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For Auld Lang Syne

By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

THE CLUSTER of holidays that come at this time of year is daunting. In quick succession we celebrate solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day and ring the bell to welcome in a New Year.

As luck would have it, the majority of family (and extended family) birthdays for my clan present around this time, as well. Add the joy of property and income tax, heating bills for winter weather and -- gee whiz -- pass the aspirin!

I noticed early in my motherhood that my children were usually the least well-behaved and most emotionally vulnerable on holidays, those carefully planned and long-anticipated events of "performance art" attended by family, friends and, occasionally, strangers.

Their father, my then-husband, took these opportunities to provide us all a display of mini-tantrum, usually culminating in a migraine that sent him off to curl into a fetal position in a darkened bedroom -- if I'd noted that earlier, I'd have saved myself 20 years of consternation.

The emotional resonance of the holidays always sends our minds reeling back to childhood, to events that exceeded our expectations and set a precedent rarely met again, or the revisiting of grand disappointments that burden our hopes for better. The past intrudes on our gatherings to create us as child-like or childish, perhaps a bit of both. The psychology of all this is the stuff of volumes -- and this year, Christmas came with a Full Moon in Cancer conjunct Mars, opposed to the Sun conjunct Jupiter in Capricorn. Ouch and oh dear!

If you're still licking your wounds, let me show you mine -- or, rather, let me just give you a commiserating virtual-hug. Edgar Cayce's notion that families are the most karma we will ever meet has been proven once again. If you kept your cool, congratulations, that was very adult of you -- if you didn't, there's always next year. Meanwhile, give yourself a pat on the back for being willing to participate, and the Mercury trine to Saturn on the 25th may have allowed you to sit with yourself in the aftermath and rethink how you might have defused the bombs before they were thrown (and I trust you didn't forget that grenade in your own pocket).

In times of change -- in this case, the season, the year, the 9 cycle, the Age -- we are helped along with the process by a growing sense of dissatisfaction, a spirit of rebellion and a prompting to free ourselves of what no longer works for us. This year our solstice came to us in a Cardinal sign, indicating an energetic thrust into new beginnings. We're percolating a plan, retiring the old and tried, and we will be using the short, dark days of winter on this side of the world to gather ourselves together, get our legs back under us. We will soon be entering a 1-year with a bang and humming that traditional song of ending and beginning with lyrics penned by Bobby Burns, "Auld Lang Syne." Wiki has this to say of it:

"In his retelling of fairy tales in the Scots language, Matthew Fitt uses the phrase 'In the days of auld lang syne' as the equivalent of "Once upon a time."

During these last months, and during these many celebrations, I became aware of a refining of the energies, a revelation of who, among my own, would come along with me on the journey that begins now, and who would not. It was not a matter of who was the most temperamental or difficult, nor was it words or deeds that revealed their willingness -- it was simply a very clear signal that passed between us.

I was surprised by some, saddened by others and comforted that the love we share will bridge the gaps of experience, that all paths lead to God/dess and that once we have welcomed another in, there is no escape -- a moment in the heart is forever.

The coming year will bring us many surprises, any number of energy escalations and challenges. It will start with Mars opposing Pluto on January 2nd bringing unwanted events of violence, and you can already feel that now -- in the world theatre, the Turks are bombing the Kurds, a collapsed bridge in Nepal has likely taken hundreds of victims and landslides in Indonesia have caused scores of deaths.

Meanwhile, Southern California has endured winds up to 100 miles per, causing speculation about more wildfires; all it takes is one tiny spark -- and Mars/Pluto is a lightning strike of energetic possibility.

We are as prepared for all that's ahead as we have allowed ourselves to be -- and I think we will find it easier than we fear. In whatever way our holidays played out, we can recognize the hint of our blessings ahead and the last of our resistance -- tuck what's dear into your expanding heart, and as for the rest...take heed, rethink, forgive, let go. We've done all the "baggage handling" we need to do, now. There are creative opportunities ahead that can only be hindered by more of the same.

All of the spiritual muscle we've achieved in the last few years will be needed now. There are others who are coming along who will welcome our assistance and encouragement, as they struggle to free themselves. There are light bulbs turning on all across the globe, and people looking for a way to contribute their talent to growth and community. Like butterflies just emerging from cocoons, our wings are not yet dry and we're exhausted by the effort to come forth -- but come forth we most certainly have. Take a quiet moment to feel it; it's there, in your heart, for you to find.

We will know exactly what we need to do next, and the day after and the day after, as the past and future collide with a newness of spirit that invites us to enter into a new contract with the universe. It does not matter what your neighbor does -- it only matters what you do, who you are, what wonderful idea you can put into play for yourself and all those who await your brilliance. Be bold, be creative, be playful -- trust yourself. The year ahead will take us higher and farther into the alternatives we visualize, the brotherhood and peaceful coexistence we call forth, if we will take that first step. It awaits us, the new story we're writing that begins with "once upon a time"-- for Auld Lang Syne.

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