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Happy New Year! Happy Makara Sankranti ! Happy Pongol !

On the 15th of January, the Sun will enter Capricorn marking the shift in the apparent direction of its movement in the celestial orbit. This is based on the sidereal calendar and different from the actual solstices on the 21st December because of the precession of axis. As the Sun now moves apparently in the northern direction called the Uttarayana, we can look forward to the days getting longer than the nights.

Typically it is the end of harvest season or Sharad and in the South of India they celebrate Pongal, where a delicious dish made of rice and lentils is offered in worship with sugarcane, symbolising a good harvest.

The Sun represents our soul and taking its cue, we should also give up her old patterns of thinking and willingly make room for the newer ideas and thoughts.

The entire month mostly I am in Udaipur where I will be studying Jaimini sutras with my Jyotish Guru Pandit Sanjay Rath. Udaipur was the beautiful historic capital of the kingdom of Mewar, a princely state in Rajasthan, set up in 1553 and dissolved by the British in 1818. Today, I had the opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful intricately carved Jain temple at Ranakpur, some 91km from Udaipur. There was also a small Sun temple adjacent to it, which is still maintained by the Royal family’s trust.

On the way back, we went to Kumbalgarh Fortress complex dating back to the 15th century which hosts 360 temples within its area.

I am back in London on the 24th January and will be able to schedule readings late January or early February for those that asked for them in the East West Workshop held in December.