The Earth-Calendar 2022
Introduction - Part One
Earth Journey – our Journey
The inspiration for The Earth Calendar 2022 is Thea’s graphic below. She highlights several facts:
- Earth’s natural path around the Sun is not a perfect circle but an oval or an elliptical pattern; therefore as she orbits the Sun, Earth’s distance varies from one cosmic pole to the next. In the northern hemisphere, she is closest to the Sun each year (perihelion) around 4 January, (zodiacal Capricorn) and farthest from the Sun (aphelion) around 4 July, (zodiacal Cancer). Our ancients knew the importance of these earth cycles, these periods of Earth Time, elevating them to ‘most auspicious’ – Uttarayan, and ‘inauspicious’– Dakshinayan.
- Earth’s axis is always tilted 23.27 degrees in relation to her orbital plane; this tilt allows both the planet and her family to show four distinct faces to their luminary throughout the annual journey (see End Note One).
Thea equates the four Cardinal pillars in the graphic above to Cosmic Dawn (March -Aries), Cosmic Midnight (June/July – Cancer), Cosmic Sunset (September – Libra) and Cosmic Midday (December/January – Capricorn. She makes a correspondence between the physical path which our Earth orbits yearly around the Sun to the journey of the individual in search of his/her inner Sun-soul (1).
The Movement for the Restoration of Vedic Wisdom presents Earth Calendar 2022 as an instrument to help the seeker (1) increase his/her understanding of the four-fold cosmic harmonies of our Earth and (2) to see the flow of time – measured by the Calendar – as a meaningful journey taken by all people living on our planet.
Cosmic Sunrise/Dawn (red on calendar)
Earth slowly moves along a North – South axis as she orbits through her path around the sun. On the Vernal Equinox (this year 20 March, 2022) the planet crosses the celestial equator line and heads northward; this marks the beginning of the solar year. Day and night are nearly equal all over the world, and the first zodiacal sign, 0 degrees Aries, begins. Thea calls this opening quarter of the journey Cosmic Dawn.
Taking birth on Earth is not ‘a fall’, rather it begins a separation process. Involution of the divine soul into material creation appears to put out the light of our inner ‘Sun-soul’, but this is only for a while, only to allow the ‘seed’ of the spirit which has involved into Matter to grow and ultimately unveil the divinity hidden within us. The Rishis knew this cosmology well. These composers of the Veda saw creation as an unfolding vision; one of their central legends sings of the rays of sunlight brought to earth by Usha, the Dawn Goddess. These special rays of light, these rays of the Supramental Truth-Consciousness (the Dawn cows – the Sanskrit word ‘go’ means both light and cow) are stolen by hostile powers and hidden in caves.
It is the warrior who undertakes ‘the upward battle’ to find the coveted rays/cows; these ’pilgrims of the light’, in the period of a year, achieve the Victory. It is understood that the images in the hymns are symbols and the nature of the Vedic journey is a quest for the highest realms of the Truth (2). The Rishis intuited that it was our third planet from the Sun, no place else, that was the destined place where the Earth family would be transformed into a divine species. The whole process, the struggle and the victory, are to be experienced on Earth.
Therefore, Thea writes, the revolution of Earth on her axis and around her Sun through her four cosmic periods of Time describes not just a mechanical process, but one that is deeply psychological; each of the four quarters of the journey expresses a particular relationship which she has with her sun(3).
Cosmic Midnight (black on calendar)
Cosmic Dawn/Sunrise is not followed by the full light of Midday; at this stage of humanity’s evolution, the second phase of the evolutionary journey takes the seeker away from her Sun. The yearly revolution of our planet on her axis around the Sun describes this process exactly: Earth moves toward the Summer Solstice (this year 21 June, 2022) and on 4 July she experiences aphelion, her farthest distance away from the Sun, out on the edge of time, the farthest reaches of the southern rim. The zodiacal sign, Cancer, opens this quarter.
Thea calls this second pillar of the cosmic process Cosmic Midnight. Just as our Earth is far away from the Sun, similarly, the human condition, be it an individual or the entire mental race of humanity, is in darkness, or a state of ‘cosmic ignorance’, so to speak: the immortal rays of the sunlight are hidden in the cave, protected by the veils of the ego. This time period was known traditionally as dakshinayan and considered inauspicious; but it is not. Rather Cosmic Midnight is a period of ‘gestation’ or preparation for a greater light to come.
Thea likens the transformation of the person from the darkness of ignorance to the light of knowledge as an alchemical process. She shows a correspondence (4) to the Medieval process of changing lead to gold which took place in twelve stages and in four parts: Cosmic Dawn, which opens with Aries is the Reddening stage; Cosmic Midnight, Cancer, is Blackening; the Yellowing stage is Cosmic Sunset, Libra; and Capricorn is Cosmic Midday, Whitening.
How to reach Capricorn’s northernmost point, how to recover the stolen rays of sunlight/truth and experience the Fullness of Agni? It is a cosmological process the earth is living, Thea writes:
‘Time thus devours the Light, the rays of the Sun. But it is time itself that forces its emergence’ (5)
Cosmic Sunset (yellow on calendar)
The Earth now reverses herself, so to speak, and begins her slow movement toward the sun, toward Libra, the sign of awakening consciousness. It is the September Equinox (this year, 23 September, 2022), It is Cosmic Sunset, and we can see the mellow rays of the sun again. On this day, as on the March Equinox the tilt of the Earth with respect to her Sun is 0 degrees and the duration of day and night are almost equal on all parts of our Earth. As the earth-family emerges toward the light there is anticipation and hope, for this is the time when the true seekers struggle to awaken to their purpose for taking birth on Earth, i.e., to release the ‘rays of light’ hidden in the cave of darkness, to unveil the divine Agni in their being.
For the Vedic Rishi, the great luminous ‘fourth world’ or the Supramental world of ‘Swar’ was the goal, it could be achieved only in the final quarter of the journey – Cosmic Midday. According to Sri Aurobindo’s commentaries (6), it was a special type of Rishi who could endure through the ninth month, who could supplicate and rely upon the gods to protect them from the assaults of the ‘sons of darkness’ rising up in great force during this period of time.
So too, it takes a warrior in our third stage of the journey, Cosmic Sunset, to complete the full travel northward in consciousness: the soul is hidden deep behind the allures of the ego’s enticements, and the seeker – traveler has to make an effort to understand the dynamics of the evolutionary journey of which they are a part, and not succumb to the inertia of the past.
Cosmic Midday (white on calendar)
On the December Solstice (Makar Sankranti), either north or south of the Equator, the whole Earth physically approaches extreme North in the elliptical orbit she traces around her luminary. This year the Solstice is 22 December 2022. Over the next 15 days our whole planet experiences perihelion, our Earth reveals her full perfection, her full midday rays – she is truly a Festival of Light. Traditionally known as the auspicious ‘uttarayan’ or northern pathway, Thea calls this apex point, and this quarter of the cycle Cosmic Midday
The rays of the Supramental Light (the seed of Truth – consciousness) have been gestating in the planet and her family. Now in the last quarter, Cosmic Midday, the goal of the entire quest can be achieved. From the caves of the misers, these rays can be released – the seekers who aspire to give birth to Agni in their soul are filled with joy, and ultimately Earth’s four-fold cosmic journey implants within them a new divine purpose (7).
The year long journey of our Earth in revolution of her Sun is the same today as it was yesterday; the same four cosmic pillars remain our guide: Cosmic Sunrise, Cosmic Midnight, Cosmic Sunset and Cosmic Midday. The ‘warriors’ journey’ is the nation’s journey – Bharat’s civilisational journey.
It is not a question of a return to the past ideals of Shri Ram or Shri Krishna but the correction of the nation’s time-axis (see Part Two). Those ‘fundamental supports’ holding up the nation which have become weakened over the ages by compromise or by distortion, that Skambha axis which alone can provide harmony and integration, must lead again.
There must be one nation that functions as the ‘soul-centre’, that lives consciously our Earth’s contribution to the Solar System. India, by destiny, has this role among the nations, for millennia she has been preparing for this time (8); now as in the past, the world looks to her for how to undertake the warriors’ journey.
The Importance of Celebrating Makar Sankranti on the December Solstice
For ancient civilizations, particularly India, ‘the journey’ was central; calendars were organized to bring society together around this one common endeavor, to chart out a meaningful path to achieve one’s dharma. The Calendar became an instrument to allow a multitude of expressions for both the individual and the community, while, at the same time, to carry them into a greater Harmony with the cosmos (9).
What was this greater Harmony?
The Vedic civilization made the choice to live for the Divine principle known as the Cosmic Pillar or ‘axis mundi’ in all facets of its daily collective and individual existence. Thea turns to the Hymns to Skambha in the Atharvaveda and writes: “Vedic civilization is the only one in the world, from ancient times into the present, which has been audacious enough to strive to establish an entire society on this profound basis, this ‘support, this Skambha’.
Toward whom does the rising Flame aspire?
Toward whom does the Wind eagerly blow?
On whom do all the compass points converge?
Tell me of that Support (Skambha) – who may he be? 10)
These magnificent hymns make it clear that up to the time when the Atharvaveda was penned, ‘Skambha’ was still the object of the spiritual endeavor of the Vedic civilization. Thea reminds us that the goal of the civilisation’s journey was a realisation of that Cosmic Pillar, which upheld the world, while being the axis around which its consciousness widened and developed. The cosmic harmonies were the script upon which its eternal laws and principles were founded (Sanatana Dharma).
This ‘eternal’ (sanatana) character could be maintained because the Knowledge has a built in mechanism for renewal throughout the cycles of time – the appearance of the Evolutionary Avatars. These emanations of Vishnu, God of Preservation, come only at special intervals of approximately 6000 years. They introduce by their coming, an ‘intervention’ that ensures ‘humanity’s continuation into the higher processes of evolution’ (11): they wipe away the obstructions that accumulate during the long periods of time between their comings, they expose and undermine the veils that hide the cosmic harmonies, the true foundations of the Vedic civilization.
It was the mission of Sri Ram, 7th Evolutionary Avatar, (circa 12,000 BCE), and 8th Evolutionary Avatar, Sri Krishna (circa 6000 BCE), to imprint Skambha, this eternal truth, into the evolutionary matrix. During the dark age following Sri Krishna’s passing, a ‘great sleep’ swept across the earth hiding humanity’s purpose for taking birth on Earth and covering the third planet’s unique destiny in the Solar System. A separation between spirit and matter, unknown in ancient civilisations, undermined the foundation and purpose for the Earth journey and by around 500 BCE our planet became viewed, in both Eastern and Western philosophic systems, as merely a springboard to a ‘beyond’, which was conceived as a better place after death.
The long lost Vedic knowledge was destined to be discovered again with the appearance of Sri Aurobindo, the 9th Evolutionary Avatar. His coming was not only to reestablish the Vedic dharma and to imprint once again the eternal Skambha on the evolutionary matrix, but to erase the separation that had come to exist between matter and spirit by opening the pathway to the next spiral of evolution. As the reader can appreciate, this ‘profound mystery of creation’ is a complex issue, and is explored thoroughly in three volumes (www.aeoncentre.com) of The New Way.
We are born and live on the third planet from the Sun, it is Earth (12) which carries Skambha, that support, ‘within her womb’, with her own time and space parameters.
The one on whom the Lord of Life (Prajapati) leant
For support when he propped up the world –
Tell me of that Support (Skambha) – who may he be?
That which of all forms the Lord of Life created – above, below, and in between –
With how much of himself penetrated the Support?
How long was the portion that did not enter?
With how much of himself penetrated the Support Into the past? With how much into the future?
In that single limb whose thousand parts he fashioned
With how much of himself did he enter, that Support? (13)
When ‘Nothingness’ and the ‘Beyond’ became the focus, the civilization lost its Earth-bound ‘binding energy’, or ‘a centre that holds’. With the dimming of the Vedic light, society lost its ‘Divine Measure of the Year’ as measured by the Calendar; it lost the vitally important connection to the annual revolution of the planet through the ecliptic, supported by its own four pillars of the Equinoxes and Solstices (ibid).
It was a gradual decline, Thea writes, as salvation came to be equated with freedom from birth on Earth (14), the ‘Nothingness’ (or Void) which sought to replace the Vedic Fullness of the Sun-soul, produced an inevitable breakdown in the old order.
The loss remains. In India, instead of relying on people of higher knowledge who still use the Tropical Zodiac, Earth’s own Divine Measure, for determining dates of temple observations, the reliance is upon astronomers who use the Sidereal system based in the constellations, divorced from the Earth in her annual evolution around the Sun.
By example, the true entry point into the zodiac each year is Mahavishuva, the equinox falling on 20/21 March and ten months later, 20/21 December, Earth ‘enters’ Capricorn or Makar Sankranti. Currently in India, Makar Sankranti is observed 23 days later, on 14/15 January, separated from the actual December Solstice (15).
India’s national holiday is Makar Sankranti, from antiquity she has been ruled by Capricorn. The zodiacal glyph fits exactly within her physical landmass, as Thea demonstrates in the graphic above; she IS Makar/Capricorn. No one seems to be bothered, no one seems to notice this ‘conspiracy foisted on India’ – as Thea calls it – and the real meaning of the celebration has become irrelevant.
Perhaps the deeper nature of the problem is not understood: there are two zodiacal circles used for Earth measurements (see graphic, End Note Three), both are important for different reasons. The Constellational (Sidereal) system is the correct circle to determine the Precession of the Earth as it moves through its long cycle of the ages (16).
The Sidereal/ Nirayana system of computation disconnects the Earth from her four-fold harmony of equinoxes and solstices, totally eliminating the seasonal structure inherent in her yearly revolution around the Sun (17).
The Movement for the Restoration of Vedic Wisdom (MRVW) offers The Earth Calendar 2022 not simply as a time-keeping device, but a symbol for the unveiling of Earth’s purpose in her annual journey round the Sun, to remind us that we are a race in transition, and that a higher Truth is evolving within us. Earth is the place where the process unfolds, where the Light of a Higher Being can increasingly manifest through us. India is the ‘planetary soul’ of our Solar System, the nation that is to come forth to assist the Earth in the work to be done in this 9th Manifestation.
End Note One
End Note Two
Earth Calendar 2022 is not The Gnostic Circle. Thea developed The Gnostic Circle as an aid to the person engaged in integral yoga, to an ‘initiate’ on the path of The New Way (see The Gnostic Circle 4th ed., 2020, Ch. 13 and see Theme Six – Aeon Centre of Cosmology Website, The Gnostic Circle: https://www.
End Note Three
In the graphic below the innermost circle with the zodiacal signs is the Tropical Zodiac, the ONE CIRCLE extolled in the Vedas, with its fourfold division marking out the four Cardinal points of Equinoxes and Solstices. The outermost circle (hieroglyphs) describes the Sidereal Zodiac, the one currently used by Nirayana pundits which is actually the constellation of fixed stars far beyond our solar system.
The Saka Calendar adopted by India in 1956 is one that honors the Earth’s four-fold journey, including Its solstices and equinoxes, but it is not used by all parts of Indian society. Thea reminds us that the Hindu Calendar Reform Committee rejected the system which uses teh Tropical Zodiac and the four cardinal markers of the Earth. Instead it cemented in place the sideral zocdiac, which seeks to locate Capricorn out in the constellations.
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, Symbols and the Question of Unity, 2nd ed, 2020, p. 18.
- Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, CWSA, volume 15, Chapter XXIII, p. 244: ‘The Panis who conceal the herds, the masters of the nether cavern, are a class of Dasyus who are in the Vedic symbolism set in opposition to the Aryan gods, and Aryan seers and workers. The Aryan is he who does the work of sacrifice, finds the sacred work of illumination…he is the warrior of the light and the traveler to the Truth’.
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The New Way, Volume 3, 2005, Chapter 18, p 255.
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Magical Carousel and Commentaries, 2nd ed, 2017, p. 202.
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The New Way, op cit, p. 257
- Sri Aurobindo, op cit, pp 246 – 47.
- In The Vishaal Newsletter, Volume 7, no. 6, Thea writes that in the Veda, immortality was the goal of the quest – to be achieved on Earth:
‘The human species is burdened with a physical instrument which is veritably a cave of dense matter similar to the cave of the hostile powers in the Vedic tale. Composition of the organic matter of the human body is such that energy is locked in each cell which is never released in the course of our sojourn on this planet. The individual cell is indeed the Cave where light/energy is ‘penned in’, just as the Veda reveals, because of which that extra energy is not at the disposal of the traveler in his or her lifetime. The result is collapse of the cell at a given moment when only that special influx will prop up the cell, as it were, and permit a restructuring. Failing which – and this is the saga of our mortal creation – at the point when a REVERSAL is required and collapse must be curtailed, the process of ageing sets in which medical science has not only failed to understand but for which it has also failed to find a remedy. Death may appear to be postponed and the life span of the average human being seems to have been extended. But the finality of each member of the human race, come what may, is death; that is, the final and irrevocable collapse of the cells, the inability to regenerate them after that critical threshold has been crossed.
And yet the Veda speaks of immortality. Central to the realisation it propounds is the acquisition of that coveted amrit or nectar, and the state of immortal being. It would be a simple matter to explain away this realisation as reference to the undying condition of the soul and its immortal nature, and that the quest involves the discovery of this indestructible quality of the soul housed in a corruptible human body of flesh and bones. But penetration into the ancient Vedic spirit casts serious doubts on this simplistic explanation, however subtle the nuances provided by the various interpretations and philosophical discourses in this regard. Precisely because the Rishis used concrete, solid elements of our material world as ‘symbols’ of their Way, we are encouraged to believe that there was much more to the ancient quest and that this went beyond a mere ‘spiritual’ state and necessarily involved an integral realisation. There is, as well, solid evidence to suggest that the goal was a condition of Immortality not only integral and affecting the full strata of energy both individual and of the universe, but that it also indicated a condition realised on Earth, in a physical body; and moreover, at a particular location on the globe.
The key to these discoveries lies in a superior, enlightened perception of the role of Time in our world, and in particular in our understanding of the role the divine Maya plays in our quest – i.e., the measure of the Earth’s year, or the planet’s revolution around the Sun. The Rishi makes this aspect of the Veda unmistakably clear when he declares… ‘Certain eternal worlds are these which have come into being, their doors are shut to you (or opened) by the months and the years’…’ (II.24.5), pp 20-21.(https://archive.aeoncentre.com/vishaal/culture-and-cosmos-3-2-continued-from-tvn- 7/4.
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The New Way, Volume 1, 1981, Chapter 6, p 79.
- The Vishaal Newsletter, Volume 7, No. 2, 24
- The Vishaal Newsletter, Volume 7, No. 1, 28 – 29.
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Gnostic Circle, 4th, Ch. 4, 2020, p. 23; and Kashmir and the Convergence of Time, Space and Destiny, 2004, Part IV. See Thea’s Map of the Twelve Manifestations, or the Map of the Evolutionary Ages, which gives details of the Evolutionary Avatar and the special circumstances surrounding their Incarnations.
- The Sun, as defined by Thea, is ‘the supreme symbol of the Eye that Sees’: It is the Divine Consciousness, the hidden element that sustains the entire play of creation (The Magical Carousel & Commentaries, p. 144). ‘The Solar System is a great clock and the Sun is the principal piece in this cosmic timepiece’, she explains; it is the particular relationship between the Sun and the Earth and her Moon that is unique here on the third planet in this System. It is only evolution on Earth that gives rise to a conscious experience in humankind; and it is here, on our Earth, that the gnostic society will evolve from the mental race to that of the Supramental Divine. Earth is the ‘soul’ of our Solar System, that is her special contribution – to deny her the possibility of fulfilling her destiny is to ‘condemn the planet to extinction…’ (The New Way, Volume 1, Ch. 5, p. 70).
- The Vishaal Newsletter, ibid.
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, ‘Origin and Nature of Hindu Decline’, 2006.
- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, Why is Makar Sankranti Important for the Unity and Integrity of India? January 2016. Reprinted in Symbols and the Question of Unity 2nd ed, 2020.
- See Thea’s Map of the Evolutionary Ages based on the Precession of the Earth (The Gnostic Circle, 4th, 2020, p. 23).
- The path of the ecliptic, balanced on its four Cardinal Poles, points to the directions, north, east, south, west. These correspond to the four major divisions of the Zodiac: 0 degrees Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, see: Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Gnostic Circle, ibid., chapter 3.