Today is Ash Wednesday, an important day to the historical Knights Templar as well as esoteric Christians in ages past. It begins a sacred 40-day period during which we try to give up certain pleasures or things that we are better off without anyway.
Doing without something we normally enjoy teaches us valuable self-discipline, a skill that comes in handy throughout life! Fasting does the same thing, which is why many denominations teach fasting. Both Lent and fasting, of course, help us to walk that holy path that leads to the Divine One.
The Templars had four 40-day periods they honored each year. This one — Great Lent — is of course the most sacred of them all.
Why is it called “ash” Wednesday? Because on this day we are to go to a priest who will dip his right thumb into a pot of ashes and make a equal-bar cross on our forehead. The Templars did this and Catholics all over the world are doing it right now. You then go the rest of the day walking around going about your duties with the cross made of ashes on your forehead. You are not supposed to wash it off.
If you can’t get to a priest, you can make your own cross out of ashes.