Once again, I'm sharing the Taoist Astrological Monthly Report produced by Phil Jannetta
As we celebrate the holidays, there is much opportunity for personal health and well-being. What we do (or fail to do) now will greatly influence our experiences in the new year. I hope these reports help you thoroughly enjoy the season and find renewed meaning and purpose as we turn towards the new energy year.I join Phil in wishing you the very best over the holidays – however you celebrate them.
Phil Jannetta is an author and teacher in the fields of macrobiotics and Far-Eastern Energetics who lucky for me, lives in my neighborhood in Pittsburgh. He has an interesting online service providing monthly kernals of wisdom from Taoist astrology that I'm finding very affirming -- perhaps you too will find some useful support in the report covering the time frame from December 8 through January 5 .
Clearly, the holiday season - the period leading up to them, celebrating them, and unwinding and recovering from them – dominate our experiences in December. Ironically, the month is notorious for its potential for increased stress and sadness that can deepen into depression. Part of this dynamic is the spreading darkness that creeps into both ends of the day - dawn and dusk - as we drift towards the year’s shortest days.
Another factor is the operation of the dynamic of “misdirection,” found throughout life. At a time when natural forces are directing our attention inward – toward quietness and self-reflection, taking stock and making plans - social forces focus on the decidedly external activities that test our judgment and best intentions. The full force of advertising is now turned on young and old alike. Messages stoke the fires of material and emotional perception. Issues of self-image and self-worth are heavily employed in the attempt to have us to act in ways (buying and spending, excess and indulgence) that may not be conducive to our own and our family’s present and future well-being. The failure to address our inner self can result in frustration and deep-seated dissatisfaction that could last well into spring.
Emphasizing the material, we collectively (cultures and communities, families and individuals) fail in the essential task at this time of year for renewing the spirit. Too often we mistakenly seek to satisfy the genuine need for meaning and purpose, hope and comfort, family and friends, from sources bound to disappoint.
Energetics – There could be a “wintry” feel to December, not simply in the actual weather, but in our mood and levels and physical vitality as well. The energetic imperative now will be for:
1) Conserving resources - be prepared for unexpected demands of various types,
2) Replenishing yourself – physically, psychologically and spiritually, and
3) Purification – the letting go of mistaken impressions, assumptions and expectations that have accumulated over the year.
Implications – December highlights a pair of complementary activities. To benefit from the month’s mystery and yes, even magic, the advice is to consciously and enthusiastically participate in the duality this duet performs. In nature, abundance and fullness are invariably balanced by scarcity and emptiness. If we are wise, we can avoid the subtle hazards of overabundance and the obvious risks that come with insufficiency.
In preparation for the year-end celebration, the advice is to make the effort to first “empty” yourself of excess, wherever and in whatever form you find it. Do this in ways that reflect your own sensibilities, not in conformance with conventional sensibilities. Experience the genuine and profound sense of lightness that comes by giving away items you no longer use, and recycling what is no longer in working order.
Symbols and Associations – An awareness of traditional symbols and associations can help us understand our own evolving needs, drives and emotions as the months and seasons progress. December brings two powerful symbols (and their numerous associations):
The Winter Solstice – Arriving this year on December 21 (and accompanied by a total lunar eclipse), the solstice marks the year’s longest night and the start of winter on the solar calendar. Interestingly, it is also a major turning point towards light (the daylight hours slowly begin to lengthen, minute by minute).
Representing a journey’s full circle, the winter solstice is both an ending and a beginning – a two-edge sword that can be wisely or harmfully used. In this case, knowledge and awareness are crucial.
The New Year (and the End of the Current Year) – Bringing an affirming combination of hope, expectation, and celebration, the new year is a milestone marking a major shift of emphasis and influence.
Associations - Endings and Beginnings / Death and Rebirth / Past and Future - winter’s somber feel now shifts towards hopefulness and joy.
Light and Color – The seasonal colors are both magical and powerful.
Green (think of evergreens) represents renewal, youthfulness, the promise of spring, growth and vitality. In winter, green mysteriously adds a feel of warmth when the natural landscape is otherwise bleak. (In hot weather green brings fresh, cool relief.)
Red is a symbol of celebration and happiness throughout Asia. To all, it brings a welcome feel of warmth and stimulation. A strong heart and robust blood are bodily representations.
Ironically, red is related to complimentary images – the merriment and benevolence of Santa Clause, and the horror of hellish beings and of hellish states of being. It is our own condition that determines how we perceive, interpret and experience the implications of red.
Human Image – The qualities of purification and renewal will be highlighted this December.
1 Red reflects the valuable process of “going through the fire.”
This act serves to remove (burn off) what is unnecessary, harmful or mistaken in our perceptions and behavior. In the heat of high summer this occurs spontaneously (a involuntary process). As the year winds down, it is a voluntary process – it is up to us to clear the way for the new influences of the coming year.
2 Green speaks of renewal and rebirth – the promise of fresh opportunities, new areas of emphasis and a lightening of spirit. Just remember that the green energy of shrubs and trees depends on deep, healthy roots. Attend to your own roots.
Commentary – The irony at this time of year is that without the activities summarized by the red color, the promises associated with the green color are limited – growth must be preceded by consolidation, roots grow before foliage, renewal is born from letting go.
~Just as we discard the shell to enjoy the nut it contains, it is now time to actively release the superficial aspects and embrace the essential meaning of our experiences over the past year.
~Joyfully practice the spirit of kindness and charity – give of your time and talents, energy and experience, as appropriate.
~ Celebrate and delight both in the season’s enchantment, and in the awareness of fellowship that reminds us that we are members of a great web of beings with the creativity to make our world a safe, supportive family.
Food (The primary way we adjust to changing environmental influences, remain in touch with ever-shifting energies, and nourish our selves through the various stages of life, is with daily diet.)
December brings two points of focus – Simple yet strong foods (and cooking styles) are followed by the Foods of Celebration that herald the Year-End holidays. We are now actively compensating for the sun’s retreat by using food to stoke our “internal fire.” We need more high-quality oil (an essential nutrient), slightly more sea salt (another dietary essential), complex carbohydrates, and rich dishes (a continuation from November).
If we are not careful, strong cravings for (and indulgence in) sweets, alcohol, soft dairy foods, and other extremes, can now play havoc with physical and psychological health. As a result, the year’s most festive time, could find us suffering from the elimination mechanisms of fever and coughs, emotional ups and downs, and an acute sense of spiritual disconnect.
The advice is to be conscientious now.
1) Pay attention to (and anticipate) cravings, and satisfy them in wholesome ways.
2) Provide the nourishment and energy the body needs to cope with weather extremes.
3) Delight in the holidays in a mindful way and avoid the binging that inevitable imbalance body and mind.
Special Energy Days – There are days each month when the energy is especially active and bright, and others when it is slow and dull. This is true generally, and is not specific to individual natures. (Rather than basing your actions on the following dates, review them once they are past to see if this rings true in your own life.)
December’s Fortunate Dates – 12, 18, 24, 30
Inauspicious Dates – 11, 17, 23, 29
© Phil Jannetta 2010
Thanks, again, Phil, for the enlightening notes to ourselves! If you'd like to subscribe directly with Phil for 2011 - do contact him at:
21-Day Vegan Kickstart Less than a month till the next Kickstart! Perfect New Year's resolution! http://21daykickstart.org/
From you I receive, To You I give, Together we share and From this we live
Many Species...One Planet...One Future
~I See You ~ Namaste ~
Yours in Wellness, Gratitude, Vitality and the Rhythm of Nature,
Suzen Sharda Segall
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Suzen Sharda Segall, Wellness Personal Trainer/Consultant, designer and facilitator of BodyArts Therapeutics, has provided an integrated approach to health and wellness for a wide variety of populations, internationally,for over thirty-five years