Western astrologers claim that, in addition to the traditional calendar’s New Year (on or about the first day of January), each of us has a personal New Year. Just because it’s mine and uniquely tailored to me, I automatically want to believe in the power of something called my Solar Return. In fact, the more I read about it, the more I believe that a Personal New Year’s celebration makes much more sense than a random date marked by bleary-eyed hangovers and half-hearted resolutions made on 31 December. My Personal New Year is less than one week from today. When it arrives, all the major planets will have scooted back into the same alignment they were in, when Time announces the exact hour and minute of my birth.
Solar Returns, according to astrology, are supposed to be a time when we look back and marvel (shrug, cry, cheer, exhale with relief) at all that’s transpired by virtue of our Personal Work. We take stock of the high and low points we’ve had; we try to integrate the lessons-learned (so as to avoid making the same mistakes), and consider how well we kept to our goals for ourselves, our relationships, our work, our families and our life’s purpose. But the very best part of a personal New Year is the fresh opportunity it presents: to set new intentions for the coming year; to dream, hope and anticipate with renewed energy.
There’ve been many ‘intangibles’ in my life experience that I fully believe have had meaning and purpose, providing clues of some larger plan. Experiences that have felt magical and inexplicable, contradicting my tendency toward skepticism, analysis and the need for empirical proof in just about every aspect of daily living. Readers might be able to relate: when intuition provides happy hunches, or grave warnings; when the urge to call a family member yields the information that s/he was in dire need of comfort; missing a horrific car crash by mere seconds, hearing a voice that says, “Move to the other lane – NOW!” I certainly hope I’m just one of many who’ve trusted completely what really can’t be explained.
There are definitely times when Life seems frustratingly, even excruciatingly random. It’s those moments when disillusionment and cynicism feel like the only normal or rational response to unbearable challenges. Which is why, I think, that when I’m given a ‘gift’ from an unseen hand – a chance to believe in something much bigger than my little circle of human existence – I reach for it, without hesitation. With gusto.
I don’t fully understand the science behind a solar return and personal new year, but I’m loving the idea of a cosmic party in my honor. I’ll always embrace a chance to begin with a clean slate, with the learning and tools gained through stellar moments, missteps, and total flubs, from the past year. Anything that inspires hope, offers inspiration and gives reason for celebration. I’m so ready: one year older’s a small price to pay for such a gift.
[All images courtesy gettyimages.com]