New Season, New Year, New Beginnings
by Nancy McCaochan
Happy New Year to everyone who's celebrating. Although I was raised Catholic, this is my favorite of the Jewish Holidays as it reflects many aspects of the autumn that are personally significant to me. The school year begins in the fall, next year's buds are on the trees, and the colder weather causes me to reflect on where my life is going and what I'd like to change.
A few days ago, I became aware that in the Jewish calendar, we're beginning the year 5775. I found the symmetry interesting so did a little research about the vibrations inherent in the numbers 5 and 7. According to tarot-derived numerology, the image for 5 is the Hierophant, also known as the High Priest. As an archetype, this represents the interpretation of sacred mysteries. The number resonates both communication and freedom--direct communication of that which is sacred and often beyond the ken of normal vision and the freedom to go beyond the ordinary.
The number 5 is also that of the teacher, and according to Angeles Arrien (The Tarot Handbook, 1978), "represents the universal principle of learning and teaching that is experienced within our families and in life challenges that require us to trust our faith."
This New Year is thus book ended by the potential for profound learning that will open us up to a deeper relationship with Spirit. We're being asked to shed our preconceptions so that the circumstances of our lives can open us to greater understanding of universal principles. And as we make that new understanding our own, we will share with others. For as we share, so will we reify our learning, making it more concrete for ourselves and manifesting it within the world
Auspicious though the vibrations of this New Year may be. It may also not be an easy one. From the bookends of 5, the number 7 rises in the middle to form a plateau. The image here is the Chariot, which "represents the universal principle of change and causation." Embedded within causation is the karmic principle of "what goes around, comes around," which cautions us to take time out to reflect upon what we might change and how. There's a rhythm to life that necessitates the insertion of regular times of stillness into our movement. Without programmed rest, we become depleted and run the risk of acting on autopilot, which in turn keeps us stuck in the hamster wheel of conditioned existence. This in turn drains our nervous systems and bankrupts our lives, disabling choice and dulling any vision of a better future.
When break with routine and habit, if only for 20 minutes in the morning and evening by sitting in meditation, we give ourselves time to contemplate changes that will assist our evolution and growth in ways that are nurturing to our Spirit. Emerson noted that rest and identity are synonymous. Without rest, we cannot know who we are, nor can we be congruent in our actions.
Adding 5 and 7 and 7 and 5 renders two 12s overtones for this New Year. The image here is the Hanged Man. The noose is not around his neck, but holds one ankle so that the crown of his head empties towards the earth. Here the principle expressed is one of surrender and of breaking old patterns. The fact that the number 12, too, is repeated emphasizes that this is a year of truly new beginnings as we have the opportunity to both recognize and break the patterns that bind us to unproductive ways.
Further addition gives both the number 24, which reduces to the overarching vibration of the single digit 6, which is symbolic of the Lovers. But it signifies more than romantic love. The archetype represents the art of relationship as the basis of social interaction. The card reminds us that all human interactions require innocence, curiosity and playfulness as well as commitment, loyalty and a sense of spaciousness.
At a time when the media would have us believe that the "world is going to hell in a hand basket," this New Year's vibrations reawaken a sense that all CAN be well. The archetype of the Lovers suggests that "the best ways to fight evil is to make energetic progress in the good." We do this by taking time out, by opening up to spiritual understanding, by making this understanding a priority in our lives, by freeing ourselves of old patterns that bind us within habits of thinking that wall us away from innocently connecting to ourselves and others through the purity and light inherent in the heart.
We do our yoga; we take an honest and fearless self-inventory; we choose positive changes in behavior and in our lives. And we share the good we've received through our practices. We vibrate innocence, loyalty and spaciousness. Collectively these vibrations will begin to change the world.
L' Shanah Tovah. Happy New Year, New Season, New Beginning to all.