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Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Setting the Direction for the Entire New Year Ahead
The start of the Biblical New Year is the Holy Day of New Beginnings (Rosh Hashanah or RH) and it occurs based upon the Autumn Equinox. The objective of New Beginnings is to let go of one’s past attachments and karma under the Laws. Sunset on the Autumn Equinox New Moon evening starts this Autumn Holy Day Season with the Holy Day of New Beginnings (RH) , which occurs this year at sunset on Oct 4th, 2013.
The Equinox is the key element and it is what makes our Holy Day calendar calculation different than traditional Jewish Rosh Hashanah dates. An Equinox is when there is balance …. night and day, moon and sun, feminine and masculine are equal. This occurs cosmically as the sun passes over the earth’s equator resulting in day and night being equal…. 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of daylight.
How we direct our thoughts on the first day of a New Moon in many ways determines what we experience for the rest of the cycle, be it monthly or most especially at this annual cosmic Holy Day of New Beginnings. The New moon is always the start of a cycle … it is when the moon (feminine) is not reflecting any of the sun’s light (masculine).
Introduction to the Cosmic Nature of The Holy Days
The equinox is a point of balance in the earth since the sun is passing over the earth’s equator, thus making days and night equal… 12 hours of daylight balanced with 12 hours of darkness. We have 2 equinox events a year on earth, Spring and Autumn.
At the Autumn Equinox, there is balance, and the earth is shifting into the negative cycle as it is tilting away from the sun and the north pole is in complete twilight. This cosmic event is a window of opportunity and by embracing these cycles, we create movement within our lives, much like the initial swing of a pendulum.
1 = New Moon = Negative Moon Phase (not reflecting sunlight)
5 = Full Moon = Positive Moon Phase (moon is fully reflecting sunlight)
The Holy Day of New Beginnings (aka Rosh Hashanah) is the Biblical New Year, it is the beginning of new cycles in the earth and in our lives. We calculate this New Beginning as the Autumn Equinox New Moon. The Autumn Equinox is when the earth is moving into a negative cycle and the New Moon is the corresponding phase -- the negative cycle of the moon. The two cycles are in balance. Of course, negative is used to describe the polarity of the cycle, not to imply that it is bad.
New Beginning (RH) = New Moon at Autumn Equinox = Negative Cycle
Passover = Full Moon at Spring Equinox = Positive Cycle
Think of the Autumn Equinox as menstruation in the earth (negative cycle) and the Spring Equinox as ovulation (positive cycle). The significance of the Full Moon at the Spring Equinox is that the earth is in balance, going into the positive, and the moon phase is full, corresponding. The male and female are in union. And vice versa for the New Year. Sukkot is the full moon after the Autumn Equinox -- the phases aren't in synch. It accomplishes as much as having sex during menstruation. Probably there is significance to all of the Biblical Holy Days, but Passover and the New Year are the most important -- just as menstruation and ovulation are the most important times in a woman's cycle.
When we embrace the outward cycles and balance in the earth, it acts as gateway within -- as without, so within.
Start NOW …. Preparation for Autumn Holy Days
Clearing out the Clutter and Cleaning… Making Space for the New
Part of preparing for the new cycles, a big part of preparing, is:
- cleaning your home
- pulling old clothes out of the closets
- giving away what you don't need
- throwing out what is garbage
If you have unfinished projects, complete them or discard them. By physically removing clutter and such from your home, you are getting rid of the old to make way for the new. What you do to your home, affects your mind and this is part of preparing for the Holy Days. When we clean up the physical, it sets in motion the cleaning of the spiritual.
Another area to clean up is your body, your temple.
Fasting is a good idea...BEFORE the Autumn Holy Days, not during other than the Day of Atonement.
Fasting is cleaning your body, preparing for the new cycles, to make room for growth and for light. A basic three day fast is good for beginners -- you can go to a week, if you're more experienced. It depends a lot on what you've done before -- you can do an apple fast, juice fast, water fast for three days. Apple and juice fasts are usually good for beginners.
Of course this is based on your personal health and you should seek the appropriate medical advice. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, should not fast at all.
The theme is: cleaning, out with the old, prepare for the new.
Start with your home, then your body, then you can try to assess your life and decide what you need to work on or get rid of. Spend some time thinking about what you've done this last year, what you've accomplished, what challenges you've faced... what you want to accomplish this coming year, etc.
Everyone is at different places in their life and it’s all going to be different for each of us, but the theme is going forward into a new cycle, a new beginning, and having a celebration once the preparation work is done.
Holy Day of New Beginnings (Rosh Hashanah)Joyous Arrival of the New Cycle and a Powerful Opportunity to Make Important Changes
Starting at sundown on Oct 4th,2013 (in the Americas/Canada in the Northern Hemisphere)
The Holy Day of New Beginnings (RH) begins at sundown on the Autumn Equinox New Moon. This year we celebrate the Day of New Beginnings (RH) at sundown on October 4th, 2013 in Americans/Canada in the Northern Hemisphere. If you live in another region, please see the last page of this newsletter for a date calculation discussion.
It is a celebration, the beginning of the new year, new cycle -- it's an important time to spend with family and community. This is a time to remember and commemorate God's creation. We remember and announce our Blessings for the past year, asking in prayer that the following year be Blessed.
The Biblical New Year is a feast and celebration. Our meal includes many things... sweet foods, grape juice, candies, fruits, nuts and cheeses. Sweet foods symbolize the coming of a sweet year.
The abundance is a Blessing! Our prayers are for peace and spiritual growth in the coming year. Take time to bless your food and each other before you eat. Food, family and friends are all blessings that have been given to us to enjoy and appreciate. It is with deep gratitude we celebrate all creation on this Holy Day especially!
If you do not already have a family meal blessing, perhaps you would like to consider this one:
Take us to the Light
Let our Food be Blessed, and
Our Karma Burnt
Thank-you God, Amen
Spend quality time together, play music, enjoying the feast and each other!As you do in the physical, you do in the mind.
Rituals done just for the sake of ritual can bring awareness. Rituals that are done with awareness help us move the mind forward and develop consciousness. With this knowledge, we can embrace the patterns and holographic nature of reality.
Holy Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
Repentance, Fasting and Forgiveness — The Holy Day of Atonement
Starting at sundown on Oct 14th,2013 (in the Americas/Canada in the Northern Hemisphere)
The Day of Atonement starts on the 10th sundown after The Holy Day of New Beginnings (RH) .
This year we celebrate the Day of Atonement (YK) at sundown on October 14th, 2013 in Americans/Canada in the Northern Hemisphere. If you live in another region, please see the last page of this newsletter for a date calculation discussion.
The theme of this day is atonement through fasting, and forgiveness of those we hold a grievance against. It is a time to ponder and reflect over the past year and…
- "Be Right" with friends, family, and our Soul-self
Fasting cleans your body, prepares for new cycles and makes room for growth. So we fast on this day,
No food and only water to drink from sundown Oct 14, 2013 to sundown Oct 15, 2013.
Of course fasting observation is based upon your personal health and you should seek the appropriate medical advice Including what medication to continue taking and such. Typical exclusions from fasting are if you are pregnant or breast feeding... or have other health issues that would prohibit a fast.
In addition to fasting, we also use ritual to act as a catalyst for releasing negativity in our lives.
We decide on a body of water...the sea, a lake, a pond, or even a small creek will do -- once there, we pick a stone (or two or three!). The rock symbolizes the things in our life that are weighing us down.
* What you want to get rid of
* What you want removed from your life
* What you want removed from your body
* What energy has been pulling you down
* What has been holding you back
Put that energy into the rock, feel the negativity and the weight leave your body, and throw it into the water. Really take the time to feel yourself releasing those things in this symbolic act.
Then we wait for sundown,
We break the fast with a good meal surrounded by family.
We sleep well ... and this ends The Day of Atonement.
- Lev 23:23-25 New Beginnings (Rosh Hashanah)
- Lev 23:26 Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
Allan’s Pages and Online Library:
- Search TheWay Forums and Library on words like: Rosh Hashanah, Passover, Holy Days, ect
Traditional Autumn Holy Day Names :
- Rosh Hashanah
- Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the day of remembrance)
- Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar)
- Yom Kippur
- Day of Atonement
Common Autumn Holy Day Greeting:
"May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."
New Beginnings … Our Autumn Holy Day… Our New Year
New Beginning (aka Rosh Hashanah or RH) is considered the start of the Biblical New Year and thus the start of the Autumn Holy Days.
It is a time to remember and commemorate God's creation. We remember and announce our Blessings for the past year, asking in prayer that the following year be Blessed. It is a time to ponder and reflect over the past year and repent, ask forgiveness, and "be right" with friends, family, and our Soul-self.
Celebrating the New Year in this way can give movement to the rest of the cycles to come, much like the initial swing of a pendulum.
This attitude of repentance continues to Yom Kippur. On the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, we fast and go out to the water to cast stones. It is a good symbolic ritual for releasing blockages and negativity from the body.
2013 Autumn Holy Day DatesHere is the Autumn Holy Day schedule for 2013 in the Americas/Canada:
For time zones outside of the Americas/Canada but in the Northern Hemisphere (ie: Europe)… please use the websites below to confirm your correct lunar schedule.
Be careful, some printed calendars and websites are not accurate on lunar dates. Here are a couple of websites to use as a reference:
For those in the Southern Hemisphere, it is completely opposite! See this Nazirene Library post for further information:
Kids Korner - Autumn Holy Days
What should I change this year?
The Autumn Holy Days begin a window when we lessen our heaviness before the end of the biblical year. Children can focus on asking for forgiveness when they hurt someone or don’t do as their parents have asked them to do. Lead them in prayer, asking God to give them a fresh start in the coming year and to teach them to live lives that follow God’s Laws. Use the Day of Atonement family rock activity to release these things.
This could also turn into an Holy Day preparation activity (before Oct 14th, 2013 if you are in the Americans/Canada) … The children paint a rock with what they want to throw into the water on The Holy Day of Atonement (see that newsletter section above to get a fuller idea of the rock concept).
Clever Craft Idea for the Month:
Have your children make a special honey jar for Rosh Hashanah, decorated to look like a bee. Paint a glass jar with yellow craft paint and wrap bands of black electrical tape around it to represent the bee's black and yellow abdomen. Glue half of a Styrofoam sphere to the lid to make the bee's head. Paint the head yellow with a black smiley face. Make antennae for the bee by poking lengths of wire into the Styrofoam head.
Sweets are a big part of the appeal of Rosh Hashanah for children. Involve your children in baking holiday sweets. Young children can help in the kitchen by stirring batter and shaping cookies on a baking sheet. Older kids can help by measuring ingredients and setting the timer for baking times. Explain the use of traditional Rosh Hashanah foods like apples, pomegranates and honey to represent the wish for a sweet upcoming year.