I've always thought it odd that our new year begins (here in North America) in the dark of Winter when the earth is asleep and evening comes early. Why not the Winter Solstice when the days start to get longer or Spring when the earth is bursting forth with bloom, and fields are showing off their new spring green outfits?
So I looked it up. Who actually decided this depends on the source, but most indicate that the month of January was named for Janus, the Roman god of beginnings.
When I turn inside, what I discover for myself is it all begins in the darkness. The seedling breaks through its protective seed coat in the darkness of the soil. The butterfly begins its journey in the darkness of the chrysalis. The embryo grows in the darkness of the womb.
From the Tao:
"...mystery and manifestations
arise from the same source.
This source is called darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gateway to all understanding."
And so perhaps we can use our time in this month named for the god of beginnings to begin anew. To go within and plant divine seeds in the dark soil of our consciousness, and surround them with all of the nourishment they will need to burst forth in their time, full of the promise of a higher consciousness, free from the constraints of those old limiting beliefs.
After all, the seedling will shed its seed coat as it burst from the dark soil, the butterfly will leave the chrysalis behind, and the embryo will leave the protection of the womb.
So perhaps January can also be a time of discovery, of discerning what we are ready to let go of so that when the time comes for that seed planted in our consciousness to burst forth in full expression, we will be ready to let go of that which has limited its full expression to date.
Happy New Year, Unity of San Antonio. May this year be your best one yet.