We are starting off the New Year on a somber note with Sun conjunct Saturn which can be a bit depressing with flare-ups of anger and tension, arguments with bosses, anger toward government and leadership and a feeling a pessimism. The start of a New Year is rather arbitrary in the Gregorian calendar.  In the Vedic calendar, the New Year actually starts with the New Moon after the spring equinox and this year it is April 5th, The Chinese will celebrate the Year of the Boar on Feb. 5th.  The Vedic calendar puts emphasis on the Sun going into Capricorn on Jan 14th for Makara Sankranti which begins the true lengthening of the Sun’s journey and the increase of light in world. In   parts of India, the Vedic New Year is celebrated with the Sun’s ingress into Aries on April 13th-14th.

Pick a date. You have many choices to celebrate and it boils down to having free will to make changes in your life everyday.  We start the year with our New Year’s resolutions around diet and exercise and being kinder and compassionate but within a week our subconscious mind is sabotaging doing good things for ourselves and others.  It takes a lot of work to stay conscious and alert and to not fall victim to our blind spots that run our lives. If we do not do meditation and yoga and stay out of the noise of the negative media and if we do not hang around with a positive sangha or spiritual group that supports us on the path, we have little chance of making in-roads.

If we turn on the news, we cannot help but getting dragged down by the  negative rantings. Yes there is tragedy happening at every moment  and the latest political battle in the Coliseum can be entertaining but if we get caught up in this disturbing noise,  we forget why we are here on the planet–to be more loving, more gentle and compassionate and kind and helpful to all of those around us.  I am always reminded of Elizabeth’s Kubler-Ross’s interviews with people who died on the operating table and then were brought back to life by the miracles of modern medicine. They all recount how their life was reviewed as they marched through an ascending tunnel of light and were shown the moments that they were kind and compassionate toward other and not how much money they made or their other mistakes. One woman recounted a time at overnight camp when she was 8 and she spend time alone with a handicapped and troubled and frightened camper and provided soothing love and comfort to her.  She had long forgotten that in her older age but her Divine angels had not.

We are here to positively impact others and our world everyday. Let the politicians kill each other in the arena.  We do not need to get caught up in their drama. We need to make a difference in our world with local service work and we cannot expect our leaders to be thoughtful and kind and caring.  We are going to have to rise up and do that work ourselves.

Its easy to get caught up in a self-pity party on a day like today with Sun conjunct Saturn and to complain which is what Saturn loves to do when afflicted. We have to counter that with the energy of Jupiter and be grateful for our lives, our homes, our loved-ones, our health, and our chance to serve the world.  Yes there are always problems and always things to be better but take this moment off today to start the New Year with hope and joy and a commitment to create a better community and neighborhood and help those in need in whatever way you can. It can be joining Meal Train and delivering food to a sick neighbor or friend or it can be remembering to donate regularly to your favorite charity even when you think there is not enough extra.  We all can make a difference.

Yes, Saturn/ Sun conjunction will have us spinning today. But if we search deeply, there is an underlying core of well-being there that we have to grasp on to. It is there; and, usually Jupiter and Venus are somewhere soothing the rough edges. We have to tap into that core and not buy into the mental worries of the mind and the core anxiety that Saturn will continue to bring – it is just doing its job.

We have to reach back and find the beauty and wonder in small things. The flowering plants when we take a walk-in nature; the innocence and beauty of small children that remind of our simple life and play; the love of our family and friends at gatherings; the mystical magic of our spiritual practice or visit to our favorite house of worship.  Remember there is always something small and wonderful happening in tender moments and resist the misery of dwelling on anxiety and anger of Saturn and Mars.

If you are challenged, we have to reach down and realize the “Divine Will of Surrender,” which is often personified in Greek mythology as Pluto and the archetypal qualities of the planet. Surrender is the key. Once you surrender to the ineffable and once you take it upon yourself to rely on the grace of God, then you have a chance to be free.

It does take a shift of the mind and doing enough meditation practice so that we can reach back and find that Lightness of Being. If we do not go there, we are going to get gripped by Saturn’s grumbling and complaining.  If we can let go of the heavy mental baggage, it would be like carrying a 100-pound suitcase through the airport when we just need a 20-pound carry-on. Let go of the baggage.

What will be –will be. Find those moments of love and lightness to fall back on or you will be doomed to the gnawing and complaining mind. Find the sweetness of Venus and trust in the Divine, which is strong in Jupiter to move into grace.

There is a famous story of a Saint who always speaks positively about everything happening no matter how grim. A mischievous naysayer was determined to get the saint to speak negatively, so he took him down an alley where a dead animal was rotting. When the saint failed to say anything negative, the naysayer, beckoned him to say something and he said, “Look at those beautiful white teeth.”

Wishing you all joy and blessings in the midst of your suffering, and may the Divine come to you in this great time of need and may you remember to find those moments of kindness and compassion because even in those moments of your own problems and suffering there are many more that need your love and help and that is why you are here.  Happy New Year!  Happy New U!

So great serving you this past year–just doing my job.


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