of the I Ching is ‘The Fellowship of Man’. In the Gene Keys, this relates to the great Siddhi of Empathy and the Gift of Discernment. It is about enjoying fellowship by telling and listening to stories. This is why this festival is traditionally a time of storytelling, when the tribes or families would gather in circles around the fires and hear the elders telling the stories and fables of old. Each of the so-called cross-quarter festivals (their Celtic names are: Imbolc, Beltane, Samhain and Lughnasadh) is traditionally a fire festival. Imbolc is all about the inner fire – symbolised by the first glimmerings of spring and the early surging of the sap. In Christian tradition it is known as ‘Candelmas’ because it is customary to light candles in the name of the Virgin Mary.
February is one of the coldest months in the northern hemisphere. Even though the sap is on the rise, and the first spring bulbs are popping up, sometimes through the snow, the weather often takes an even colder turn. In the USA, the old festival is now know as Groundhog day, since it has a connection to the creatures that live beneath the earth and their apparent ability to predict weather patterns through their behaviour at this time.
Because of the terrific forces that are contracted within the earth at this time, there is an enormous pressure that is building up on the inner planes, even though it cannot yet be seen on the outer planes. It is a time of deep inner work, where the seeds of enormous breakthroughs can be sown. In essence, Imbolc is an inner festival, and the fellowship of the Ring is an inner fellowship, in which the beings from higher planes collectively muster their powers and direct them towards the centre of their great circular plans. We enact these cosmic dramas by gathering together in silence and honouring that which is hidden and secret. This is why we celebrate the feminine Goddesses at this time, because they represent that which is hidden, but also that which will one day emerge.
How to use the Ice Moon
The inner work that is done during the period leading up to the end of the Ice Moon (from Christmas to the beginning of February) will always determine what kind of summer we will have. This can be borne out by personal experience. Whatever plans you have for the summer, you should sow them at this time. The more intense one’s inner concentration and purification, the more powerful will be the breakthrough made by this energy when it explodes into full force in the summer. Summer represents an energy that has already been predetermined back during the period of the Ice Moon. The period of the Ice Moon is therefore without a doubt one of the most powerful times of the year. The principles of the Divine Feminine are without match in the universe.
The 13th Gift, in the Gene Keys Spectrum of Consciousness, represents the Gift of Discernment. It all depends upon what wavelength you are attuned to during this time. Most of humanity (in the northern hemisphere) find the early months of the year a depressing time, and often seek to escape it in all kinds of ways. There is a great collective pressure to get caught in negative ways of thinking during this time, which can very easily cause us to lose track of our true direction. The best advice is to shut down one’s outer faculties as much as possible during this period, but to open up one’s inner senses as widely as possible. Listening inwardly leads to a higher state – an empathic state. True empathy means to enter into the centre of the spider’s web – to listen, as the spider listens through the vibrations of her web, to the frequencies from the higher worlds, which are at their most potent at this time.
The Art of Listening
To listen truly is to listen inwardly, and to perfect this art is to become utterly empty. Only he or she who is empty can receive the secrets and revelations of the inner world. It is all about becoming a witness. Just as the thirteen symbolises the hub of the circle, we have to listen from our centre, which means we have to resist the temptation to distract ourselves. When you perfect this art of inner listening, you become like a beautiful shell, through which the whole universe can be heard tinkling.
Welcoming in the True New Year
If you look at the Wheel of Life and its 64 divisions of 6 lines, you need to understand that it is both a genetic clock as well as a celestial clock. The substructure of DNA is made up of groupings of amino acids built out of sixes and arranged into 64 chemical groupings or ‘codons’. Using this clock, we can therefore see when the true New Year really is. In other words, all life on our planet is genetically programmed to wake up at the same time – this happens to be when the movement of the sun passes through the 41st Gene Key or hexagram of the Wheel. At this moment, every year, all life on our planet begins a new cycle. This occurs, more or less, on January 21 or 22 of each year. The 41st hexagram corresponds to the initiator codon in our genetics – the capital letter at the beginning of every genetic sentence.
The tradition of making New Year Resolutions is based upon natural life processes. As life evolves, embracing higher and higher forms of consciousness, it always has to let go of something first. However, the natural timing of these rituals has been forgotten, at least in the West. The Chinese New Year in February is a much more aligned timing than our Western version. Our current placing of New Year’s Day on January 1st is actually deeply unnatural. The sun’s sequence from January 21 takes it through the 41st, the 19th and then the 13th Gene Keys in the wheel. The 41 is the new dream (Emanation), the 19 is the letting go of the old form (Sacrifice) and the 13 (Imbolc) represents the actual death and transformation into a higher form. This entire process then culminates in the 49th Gene Key (Rebirth). It is an incredibly powerful time of year, a fact that our ancestors knew well and celebrated. So if you have a New Year’s Resolution to make, forget New Year’s Eve! Instead, use the time leading up to Imbolc to inwardly listen to the secret impulses of the universe and its wishes. Then build yourself a fire the night before Imbolc, and throw away all your old patterns. Because when Imbolc does come, the Goddess comes with her, and what she brings is of incalculable value to those who are ready to listen – she brings the potential for an awesome transformation into a higher and more evolved reality.
A Happy New Year to you all…