2021- Cultural and Astronomical New Years

    02-Jan-2021   
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There are many New Year’s dates throughout the year according to different cultures all over the world and their different calendars.
 
Some of these New Year’s dates reflect certain astronomical timings, others do not or no longer do so. The January 1 New Year’s date has no specific astronomical dating, though it was probably once connected to a winter solstice proximity.
 
That being so, the January 1 New Year is a cultural event of considerable importance, but not an astronomical or astrological event in itself. It does not correspond to any specific astronomical timing but originally reflected ancient Roman culture and politics. Of course, we can celebrate it and give good wishes to all. The cultural alignment of this New Year's date started in Europe and the West, but is now going global with the spread of western civilization, and so is widely recognised and used in many countries.
 
Some western astrologers, however, do treat the January 1, New Year’s as an astronomical event and interpret charts for January 1 as part of mundane or political astrology, including forecasts for the coming year for the planet and its many nations.
 
However, Vedic astrology would not give January 1 such importance. In Vedic astrology, we regard the day of the New Moon in Pisces (Chaitra Shukla Pratipat), which occurs in March or April depending upon yearly transits, as marking the astronomical and astrological New Year for the planet, as timed for the capital cities of every nation. Major mundane or political (Muhurta) Vedic astrology predictions are from this date. This means that Vedic astrology does not usually give predictions based upon January 1 astronomical positions, apart from their general value relative to ongoing transits throughout the year.
 
We will address the implications of the New Moon in Pisces 2021 later as we move closer to that date, for the karma of the planet. We will not say much about the January 1, 2021 positions now, which still fall under previous astronomical influences of the last Vedic astronomical New Year of March 2020, and do not as yet shape the year as a whole.
 
Current outer difficulties are likely to continue for the next few months, so patience is required. A new formation of the Kalasarpa (Serpent of Time) Yoga now from Ketu in Scorpio to Rahu in Taurus, shows continued political intrigue and social disruption. But we can expect a slow improvement, though not equal in all parts of the globe.
 
There is no need for despair but it will be a challenging year and decade ahead, for which we need both physical and psychological resilience. The pandemic is hastening major civilizational changes in the high tech era that in any case were bound to occur.
 
Yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda and Jyotish can guide humanity to an era of greater consciousness and compassion. Much work needs to be done on ourselves, our society and the planet.
 
Let us have the energy and motivation to set this new civilizational transformation in motion, though it may take some decades to accomplish. Humanity remains an immature species that still requires much inner development to create a peaceful and enlightened society. Let us be a force of light for now and
for the future!