New Year’s for the superstitious lot
On New Year’s Eve in 1921, the Columbus News published a list of superstitions and customs pertaining to this holiday. Montana is such a melting pot that customs, superstitions and traditions came from all over the world. Here is a synopsis of some of those:
•Quiet clear weather on New Year’s Eve means the year will be prosperous. But if the wind blows, it is a sign of pestilence.
•It is lucky to rise early on New Year’s Day, but if you wash clothes on the first day of the New Year, you will wash away a friend.
•If the ice melts on January first, it will freeze on April first.
•While the clock is striking midnight on New Year’s Eve, say this poem three times: “St. Anne St. Anne, send me a man as fast as you can” and you will be engaged within the year.
•Calling on friends is a longtime tradition on New Year’s Day. But in even earlier times, caroling was the custom. Bring the first carol singer who comes to your door on New Year’s into your house through the front door, take the caroler throughout the house and let him out the back door; it will bring luck to your household for the coming year.
•If the first person you meet on New Year’s Day is a man, you’ll have good luck; if it’s a woman, bad luck; if it’s a priest, you’ll die within the year; if it’s a policeman, you will have a lawsuit.
•Good luck will come to you if you place coins on your windowsill on New Year’s Eve.
Whatever your superstitions or traditions, party safely and have a prosperous New Year.
Ellen Baumler, Montana Moment
Ellen Baumler is an award-winning author and the interpretive historian at the Montana Historical Society.
Article Published On Great Falls Tribune
10 New Year’s Resolutions You Might Actually Keep
- Making an annual list of New Year’s resolutions is a venerable tradition. By some accounts, it dates back to the ancient Romans, who customarily made a show of promising the god Janus that they would behave better over the next 12 months than they had in the past 12 . But while Janus was the patron deity of new beginnings, he also provided a convenient excuse. If a citizen of Rome didn’t actually follow through with his various self-improvement vows, he could always shrug it off by explaining that it was Janus’ will . Then, presumably, he could just go on gorging himself at banquets or betting excessively on gladiator fights.
Sounds familiar? A couple of millennia later, we’re pretty much doing the same thing that the Romans did. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that six months into the year, fewer than half — 46 percent — of resolvers were still keeping to their pledge. Granted, that’s a better track record at self-improvement than people who make no resolutions at all (only 4 percent of those achieved success).
But with all the practice we get at making resolutions year after year, why aren’t we doing better at keeping them? Psychologists and other experts who’ve studied resolution-making say we tend to make them too general rather than specific; we resolve to “exercise more” as opposed to “walk a half hour five times a week” [sources: Eisenstadt, Sample].
We suspect that another reason New Year’s goals are easy to break is that while losing weight or quitting smoking (two of the top resolutions) are worthy endeavors, they sound rather boring and involve a lot of self-denial. This year, why not make some positive and creative New Year’s resolutions? Here are 10 that you might actually be able to keep.
10: Trust Your Instincts
In some ways, this might be the easiest resolution to follow. That’s because it doesn’t require you to change, so much as go back to doing what you were naturally inclined to do, before you started doubting your feelings and over-thinking things, or putting too much stock in others’ opinions at the expense your own.
Going with your gut might seem crude and primitive, but actually, there’s scientific evidence that it can lead to better decisions. In a 1997 study published in the journal Science, researchers found that card players often made the right decision based on a “hunch” well before they could even articulate what strategy they were following [sources: Bechara, et al., and Cassleman].
What we think of as an “instinct” actually is a phenomenon called instrumental conditioning, in which a region of our brain called the ventral striatum instantaneously processes subtle contextual cues from a situation, interprets them, and suggests a course of action before we’ve even had a chance to consciously analyze what’s happening . Malcolm Gladwell, author of the 2007 bestseller “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking,” describes this ability as “thin slicing” — that is, the knack for coming to an accurate conclusion based on a quick, tiny sample of information. In other words, having lots of information or listing all the pros and cons doesn’t always make for a better decision .
One easy way to give more weight to your instincts: When you have a gut feeling about something, write it down or record it in your smartphone. Also note your mood at the time (“Do I not want this new job because I am afraid I can’t do it?”). Then test your feelings out on family or friends to get their reaction .
9: Stop Procrastinating
Here’s a resolution that you may have made in previous years, but somehow just didn’t get around to accomplishing. OK, that’s a joke. But procrastination — that is, the tendency to habitually and consistently delay tasks — is a problem that plagues about 20 percent of the population worldwide, according to DePaul University psychology professor Joseph R. Ferrari, who spent years studying the phenomenon and is the author of a 2010 self-help tome, “Still Procrastinating? The No-Regrets Guide to Getting It Done.”
He advises truly hard-core procrastinators to seek out cognitive behavioral therapists. But for those of us who are aren’t quite that dysfunctional, Ferrari suggests some simple research-tested steps to counteracting our tendency to dawdle.
•Resolve to keep a to-do list, with realistic deadlines for each item. Identify your most urgent priorities, and tackle those items first.
•Next, deliberately pick the most unpleasant items on the list and get them completed, because those are the ones that you’re most likely to put off.
•Aggressively manage technological distractions. Check your e-mail only once an hour, and only follow up or answer messages when absolutely necessary.
•Stick to completing the tasks on your list before tackling new assignments.
•Figure out who your most productive colleagues are, and try to team up with them, so you can model their techniques for making the most of their time .
8: Learn to Take Risks
Whether you’re perusing the listings in an online dating service or investing in the stock market, you probably already realize that in order to get the reward that you want, you’re going to have to take a risk. And unless you’re part of the minority that psychologists call “high sensation seekers” — that is, unusually adventurous people whose nervous systems are wired biochemically to crave the stimulation of danger — you probably have a powerful innate urge to play it safe and avoid uncertainty . A 2012 study by a Case Western Reserve University psychologist found that subjects who played a computerized slot-machine game experienced powerful emotions from surprise outcomes, which deterred them from risk-taking behavior — even if the surprise resulted in their winning money .
But learning to take risks doesn’t mean being foolhardy or reckless, either. Instead, you can learn to pick and choose which risks are worth accepting to achieve your goals in life. Renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, who frequently makes life-and-death evaluations of risk in his work, suggests applying a simple process to any risk: Instead of evaluating the likelihood of success, evaluate your willingness to accept the various possible outcomes. What’s the best thing that could happen if you take a particular risk? What’s the worst outcome? Once you’ve weighed those two scenarios, it’s time to look at the converse. What’s the best thing that could happen if you don’t take the risk, and what’s the worst possible result? If you see that the positives exceed the negatives and the benefits of action outweigh inaction, then it’s time to take the plunge .
7: Forgive Someone
One of the toughest parts of being human is experiencing the pain of being hurt by someone else, whether it’s a deliberate act of cruelty or unintentional thoughtless behavior. But the resentment we feel against someone who’s harmed us can injure us even more.
In a 2003 article, German psychiatrist Michael Linden identified a mental malady, post-traumatic embitterment disorder or PTED, in which memories of the event and continuing anger over the injustice can lead to depression, sleep disturbances, physical pain and loss of appetite, to the point where a person can become paralyzed by such feelings . But researchers have found that it can be difficult for people to forgive, in part because victims of wrongdoing tend to remember the event much differently than the perceived transgressor, over time embellishing negative details and leaving out mitigating factors that might help them to get over the hurt .
Psychologist Ned Hallowell advises following a four-part process.
•Acknowledge your pain. Admit to yourself that you’ve been hurt.
•Ask yourself, what do you want this pain to turn into? It’s not about how your transgressor feels, but about how you want to feel. Forgiveness is a service to yourself.
•Work through your anger. It’s okay to imagine vengeance, as long as you don’t act on those urges. But it’s better to think of how much happier and better off you’ll be once you are free of these feelings.
•Renounce your rage and resentment. Recognize that they may never go away completely — but resolve that if and when you do feel them again, you’ll simply repeat this process and regain your feeling of peace .
6: Tip Generously
If you’ve never worked as a waiter or waitress in a restaurant, you may think leaving a tip is an optional gesture, something that you only do when a server delivers your main course at precisely the moment that your hunger pangs are reaching their apex, or else jumps in and successfully performs the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge a life-threatening hunk of prime rib from your throat. But if that’s what you think, you’re not seeing things from the perspective of the 2.26 million waiters and waitresses in the U.S., who are paid an average wage of just $18,330 annually .
For them, that 20 percent gratuity may make the difference in whether or not they’ll be able to pay their rent or afford a pair of comfortable shoes to ease the discomfort of being on their feet all day. And servers work pretty darn hard to maximize their chances of getting that extra few percent that can lift them above penury. If you wonder why they introduce themselves by name, it’s because research shows that they’ll typically get a 23 percent tip if they do, as opposed to 15 percent if they remain anonymous. (Similarly, that odd gesture of squatting down to talk to a customer typically results in a 3 percent additional gratuity) . If you think, “The restaurant should just pay its staff more,” also consider that if that were the case, chances are the restaurant food prices would be higher, too.
Remember also the other people who provide services to you, such as parking valets, coatroom attendants, bartenders and pizza delivery workers who are heavily dependent upon your generosity .
5: Learn One New Thing
Back in 1905, a 55-year-old Johns Hopkins University medical professor named William Osler gave a retirement speech, in which he opined that the “effective, moving, vitalizing work of the world is done between the ages of 25 and 40 — those 15 golden years.” By contrast, Osler argued, those over the age of 40 didn’t have anything new to offer, and he thought it would be best if people stopped working at age 60, since by then their brains were pretty much shot.
Osler’s belief that brainpower, creativity and innovation had a limited shelf life sounds a bit daft today, but up until recently, scientists actually did believe that brain cells died off without being replaced and that after our youthful peak, our mental capabilities steadily declined with every passing year. Today, however, we know that many people don’t experience a noticeable drop-off in brainpower as they age, and that some mental abilities that depend upon accumulated knowledge and experience actually tend to get better over time.
Research shows that regular mental workouts — such as the sort that you get from taking a college class, reading a challenging book or studying a foreign language — actually improve the function of parts of the brain associated with memory, learning and decision-making But again, the resolutions that stand the most chance of success are focused and modest. So this year, set a reasonable goal of acquiring some new knowledge. It’s easier now than ever, now that educational consortiums such as Udacity and Coursera are offering massive open online courses (MOOCs), which actually allow you to participate in free classes taught by professors at elite universities like Columbia, Brown and Stanford . Of course, a college in your hometown is also sure to offer a short night-time course on something of interest.
4: Live Longer, Watch Less TV
A 2011 Nielsen Co. study found that Americans are watching more TV than ever before — an astonishing 158 hours a month on their TV sets, plus close to an additional nine hours on computers, tablets and smartphones. That came to 22 minutes more per month than in 2010. It’s not just that there are more devices, but thanks to cable channels creating their own original shows, there’s more content than ever to watch as well. Add online libraries of programs, and digital video recorders that allow us to time-shift programs, and we can pretty much watch TV whenever and wherever we want.
All that TV watching could kill you. We’re not joking. A 2010 study published online by the American Heart Association, in which researchers followed 8,800 adults, revealed that people who watched four hours or more each day were 80 percent more likely to die from heart disease and 46 percent more likely to die from other causes, compared to those who watched less than two hours. And each additional hour spent in front of the TV increased a person’s overall risk of death by 11 percent . This was mainly due to all that sitting. Too much muscle inactivity disrupts your metabolism.
Think of it this way: If you cut back to two hours of viewing a day, that’s still enough to enjoy 10 worthwhile programs each week, plus a sports event or two on the weekend. This year, admit that you’ve seen every rerun of “Law & Order” and “Jersey Shore,” and start cutting back on your screen time in favor of healthier pursuits, such as exercising, playing games and talking to your family. And don’t flip the TV on when there’s nothing you really want to watch.
3: Try a New Adventure
Going on vacations is fun, and more than 40 percent of American adults fly on leisure trips each year, according to the U.S. Travel Association. A lot of those trips are to visit friends and family, or to go to theme parks and resorts. Those can be memorable and enjoyable experiences. But instead of going on the Space Mountain ride at Disneyland, gambling in Las Vegas, or playing hearts with cousin Ethel again, why not go somewhere different this year? If you’ve read books such as Paul Theroux’s “The Old Patagonian Express” or Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love,” you know that going someplace challenging and immersing yourself in a totally new, unfamiliar culture can be a transcendent, even life-altering experience.
For one, going to new places means learning how to interact with whoever you meet. “I’m not afraid to travel to the most remote places in the world, not if there are human beings there to meet,” Gilbert wrote in “Eat, Pray, Love.” “People asked me before I left for Italy, ‘Do you have friends in Rome?’ And I would just shake my head no, thinking to myself, ‘But I will.”
So this year, why not plan an adventure journey somewhere? One intriguing trend is volunteer vacations, where you spend a week in some exotic location, helping scientists save endangered sea turtles or helping out at a children’s clinic. (Check out Volunteer Guide). If money is tight, look online for volunteer opportunities right at home that might offer the same kinds of activities. Or make it a point to attend a local festival celebrating a culture you’re unfamiliar with.
2: Get to Know Your Neighbors
If you grew up hearing Mister Rogers singing “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood,” there’s some distressing news in a 2010 Pew Research Center study, which reveals that most of us don’t really know the people who live in our immediate vicinity very well. Fewer than half of Americans — 43 percent — said that they knew all or most of their neighbors, while 28 percent admitted they didn’t know the names of any of them at all .
That disturbing data only provides further confirmation of what Harvard University public policy professor Robert D. Putnam described in a 2000 book, “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.” Americans, Putnam wrote, had become so immersed in their work, TV and the Internet that they had become increasingly alienated from their neighbors. Putnam found the perfect metaphor in the recreational sport of bowling; even though more Americans were bowling than ever before, they increasingly were doing it by themselves, rather than participate in the old-fashioned Friday night bowling leagues to which their parents had belonged .
The Young Foundation, a British-based community development group, found that people who had regular contact with their neighbors felt more secure and happy. It recommends some simple steps to bring back some sense of community. If you regularly pass someone on the street, smile and say hello, and introduce yourself. When someone new moves in, go to their door and welcome them. And if you see a neighbor doing yard work or moving a sofa, stop what you’re doing and offer to help . And while you’re at it, try to talk them into forming a bowling team.
1: Use Your Talents for a Good Cause
Volunteering — whether it’s in a local soup kitchen, or tutoring kids in an after-school program, or cleaning cages at the local animal shelter — sure sounds like something that’s good for the soul. And that’s why it’s a bit disheartening to discover that most of us don’t do it. According to a 2012 study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 26.8 percent of Americans had volunteered through or for a local organization at least once in the previous year .
While lack of community involvement is probably part of the cause, in fairness, one reason more people don’t pitch in probably is that they don’t have much free time. Americans typically put in an additional seven hours per week — nearly a full day of work — answering e-mail and calls from their employers and doing other uncompensated work in what is supposed to be their free time .
But even if a highly trained professional can squeeze in some time to help, he or she may feel performing menial labor isn’t really making a difference. Fast Company, a business publication, and other organizations have come up with an ingenious solution that actually may help more. They’ve created an online clearinghouse, Catchafire.org, which matches people with charities who can use their skills, whether it’s accounting, marketing or Web design .
And if you aren’t comfortable with that much structure or time commitment, Huffington Post blogger Kari Henley suggests another answer: ad hoc, spur-of-the-moment activism. Deliver a dinner to a friend or neighbor in need. Offer to baby-sit a new mom’s kids for an afternoon. Send an unexpected card of encouragement to someone . Helping one person at a time is a good entry-level way to become a humanitarian, and you still get that warm and fuzzy payoff.
Lots More Information
Author’s Note: 10 New Year’s Resolutions You Might Actually Keep
It was interesting to research and write this assignment, because I’m one of those people who makes a long list of detailed resolutions each year and then promptly misplaces it. This year, though, I think that I’m going to pare down my list, and break each item into less arduous steps, and then come up with deadlines that I can mark in my Google calendar and ToDoist, a Web site that I use to organize my work assignments. I’ve tried that approach with my exercise goals, and it seems to work pretty well.
Article Published on How Things Work, (People)
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Why do people make New Year’s resolutions?
When did ringing in the New Year become such a big deal? Turns out, it isn’t just a construct of modern Americans. Some 4,000 years ago, Babylonians rang in their new year with an 11-day festival in March, and ancient Egyptians celebrated the advent of their new calendar during the Nile River’s annual flood. By 46 B.C., Roman emperor Julius Caesar had moved the first day of the year to Jan. 1 in honor of the Roman god of beginnings, Janus, an idea that took some time to catch on. However, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII brought the Jan. 1 New Year back in vogue with the Gregorian calendar — a concept that persists today.
The origin of making New Year’s resolutions rests with the Babylonians, who reportedly made promises to the gods in hopes they’d earn good favor in the coming year. They often resolved to get out of debt.
Sounds familiar? Many of us are still making that resolution today. So what’s the secret to keeping it? Turns out, simply wanting to change is not enough; you need to make it stick. One way to do this is to share your resolution with others.
“When you keep resolutions a secret, no one is going to check up on you. You’re only accountable to yourself,” says Joe Ferrari, professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago. He says that a party to publicly share your resolutions is an admirable way to ring in the New Year. Social media offers another avenue to let others in on your goals.
Once you’ve involved others in your resolutions, what steps can you take to ensure that when they do check up on you, you have something positive to report? Here’s some advice from the experts.
The Psychology of New Year’s Resolutions
The success of your New Year’s resolutions starts with your head. Limiting yourself to a few resolutions, maybe even one, and being specific are a few things to keep in mind, says Michael Kitchens, assistant professor of psychology at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa. “It’s tempting to make a list of ‘to-dos,’ but that list will easily be overwhelming and you will end up frustrated.”
Setting a specific goal can make all the difference, such as “I want to lose 10 pounds by March 1” or “I want to save $50 of each paycheck.”
“Set a goal that is challenging, but manageable,” says Kitchens. “This is a sensitive balance that really can only be made by each person.”
Overly ambitious goals can drain a person’s confidence when they’re not met, agrees Ferrari. Instead, build on small, observable victories and possibly achieve bigger goals down the line. “Don’t try and do everything,” he says. “Take things on one at a time.”
Whatever goals you do tackle, be sure to monitor your progress. “If your resolution is to lose weight, check your weight regularly. If it’s to save money, write down where you’ve spent your money. Monitoring those few, challenging goals you set will dramatically improve your success rate,” Ferrari says. Sometimes, just the act of recording everything you eat or spend can cause you to eat or spend less even if you don’t consciously change anything else.
Many resolutions include overcoming bad habits, such as smoking, overeating or too much alcohol consumption. These could be tough because they are easy to rely on when stressed out.
“While these vices are especially difficult to overcome, they can be beaten,” says Kitchens. “One of the best ways is to have a social support system.” In other words, when you’re feeling stressed, call a friend rather than open a bottle of red wine.
Whatever your New Year goals, give yourself some time to make them a reality. More time than you may have planned on, actually. While most people cling to the widespread belief that new habits can be formed in 21 days, new research is suggesting we need a longer timetable. One recent study found it took participants an average of 66 days to do something different — and stick with it
The good news? If you take this advice, your new gym membership won’t become obsolete until March.
Author’s Note: Why do people make New Year’s resolutions?
Although I doubt I’ll keep them all (haven’t yet), I’ll still make resolutions this New Year’s Eve. After researching this article, though, I will be doing one thing differently. This year, instead of sweeping goals that probably won’t come to fruition, I’m going to divide them into more manageable pieces. Experts say I’ll be more successful with goals that have easily identifiable steps — and a reasonable timeframe in which to do them.
Author: Laurie L. Dove
Website: How Stuff Works (People)
New Year’s Day Resolutions and Traditions
While celebration varies all over the world, common traditions include:
Making resolutions or goals to improve one’s life.
Common resolutions concern diet, exercise, bad habits, and other issues concerning personal wellness.
A common view is to use the first day of the year as a clean slate to improve one’s life. A gathering of loved ones: Here you’ll typically find champagne, feasting, confetti, noise makers, and other methods of merriment Fireworks, parades, concerts.
Famous parades include London’s New Year’s Day Parade and the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. Superstitions concerning food or visitors to bring luck. This especially includes circle-shaped foods, which symbolize cycles. The reasoning behind superstitions is that the first day of the year sets precedent for the following days. A common superstition specific to New Year’s Day concerns a household’s first visitor of the year—tradition states that if a tall, dark-haired stranger is the first to walk through your door, called the First Footer or Lucky Bird, you’ll have good luck all year. Also, if you want to subscribe to superstition, don’t let anything leave the house on New Year’s, except for people. Tradition say’s: don’t take out the trash and leave anything you want to take out of the house on New Year’s outside the night before. If you must remove something, make sure to replace it by bringing an item into the house. These policies of balance apply in other areas as well—avoiding paying bills, breaking anything, or shedding tears.
Toasts typically concern gratefulness for the past year’s blessings, hope and luck or the future, and thanking guests for their New Year’s company. In coastal regions, running into a body of water or splashing water on one another, symbolizing the cleansing, “rebirth” theme associated with the holiday.
HISTORY OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS
As we mentioned earlier, New Year’s Day celebrations began in pre-Christian times, beginning with the Babylonians in March but changed to January by the Romans. January gets its name from Janus, the two-faced god who looks backwards into the old year and forwards into the new. Janus was also the patron and protector of arches (Ianus in Latin), gates, doors, doorways, endings and beginnings. He was also the patron of bridges and we see this statue (pictured at left,) set on the bridge Ponte Fabricio which crosses the Tiber River in Rome to Tiber Island, where it survives from its original construction in 62 BC during the time of Julius Caesar. Even today it is believed that if you touch the Janus head as you cross the bridge, it will bring good fortune.
The custom of setting “New Year’s resolutions” began during this period in Rome two millennia ago, as they made such resolutions with a moral flavor: mostly to be good to others. But when the Roman Empire took Christianity as its official state religion in the 4th century, these moral intentions were replaced by prayers and fasting. For example, Christians chose to observe the Feast of the Circumcision on January 1 in place of the revelry otherwise indulged in by those who did not share the faith. This replacement had varying degrees of success over the centuries, and Christians hesitated observing some of the New Year practices associated with honoring the pagan god Janus.
As we’ve described elsewhere, even as recently as the 17th century, Puritans in Colonial America avoided the indulgences associated with New Year’s celebrations and other holidays. In the 18th century, Puritans avoiding even naming Janus. Instead they called January “First Month.”
In contrast to this, the Puritans urged their children to skip the revelry and instead spend their time reflecting on the year past and contemplating the year to come. In this way they adopted again the old custom of making resolutions. These were enumerated as commitments to better employ their talents, treat their neighbors with charity, and avoid their habitual sins.
The great American theologian Jonathan Edwards, brought up in New England Puritan culture, took the writing of resolutions to an art form. But he did not write his resolutions on a single day. Rather, during a two-year period when he was about 19 or 20 following his graduation from Yale, he compiled some 70 resolutions on various aspects of his life, which he committed to reviewing each week.
Here are just three:
- Resolved, in narrations never to speak anything but the pure and simple verity.
- Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it.
- Resolved, always to do what I can towards making, maintaining and establishing peace, when it can be without over-balancing detriment in other respects.
How do your resolutions compare?
About the Author
Bill Petro is a high-tech sales enablement and marketing executive. Currently Data Center Sales Enablement Lead at Cisco. Extensive experience in Cloud Computing, Data Center, Information Storage, Virtualization, Mobile and Social technologies.
Article published on Bill Petro, Bridging the Gap from Strategy to Execution
HISTORY OF NEW YEAR’S DAY
We have the ancient Romans to thank for celebrating New Year’s Day on January 1. It wasn’t always that way. Indeed, previous civilizations celebrated it in March, to observe the “new year” of growth and fertility. Before calendars existed the time between seed sowing and harvesting was considered a cycle or a year. But the Romans moved the date of New Year to January 1, as I’ll explain below, but first a little on calendars.
Calendar gets its name from the name of the first day of a month in the Roman (Latin) calendar: kalendae
Calendars were developed for all kinds of purposes:
- Religious: “holy days” or holidays
- Astronomical: connecting the movement of objects in the sky
- Commercial: tracking trade and billing
- Arithmetic: for calculating differences between dates. Because there was no Year 0, the difference between 1 BC and AD 1 is not 2 years. Which is a challenge for Astronomical Calendars
- Social: to keep track of people on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. It gives new meaning to the word “date”
Calendars often tracked the movement of the sun or moon, or both. Some, like the Egyptians of antiquity, traced the movements of planets such as Venus. Setting the date for the universal observance of Easter has witnessed international controversy — including the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 — and caused several calendar reforms. If you don’t account for Easter, there are only 14 different permutations of the de facto international standard Gregorian Calendar, (named after Pope Gregory XIII who established it in 1582) now commonly in use. But because the date for Easter Sunday can vary so much — it’s the first Sunday after the first Paschal Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox, and let’s not forget Leap Year — there are 70 different calendars.
So, back to the date for New Year… originally it was celebrated late in March, when Spring begins with the Vernal Equinox. The ancient Babylonians were the first recorded observers of New Year festivities some 4,000 years ago and celebrated it with the priests offering sacrifices at their temple, kind of like a church. These celebrations lasted for 11 days, due to the numerous state-sponsored football bowl games played at that time. But because there were also the priestly religious observances held at this time, it caused a cry from the populace for the “separation of church and state-championships.”
The Romans also celebrated the New Year in March, but there were so many adjustments to their calendar by their rulers, in part — this may be hard to believe — to extend their terms of office, that calendar dates no longer were synchronized with any astronomical movements. The Roman Senate was forced in 153 BC to start the new year on January 1. This did not sufficiently discourage calendar tampering, and in 46 BC Julius Caesar allowed the year to extend to 445 days, the “Year of Confusion,” until his new calendar reformed matters. It was called, ironically, the Julian Calendar.
When Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire in the 4th century, some Emperors continued holding riotous New Year’s celebrations, like “toga parties” but more authentic. In part to counter this activity, the Church established a holy day on January 1, the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, also known as the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus for the name Jesus would have been conferred upon his circumcision. Down through the centuries, it is still observed by Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians and some Eastern Orthodox sects. The jury is still out on whether this has quieted New Year’s celebrations.
How do you celebrate New Year’s Day?
Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian
About the Author
Bill Petro is a high-tech sales enablement and marketing executive. Currently Data Center Sales Enablement Lead at Cisco. Extensive experience in Cloud Computing, Data Center, Information Storage, Virtualization, Mobile and Social technologies.
Article published on Bill Petro, Bridging the Gap from Strategy to Execution
Zodiac Daily Tip – December 31
Get daily horoscope tips to guide you through the day
The Moon conjuncts lucky Jupiter today. Later, on this last night of the year, the move from the old to the new could be quiet and sedate under a void-of-course Virgo Moon. Depending on your time zone, the lunar entry to Libra stimulates romantic sentiment before midnight.
What your Zodiac sign says about your personal life in the New Year
Here are a few predictions on the personal lives of the 12 zodiac signs for year 2016
As you prepare for the New Year, Horoscope.com brings you a few predictions on the personal lives of the 12 zodiac signs for year 2016
Aries: 2016 is prime time for you to take charge of your public image and excel at the work of your choice, Aries! It will need effort, but you’re up to the challenge. With the Moon, Mars, Saturn, and Uranus all in Fire signs as your year begins, you have more energy and staying power than most. Springtime may test your patience, as Mars is retrograde from mid-April until the end of June. Polish your techniques and approaches then, and test out new ideas on a small scale. Respect physical limits and don’t over-commit in the late summer and early autumn. Resist the urge to sign up for too many events, gatherings, classes, or putting in too much overtime at work. Your health and well-being are just as important as any extra praise or profit you might receive. Look for insights about yourself and your many friends, especially as New Year’s Eve for 2017 approaches. In many ways, 2016 is magical as well as powerful for you!
Taurus: 2016 is the year for big, important changes, Taurus. You can reinvent yourself from the ground up if you so choose. People will see you differently this year, even if you change nothing. Be adaptable but firm, and be happy with yourself. March and April brings you some new people, and perhaps a shift in personal tastes and opinions. Keep what you like and shrug off the rest. A Mercury retrograde in Taurus in April and May lets you make any corrections that feel right. Radical changes may not be needed, though. You’ll see what works for you. In August and September this will be clear. Strong emotional bonds and karmic connections will keep you in touch with the right people, doing the right things. Don’t get over-ambitious, and prioritize your health. People love you. 2016 seems custom-built for Taurus, when you can do things at your own speed and make adjustments until you’re more comfortable with your life.
Gemini: You’re a rising star in 2016, Gemini, but it will keep constant effort to avoid slipping back down. Are you up for this? Of course you are! Your attention is zeroed in on making progress, getting and holding on to those things you love most, and on not being rushed into making decisions. This year, you will ask all the right questions and refuse to proceed without solid answers and information. The Mercury retrograde periods in May and then in September may be your most accomplished and solid times. September is especially potent. With Mercury in Virgo, you can easily self-correct and nudge situations and relationships to where you want them. Home life should bring much satisfaction, and possibly some karmic insights, particularly in September and October. Family mysteries may be solved, or resolved. Emotional ties and romance are empowered in November, but it may be December when you are the most intense, powerful, and effective. Mars and Saturn are both on your side as the year ends. You can do great things this year, Gemini!
Cancer: 2016 is your kind of year, Cancer, when you can turn on that moonlit charm of yours and make sure that the people in your life are the ones you want most! Family and friends are highlighted in all the best ways, with little or no extra stress or complications. Romance also is a strong point for you. Partners want to listen to you and make you happy. Let them make you their priority in 2016. There will be plenty of surprises and opportunities to grow and advance in the world. Raise some eyebrows in 2016 and make some new allies for your favorite causes. This will keep the springtime exciting and interesting. Mercury is retrograde in Earth signs this year. Take your time and build a firm foundation for the daily life that you want. The Solar Eclipse in March is in Pisces and may briefly create an emotional world, but you’ll cope better than most other signs. Don’t stress, respect your health, and enjoy a charmed year!
Leo: Let the world see more of the true you in 2016, Leo! Work hard at what you love and have more fun doing it. More people will enjoy working with you, and then your social life could be busier, too. The Mars retrograde period in the spring will help you slow down, focus, and keep your sights on what is most important. People may be trying to shake up your world all year long, especially around the Solar Eclipse in Pisces in March and the Lunar Eclipse in Pisces in September. Stay sure of yourself – you can handle it. Be good to yourself, too. Take care of your health, be active, and make good use of your time day by day. Start off with a firm daily routine – one you also enjoy – and it will take you through the whole year. Money and work opportunities are there for you, so work hard and make your mark. Make wise decisions at home and assume the authority that friends and family members are assigning to you. Just be your awesome Leo self!
Virgo: 2016 is brimming with bright new ideas, abundance, and charm, Virgo. Yes, I’m talking about you! They will be practical ideas, too, that you can put to good use and make progress in the work place, and connect with people who are both reasonable and pleasant. That’s how people see you, too. In the early spring, romantic fantasies may beckon from time to time. Enjoy the escapes, and come back refreshed. All four Mercury retrogrades happen in Earth signs, so you’ll be more comfortable than most people. In September, a Solar Eclipse in Virgo also puts you in the cosmic limelight. Be attentive in case more work opportunities arise. Early December is a powerful time for you, with Mars and Saturn working on your behalf. You may start the year in a modest position but you could easily become the one in charge by the end of 2016.
Libra: 2016 is your lucky year, Libra, in more ways than one. Your tact and social skills will be in high demand and this will bring great satisfaction and happiness. When everyone is working hard to get ahead, your talents will smooth the way and create more opportunities for your friends, family, and you. With all four Mercury retrogrades happening in Earth signs, most people will be zoned in on the nuts and bolts of life. Your softer social touch will come in handy, especially around the Lunar Eclipse in March when the Moon will be in Libra. People can still surprise you, mostly in April and May. Make some new friends and contacts now. Then forge stronger emotional bonds in May and June. Sharp thinking and an appreciation for something new could launch you into a new, better direction in September and October. Be thorough, and then trust your judgment. Make your own luck in November and December. Be ambitious and aim for the stars!
Scorpio: 2016 is your year to demolish any barriers that have been holding you back, Scorpio! With clear thinking and sheer force of will, you can accomplish what your heart desires and what your head knows you need. Have more patience and charm this year, too. This assures that more problems are solved than created and that you make more friends and allies than you risk losing. Your most productive time may be in the spring when Mars is retrograde in Scorpio. This slow, strong Mars will make you even more methodical and irresistible. Tenderness and tact are also highlighted skills for you in 2016. Be realistic and kind, especially in the late summer and early fall when Jupiter and Mercury increase your people skills. Watch as obstacles and opposition melt away under your gaze. It will be in the realm of family and friends that you may see the most progress. When things are going smoothly at home, career and public life are much easier. What a dynamite year!
Sagittarius: 2016 is your year, Sagittarius, to cultivate talents and skills that take you far and fast. You may not be given all the situations and opportunities that you choose right off the bat, but you’ll have more than enough resources and creativity to make the best use of everything that comes your way. The year may start slowly with Jupiter (your ruling planet) being retrograde until early May. After that, your personal energy and good luck should increase. Mars will be retrograde in the spring, but this won’t create any delays for you. In fact, you should be able to be more careful, and successful, in your work. People may like you better and you may be more willing to learn from them. Romance also comes your way this year. The Solar Eclipse in September is especially favorable for your health as well as for your love life. You will do great things all year long, Sagittarius!
Capricorn: This year, accomplish more than you can imagine, Capricorn, simply by sticking to your favorite mode of doing things: with slow steady efforts. It won’t involve anything flashy or earth-shaking. Nor will you become a dull robot! Achievements, small and large, will give you the most satisfaction in 2016, and those things will not be purely about money or prestige. Let yourself feel deeply about everything and everyone you love. Your year officially starts on December 21, 2015, with a sensuous Taurus Moon, and with Venus in secretive sexy Scorpio. A lot of this year’s love may not be outwardly expressed. Relax but pay attention. Little gestures and hints will be important all year. Four Mercury retrogrades happen in 2016. The first one is in January and will mostly be in Capricorn. You can competently do just about anything, and get it right the first time. The fourth Mercury retrograde starts in late December and runs into the beginning of 2017. This is also in Capricorn. You’re organized, so it will be OK. Finish the year as marvelously as you started it!
Aquarius: You’re a rising star in 2016, Aquarius, when all hard work is acknowledged and rewarded. Most of your work will be mental, and you will never lack for brilliant ideas, many of them seeming inconsequential at the time. This year you will recognize potential that others may overlook. The Moon-Saturn opposition in your 2016 chart guarantees careful thinking and planning that won’t let you down. A Mercury-Pluto conjunction will give you the nerve to be bold, but only when it’s wise. Love issues and your social life will loom large, keeping you busy and happy in beautiful surroundings with charming people. Take your rightful place and shine. An appetite for knowledge and adventure may come out of nowhere, and you will find practical ways to satisfy these yearnings. Your 2016 strong Mars in Scorpio won’t let you sit still for long. Career progress this year is steady, and can gradually lead to big success. Saturn in Sagittarius is your friend. Embrace it!
Pisces: 2016 is a power year, Pisces, and most of what you do will happen out in public, in plain view, and probably with the help and cooperation of others. Your circle of friends and partners will grow, starting in January and February. You won’t feel lonely in 2016. Feel more bold about money, possessions, and your own body in the springtime. Consult your intuitions and instincts as a way to look before you leap into unfamiliar territory – but be brave. Later in April, May, and June, when Mars is retrograde, your mental focus and health will be less impacted than other signs. Enjoy a period of emotional calm. You know how to feel intense without showing it all the time. A Solar Eclipse in March may stir events in your world, but you’ll be prepared. The Lunar Eclipse in Pisces in September is more emotional. The Mercury-Venus conjunction in your 2016 chart is a gift that keeps you smart, sharp, and sensitive all year long.
What your Zodiac sign says about love life for singles in the New Year
Here are a few predictions for singles in year 2016
Your Horoscopes for 2016
Pandit Lokesh Jagirdar
To read more of Mr. Jagirdar’s insight into the future, please visit his website, Vedic astrology puja
We have predicted Horoscope 2016 of the upcoming year so we can help you to shape your future. We hope our predictions will provide you a good guidance about your future endeavors.
Predictions are made for almost every major sphere of your life based on your sun sign. Knowing astrology predictions help us to make our life happy and have patience during bad time. No one can change the future but at least we can try to reduce the effect of malefic planets. There are so many afflictions of planets on our birth chart which is the main cause of our problem. Our prediction will help you to identify which planet is affecting good and which is giving the bad time in year 2016.
Aries Horoscope 2016 Astrology Prediction
Year 2016 would be full of energy and enthusiasm for all the Aries natives. As per astrology prediction you have blessings of Lord Jupiter. If you are getting some problem to go abroad, first half of 2016 will be favorable as the lord of ninth house is in fourth and fifth house, it will also help you to keep you family life beautiful. Year 2016 is also in favor of love and marriage and also for the married couple who wishes for a baby will be blessed.
Year 2016 shall bring in many changes and modifications in your career field. You can expect unwanted changes. Also you can get help from your senior and for the businessmen you can reach in new heights in your business. For student it will be hard year, you need to put some extra effort to achieve what you want. According to the position of Saturn in eighth house and Rahu in sixth house so it will help you and your family stay healthy and just take care when you make a big decision.
Taurus Horoscope 2016 Astrology Prediction
According to the astrology prediction of 2016, this year might be lucky and happy for you because lord Jupiter is in your favor. Your future will be on right direction and put some extra effort to complete your task, which will bring you integrity and respect. But Saturn is in your seventh house so it will bring some difficulty in completing the task but if you face that difficulty and complete your tasks it will bring happiness and income in your business and family.
In year 2016, Rahu is in 6th house, so in your love life you can expect loyalty and truth from your partner but if you expect loyalty you also have to be loyal with your partner. Year 2016 will be good if you are thinking of purchasing any new electronic appliances and also it will bring some good result for student with some extra effort.
Gemini Horoscope 2016 Astrology Prediction
According to the astrology 2016 predictions upcoming year will bring favorable time. If you want to bring some pleasant time or bring some colors in your life or your loved one’s life you have to put some effort to make it happen. Year 2016 will be in favor for the one who has business or planning to start but must have to work very hard to take their business to new heights and don’t hesitate to take lead or make decision to expand your business.
Complete 2016 will be good but it will be better for one who makes effort. Year 2016 will also get some good news for students appearing in competitive exams. Gemini natives will enjoy good health, wealth and joy of being parents of new born baby.
Cancer Horoscope 2016 Astrology Prediction
According to the astrology prediction of 2016 , year 2016 will be very good who are thinking about getting married or someone from your family is in the age of marriage they might have a chance that they find someone. Be very sensibly and have patience in the matter of love, otherwise you might lose someone. Year 2016 will be very good who are working hard, they might get promoted and also get chance to travel for work. If you are thinking about investing money be careful on that matter.
Year 2016 may give you some trouble in health. However, it will be minor ailments which can be avoided if you be a bit careful. If we talk about students, 90% of year 2016 is in their side. You might get some opportunity to make your future better don’t miss it. Your personality and social standing will be increased in year 2016.
Leo Horoscope 2016 Astrology Prediction
According to the astrology prediction of 2016 Lord Jupiter is in your 1st house and Saturn in the fourth so the first half of year 2016 will give you mixed result. You will face some trouble but don’t think about it too much, facing them will increase you personality also you will get some good news. You might be get disappointed by the behavior of you loved ones, don’t hustle just be careful. Handle your trouble situation carefully because second half of the year will be in favor and almost all your troubles will vanish. Have faith in yourself.
In year 2016 you will come across good career opportunity. You need to work hard if you want some extra source of income. In year 2016 your expenses will also be high and savings can be affected.
Virgo Horoscope 2016 Astrology Prediction
According to the astrology prediction, the first half of the year 2016 will be full of colorful surprises, which will give you and your family various types of benefits in life because of the position Rahu
you must be careful about your health and your family. Again the first half of Year 2016 will be with full of opportunity for business to grow. Student will get success after putting some extra effort. For love and marriage the year 2016 will give some mixed result so deal with the situation carefully.
Don’t be disappointed if something went wrong just hold up and have some patience and deal the situation very carefully. In the second half of year 2016 Saturn in the third house, the natives will have difficulties in earning and saving.
Libra Horoscope 2016 Astrology Prediction
According to the astrology prediction of year 2016 almost whole year will be fine. Misunderstandings can happen in family but don’t get upset or worried as it will resolve with time. Your health in upcoming year will be good. Don’t take decision in hurry if you are thinking of investing in car or home. Love life and personal life of year 2016 will be full of sweetness filled by your loved ones. Year 2016 will be very grateful and might get you something special if you are working hard in your business or career. You also might have chances to get promoted.
Year 2016 is in favor of student. You will be respected and you public support will also increase. In the second half of the year 2016, Saturn will be in second house so your expenses will rise. If opportunity is knocking your door, grab it.
Scorpio Horoscope 2016 Astrology Prediction
According to the astrology prediction of year 2016, upcoming year will take your favor but will also give you little bit disappointment. Overall year will be safe and wonderful for you. Sometime you might get some trouble because of the position of Saturn. Family health will be good in year 2016. If we talk about love matters it will be pretty delighted. But for the married couple year 2016 will bring some disturbances because of the Saturn in first house. Just keep calm and deal with the situation with utmost care.
Minor Health issue because of workload can create disturbance but nothing to worry about. For hard workers good time is near also workload can be increased. Your economic situation is going to get better don’t leave hope. Student need to work hard to get the positive result. You are right if you are thinking about investing money but always be careful in matter of money.
Sagittarius Horoscope 2016 Astrology Prediction
According to the astrology prediction of year 2016, starting of year will be giving you neutral result. You have to handle your financial situations very carefully because Saturn is in twelfth house. Do not panic, worry or disturbed in the financial downs just have faith in yourself and stay focused and work hard it will help you to overcome from the situation. You are the only answer of your problem. You have to be stand out for yourself because family behavior and your loved ones behavior can hurt you badly. Starting of the year 2016 will give you lots of trouble but have faith on god.
Next half year of 2016 will get you some good result in work and there is possibility that you income source will increase but you have to work hard. Student who worked hard they will definitely get some good result.
Capricorn Horoscope 2016 Astrology Prediction
According to the astrology prediction, year 2016 will be filled with full of surprises. Success will be there because of your preparation. Positivity will stay around and your planning will give you result accordingly, if not then not to worry everything happens for a good reason. Money will not be an issue in year 2016. Several good opportunities are waiting for you. First half of year is in favor of marriage. Student will reach to success if they worked hard. Other half of year 2016, will bring you some trouble. Jupiter will be in eighth house so it will get some financial problems which take time to recover.
You have to take control on yourself and don’t be disappointed. If you thinking about investing money please take advise and don’t hurry in investing. Don’t give up, be strong everybody knows that you are capable of making things better.
Aquarius Horoscope 2016 Astrology Prediction
According to the astrology prediction, year 2016 will have mixed result for you. Love life will give you some ups and downs. You need to improve your way of communication otherwise you might lose your loved ones. In year 2016, you will be tensed about the health issue of your family member, but don’t worry time will pass quickly. Your health will not give you any trouble. In year 2016, resolving the claims can consume your time but you are smart, you will resolve issue quickly. Year 2016 horoscope prediction says that your love life or married life is going too filled with sweetness also it will be better with time.
In second half of year 2016, your hard working will give you some good result and it’s time to party because good result will increase you income. Hard work of student will lead to success.
Pisces Horoscope 2016 Astrology Prediction
According to the astrology prediction, opening time of the year 2016 will give you joy. Blessed event at home will bring happiness and good time. Don’t get nerves or disappointment if someone talks rude. Don’t pay attention on their words. You eating ways and position of Ketu will give you some health issue so pay attention to your health. If we talk about love matters it’s not bad but not good also because of the position of Rahu. So have faith everything is going to be all right. Your driving can put you in some risky situation.
In year 2016 your career will be on right path. Duties and hard work will increase, don’t hesitate just be strong and take lead. Money will take your favor it means there is a chance of increment. Student will get some positive result in first half of the year but second half will have some worries.
Get A Jump On Tomorrow….
Your Horoscopes for Friday, JANUARY 1, 2016
This is a good day for partnering, dear Aries, and generally getting along with others. A special someone is likely to see eye-to-eye with you on career or life-path goals now, and a conversation or collaboration may be part of this, as ideas to advance can be strong now, particularly when you and someone you care about put your heads together. You seem to have energy to spare today, largely due to enthusiasm about what you can accomplish now and down the road. Plans seem to be coming together, or this feels imminent. Mercury moves into harmony with your sign tonight, and this move can stimulate conversations and thoughts about happiness goals, friendships, and new projects.
Good energy is with you for seeing both the details and the bigger picture today, dear Taurus, and there can be a nice feeling or sense that you can combine detail work with more adventurous or bold activities quite successfully, without either truly suffering. It’s also a fine day for talking about a relationship or financial matter, and making some resolutions on these lines. Others are more inclined to take you seriously now. Mercury moves to the top of your chart tonight, and you’re inclined to think in practical terms about the future. Priorities can become a focal point now.
This is a good day for finding a balance between playfulness and intimacy in a relationship, dear Gemini, or for enjoying a healthy balance of introspection and connections made with others. It’s easy to draw upon deeper feelings when pursuing creative projects. With the Moon moving into your entertainment and pleasure sector early into the day, you can most certainly be in a celebratory frame of mind. Mercury, your ruler, moves into harmony with your sign tonight, boosting your ability to communicate effectively and for others to receive your ideas well.
This can be a strong day for combining partnership and family needs successfully, dear Cancer. Plans might be made in this regard or that involve input from a number of parties, and you’re better able to feel united as you make decisions rather than pulled in different directions. The Moon moves into your family and home sector early into the day, and the urge to get cosy and comfortable is with you. Familiar faces and places soothe most of the time, but can be even more therapeutic now than usual. Mercury enters your solar eighth house tonight, encouraging almost x-ray vision as you see beyond the surface of matters, people, and relationships.
The year begins with quite a bit of energy and enthusiasm for projects and studies, dear Leo, as well as special sensitivity to, and a desire for mastery of, your health and work routines. Today, you can experience a nice burst of energy, particularly on a mental level, but also for organizing and handling details. You may feel you can achieve a good balance between responsibilities and personal projects now. The Moon moves into your communications sector early into the day, and this serves to heighten your curiosity and desire to diversify. Mercury moves into your partnership sector tonight, and you’re inclined to seek out others for important feedback.
The Moon moves out of your sign early into the day, dear Virgo. While the Moon in your sign is a beneficial position, the move to the next sector of your solar chart can be relieving, as you tend to replace impulsiveness with patience and contentment. Take it easier now, but answer a desire to take care of business matters or to pursue a creative project or develop a talent. Excellent, intelligent energy is with you for making plans on creative and business levels, and for successfully combining imagination and practicality. There can be a desire to take on a challenge or master a problem now. Mercury, your ruler, moves into your work and health solar sector tonight, turning your attention to details and practical affairs.
This can be an energizing and motivating day, dear Libra. The Moon moves into your sign early into the day, amping up your emotions and stimulating awareness of your needs and desires. While you may be seduced into thinking that you need to fill these urgently, your better bet is to focus on the emotional clarity that is likely to arrive now. Mars in your sign forms a creative aspect with the Sun, which is currently transiting your home and family sector. This can be a good day for successfully balancing or combining personal plans and family or domestic pursuits. You can accomplish much quite quickly and easily now. You may be taking the lead and appreciated for your guidance or initiative. Mercury moves into harmony with your sign tonight, boosting communication skills and stimulating a more playful presentation of your ideas and a gently competitive attitude that can encourage you to learn more and think more creatively.
Good energy is with you for both catching up on your need for alone or private time, and connecting with others, dear Scorpio. The Moon moves into your solar twelfth house early into the day, and this signals a need to pull yourself out of overly competitive or demanding situations so that you can better attend to your inner world. Spiritual matters assume a little more importance to you, or you feel the need to get into touch with your deeper feelings on a matter. Today, a Sun-Mars aspect can stimulate a successful ability to share some of your more private or difficult to express ideas, a desire to help others with ideas, advice, or supportive conversation, or a need to take action on a dream, wish, or previously unacknowledged desire. Mercury moves into your home and family sector tonight, encouraging more conversations and further thought about personal, emotional needs and matters.
You can feel motivated and a sense of being in charge and ready to take on challenges today, dear Sagittarius. You’ll find it easier than usual to take it or leave it when it comes to doing something with others or on your own, and feel comfortable either way. You tend to naturally gravitate towards the right path, tools, people, or resources to accomplish something special, and you are in the position to make plans for your future. The Moon moves into your hopes, wishes, ideals, and friendship sector early into the day, stimulating a need to feel hopeful and connected. Mercury moves into harmony with your sign tonight, and with the communications planet in your communications sector, you’re in a great position to make connections, learn, and study.
Good energy is with you today for recognizing your priorities, dear Capricorn, and taking charge of an important responsibility. You can feel quite motivated and especially powerful and effective. Personal and professional goals gain momentum, and you feel quite positive about what you can accomplish going forward. You may be getting along well with a parent, boss, or other person in a position to support you or help you achieve your goals. A stronger sense of purpose is with you, and in a general sense, in the year ahead, and this energizes you in the right direction, towards things that are good for you. Mercury moves out of your sign and into your solar second house tonight. Mercury will return to your sign in retrograde motion on the 8th, and you’ll be revisiting some recent decisions.
Today is strong for enjoying some peace and quiet, dear Aquarius, and something different or unusual as well. There can be a real desire to move forward and get out of any rut you may have felt you’ve been in. You are more inclined to get moving, take action, and handle problem areas now than usual. Someone may be bringing out your more active, initiating qualities now, and encouraging you to go after what you want. The Moon moving into your adventure sector early today tends to feed your spirit for non-routine activities. Mercury moves into your sign tonight, and this can stimulate a desire to communicate your plans or learn something entirely new. Mercury will stay here only for a week or so before returning to Capricorn in retrograde motion.
You’re likely to be feeling more faith in your own ability to get things done today, dear Pisces. A connection with someone can deepen today. You can be self-assertive without coming across gratingly, and you may be in the position to lead others or to take the lead in a relationship. A stronger feeling of purpose can energize you. The Moon moves into your intimacy sector early into the day, and you’re beginning to focus on layers of meaning and understanding. You’re likely to notice elements of people and situations that you may have missed or seemed hidden to you previously. Mercury enters your privacy sector tonight, and this also points to a greater need to look for meaning in the layers of life that are not obvious.
If You Were Born Today, December 31
You are a highly responsible person who has a great need for order, organization, and accomplishment. You are protective of those you love, sometimes to the point of making decisions for them! You are orderly and function best in an organized, goal-oriented environment. You take on more and more, and sometimes too much! Most of you are good with your finances and record keeping. Your sense of humor is surprising and quirky.
Famous people born today: Henri Matisse, Elizabeth Arden, Anthony Hopkins, John Denver, Donna Summer, Val Kilmer, Burton Cummings, George Thorogood.
Courtesy of Cafe Astrology
Your Daily Horoscopes for Thursday, December 11
You can be responding to unusual desires and may be acting on whims today, dear Aries, or perhaps simply entertaining these things now. You are in the mood for something a little different. The Moon is in your service sector all day again today, and this stimulates a desire to set the smaller things in your life into order. It meets with Jupiter today, stimulating your sense of joy that goes along with attending to your health, work, or routines. This will stay with you for much of 2016, and the attitude itself can attract positive circumstances as well as benefits into your life. Self-improvement endeavors can be in focus and successful now.
This can be a very self-expressive day, dear Taurus. You can feel quite energized this morning, and the trick will be to manage it or channel it effectively, as self-discipline may not match. There can be a restless quality this morning, and a sense that moods and desires are impermanent – you’re probably right that they won’t last long. Things tend to sort out and calm down by midday. There can be an opportunity to enjoy yourself, an invitation, or simply a very pleasant, playful mood now. Inhibitions and defensiveness tend to drop, and this can be felt as a very pleasant release.
There can be animation in your domestic life today, dear Gemini. Excess energy when channeled well and into the home can point to home improvement and organization efforts, or lively family activities. By midday, you’re more inclined to slow down long enough to enjoy yourself, and to get into better touch with your deeper feelings about things. The enjoyment of family or familiar settings can be especially soothing, and in many ways, this is a general theme for much of the year ahead.
You are likely to have many ideas and plans going on today, dear Cancer, although there can be a tendency to scatter your energy this morning. Desires and whims may not last, and schedules may be overturned. Surprise elements tend to subside by midday. This is a good time to sell your ideas to others, or to present your case. You can go at mental tasks, interests, and projects with enthusiasm. You might experience a stronger desire to communicate, connect, and learn. Your curiosity can be stimulated in a most pleasant way. A problem might come to a resolution, and with it comes a nice feeling of relief. A neighbor or sibling can be supportive or a friendly gesture might be made.
This can be a good day for pouring your energy into a project, pastime, or money-making endeavor today, dear Leo, and some may feel compelled to take care of a prized possession. It can be a very resourceful time. Impulse buying could be an issue this morning. You may be dealing with some unpredictability with a friend or lover that changes your plans. By midday, your appetite for comfort is large. You end the year with the Moon in your solar second house, putting you in a nice position to assess what you have and need, quite patiently.
The Moon is in your sign again today, dear Virgo, and aligns with joyous Jupiter midday. Emotions are transparent, immediate, and clear. In some ways, this is giving you a nice taste of a theme with you much of the year ahead. You can experience an emotional release that is cleansing and even comforting. There is some tendency to switch around plans this morning, particularly related to family. Shows of independence from others may throw you for a loop at first, but they can also prompt you to find other activities that you’re just fine doing solo. You can certainly have and enjoy company today, but the less expectations you have for this, the better.
Energy for you today continues to be a little insular, dear Libra. The Moon is in the sign just behind yours until very early into the day tomorrow. It’s a natural time for reviewing recent events and recharging your emotional batteries rather than for leaping into something new with a splash. A partner could be a little confusing this morning, or there could be a shuffling of plans. If possible, take extra time for yourself. The atmosphere is ripe for the unexpected and surprise elements, and you may very well be the catalyst! As the day advances, life settles a little. Shortly into the New Year, the Moon enters your sign, and emotions bubble up to the surface. Clarity is likely. You end the year feeling quite content with yourself.
Solutions to practical problems may seem a little wild and impractical this morning, dear Scorpio, and yet they seem to work. You can whip through your chores, improve a system for getting things done, and enjoy yourself in the process today. There can be a nice feeling of belonging or acceptance with a group or friend today. A partner may introduce some surprises. Watch spending now. There is some tendency to act on whims or to entertain unusual desires now. Group activities and cooperative efforts are in focus.
In some ways, dear Sagittarius, today is good for playing things by ear, and this kind of spontaneity is right up your alley. Changes in plans can actually stimulate new approaches and ideas, so keep an open mind. It’s a good time for intuitively understanding what others want to hear, although if you need to make a warm impression or express yourself in deep ways, this is perhaps not the time. Keep your schedule open. People may be noticing you for your contributions and your ability to meet challenges and responsibilities.
There can be a very strong desire to get away, to change the pace of your life, and to do something totally different than you usually do, dear Capricorn. The morning’s energies are a little erratic socially, and while it’s not the best time to pour out your heart and soul, it’s a fine time for thinking of ways to make small changes in your life so that you feel more engaged and connected. There can be a nice feeling of joy and comfort in thinking about the bigger picture, long-term goals, and far-off plans. There is a positive attitude that suits the day well. The desire to get out and about or to do something different can grab hold now. There can be an attitude change or a relief/release on an emotional level.
Sexuality and intimacy are stimulated today, dear Aquarius, from a more emotional perspective. Relationships can be strongly on your mind now. Some of your deeper desires can come up from within and possibly even surprise you with their intensity, but this morning, it can be difficult to discern whether the need or desire is a deep one or simply a surface whim. As the day moves forward, it becomes clearer which is which! There can be an intimate understanding or a new awareness that brings a sense of calm and happiness to your life. In many ways, this is an ongoing theme in your life for much of 2016.
A relationship matter can come into strong focus today, dear Pisces, and, positively, you can work through a problem or deal with a matter directly and honestly. On the other hand, you might find others a little too detached or unreliable for your liking this morning. By midday, you’re more inclined to feel good about your relationships or about your “take” on them. You might benefit from a one-on-one conversation, or you might take on the role of advisor. Relationships and partnerships benefit from expansive, warm energy.
I decided to take a quick break and just talk. Oh, don’t worry it won’t be a mile long conversation, I promise.
This year has been very challenging for some of us. We have lost people we love, sicknesses, the fire burning down the building and I am sure I am missing others. Because I don’t know how many times I have had a cast on or a brace. Hey what can I say, I am clumsy, lol!
You don’t know but here recently we have been getting a lot of email from mainstream religious full of hate, bitterness and no tolerance at all for anyone. It is there way or the highway. You can imagine which path I took.
I have to admit the emails did get to me. I can never understand why people have to be so cruel. Then I think I must have had a cosmic slap. That slap made me understand something, we are doing something right. After everything we have endured physically and emotionally, now the emails. Putting it all together we are starting to have an impact on main stream religions. Which I think if fantastic. I want every witch on this planet to be able to walk down main street with her head held high. And when asked what she does, she can say proudly, “I AM A WITCH.”
But we still have a ways to go, it is nice to know that they feel us coming. Now for what I really intended to write this note for. In case you are wondering why we are running slow today, is because we are posting in two sites, here and Coven Life. I am sure you have already heard the news about her. Please, I beg you to keep her in your thoughts and prayers. The other reason I am running slow is because of an idiot contractor. The idoit put up a wall that was never there to start with. Then he is going to argue with me that it was there the whole time. Good grief! Does this man not know how many times we have been in that building. You would think he would have a copy of the blueprints, WRONG! Work has stopped and we are waiting for the blueprints to drive up. I tell you if they were pouring cement, that man might come up missing (but I didn’t say that, lol).
I hope everyone has a fantastic celebration tonight,
Just be careful,
and we will see you back here tomorrow.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Lady A & The WOTC Team