by Anat Vaughan-Lee: A Return to Sacred Meaning…
We all like to notice, mark and celebrate the coming of the new year. It is the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one. The end of a twelve-month cycle, of the cycle of the four seasons; the beginning of a new light cycle, just after the shortest day of the year is over.
Twelve is the number of completion, forming a whole, a perfect and harmonious unit. In ancient civilizations it corresponded to the plenitude, the completion of a thing. It expresses the idea that the Universe forms a whole.
The New Year is a time when we all hope for new and favorable beginnings. We hope for things to go our way, to unfold the way we wish in all the varied parts of our lives. So new light, hope and wishes are the dominant verbal expressions and feelings present at the eve of a new year; and this reflects how much we would like to participate in the new cycle of our life in a way that is in harmony with ourselves and a way that allows us to live in accordance with our true nature.
We do not always know what it is or how to articulate it, but deep inside there is a longing, a longing to live according to a true calling. A calling that comes not from the personality but from a deeper part of ourselves, a part that is connected to a greater whole that, if we recognize, opens a door to a different experience of life. Like a new horizon that opens before us, it offers the possibility that we can see and experience and connect to life in a new way. A way that enables us to participate differently and more deeply, from an awareness of a great and unfolding mysterious whole which we are a part.
But if we give it a second look, this emergence of the new light, a new beginning in the winter, belongs to a mystery of light and dark that we have always been part of. So although it may appear to be an end of a cycle, we are really participating in a mystery that has been celebrated in every culture over the thousands of years of recorded history.
I call it a participation of being.
The need to participate with a greater awareness evokes in me the image of the seed and the question: in today’s culture, what are we really rooted in? We wish for a fresh start, like a new seed, a new growth. The power of a seed is unimaginable. Within it lies the mystery of time, the cycle of the seasons and of death and rebirth. It possesses both masculine and feminine qualities which are in constant creative dialogue. From the dark womb of the feminine the direct force of the masculine emerges and shoots up into the light. Light and dark are in constant relationship. The seed is also both the center and the circumference, calling us to remember the sacred nature of life, the interconnected language of the universe, a song of oneness communicating to us and telling us, again and again, that we too are partaking in a primordial whole.
When we begin to realize this, a very mysterious process is awakened within us. We begin to participate in the great mystery of being that is so central to our existence. We begin to realize we are rooted in a greater rhythm, the reality of a greater whole which is at the same time unique to each of us. If and when we begin to live from such awareness, I wonder if our whole view of what a new year can mean will bring with it a very different understanding, an understanding that is so essential to the quality of our life, providing us a new sense of our roots.
Returning to such awareness is a returning to the language of life, no longer from a place of separation but from a place of sacred communion. When we hold this awareness within our body we become a full participant with the earth and the cosmos—at that moment something is allowed to live according to its true nature. We remember. That which is remembered lives. When we hold this consciousness in our heart, we naturally offer it back to life. This not only gives life meaning, but like a seed, revitalizes it. We then participate not only in the mystery of our own being but in the whole wonder of creation.
A New Year celebration returns to its sacred meaning.