FIVE NEW YEARS
For a more complete understanding of the Alchemical Tantric Arrangement (ATA), it will be formative to take a look at the
FIVE major New Year times:
1. New Year based on the Capricorn or Winter Solstice point (in the northern hemisphere);
2. New Year January First;
3. ATA or Hermetic New Year;
4. Lunar or Chinese New Year, based on the beginning of Spring in the northern hemisphere; and
5. New Year based on the beginning of Aries, first sign in the natural order of the zodiac, at the March Equinox.
1. Winter Solstice in the northern hemisphere is the first starting point, accenting the return of the light from the darkest time — the center of winter. Winter Solstice makes a good beginning for the New Year because of its resonance with Christmas as the symbolic time of divine birth. Being in December and Capricorn, the emphasis is on how the new is related to the old.
2. New Year in the western calendar occurs at the first instant after midnight between December 31st and January 1st, so the astrological chart for this popular beginning time will show the Sun near the nadir (lowest point) at around 10 degrees of Capricorn. (Capricorn has an affinity with the number 10) Fortunately, this makes Libra the rising sign, and therefore Venus becomes the overall ruler of the New Year chart. Looking at the symbolism of midnight, close to mid winter in the northern hemisphere, this New Year also strongly suggests the return of the light from a period of darkness.
I have named this point around 10 degrees of Capricorn, the “Morpheus point” after the Roman divinity of sleep and dreams. Morpheus is a shape shifter and carries some of the flavor of the New Year’s Eve masquerade ball, with an emphasis on Venus since the custom is to kiss the person you are with at the exact beginning of the New Year. I have found it instructive to watch the transits over this Morpheus point each year. Recently (roughly between the years of 2011 through 2014), Pluto, fittingly the divinity of the underworld, has been transiting this point, and thereby coloring the bottom of each New Year’s chart for the last few years with the apocalyptic symbolism of Hades and Persephone. Capricorn’s rulership by Saturn, with this serious sign’s connection to the alchemical metal, lead, and to the first or root chakra, produces a heavy and grounding symbolism. Dec-ember once again emphasizes the number 10 although it is actually the twelfth month of the year.
The month of January adds the presence of the Roman two-faced divinity, Janus, looking back over the past year and forward to the new year. At the end of 2017, Saturn entered Capricorn and, in 2018 and 2019, transited the Morpheus point. Jupiter did the same at the beginning of 2020. It is instructive to compare the transits of these three, Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter, as they crossed over the Morpheus point.
3. The ATA or Hermetic New Year has been added to the list because it is the yearly time when the Sun moves from Capricorn into Aquarius and over the potent Chiron/kundalini portal, a prime time for kundalini rising. This is actually an important chart for looking at the New Year and what I am calling the ATA or Hermetic New Year because it emphasizes Alchemy and the Tantric Chakras. It represents a huge yearly solar shift from the completion of wintery Capricorn to the most subtle, yet clear, beginnings of the return of the light in Aquarius. In terms of the Tantric chakras, it is a most auspicious time for awakening the kundalini serpent at the base of the spine, and in alchemy, it represents the shift from inert lead (related to Capricorn and Saturn) to radioactive uranium (related to Uranus, ruler of Aquarius). The planet Uranus was especially accented in the ATA New Year 2022 Chart, being newly stationary direct and conjunct the mid-heaven.
4. Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year begins at the first stirrings of Spring, the first cross-quarter time after the winter solstice. It is usually celebrated at the new moon of Aquarius, so that both the Sun and the Moon are at the beginning of their cycles. The solstice points, being the times of longest day and longest night, are clearly the mid-points of summer and winter. Likewise, the equinoxes, half way between the solstices, are therefore the center points of spring and fall. Hence, the cross-quarter times at the mid-point of the four fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) are the natural beginnings of the four seasons. Traditionally, these cross-quarter times were celebrated by earth-oriented folks as: May Day or Beltane, May 1st; Lammas, August 1st; Samhain, October 31st; and Imbolc, February 1st. This time is especially important for AstroYoga because it resonates with the ATA beginning sign, Aquarius, and the first or root chakra, beginning the upward/accumulating path of the Tantric or Hermetic zodiac.
5. The March equinox and center of the season at the first degree of the tropical sign of Aries, is the beginning of the natural order of the zodiac, and is especially fitting if we look at Aries’ primal role in the upward/accumulating path of the ATA. Fiery Aries is the first and foremost sign, of cardinal fire; followed by earthy Taurus, most fixed of the fixed; then by the most mutable sign, airy Gemini; and again cardinal, this time in the fourth element of water, Cancer. Before we reach the uppermost crown chakra in Leo, we will have passed through the four most archetypical elemental signs. The New Moon in Aries could also be examined in this series for another look into how the year will continue to unfold after the Sun is well into the year.
These five or six New Year times, being especially pivotal, have the potential to produce a very revealing view of any New Year. The addition of Hermetic alchemical and tantric chakra perspectives promises even clearer spiritual insights.