One of the many New Year charts used in Vedic astrology is created at the New Moon in Pisces which will fall on April 7, 2016 throughout the world. Astrologer Steve Stuckey explains the reasoning behind New Moon in Pisces in a 2010 Jyotish Star article: “The question naturally arises, why the New Moon in Pisces? Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be an answer forthcoming from Jyotish classical texts on this subject. However there is a reference in the Brahma Purana and the Chaturvarga Chintamani of Hemadri (approx 1300 CE), wherein it is stated that Lord Brahma created the universe on the Chaitra Shukla Pratipada or the first day of the first month of the year.” So simply, every year we celebrate the beginning of the New Year at the same astrological point when Lord Brahma created the universe!
The next day after the New Moon in Pisces (Amavasya tithi) begins the Chaitra Shukla Pratipada tithi and the very auspicious nine-night Chaitra Navratri festival of the Divine Mother, when it is said that Divine Mother Shakti comes down to walk among and bless, heal and empower her children at the beginning of the New Year. During the nine nights, many will fast and celebrate a very specific series of devotions including prayers, offerings, chanting and puja rituals. Some are now already preparing for this festival…shopping, cooking and making other special arrangements; many of my friends are getting ready to travel to India to celebrate. At the end of Navaratri will be the blessed celebration of Ram Navami and in some locations, Sri Rama Navaratra is celebrated during the entire Navaratri.
Traditionally, around the start of the lunar New Year, temple astrologers install the new calendar (panchanga) during a ceremony in which the year’s upcoming predictions are read aloud, and in their analysis they follow a set of specific guidelines for interpreting these charts. They do this for a particular country, usually India where this system originated, but also the forecast is sometimes given more generally for the world at large. The astrologers collaborate with each other and go into great detail in their predictions looking at the lord and minister of the year and so forth.
In her April 2016 Jyotish Star eMagazine, Vedic astrologer Christina Collins has written an excellent article about America’s New Year chart as well as the upcoming Varshaphal (Solar Return) chart. Every year, Vedic astrologer Chakrapani Ullal writes a brilliant article about the New Year chart, so stay tuned for that either through his website at http://www.chakrapani.com or on his Facebook page. Also, Vedic astrologer Barry Rosen wrote an excellent analysis of the 2016 Vedic New Year chart already too, which you can read at his Financial Astrology Facebook page.
As we prepare for the lunar New Year ahead, during the old year’s last waning lunar phase, the time is ripe for introspection, clearing, and cleaning. It’s out with the old, in with the new, “for last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice” (T.S. Eliot). A weary but also giddy restlessness rises up to meet us near the year’s end, and it feels so poignant in the ebbing flow. Now we will do well to give thanks for all the challenges of the past, which in our brighter moments we know to have been gifts in disguise. Letting go, we can forgive ourselves and others for any errors in thought and deed; release conflict within and without; and acknowledge what is truly important in our lives, including the love we share with others. I wish you a blessed Vedic New Year ahead, with so much love and light.