This happens every year ...

Jan 14, 2022

Outside my gate here in India the neighborhood is a sea of orange-robed ascetics arriving to beg for alms.

It happens every year on January 14th when the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn. It’s Makara Sankranti, an astrological moment when the Sun appears to head north.

It’s believed the “northern direction of the Sun” (uttarayani) is an auspicious moment leading our soul toward her freedom. Here in India we make offerings to those who’ve given up the fineries of the world—who’ve been made humble—to mark the event.

This year marks an extra special sankranti when for the first time in 28 years, the Sun joins Saturn in Capricorn.

The meeting of the two planets reminds me of the parable of the “prodigal son,” who squanders his father’s inheritance and is forced to work as a swineherd.

As he’s feeding the pigs food he wished he could eat himself, he has a realization: “The servants in my father’s house are given bread. If I swallow my pride and offer myself as his servant, I’ll at least eat.”

So the prodigal son returns to the father, humbled.

Yet as soon as he enters his paternal land, his father recognizes him and showers him with fresh clothes, food and drink. It doesn’t matter that he was foolish and now poor. All is forgiven.

This is the power of the Sun/Saturn connection.

After a long time the father and son meet again. (In Vedic mythology, Saturn is the son of the Sun.) And a similar outpouring of reconciliation, redemption and forgiveness is the offering of the day—given without expectation.

I like to think of this moment as the true beginning of the year.

A new chance is at hand that you hadn’t expected or believed possible. You may find old grievances spontaneously healed. You may find you’re given more than you thought you deserved.

It’s a good time for a fresh start.

Wishing you a joyful new year as we all head north!



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