On the Theosophical New Year
Helena P. Blavatsky

Excerpts

To be brief, it is January the 4th which ought to be selected by the Theosophists - the Esotericists especially - as their New Year. January is under the sign of Capricornus, the mysterious Makara of the Hindu mystics - the “Kumaras,” it being stated, having incarnated in mankind under the 10th sign of the Zodiac. For ages the 4th of January has been sacred to Mercury-Budha, or Thoth-Hermes. Thus everything combines to make of it a festival to be held by those who study ancient Wisdom. (C.W. XII, p. 76)

January - the Januarius dedicated to Janus the God of Time, the ever revolving cycle, the double-faced God - has one face turned to the East, the other to the West; the Past and the Future! Shall we propitiate and pray to him? Why not? His statue had 12 altars at its feet, symbolising the twelve signs of the Zodiac, the twelve great gods, the twelve months of the solar year and - the twelve Apostles of the Sun-Christ. Dominus was the title given to the Sun by the ancients; whence dies domini, dies solis, the “Sun-days.” Puer nobis nascitur dominus dominorum, sing the Roman Catholics on Christmas day. The statue of Janus-January carried engraved on his right hand the number 300, and on his left, 65, the number of the days in the Solar year; in one hand a sceptre, in the other a key, whence his name Janitor, the door-keeper of the Heavens, who opened the gates of the year at its beginning. Old Roman coins represent Janus bifrons on one side, and a ship on the other.
Have we not the right to see in him the prototype of Peter, the fisherman of the celestial ship, the Janitor of Paradise, to the gates of which he alone holds the keys? Janus presided over the four seasons. Peter presides over the four Evangelists. In Occultism the potency and significance of Numbers and Numerals lie in their right application and permutation. If we have to propitiate any mysterious number at all, we have most decidedly to address Janus-Peter, in his relation to the ONE - the Sun. (C.W. X, p. 279)

Every person who draws the breath of life affects the mental and moral atmosphere of the world, and helps to color the day for those about him. Those who do not help to elevate the thoughts and lives of others must of necessity either paralyze them by indifference, or actively drag them down ...
The Theosophist who is at all in earnest, sees his responsibilities and endeavors to find knowledge, living, in the meantime, up to the highest standard of which he is aware ... Man's life is in his own hands, his fate is ordered by himself. Why then should not [2009] be a year of greater spiritual development than any we have lived through? It depends on ourselves to make it so. This is an actual fact, not a religious sentiment ...
Let no one imagine that it is a mere fancy, the attaching of importance to the birth of the year. The earth passes through its definite phases and man with it; and as a day can be colored, so can a year. The astral life of the earth is young and strong between Christmas and Easter. Those who form their wishes now will have added strength to fulfill them consistently. (CW IX, 3-5).

Every man or woman is endowed, more or less, with a magnetic personality, which when helped by a sincere, and especially by an intense and indomitable will - is the most effective of magic levers placed by Nature in human hands - for woe or weal. Let us then, Theosophists, use that will to send a sincere greeting and wish of good luck for the New Year to every living creature under the sun - enemies and relentless traducers included. Let us try and feel especially kindly and forgiving to our foes and persecutors, honest or dishonest. (CW XII, 67).

The 3rd day of the month was sacred to Pallas Athene, the goddess of Wisdom; and January the 4th is the day of Mercury (Hermes, Budha), who is credited with adding brains to the heads of those who are civil to him ... (CW IX, 3-5)

In 2009 perihelion or the Theosophical New Year will occur around 7 am Pacific Time on January 4th.

Many misconceptions prevail as to the nature and objects of the Theosophical Society. Some - Sir Richard Temple in the number - fancy it is a religious sect; many believe it is composed of atheists; a third party are convinced that its sole object is the study of occult science and the initiation of green hands into the Sacred Mysteries. If we have had one we certainly have had a hundred intimations from strangers that they were ready to join at once if they could be sure that they would shortly be endowed with siddhis, or the power to work occult phenomena. The beginning of a new year is a suitable time to make one more attempt - we wish it could be the last - to set these errors right. So then, let us say again: The Theosophical Society teaches no new religion, aims to destroy no old one, promulgates no creed of its own, follows no religious leader, and, distinctly and emphatically, is not a sect, nor ever was one. It admits worthy people of any religion to membership, on the condition of mutual tolerance and mutual help to discover truth. The Founders have never consented to be taken as religious leaders, they repudiate any such idea, and they have not taken and will not take disciples. The Society is not composed of atheists, nor is it any more conducted in the interest of atheism than in that of deism or polytheism. It has members of almost every religion, and is on equally fraternal terms with each and all. Not a majority, nor even a respectable minority, numerically speaking, of its fellows are students of occult science or ever expect to become adepts. All who cared for the information have been told what sacrifices are necessary in order to gain the higher knowledge, and few are in a position to make one tenth of them. He who joins our Society gains no siddhis by that act, nor is there any certainty that he will even see the phenomena, let alone meet with an adept. Some have enjoyed both these opportunities, and so the possibility of the phenomena and the existence of "Siddhas" do not rest upon our unverified assertions. Those who have seen things have perhaps been allowed to do so on account of some personal merit detected by those who showed them the siddhis, or for other reasons known to themselves and over which we have no control.

Last update: January 2009
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