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On Christmas Eve and the New Year

How We Create a Correct
Atmosphere for the Future
Carlos Cardoso Aveline

“The Dial of Time marks off another of the
world’s Hours... And, as the Old Year passes into
Eternity,  like a raindrop falling into the Ocean,  its
vacant place on the calendar is occupied by a successor... ”
H. P. Blavatsky [1]
Christmas and New Year’s season may have a strong inner meaning for those who have eyes to see. The 12 months’ round corresponds to a whole cycle in our existence. A page is turned in the book of life,  and some people get tempted to make the time-honoured Pythagorean examination: 
“What good have I done? What mistakes? Will I renew and keep my vows to act in the best way I can in the next year?”
Indeed, the end of  any cycle  and the beginning of a new one is always a good occasion to evaluate our progress in learning and to make new resolutions.  H.P.B. wrote: “And let no one imagine that it is a mere fancy, the attaching of importance to the birth of the year.”  
She added: 
“The earth passes through its definite phases and man with it; and as a day can be coloured so can a year.  The astral life of the earth is young and strong between Christmas and Easter. Those who form  their wishes now  [id est, in December-January] will have added strength to fulfil them  consistently.”[2]
Our perception of time expands at every end of a cycle. It seems we get face to face with other similar moments, past and future. While you turn over a leaf in the book of your life, you get a sense of what were the previous pages, and you have a dialogue with the seeds of future. Christmas’ time   leads you into a different dimension in time. In some cases a repetition of the same old celebrations around us  cause  a strange sense of déjà vu which expands our perception. It brings us recollections of  the past and perhaps some feelings about times yet-to-be.
It is true that any attachment to past  things  is dangerous, and H.P.B. made a warning, while writing about an ending year:  
“Let it go, with its joys and triumphs, its badness and bitterness, if it but leave behind for our instruction the memory of our experience  and  the lesson of our mistakes.  Wise is he who lets ‘the dead Past bury its dead’, and turns with courage  to meet the fresher duties of the New Year; only the weak and foolish bemoan the irrevocable.” [3]
A thoughtful examination of the past can give us valuable lessons and clues as to future patterns of vibrations, in a much bigger dimension of time  - and perhaps a glimpse of  eternity itself.
The pagan origins of Christmas celebrations are well documented [4], and this is no reason to reject them.  Just the opposite. Such festivities are externally covered by thick layers of materialism and superficiality, yet Christmas has an inner side which is truly spiritual in its combination of different religious traditions. It is a celebration of brotherhood, a homage to the Sun, an act of devotion to the spiritual light within and outside our hearts.  As we change ourselves and accept the expansion of our consciousness,  we help change the atmosphere around us.
Thinking of New Year, Helena Blavatsky refers to a North-American thinker:    
“Thoreau pointed out that there are artists in life, persons who can change the colour of a day and make it beautiful to those with whom they come in contact. We claim that there are adepts, masters in life who make it divine, as in all other arts. Is it not the greatest art of all,  this which affects the very atmosphere in which we  live? That it is the most important is seen at once,  when we remember that  every person who draws the breath of life affects the mental and moral atmosphere of the world, and helps to colour the day for those about him.” [5]
In the same text, H.P. Blavatsky said that Epictetus the Stoic became sublime because he “recognized his own absolute responsibility and did not try to evade it”. And she added: “The occultist fully recognises the responsibility and claims his title by having both tried and acquired knowledge of his own possibilities.”  For her, man’s life is in his own hands, his fate is ordered by himself, and  there is no reason why each new year must not 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. In a garden of sunflowers every flower turns towards the light. Why not so with us?” [6]
We do possess a center of eternal peace and love in our hearts, and since we have some unavoidable responsibilities as students of the esoteric philosophy,  we may choose to send good wishes to all sentient beings, all the more so in some special occasions.  Blavatsky wrote:
“A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL! This seems easy enough to say, and everyone expects some such greeting. Yet, whether the  wish, though it may proceed from a sincere heart, is likely to be realized even in the case of the few -  is more difficult to decide. According to our theosophical tenets, every man or woman is endowed, more or less, with a magnetic potentiality, 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 as for weal. Let us then, Theosophists, use that will to send a sincere greeting and a wish of good luck for the New Year to every 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, lest some of us should send unconsciously an ‘evil eye’ greeting instead of a blessing.” [7]
When should we do that? 
From the esoteric point of view, the best day is not necessarily January the first. January 3rd, for instance, was in the old times dedicated to Minerva-Athênê,  the goddess of wisdom.[8]   And then we have the special date of January 4th: 
“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 being incarnated in  mankind under the tenth 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.” [9]
Whatever day we choose, each New Year is born under the sign of Capricorn, whose regent is Saturn. This is the planet of karma, the master of time, the builder, preserver, destroyer and rebuilder of life-structures, both subtle and material. It is the Lord of the Rings, the co-regent of the now dawning Aquarius Age.

[1] “A Year  of  Theosophy”, Helena Blavatsky in “Collected Writings”, TPH, vol.  III, 1995, p. 01.
[2] H.P. Blavatsky, in the article “1888”, published in the pamphlet “Theosophical Objects, Program and Organization”, The Theosophy Company, Los Angeles, USA, 37 pp., see p.  9.  The article  “1888” was also published in the “Collected Writings”, H.P. Blavatsky, TPH, volume IX, pp. 3-5 (see p. 5).
[3] “Collected Writings”, H.P. Blavatsky, TPH, vol.  III, 1995, p. 01.
[4] See for instance “Christmas Then and Christmas Now”, an article in “Collected Writings”, H.P. Blavatsky, TPH, vol.  II, 1995, pp. 162-163.  The text is also available at in our associated websites.
[5] H.P. Blavatsky, in the pamphlet “Theosophical Objects, Program and Organization”,  Theosophy Company, L. Angeles, USA, 37 pp.; see pp.  8-9, text entitled “1888”. See also “Collected Writings”, H.P. Blavatsky, volume IX, p. 3.
[6] “Collected Writings”, H.P. Blavatsky, TPH, volume IX, pp. 4-5.
[7] “Collected Writings”, H.P. Blavatsky, TPH, volume XII, TPH, p. 67. Text entitled “1890! On  the New Year’s Morrow”.
[8] “Collected Writings”, H.P. Blavatsky, volume XII, TPH, p. 75. Text entitled “1890! On  the New Year’s Morrow”.
[9] “Collected Writings”, H.P. Blavatsky, volume XII, TPH, p. 76. Text entitled “1890! On  the New Year’s Morrow”.
The initial version of “On Christmas Eve and the New Year” was published at “The Aquarian Theosophist”, December 2005 edition, pp. 1-5. Original title: “Christmas Eve and the Creation of The  Atmosphere  for  a  New  Year”. 
On the role of the esoteric movement in the ethical awakening of mankind during the 21st century, see the book “The Fire and Light of Theosophical Literature”, by Carlos Cardoso Aveline.  
Published in 2013 by The Aquarian Theosophist, the volume has 255 pages and can be obtained through Amazon Books.
On Christmas Eve and the New Year

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