I’ve come to think that it’s just plain crazy to begin a new year during the darkest days of winter. Nothing like making it even harder for yourself by committing to resolutions and hopeful ambitions for a fresh year when in fact, you should be hibernating. It’s hard enough for me to get out of bed during winter when the day doesn’t even dawn until an hour or two after I rise as it is.
So to those of you out there who have managed to maintain your New Year’s resolutions and goals up to now, and have not fallen off the wagon, I salute you.
One thing I do love about January, okay the only thing I love about January, is that by the end of the month, the sun is up by 7:30am and the sky is still light until after 5pm. It gives me hope that, even if we do get a cold snap in February and get a dump of snow, which is not unusual at all, winter is still loosing it’s grip.
This has been a harder January than past years for me. The days seemed grayer and the mood of the world, a whole lot darker. It’s come to the point where I had to put myself on a strict news diet as my soul just can’t absorb any more bad news.
Still, there has been progress in my life. I decluttered, repainted and redecorated my office/Tarot reading room and the fresh energy is giving me the inspiration needed to pursue my goals in earnest for when, what I think of, as the real new year starts on February 2nd.
What’s the significance of that date you may ask?
In north America, February 2nd is Groundhog day. The day that a rather large rodent either predicts an early spring, or sees his own shadow and condemns us to 6 more weeks of winter. For Christians, February 2nd, marks Candlemas, a purification celebration among other things. But for me, and folks who follow earth based religions, February 2nd is Imbolc (pronounced em- mulk), which in my opinion, is Mother Nature’s version of New Years day.
February 2nd marks the half way point of winter. The darkness is losing it’s power and the earth is showing signs, even if they are, as yet, deep within the earth, of waking up from it’s winter slumber. It’s time for us as well to awaken from the fugue of January and begin another new cycle of yearly life.
January is a month to rest, a time to go within and release what no longer serves us, and to just be. In fact, before the Roman ruler Numa Pompilius added January and February in 713 B.C., they didn’t even exist. The winter months were just considered a dead time. Even our current Gregorian calendar only came into being in 1582, but the ancient peoples who lived in balance and close to the earth, understood the need for rest in winter, just like all other life in the northern hemisphere.
So here we are, at the start of a new yearly cycle once again. Doesn’t it feel better to you, even more achievable, to launch your resolutions and goals from this point of the year, instead of bleak, frigid January 1st? It does to me.
February is also known as the heart month. February 14th is Valentine’s day after all, a day for lovers. This reminds me of the Lover’s card in the Tarot deck. Today we interpret the card to mean love, romance, or a blessed union, but the original meaning was, a choice. In a traditional Tarot deck, the Lover’s card shows a man standing between two woman and having to choose one, with a Cherub hovering above them all. The card is saying to consider all aspects before making a decision, because our choices can have consequences for our lives.
I love this card, and it’s original meaning for the month of February. Here we stand at the beginning of a new cycle of growth with the start of nature’s new year, what choices will you make? Did you take the month of January to carefully consider all the options? Did you use the dark time to rest and rejuvenate your body and soul, or did you let the bleakness of the dark energy currently permeating the world, drag you even further down?
I also love the modern meaning of the Lover’s card for February. The new growing cycle offers up new possibilities and the opportunity to choose to fall back in love with life once again. To start a new romance with the lightness of the coming spring. To stretch out your energy, get outside once again, meet new people, and connect on so many levels, maybe even find love.
So if you are like me, and have been feeling the darkness and drudgery of this winter more so than in other years, let February offer you hope. The world needs the energy of love more than ever. We all need it, and we all have the ability to contribute, even just a little bit, to raising up the collective energy and bring more love and light into the world. Because to find love, you need to be receptive to love, and offer it back in return.
February, not January, is the perfect month to start anew. So give yourself a pass on those failed New Year’s resolutions, it’s not you fault, the odds were stacked against you. Choose to launch your plans now, while the energy of the earth is in alignment with the start of a new cycle of growth. That’s the choice. February is like a second chance at relaunching your year, and as the Lover’s card advises, choose wisely, because the success of your year ahead depends on it.