Happy Equinox 2021! This year the Equinox happens on March 20. Finally, Spring is here! Yay! In Bali it’s also the New Year. On this important date, the hours of day and the night are equal. This is a perfect time to take stock of our place in the cosmos, to jump into the new, to savor the infinite moment.
Regardless of the season and the challenging times, our job on Earth hasn’t really changed. Actually, our job NEVER changes – we navigate our life circumstances to harmonize with changing energies, as we help stabilize the chaotic events for everyone around us. We build a stable foundation for a beautiful new world.
However, I don’t have to tell you, things may get even weirder before the tide turns, so a daily effort is essential. OH, PLEASE take care of yourself and remember your sense of humor. Mine becomes more bizarre every day. For a taste, see Mystery Memes from Beyond Cyberspace on my blog – the things that make me BELLY LAUGH!! Ha Ha!!
What does this Equinox mean for us?
I believe the four cardinal points of equinox and solstice bring a powerful opportunity for grace from 2-3 days before and after the date. Around these times I feel a sense of greater unity of all the dimensions, as if the veils between the worlds are thinner, not so far away. So if you’re tuned in, your prayers and blessings can be heard more clearly by the celestial forces. That’s why this is a wonderful time to pray, set intentions, make offerings, repent, practice charity, and visualize the big picture of your life. I always do a ceremony of some kind. I assemble an arrangement of special things I love, I light a fire or incense, I pray. Sometimes I sing! Every ceremony is different – for me it requires little abandon and daring.
What about this Equinox? The moon in Aries brings a resurgence of energy for new seeds to be planted. Aries is like a pioneer that jumps into anything and everything with a brave heart and doesn’t need much coaxing. The thrill of the unknown pulls you forward. Are you a gardener? This is a great skill to learn!!
Even better, this Equinox, Jupiter is in the MidHeaven – incredibly auspicious.
Jupiter is the planet of spirituality, optimism and power. Jupiter in the midheaven promises new protection, wealth and stability for the long suffering of 2020. Jupiter is riding high through Aquarius for all of us, emphasizing the benefits of education, learning new skills in science and technology. In summary this is a time of renewal, time to try new things, make plans for the future and manifest new opportunities for change. That’s quite the encouragement for starting over anew!
New Year in Bali, A Day of Fasting and Silence
In Bali, New Year’s Day is called Nyepi. It happens on the new moon closest to the Equinox. On this day, Balinese people retreat into the wisdom of the ages.
This is a day of silence, fasting and meditation. This year Nyepi is March 14, and the Equinox is March 20. Everything is so quiet. Bali law requires that people use no fire or lights, no electricity, no working, no traveling, no music or entertainment. Cell service was off for the day. The government considered turning Wifi off too, but reportedly decided against it.
3–4 days before Nyepi is the Melasti Ritual, held by the sea to purify temple artifacts and gather sacred water.
We watched an evening shadow puppet show at Keramas Sacred River Village. Using a screen lit from behind by a bamboo torch, the performing priest sang in old Javanese language. This was a story from the ancient Hindu Mahabharata epic. Amazing!
Nyepi morning was very quiet. The staff was off, resting at home. No cooking allowed, so breakfast was cold. Still delicious!
At sunset the day before, the noisy Pengrupukan ceremony begins in every home with loud banging of pots, pans, bamboo tubes and coconut leaf torches to drive out the demons. The night just before Nyepi is the wild Bhuta Yajna Ritual and the Procession of the Demons to vanquish negative spirits and create harmony between God, Mankind, and Nature. It often consists of wild masked figures parading through the streets.
At Keramas Sacred River Village, the owner’s family and all the children came through the center banging pots, pans, and bamboo poles, chanting and singing. The following day everyone stayed home for Nyepi, the whole center utterly silent.
Bali uses several calendars. Today we’ll look at the Saka calendar based on the phases of the Moon. The Indian Saka calendar has been used since the ninth century CE. Every new moon brings a new month, which lasts 30 days. But because the moon cycle is 29.53 days, slightly shorter than 30 days, and the lunar year of 12 moons is only 355 days, the calendar is adjusted by adding two lunar days every 9 weeks. This day is called ngunalatri, Sanskrit for “minus one night”. To synchronize with the solar year, intercalary days are added in a way that’s beyond my comprehension.
The Traditional Javanese Calendar is ALSO used in Bali.
The Pawukon calendar has been used in Bali ever since the Majapahit Empire’s Exodus of Java. Yes, the entire royal entourage of Princes, priests and faithful Hindus left their Java homeland in 1597 after their local king converted to Islam and required his subjects to do the same. Turns out Portuguese traders had just shown up with war ships and fire power. Portuguese guns sided with the local King, overwhelming the Hindu royal court, who had enjoyed protection for centuries. Everyone in Java had to choose. Convert or leave. Fortunately Bali is a short boat ride from Java. This is the history behind why Bali is mostly Hindu and retains its traditional customs.
The Bali Pawukon calendar consists of 30 weeks of seven days each, totaling 210 days. It is based on the ancient Javano-Balinese Uku year of 210 days. This in turn is made up of ten cycles running concurrently. These are cycles of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 days. Each day is named after its position in each cycle and thus has a name made up of ten parts. In practice three cycles are considered more important than the others and they have the greatest influence on life. They are the cycles of 3, 5 and 7 days. The uku year is divided into six periods of 35 days each (tumpek), or five seven-day weeks. Based on the movements of the seven visible planets and on the three-day market week. Particularly powerful days fall on the coinciding or intersecting dates. EEEK!
Since the dates of festivals cannot be determined precisely in advance, they are set one year at a time, so they fall around same time each year. The Pawukon calendar is used fo scheduling festival days and rituals Kuningan and Galungan. Bali celebrates the full moon, no moon, and all the major festivals of the Chinese, Buddhist, Christian, and Islamic calendars, meaning it is truly international. OMG. There’s no chance I’ll penetrate the mystery of this calendar!
What About the Roman Calendar?
Just in case you think Bali calendars are confusing, take a look at our Western calendar. The whole world uses the Roman Gregorian calendar. Where did it come from? Our modern calendar came from ancient Rome. It is a lunisolar calendar with 12 months in a year. We count our months independently of the moon. We disregard the moon cycle, and we are disconnected from Nature. Our year has 365 days with a leap day every 4 years. We are impatient. We want everything YESTERDAY!
The early Roman calendar celebrated New Year on March 1st.
The very first Roman calendar had just 10 months in a year, totaling 304 days. And there were two months or 61 days in winter that did not belong to any month! The 10 months were Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Quntilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December. What about the missing months?
In 713 BC King Numa Pompilius added January and February to create a 12-month year. However, he did not change the names of the last six months, leaving us with misleading numbers still to this day.
Our Months are Roman Gods, Emperors and Wrong Numbers!
- January – The Roman god Janus, ruler of entry ways.
- February – Februum is a Roman purification ritual.
- March – The god of War and planet Mars.
- April – Aprilis is a spring nymph.
- May – The Greek Maia, goddess of fertility
- June – Juno was the wife of Jupiter, king of the Gods.
- July – This month is named for Julius Caesar. Yep.
- August – Caesar’s son Augustus named this for himself.
- September – Once the 7th, but is now the 9th month.
- October – Means 8th, but is now the 10th month.
- November – Means 9th, but is now the 11th month.
- December – Means 10th, but is now the 12th month.
After centuries of calendar confusion, Julius Caesar introduced the Julian Calendar in 45 BC. He was assisted by Cleopatra’s expert astronomers who knew a year has 365.2422 days. Yay! Together they created a 12-month calendar with 365 days and a leap day every four years – a major calendar breakthrough! Then Julius Caesar declared himself Emperor for life. But his rule ended on the Ides of March!
In Ancient Rome, the Ides of March was a Big Spring Equinox Party!
The so called “Ides” of a month referred to the midpoint of a month, governed by the phases of the moon. The Ides of March also meant it was on the new moon.
Most Romans celebrated the Ides of March with raucous drinking and revelry for Anna Perenna, Goddess of seasons and long life.
How did Rome Make a New Calendar to Count Years from 1 CE?
In 525 AD The Monk Dionysius Exiguus proposed a new system of numbering years from Christ’s birth. It was called AD, Anno Domini, Year of our Lord. We call it CE or ‘Common Era’. Why did he do that?
A New Calendar to Stop the Rapture and Postpone the End of the World?
Yes, Dionysius had a very good reason to change the way of counting years, and to count from the birth of Jesus Christ. Dionysius was heavily influenced by the Great Year Cycle of 26,000 years, the Precession of the Equinoxes, and astrological ages. Dionysius chose to begin counting from Christ’s birth, because people were worried about the coming Global Rapture, Resurrection, and the End of the World, which was believed would happen 500 years after the birth of Jesus.
Before that, the Roman calendar began counting Time from Creation in the Old Testament, in which it was believed that Jesus was born in the year 5500 BCE. They believed in the year 6000 they would see the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the world. Oh dear!
Since this date had already passed, Dionysius, looked for a NEW end of the world in the future. Heavily influenced by the Great Year and planetary conjunctions, his doctrine said that when all the planets are in conjunction, a cosmic event would mark the end of the world. Dionysius calculated that this conjunction would occur in May CE 2000. OMG! He then applied a different astronomical calculation based on Precession of the Equinoxes. (Although incorrect, since some astronomers at the time believed the Precession cycle was 24,000 years where it is probably closer to 25,920 years), Dionysius calculated twelve astrological ages of 2,000 years each, where it’s actually closer to 2,160 years.
Rapture? I do not know the Roman Church’s vision of the Rapture and the End of the World. Certainly, this is not to be taken lightly. The monk Dionysius reasoned if the planetary alignment marked the end of an age, then the birth of Jesus Christ had marked the beginning of the Age of Pisces. WOW! Very close! He deducted 2,000 years from the May 2000 CE conjunction, to produce AD year 1 for the new date of Christ’s birth That’s what I’m told. Hmmm… Something might be going on here. Your thoughts?
OK, Why is the Spring Equinox So Important?
Well, if you look at the horizon at moment of sunrise on the Spring Equinox, right now you will see a zodiac constellation almost Aquarius. And traditionally this is the day to look. You have to get up really early, before the birds. If you do this every day for 2,160 years, you will note a slight shift every year. After 2,160 years, the zodiac sign will be different! The immediately preceding sign will show up. After watching this for 12 of these cycles, that is every Equinox for 25,920 years, you’ll be back at the beginning, and Aquarius will appear. Are you with me? It’s a cycle, constantly in motion. How many years would you have to be alive to know this? How many cycles? Yikes! You would be VERY OLD!! This amazing image shows the complete cycle of 12 zodiac signs across the horizon.
This kind of precise astronomical research wasn’t developed overnight. It takes many thousands of years. The astrological knowledge of the Great Year Cycle was known by many ancient cultures. It makes me wonder – How many thousands, perhaps millions of millions of years have humans lived on this planet?
- NASA’s cycle of axial precession of 25,771.5 years is said to be caused by a wobble due to tidal forces and planetary interactions.
- The Hindu calendar describes Yugas or ages: The Golden, Silver, Bronze and Iron Ages total 24,000 years. Yugas define the rise and fall of civilizations in a never-ending cycle.
- Hipparchus, 2nd-century-BC Greek astronomer is said to have re-discovered Precession of the Equinoxes, noticing that the earth’s ecliptic moved slightly over time.
- Sir Isaac Newton wrote his “Principia” in 1728. He believed the Precession of the Equinoxes cycle to be caused by a wobble in gravitational forces of the earth.
- The ancient Greeks spoke of 5 enduring Ages: Golden, Silver, Bronze, Heroic and Iron Ages. The Golden Age was the happiest time when people lived without illness, war or work enjoying an abundance of wild foods. In the Silver Age new gods arrived. The Bronze Age was filled with men who loved war and finally destroyed themselves. In the Heroic Age a race of demigods was rewarded for their courage on the island of Elysium. The Iron Age was considered the worst age where goodwill would cease to exist. Men would suffer oppression by wicked rulers whose greed finally ends when Zeus destroys them.
- The ancient Egyptian calendar recognized a 25,920 year cycle with 12 zodiac sub-cycles. In recognition of this, the royal capital was moved to a new city every 2,160 years.
- The Mayan “Long Count Calendar” of 5,125 years is one-fourth of their precession cycle of about 25,625 years.
- The Hebrews knew of Precession in the time of Kings David and Solomon, as evidenced in the Psalms of David 19:4-5, which trace the zodiac through each age.
- The Chinese calendar refers to a “Cosmic Year”, a cycle of human evolution in 12 sub-cycles.
- The Hopi calendar says humans have existed in three ages. In each age we turned away from spiritual teachings, and the world was destroyed.
This magnificent CGI shows the zodiac positions 2121 years ago, in 1 CE. Notice Pisces sits on the horizon at the Spring Equinox. (Courtesy of https://zoroastrianastrology.blogspot.com/p/images.html)
This is the cycle of zodiac images. The Precession Cycle, the Great Year moves through the Zodiac as shown by the visible constellation on the horizon at dawn on the March Equinox.
Was are the Hindu Yugas? Cycles of the Ages, Measuring Culture and Consciousness on Earth
Swami Sri Yukteswar (teacher of Yogananda) explained in his book (click to view book online) “The Holy Science”. He explains that the Yuga cycle brings huge energy changes to life on earth. Light and vibrations emanating from the Milky Way galactic center affect the human mind and body. When our sun orbits through the galaxy, it is said to bring the earth closer to or farther away from the grand galactic center, a vortex of subtle energy and the creative power regulating the mental and spiritual level of the world. The proximity of the Earth and Sun to this grand galactic center is said to determine the level of human civilization, health, intelligence and spiritual wisdom. Yikes!
Sri Yukteswar’s calculations of the Yugas say we are on the UP Expanding cycle! Yay!
- We are now in an expanding Bronze Age, Dwapara Yuga from 1600 – 4100 CE. This is said to be a period of expanding electrical, atomic and finer forces.
- The next Silver Age will be from 4100 – 7700 CE, an age of great expansion and change.
- The next Golden Age will be from 7700 – 12500 CE, an age of the highest spiritual culture, when health and spirituality is at its zenith in humanity. Then the cycle begins to move DOWN. Yep.
Are you with me? This is my way of saying: RELAX! Take care of yourself. This larger perspective helps me stay grounded. As much as we can SEE the problems, and we’d like to resolve ALL of Earth’s problems immediately, it might take some time. We know humans do learn, but it may take a few years. So keep going and have patience. Even if we die, we realize this is secondary, because we already learned from my Bhagavad Gita Series, that the Soul Never Dies! We just keep going. We pick up the threads and continue the journey in the next lifetime. So my advice is to work on our own refinement and help others with theirs when they are ready.
WE HAVE PATIENCE. The natural cycles of time are on our side. Success is assured. We cannot fail. Breathe.
Lama D and I Are Now Offering: Kundalini Cultivation Sessions via Zoom
Kundalini is about activating joy in the body. Its energetic power is as natural as rain, as normal as breathing. Kundalini is about activating a union that links soul harmony into the physical body, so it can raise its frequency to the divine. Activation happens naturally in some, however in most people it must be learned. Once it opens, it’s just a matter of nourishing it and keeping it going toward your destination. Like a river flows to the sea, we join God.
An Introduction to Energy Cultivation includes Three Zoom sessions for $270.
Energy circulation is the gift and the basis of human life. Every true religion talks about it, but most have forgotten it. This is the “secret teaching” of the ages. Kundalini is the unstated meaning of Adam and Eve’s meeting with the snake in the Garden of Eden. Its truth is hidden in the Christian Bible. It is the origin of Roman secret societies. This is the ultimate goal of Buddhism, and the pinnacle of Nirvana in Yogic traditions. It’s the fountain of youth. However it’s as simple as the summer breeze blowing against your skin.
This cultivation is really fun! You are invited. Let me know if you have any questions. Click here for more info:
Lama D and I invite you to come to Bali whenever you can. We have a beautiful healing center with reasonable accommodations and amazing classes. Or just come for a personal visit. We’re waiting and preparing for the world to shift. And it will! The quiet, timeless atmosphere will nourish your health and wisdom!
A quiet meal at Keramas Sacred River Village. Meals are provided in a calm atmosphere, clean air, and pristine surroundings! Come join us.
Thanks for showing up! Best wishes to you, and do stay calm!
- The Great Year Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3ZDcj0kF_0