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The Real New Year. As you may know, the astronomical (and astrological) new year begins the exact moment that the Sun enters the first point of the zodiac, 0° Aries. This year, the new year occurs exactly at 5:15 AM GMT on March 20. The ancient astrologers used to look at the horoscope for this moment cast for the location of their choosing to determine what would happen in the coming year. We have a few predictions, but first will talk about the spiritual and metaphysical significance of the Aries ingress, as it is known.

It is said that an ancient cities in India, the cities were laid out in a fourfold pattern, corresponding to the four Cardinal signs of the zodiac. The East, which corresponds to the spring equinox, was occupied by the Kshatriyas, the warrior, royal, and political caste. In the earthly kingdom, the King is the first, therefore the year begins with the point associated with royalty and the ruling class. The French metaphysician René Guénon makes the argument that the Brahmin priestly class, associated with the direction of North, should be first, and therefore the winter solstice is really the beginning of the new year. However, he misses the important point that when we look at the horoscope for the Aries ingress, we are largely looking for effects that happen in the physical reality that we inhabit. This reality is ruled by the King, not the Brahmins. If we were predicting more subtle metaphysical manifestations, we might look at the winter solstice horoscope instead.

Few places today celebrate the Aries ingress as the new year, but one notable exception is Iran, which still celebrates the ancient Zoroastrian tradition of Nowruz, which occurs when the Sun first enters Aries. As a religion that worships fire, it is especially appropriate that the entry of a sign into the first fire sign would indicate the beginning of the new year. The customs are varied, and include lighting of candles, jumping over fires, and preparing a special altar with food symbolizing the role of Ahura Mazda, the chief deity of the Zoroastrian tradition. This tradition is celebrated in Iran regardless of one\’s religion, underscoring its cosmological significance.

— Aries Ingress Newsletter 2012