January is a perfect time to take hold of your purpose as if it were a star you refuse to let fall out of the sky.
This is not a religious story, but I will use an allegory from Christianity to explain the importance of purpose by using a star. Yes, like the stars we see at night.
On Wednesday, January 6, the Catholic church observes the Epiphany. This marks the moment in which three wise men finally found Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus after years of searching. Though many of the myths say it was in a barn, it actually was in a house. But that’s not the point of the story.
Central to the wizened men locating Jesus was a star that shone brilliantly in the night sky. When they saw the bright star, much like the Great Conjunction that occurred on December 21, 2020, they recognized that a great shift in the world was coming. So strong was their knowing that they went on a two-year trek to find the Christ-child. As the lore goes, through the guidance of the star that appeared every evening, they followed it.
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Now remember, these men were not typical guys riding camels through the desert. They were highly educated astronomers who had studied celestial events and their meaning for many years. During those times, to be learned brought great respect and a high status.
For these three men to leave their homes and comfortable lives, in order to follow a star that would lead them to meeting a child that was to be the heir to God, might have seemed a little bat-shit crazy. Nonetheless, these men packed up their belongings, along with some of the most expensive items at the time⸺gold, frankincense and myrrh⸺and went on their journey.
While they were searching, there was another person looking for Jesus, King Herrod the Great. When he heard that a child would inherit the throne as king of all kings, he launched a multi-year, seek-and-destroy mission. In his ongoing campaign to kill the rumored heir, the powerful king sent out his best mercenaries and bounty hunters. In the end, they were unsuccessful.
On the other side, the three wise men, only using the stars as their compass, were able to trace the location of Jesus and his family. The spiritual meaning in this story is that the wise men focused on their purpose, which was to use the star to find the Christ-child.
Now apply this story to your life. As the wise men did, you too must grab onto your star, and hold firm until you see your dreams and passions manifest. This is amplified even more so in 2021 after we all received profound clarity in 2020. Going back to the Catholic church’s Epiphany celebration, an epiphany is that moment when something extraordinary gets revealed. We all bore witness to that last year. However, this year is about speaking, living and sculpting your truth, or your purpose.
In your life, the antagonist is King Herrod which represents all the challenges and even naysayers who attempt to extinguish your shine, your brilliance, or your star. But in 2021, you must remain steadfast.
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Though I used the story of the three wise men, the stories of stars go beyond the Christian text. In Ghana, the Ga people look at the stars in the sky as one’s destiny, while the Ashanti use celestial iconography in their sacred symbology, the Adinkra symbols. Nearby, the Dogon of Mali assert that they are people of a galactic planet that is eight-and-a-half light years away. Further down in South Africa, the Zulus use the stars to measure time, while the Kalenga people see the stars as the ancestors.
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Cultures and peoples using the celestial bodies are recognized in every tradition. From the farmers almanacs to NASA, stars are critical in understanding life. After all, astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson points out that our physical bodies are stardust. He says, “The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago.”
As the early days in January bring the winter months in this part of the world, take time to plan and launch something you’ve been thinking about, but never went through with it. Right now is a good time to start a podcast, finish a book, even begin a blog or put together a group course. So get going, allow your star to shine.
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