The Tropical Zodiac celebrated its New Year yesterday (March 21) when the Sun moved into the sign of Aries, marking the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
Ancient Western Roots
Most people are familiar with the term Zodiac to represent the wheel of sky above us. Humans have studied the stars for calendar keeping and guidance for as long as we have record, but it was only about two thousand years ago that we started to track planetary movement around the galaxy.
After generations of observation, people began to interpret the Sun, Moon, and planets as aspects of our humanity, and the configurations they make with each other in the sky as archetypal human experiences. It’s telling that civilizations all over the world came up independently with incredibly similar systems.
Ancient Eastern Roots
Human Design synthesizes much of this ancient wisdom, drawing especially on the ancient Chinese I Ching. The I Ching integrates the polarity of yin and yang to create “hexagrams” of six lines.
These lines are either solid (yang) or broken (yin), making 64 hexagrams, each representing an aspect of the human journey.
The colorful Mandala which surrounds the Body Graph is another exquisitely logical and sacred map of the human experience. The sixty-four I Ching hexagrams form the outer ring, their corresponding gate numbers form the middle ring, and the Zodiac forms the inner ring.
You can see that the numbers in the middle ring refer to the gates of the Body Graph. If you dabble in astrology, a neat exercise might be to print out some blank mandalas and draw in your planets.
This is why yourt birth time is so critical: knowing exactly where the planets were when you took your first breath determines the definition in your Body Graph, which then determines your Type, Profile and Authority.
A Solar Meditation
The Sun is clearly the most potent and influential of the planetary bodies. It makes its elliptical way through the sixty-four gates (and twelve signs) in one year, spending about six days in each gate.
On January 22, it occured to me (to my Open Head) that it would be fun to do a yearlong meditation on the sun’s trip around the gates, a kind of solar travelogue. My goal was to to steep myself more deeply in the gates, in their unique yet universal energies.
So when the Sun happened to be in Gate 41, I began the project of studying, meditating, journaling, and dreaming about each gate as the Sun passed through it. This practice has been profound and illuminating. It’s been a (mostly) gentle reminder of the transitory nature of life, and of the value of acceptence and surrender.
It’s helpful to remember that whether or not we have gates defined in our charts, everyone has access to all the energies. What will vary is the consistency and quality.
For example when the Sun is in Gate 36, I can feel into themes of change and crisis, even though I do not have the gate defined. If I pay attention I can also increase my compassion and empathy for those who experience the frequencies of change and crisis all the time.
And when the Sun is in Gate 25 (as it is now), because this is the place of Universal Love, my Unconscious Sun ignites and I remember my whole purpose here.
While the Tropical Zodiac celebrated initiations yesterday, Human Design kicked off its own Rave New Year on January 22 when the Sun entered Gate 41.
To quote Ra Uru Hu, “That 41st Gate is quite extraordinary. In its relationship to genetics, it is the only initiating codon. If you think about genetics as being written out as an alphabet, the very beginning of any genetic sentence would begin with the 41st Gate.”
No matter how you look at it, a beginning is always an ending and vice versa. Right now is an auspicious time to start something new for two reasons. One, the equinox brings us balance because there are equal amounts of darkness and daylight. Two, yesterday also happened to feature a New Moon at zero degrees of Aries.
You may have heard that New Moons are ideal for planting the seeds of your intent. You may have also heard that zero degrees of Aries is the beginning or the “birth canal” of the Zodiac. Gate 25 (Innocence) spans this space, and from it the Fool steps forth on his adventure in his trusting, eager innocence.
By the way, this is the first of two New Moons in Aries, a fiery sign all about initiation. What will you begin?