I love the week between Christmas and New Year. It’s a perfect example of the “between times” that I so enjoy. One practice that has long served me and that I find very helpful is taking the time to reflect on what has passed before opening the door to what is new. I do this with every season; I do it in a smaller way with each lunar cycle; each week, each day. But it’s the year review that delights me most and seems so rich.
It feels right to me. To honor what’s been received and to take some time to integrate it. Sometimes I feel like a gardener preparing the soil for the new seeds that will be planted. Enriching the soil with the compost of what has been.
I’ve been taking the time to do this yearly review for more years that I can remember, and I’ve done it in many different ways. But this year I’ve decided to return to a framework I haven’t used in quite a while. To look at my year through the lens of the zodiacal houses. If you’re familiar with your astrological chart, you know that the chart is divided into 12 houses. Each house is associated with certain traits, and for astrology purposes when a planet lands in a particular “house” it offers some framework on how it might express itself in that area. For purposes of my yearly review, I’m not really paying attention to the astrology of my year, but rather simply using the houses as containers for review.
I love the idea of containers and working with archetypal imagery and so this suits me perfectly. So I look at my year through these twelve containers/lens and see what has shown up.
While each house has particular associations and meanings, years ago I stumbled on a system that defined the houses as boxes and I embraced the idea. I’m afraid I’ve long forgotten who to credit for the original nomenclature, but if someone happens to recognize it please let me know so I can remedy that. But in any case, here are the houses defining which areas I’m looking at.
1st house – “Ego Box”
2nd house – “Stuff Box”
3rd house – “Learning/Teaching/Communicating Box”
4th house – “Roots Box”
5th house – “Fun Box”
6th house – “Everyday Work & Duty Box”
7th house – “Partner Box”
8th house – “Deep Merging Box”
9th house – “Mind Expansion Box”
10th house – “Public Image Box”
11th house – “Idealism Box”
12th house – “God Box”
One of the reasons I decided I wanted to return to this particular way of reviewing my year has to do with something I’ll be doing in 2017. I’ve signed up to play in Hali Karla’s year-long art/journaling/astrology program In the Stars. While I know a fair amount about astrology and my own chart, I’m looking forward to this group exploration and to creating my own journal Book of Stars.
I’m curious about you – do you do a year review? Something formal or a more simple casting through your mind? Do you have any particular rituals you observe in this “between” week? Do tell, you know I love to hear.
I laughed when I saw this Simone Giertz clip today (thanks Swiss-Miss!). I know we’ve all likely felt at least a bit like that’s how the year has gone, but I do hope you’re able to mine some richer treasures from it.