Some people may say you can make a new beginning whenever you want and while that is true, those who are close to nature, the stars or their own witchy selves know there is something special about cycles. They are to be honored and celebrated in some way-even if for only a moment.
Here on Earth everything revolves around cycles: the moon, planets. the year as we move around the sun, months, weeks, our lives as we are born and move through life until death. Just like ritual, it is our nature to find comfort in the natural cycle of things.
Every year I have a process of moving me from one year to the next. I think of it as a Changing of the Guards because I do make a bit of a production about it. I carve out time between Christmas and New Years to dive deep and get all introspective. I think it is important to really know where you’ve been so you can leave unnecessary baggage behind and start the next leg of your journey cleanly.
I do some journaling, planning (purging of my physical space), but its these three things that matter the most.
1) What are the most memorable/happiest moments of the past year? Take 5 minutes and write down as much as you can. Not a whole paragraph but sum it up in a few words. Do you see a pattern in what made you happy? Make note of that because it is very telling.
2) Where did you misstep (or make a mistake)? What lessons did you learn from these missteps. (If you aren’t aware of them right now take some time and work it out.
3) Can you, will you forgive yourself and others for the misstep so you can leave behind these instances so you can make room for more memorable events and less of the same missteps. If you don’t learn the lesson they WILL be back?
Next thing I do is take an 8.5 x 11 piece of printing paper and cut it lengthwise and then cut it again into strips. I then write, in a few words, my missteps on the slips of paper. These are for my New Year’s Eve burning bowl. If you live somewhere that isn’t safe to burn things or your mate just doesn’t like it you can take a marker and write them on squares of toilet paper and then flush them down. Magick is fluid, bending and adaptable. It is always there to work with you.
Now, after the burning bowl I suggest taking the ashes and mixing them with a wee bit of water. Then using a paint brush or your finger and the ash mixture paint a sigil for the New Year. Maybe a powerful statement to move you forward or even a single word to symbolize where you are headed.
That is how I say GOOD-BYE to the old year, so how do I welcome in the new?
Well I grew up eating cabbage for money and black-eyed peas for good luck, but that is a habit I have given up since no one in my house will eat it with me.
So instead, I take another sheet of paper and make more strips. I write down all the hopes and dreams I have for the new year. Everything I would like to see come to fruition and I fold them (three times of course) and put them in a jar on my desk. Any time I have a shit day, and it happens to the best of us, or I feel like I’m veering off track I pull one out to read to myself.
I also do a MAJOR house cleansing on New Years day. The kind with sage, beautiful resins, candles, petitions of protection and changing out my black tourmaline at the four corners of my property. I use my besom, mine is a working broom, and sweep the floors. Then I wash my floor with a bucket of water full of lemon and orange slices and essential oils in it.
It is then that I feel like I have laid the past to rest, while taking the knowledge with me and have started out on a brand new journey. Celebrating it all with a little magick.