Jan 1, 2012
Calendars are symbolic celestial patterns that define our Tao of Time & Space. Cool image from my friend Benjamin Bernstein’s site: (great Shamanic-experiental astrology site www.itsallgoodastrology.com).
Benjamin got turned onto astrology after reading Under One Sky, book by Rafi Nasser about my spirit wife Joyce Gayheart’s chart by 12 different schools of astrology. Read more about it and orrderUnder One Sky at: http://www.healingtaousa.com/JoyceGayheart/Joyce_Book.html
(order Joyce’s book or other full-priced book on my site will entitle you to free Livia Kohn book on Chinese Medicine).
Dear Wondering Why Different Cultures have Different New Year’s Day,
I want to clear up the confusion over New Year’s Day, and why it’s celebrated at different times of the year in different cultures. In the early US colonies, New Year’s Day was March 1. So it’s totally arbitrary, unless you are a Taoist and like to follow the natural cycle of Solstices. I’ll explain why the Chinese celebrate it in early February.
But first, let me clear up confusion over my own discount Winter Holy-day sale that ended Sat. night, Dec. 31. I’m extending it a few days – to midnite Tues. Jan 3, 2012 – to clear the last minute orders. Some folks were confused because the discount did NOT show up in the shopping cart, so they didn’t order, thinking the sale was over. The cart is not programmed with the sale.
Jan, my offfice manager, has to credit your card back manually AFTER you get charged the full amount. Yeah, I know it’s a bit confusing, but I’m still pretty low tech. But not to worry, we’ll always do you right. Who else gives ONE YEAR MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE on their qigong products? The answer: NO ONE.
Just send Jan an email at info@HealingTaoUSA.com after you buy online, reminding her you are a newsletter reader. The deal on my stuff, which I haven’t reised prices on in 5 years, and was already cheap 5 years ago:
1. 15% off any order of $75. or more (before s/h).
2. 20% off order of $150. or more.
3. 25% off order of $300. or more.
4. 30% off order of $600. or more
Plus buy one full priced book, get free book (limit one per customer).
You can email Jan at info@healingTaoUSA.com, or call her at 828 505-1444 (888 999 0555 in USA). As long as your order is placed by Tuesday, or you attempt to place it by then, we will honor the discount.
Back to clearing the confusion about Calendars.
» New Year’s Day History
» Nice 23 minute video: What is Tao?
» Playing with the Great Elephant of Time-Space
New Year’s Day History
Let’s start with an excerpt on the historical facts about New Year’s Day, from
A History of the New Year:
Early Roman Calendar: March 1st Rings in the New Year.
The celebration of the new year on January 1st is a relatively new phenomenon. The earliest recording of a new year celebration is believed to have been in Mesopotamia, c. 2000 B.C. and was celebrated around the time of the vernal equinox, in mid-March. A variety of other dates tied to the seasons were also used by various ancient cultures. The Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Persians began their new year with the fall equinox, and the Greeks celebrated it on the winter solstice.
The early Roman calendar designated March 1 as the new year. The calendar had just ten months, beginning with March. That the new year once began with the month of March is still reflected in some of the names of the months. September through December, our ninth through twelfth months, were originally positioned as the seventh through tenth months (septem is Latin for “seven,” octo is “eight,” novem is “nine,” and decem is “ten.”
January Joins the Calendar
The first time the new year was celebrated on January 1st was in Rome in 153 B.C. (In fact, the month of January did not even exist until around 700 B.C., when the second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius, added the months of January and February.) The new year was moved from March to January because that was the beginning of the civil year, the month that the two newly elected Roman consuls—the highest officials in the Roman republic—began their one-year tenure. But this new year date was not always strictly and widely observed, and the new year was still sometimes celebrated on March 1.
Julian Calendar: January 1st Officially Instituted as the New Year
In 46 B.C. Julius Caesar introduced a new, solar-based calendar that was a vast improvement on the ancient Roman calendar, which was a lunar system that had become wildly inaccurate over the years. The Julian calendar decreed that the new year would occur with January 1, and within the Roman world, January 1 became the consistently observed start of the new year.
Middle Ages: January 1st Abolished
In medieval Europe, however, the celebrations accompanying the new year were considered pagan and unchristian like, and in 567 the Council of Tours abolished January 1 as the beginning of the year. At various times and in various places throughout medieval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on Dec. 25, the birth of Jesus; March 1; March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation; and Easter.
Gregorian Calendar: January 1st Restored
In 1582, the Gregorian calendar reform restored January 1 as new year’s day. Although most Catholic countries adopted the Gregorian calendar (from Pope Gregory) almost immediately, it was only gradually adopted among Protestant countries. The British, for example, did not adopt the reformed calendar until 1752. Until then, the British Empire —and their American colonies— still celebrated the new year in March.
OK, so now we know the truth: January 1 as New Year’s Day is a Roman Catholic Pope’s calendrical choice, probably made a week after Jesus’s alleged birthday in order to not compete with It.
So Jan. 1 has no “natural” power behind it, unlike the natural Solstice cycle, which has the power of the Sun behind it.
But here’s the thing: if enough people do the same thing at the exact same moment, it BECOMES powerful. That’s because Humans are an important part of Nature. Our group mind focuses group chi flow. So when billions of people celebrate the New Year on Jan. 1, and blow off a lot of chi around it, I stay up late that night and do qigong practices to “harvest” all that free Human Chi.
It’s like getting a free short of adrenaline, IF you know how to capture it. If you haven’t studied Taoist internal alchemy, which teaches that skill, then doing a ritual form of alchemy will suffice. The simplest and most powerful ritual alchemy form is Wu Ji Gong, aka Tai Chi or Enlightenment or Primordial Qigong.
Now, why do the Chinese wait until Feb. for their New Year’s Day? It is based on the Lunar Calendar, which is indirectly based on the sun cycle (where else does the moon get it’s Light from?).
Chinese New Year’s Day is set for the second new moon AFTER the Dec. 21 Winter Solstice. This is really a way of allowing for a full 28 day lunar cycle to occur after Winter Solstice, before they consider the new year to be fully birthed.
That’s why Chinese New Year changes every year, ranging from last week in january to mid-February. It’s whenever the second moon goes dark. New moons = fertile womb of Earth Woman, good time to plant and start new projects that will increase alongside the moon cycle. So in a society attuned to a lunar calendar, the New Moon cycle trumps the solar cycle.
Nice 23 minute video: What is Tao?
If you have time, this is a short but nicely done video on Tao that includes some very respectable western scholars (Prof. Chad Hansen, who fully “gets” the processual nature of Taoism) and a nice array of Taoist in China, mostly from Wudang Mountain.
You can learn about stuff like this from the Healing Tao USA forum. That’s where I learned about it. Please login and check it out. There are three forums, GENERAL, PHILOSOPHY, and PRACTICE. it’s had over 11.5 MILLION hits, making it possibly the biggest western Taoist forum.
But you can get your questions answered, and skim through the stuff that is too far out for you.
Login to FORUM here.
Playing with the Great Elephant of Time-Space
Me, playing with the Great Elephant of Time & Space.
Loving Calendrical Clarity,
“Who takes Heaven as his ancestor, Virtue as his home,
“The Tao is very close, but everyone looks far away.
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