Do you know what I enjoy about the New Year? The opportunity to begin anew. For myself, it is a time to reflect on the past, build on the present and plan for the future. What will the upcoming months bring and how will they shape my path as a Witch? Isn’t it fortunate that as magickal practitioners we have tools at our disposal, should we choose to use them, to chart our course over the next twelve months? And that through focus and intention, we can release what no longer serves, while shaping the reality we desire.
New Year: Looking Back
Over the year, I’ve had an opportunity to review various parts of my life. Observe who I am now, participate in Shadow Work, and find resolution for internal conflicts. As an example, I learned how thirty-plus years of dogma from an organized religion still effected my relationship(s) with present deities and how to “de-program.”
Through looking back, I have been able to break down mental barriers and examine old lessons to see how they no longer served. I learned how to offer devotion to my goddesses. Experience worship without the “ghost of religious past” making an appearance, strengthening my relationships with deity. And while some people may shake their heads in puzzlement as to why such measures were necessary, believe me when I say, the freedom is a big deal to me.
My point is, the New Year can be a good time to take a moment for a review. And I know this time of year is busy, but taking ten minutes to stop, breathe and reflect can be helpful. Taking stock of the past year while doing the dishes, taking a bath or shower, or in front of an altar in meditation. What emotion, experience or aspect of life served you well? Is there something which needs to be released to allow yourself to grow? Start now, and then take similar moments over the coming months to do a simliar inventory. You might be surprised what you learn.
To Release What No Longer Serves
Black or White Candle
Cauldron or fire-safe receptacle
Matches or lighter
Pen or pencil
Take time to think of the previous year, to your reactions or expectations. What has held you back or has been a hindrance to you spiritually/emotionally. Is there an unhealthy bond which needs to be severed or a barrier which needs to be created? Or is there an aspect of your personality or experience which you have grown past? What no longer serves you and needs to be released? Write these down on the paper. Be specific and detailed.
When you are finished, roll the paper and speak words of “release” over it. See yourself cutting ties, float away images, dissolve or whatever best suits your need to remove or release. Remember, these are personal releases to assist with your own growth as a human being and magickal practitioner. Once you have released or removed whatever it is, then burn the paper. Remember to replace any void created by what has been released with healing/nurturing energy.
New Year: Shaping Reality
One of the best things about being a Witch, magickal practitioner, et al., is we have the opportunity to peek into the future. Do you have visions during meditation? Dream about upcoming events? How is your Tarot or rune practice? What about throwing bones or scrying? Do your spirit guides give you insight into what to expect in coming months?We have access to potential outcomes for the future at our fingertips. The question is: how are we using them? Are we so busy reading for others (or fun) that we neglect the chance to shape an intention for the future based on what we have learned? My family and I discovered the benefit of this when Car needed employment. We used divination to ask the ancestors for guidance, based a spell on their wisdom and then acted on both to great effect.
So, why not use the energy of the holiday season to focus a spell on one thing you want to manifest in the New Year. Whether it is through the creation of Yule Pommanders, a holiday blessing spell, or focusing intention into the next twelve months, as Witches and magickal practitioners we can use divinatory skills to see what may lay ahead and plan accordingly.
Intention Stone Spell
Gemstone – tumbled or raw, cleansed and ready to be empowered with intention. Choose a stone which best allies with your intention.
Candle – white or one which corresponds with your intention.
Matches or lighter
Place your candle and stone on your altar. Meditate on one thing you would like to manifest in your life in the next twelve months. Be clear in your intention, focus on it. If you are not able to visualize your desire then write it out in clear, concise sentences on a sheet of paper. Light the candle. Then, holding the stone in your hands, speak your intention into it.
Awaken the spirit of the stone to become your ally in this intention for the New Year. Place the stone in front of the candle and let the candle burn down. Once the candle is extinguished, take the stone and keep it with you. If you cannot wear or carry the stone, place it in a prominent place on your altar and look on it each day, speaking or visualizing your intention. In a year, evaluate the outcome of the spell. You can then renew the spell or cleanse the stone.
New Year: Moving Forward
As I reflect on the past twelve months, the highs and lows my family has experienced tend to jump out. While it would be easy to focus on the more difficult aspects of the past, I find it to be more useful to acknowledge what’s gone before and then look ahead.
Hopefully, we can learn from the past (which is always a good thing when one can manage it), so as not to repeat the more difficult periods. But even those hard times (when viewed from the other side) can teach things such as perseverence, patience, and flexibility. For instance, I’ve learned how to always move forward on my journey, even when the way is unclear.
And so to you, dear reader, I wish you a very Happy New Year. May you look back to find wisdom, create what you desire, and walk into the future with purpose.