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What's Announced at the Spiritual New Year: this week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

In the early Christian centuries, and well into the Middle Ages, there was a date on the calendar that marked the actual beginning of all that is, and that date was March 25th. So no surprise, then, that in settling the dates for honoring the feasts festivals of the year, March 25 would be reserved for something significant. 

In the Christian Calendar, March 24th is the Feast of the Archangel Gabriel, the overseeing divinity at the time of the incarnation of the Christ. March 25th, then, is honored as the Feast of Gabriel’s Annunciation to Mary. The birth of the Christ Child follows nine months later, on December 25th. 

This mystery of “spiritual annunciation” is not confined to Christianity, and it’s also not a coincidence that it’s observed at this time of year. We’re close to Spring Equinox in the northern hemisphere, which is like the new year, spiritually.

Then there’s Dante, and his masterwork The Divine Comedy. Dante's epic journey occurred over the course of one week that began on March 25th. So this year in Italy, exactly 700 years after the Comedy was completed, March 25 is being celebrated as Dante Day!

In perfect poetic harmony, on March 25th the planet Venus will meet the Sun in superior conjunction, gathering up all the cosmic love and beauty for bearing earthward when Venus becomes our evening star in a few weeks. I’m imagining that Venus is like Dante’s Beatrice, the divine feminine who summons Virgil to escort Dante, until she comes for him in the paradise.

So be on the look out for love and beauty this week, and for the annunciation it’s making in your life right now. The planets are gesturing, the year is opening, and great works of art are sounding out a timeless rhythm, if we can hear it.