Do you have a Solar Vow?

2023 the year we learn to listen to life

Week 52--in which we welcome a New Year with a solar prayer

Friends, soul writers, mystics, witches, and lovers of prayer,

We are standing in that liminal space right now, pausing as one year ends and another begins. But the date is artificial. If we really wanted to start a new year when the light of the sun was starting a new cycle, New Year’s Day would be Winter Solstice. But that would mean there would be two different new years on planet Earth, one starting in December in the Northern Hemisphere and the other starting in June in the Southern. So, maybe that wouldn’t work very well! If we think time zones are complicated, just imagine if we had year-zones, too!

So, maybe it’s a good thing that we label the year the same way.

But the linear boxy calendar that we all use has a strange story indeed. It has been the creation of empires. First the Roman empire and then, when that calendar was so totally out of whack with the seasons, the pope commanded that a new calendar be created. And poof, several weeks disappeared and we ended up with the calendar most of us use today. But it, too, doesn’t quite fit what’s going on in the cosmos, and so we have to have a leap day every once in a while to fill in the gap.

Meanwhile, there is another calendar, one that moves in gentle unending circles that match the natural waxing and waning of the light of our mother Moon. Tracking your life on a moon calendar is radically different. And I highly recommend it. I keep a linear solar calendar to track the dates of my events, but my primary calendar is The Moon is My Calendar, created by April McMurtry.

So that means I have two calendars with two different new years to celebrate: a Solar New Year and a Lunar New Year.

Tomorrow, Monday, January 1, is the first day of a new solar year. It’s a sacred day for me. I’ll be offline all day creating my Mystic Mandala for 2024. I’ll tell you about it next week.

On January 1, I also revisit my Solar Vow. I’ve had one I love since January 1 2017 that I say every day as I begin my soul writing. On Monday, as the paint on my mandala dries, I’ll speak my Solar Vow aloud and listen to see if it is still the perfect Solar Vow for me. If not, I’ll edit or even rewrite it. Then, next Spring, when the moon enters Aries, I’ll honor a new lunar year by writing a new Lunar Vow.

I say these two short prayers when I write the date on my deep soul writing journal every morning. I love these two prayers. They crack my heart open and infuse the first hour of my new day with love. And, although you aren’t aware of it, they touch you, too. That’s the power of prayer.

Now, I never heard anyone talk about a Solar Vow prayer. Or a Lunar Vow. As far as I know, no one teaches people how to write these prayers or why or when to say them every day. These prayers came to me organically. And I love them so much that I now teach people in my prayer intensives how and when to write them.

So on this auspicious cusp of a new Solar Year, I thought you might like to hear my story and consider writing your own Solar Vow.

It began on January 1, 2017. I had spent the previous year reading a bit from Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours throughout my day. It’s a lovely book with snippets from his prose and poems compiled by Kathleen Deignan into a small book a bit like an old fashioned book of hours with prayers around the clock. If you’ve been with me for a while, you know that the one and only Christian I still love is Merton. I’ve donated all my Christian books except for his. And this precious compilation.

So on January 1 of 2017, I picked up A Book of Hours as usual, but suddenly felt like rereading the intro by James Finley. Finley had been a novice under Merton’s care when he entered the seminary at 18. In the introduction, Finley quotes something Merton wrote in A Hidden Ground of Love. The quote ends with Merton saying:

“I suppose what makes me most glad is that we recognize each other in this metaphysical space of silence and happiness, and get some sense, for a moment, that we are full of paradise without knowing it.”

Jim then writes:

“We do not know we are full of paradise because we are so full of our noise that we cannot hear God singing us and all things into being. And so Merton shows us the way home. He surrenders to God in silence. He surrenders so completely to God’s silence that when he begins to speak, his voice and God’s voice merge in a polyphony of grace and glory that causes our own heart to begin to stir and awaken.”

I stopped reading. Stunned into silence. I stared off in space. I went back. Read it again. Read it aloud. Rewrote it in my journal. Those words were doing something. They had lifted off the page, landed on my skin, entered my body and were cooking me. My whole body knew I had just been handed something of utmost importance.

So I stopped reading and started soul writing. Immediately, this prayer came out. This is the moment the concept of a Solar Vow was born.

Here’s the Solar Vow I wrote on January 1, 2017 and have said every day since. So let’s see…that’s 7 years, 2,555 repetitions!

Janet’s Solar Vow:

I surrender so completely to Sophia’s Love
that when I begin to speak
my voice and Sophia’s Voice merge
in a harmony of grace, beauty, and love

That causes hearts to stop, stir, awaken
and surrender to Love

After seven years, I have a feeling that this prayer will continue to be my Solar Vow, but I will open my journal tomorrow, speak it aloud and see if Sophia agrees!

I offer you this story and my prayer not to copy. But to hopefully inspire you to listen deeply on January first for the prayer that wants to come alive in and through and as you on New Years Day and all year long.

to blessing your day with the power and beauty and sheer joy of prayer,


PS: Of course, there are other lunar new years as well. One lunar year most people know about is the Chinese Lunar Year which comes in February this year. This year, the Chinese New Year will be the year of the wood dragon. Dragon! Thanks to The Witch Sequence, I’ve got dragons on the brain all the time.

Want to know about the Wood Dragon? Marcia Wade talks about the Year of the Dragon a lot in the Astrology Forecast she recorded with Emma Kupu Mitchell and me.

Follow the link below to purchase the forecast.

Then click on the link on your PayPal receipt and you’ll arrive at a Thank You page with the URL for the forecast and the password. The Thank You page also has links to Marcia's and Emma's websites.

The forecast will be available all year.

2024: The Year the Dream Fields Come Alive


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