Holidays, merc retro, numerology, solstice (+ more) for a new year

Oh, I had so many blogs planned for you this month. From writing a heartfelt “i.m.burnout” piece that addresses a popular topic these days, to “Shiva and your bones,” which speaks to ongoing creation-destruction cycles around and within us.

But in the past few days I have found myself in a conversation that I would like to share with you. It has proven insightful for others and so my hope is that it will also help you in some way, as 2016 is a year that many of us would like to release at both individual and societal levels.

Which brings to mind the phrase, “As above, so below.”

This popular saying originates with the Hermetic tradition of Late Antiquity. It is frequently found within the field of astrology to remind us that energy is energy. Meaning, whatever energies prevail in the cosmos affect us, too, as micro-members of our greater macrocosm. So if certain planets herald discord above, discord will likewise be reflected below, vis-à-vis turbulent climate patterns, disruptions in governments, global revolutions, etc….as well as within our individual relationships, jobs, bodies, thoughts, etc.

That’s all astrology is, really – a key to the type of energy we’ve got to work with (or not, as the decision is yours). Meaning that certain situations are more conducive to one kind of outcome than another. For example, you wouldn’t want do your day job in a nightclub, right? The energy implicit in the strobe lights, loud music, dancing bodies and delectable drinks wouldn’t be conducive to writing a proper report. (Well, for most of us, anyway). Within astrology, the same is true at the cosmic level.

Take Mercury retrograde: Mercury is the planet that symbolically rules communication, formal agreements and transportation. So when it goes retrograde – and appears to be moving backward in the night sky– its usual energy is not at our disposal. It’s not the time to move forward with new projects, signing contracts, buying vacation packages, etc. Of course you can – just like you can do your work in a nightclub – but you’ll have a tougher time with it because of the incongruent energy.

Typically, Mercury retrograde occurs about 3 times a year. This year we win a bonus 4th round starting Dec 19th and ending Jan 8th. Its cameo means that the energy of the next three weeks supports revision of work/life events, rest, re-integration…a general recombobulation that is perfectly timed with the solstice on December 21st. The winter solstice – the darkest day of the year due to Earth’s tilt away from the sun—represents a rebirth of light from the dark, as the sun shines increasingly longer every day thereafter. In other words, the solstice is helping you sit and stew, with the underpinning of a light at the end of the tunnel.

On the heels of the solstice comes a holiday weekend that helps usher in the aforementioned light with celebrations from two of the world’s largest religions. Hanukah—with its historical setting, winter-timing and traditional candle-lighting—is associated with intentionally bringing light into darkness. Likewise, Christmas and Christ Consciousness remind us of our inner divinity, along with qualities like compassion and unity.

If your life could use more divine light (and the like), then you’ll need to reflect upon what parts of you are blocking it…and say “thank you and goodbye.” You are a different person now than you were 1 year ago, 10 years ago…and it is time for another shift, as we end not just any year but a 9-year.

In numerology, a 9-year occurs when all the numbers comprising a larger one–like 2016–reduce into a single digit, so that 2+0+1+6 => 9). The number 9 represents completion (as portends its last-of-the-single-digits status)… and what’s extra cool is that in different belief systems this year’s “9” is part of even greater cycles relating to the past 9 and 36 years (which, likewise, reduces to the number 9).

So what are you bringing to completion in your life? Which of your stories are ready to transition onward? Which jobs? Relationships? Ways of talking, eating, exercising, sleeping? These next couple of weeks offer you a time to reflect. Kind of like a cosmic gift that—should you receive it—will help you get to where deep, down you know you need to be.

Get it while it’s hot, because the new year’s energy in January does not support reflection but action. It takes what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown, and gives it legs. You know, walking your talk at a whole new level. Not just because it’s a new year and we get to make new resolutions, but because we’ve got a whole slew of “new” energy thanks to our entrance into a “1” cycle with the 1st day of the 1st month of a 1-year (2017=>10=>1). In contrast to this year’s 9-ness representing completion, next year’s 1-cycle is all about beginning…again. Hence the concept of cycle: “a series of occurrences that repeats” ( So we’re looking at shifting from a year of potentially unpleasant transitions that are winding-down a phase of our lives… to a year primed with the energy of leadership, initiation and new beginnings of all sorts.

That’s good news! Because if you haven’t noticed, we’re entering into a paradigm where we’ve collectively realized that we cannot necessarily rely on the world outside of us – be it our government, employers, neighbors, etc—to do good. To live the ideals we hold highest. We’re taking back our power and remembering that it is up to us. As the Mahatma Gandhi quote says, If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do. In other words—and as society has interpreted it—be the change you wish to see.

Don’t just think about it, read it, discuss it, or attend workshops on it. LIVE it. You want to see more compassion in our world? Start opening more doors for strangers, stop getting frustrated in traffic, increase your volunteering time at the library, foster an animal, donate money to a cause that’s important to you, and so-on-and-so-forth. WE are the agents of change. WE are the new world. WE are each others’ guardian angels. Nobody but us. And it’s true for everyone on this planet, regardless of what stage we’re at in our personal evolution.

So enjoy your holidays, solstice, Mercury retrograde, ending of this phase (9-yr) and beginning of your next (1-year). And please do it your way. Thru your lens. Astrology, numerology, spirituality…they’re all lenses. Just different ways of viewing a largely unknown universe and our place in it. Different ways of saying the same thing. And that “thing” is: as always, there is nothing to do but be. You. The best version possible. And that’s the best gift you can get from or give to the world this holiday season and for all to come.

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