Another New Year

Each year the Sun reestablishes its apparent northward movement on the 25th of December, marking the position at which light begins to increase in the northern hemisphere.  This phenomenon is much grander in scope and more awesome in infinite power than is any imagined virgin birth of a demigod or some oil lamp in a temple allegedly burning on limited oil for eight days.  The interaction of planet Earth and the Sun is in every way a much truer covenant extended to all life by the creative universal power than are the ego-gratifying stories of special favor extended by god only to some select assemblage of people.

For our ancient ancestors—those much maligned Pagans—who felt a more intimate connection with nature and the observable heavens than is acknowledged today, there was no egotistical need to disguise the natural occurrences such as the solstice and equinox periods as being some mythic miracle performed only for a favored few.

For seven days following the end of the Winter Solstice (Dec. 25), which was honored by the Pagans as “Mother Night,” the beginning of increasing light was reason for celebration and the exchange of gifts among family and friends to acknowledge the approach of production and abundance.  And in this period, in recognition of the true miracle of the Sun’s support of life, the customary salutation upon parting with loved ones or friends was the blessing, “May your light increase.”

After seven days of celebration from Earth’s apparent emergence from the long nights, the routine chores of life were taken up anew, and a new cycle was calculated from the end of that seven-day celebration period.  Thus the time of the New Year observance that is today recognized across much of the world has its foundation in Pagan recognition of the scientific principles that are active throughout the universe and demonstrated in the Earth/Sun relationship.

The awe-inspiring universe was perceived by Pagan cultures to be a living thing–a vast unified consciousness.  When the Pagans looked out into the universe they identified something at work that was much grander in scope than do the constraining faith systems of today which choose to imagine some humanlike personification presiding over and directing that all-embracing power.  The Pagans felt an intimacy with that enfolding universal power which the practice of ecclesiasticism can never experience.  The spiritual attunement of the ancient Pagans with the surrounding universe confirmed for them the interrelatedness of all things.  They would judge as weirdly unrealistic the religious interpretations postulated by self-serving faith systems today that Creation’s power is separate, distant and aloof from everything that is made manifest.

Humankind’s invented hierarchical faith systems always have an unfortunate tendency to leave their followers with vague, uneasy feelings of being unfulfilled, which inevitably erodes their spirit with unrecognized resentment.  By ignoring Nature and the universe, and focusing exclusively upon itself, these faith systems have become systems in which one must will themselves to believe rather than feel one’s unity with it all.  Intricately structured faith systems such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam are not faiths that can be assessed as arising from natural expressions of consciousness.  They are, unfortunately, faith systems that encourage a denial of compassion for all things and beings that coexist with them in spite of their faith system’s self-set boundaries.  The reason behind their negative approach to Creation’s wealth of diversity is that allowing oneself to be open to feel compassion for all life is curtly dismissed by male-dominated faith systems as a feminine aspect and is therefore unworthy to be cultivated.  In other words, such faith systems are formulated to gratify their egos through carefully crafted hypocrisy.

It is unlikely that each individual’s higher potential was fashioned by a Creator to simply act as some separate organ of some religious social structure.  Dedicating oneself to what is only a man-conceived faith system reduces followers to little more than hive workers and breeders who, through indoctrination processing and mental conditioning, would find emotional survival virtually impossible if separated from the body of their faith system.  Followers of such systems are made blind to the beautiful transcendent unity that is made possible in the acceptance of all diverse people.  The binding element in that acceptance is the yearning of human spirit for enlightenment, and that is not achieved through some self-imposed alienation from everything else.

Despite mankind’s struggles with such bouts of self-inflicted delusions, the heavens still bear witness to the flow of Creation.  We need only to remove the blinders that have been placed over our eyes by those who make a habit of taking advantage of our blindness.  Lured away from adoring the unity of all things, which is openly expressed and demonstrated in the universe, we have been “guided” to seek spiritual enlightenment by huddling together in echoing “sanctified” enclosures.  There, the devout are given role models of heroes and saints and saviors and kings who would never have accepted being herded into such self-demeaning behavior as self-dedicated faith systems teach.

But the universe continues to fuse it all together by patiently extending allowance for wide-ranging diversity.  If mankind wishes to pretend that it is the sum-total of universal wisdom, the universe can afford to be patient.  Meanwhile the interaction of Earth and the Sun annually extends and reaffirms the covenant to all life, and that power is not restricted by time or mankind’s self-imposed limited beliefs.  As another New Year unfolds, that covenant is renewed.

May your light increase.

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7 Responses to “Another New Year”

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