The Resolution Ritual

The Resolution Ritual January 8, 2020

Blue glass bottles, a small Buddha statue holding a lit candle, and a small tangerine.
My blue glass kitchen window. Copyright the Laurel Reufner.

The Resolution Ritual was my first bit of published writing for which I received compensation. It was first performed in (wow!) 1997 and was one of the first more involved rituals that I created on my own. Llewellyn sent me a contract for it in 2000 or 2001 and it appeared in their 2002 Magical Almanac. I made all of 50 bucks, which put me over the moon with excitement.

Does it work? Well, a lot of that depends on you, but I can say that I asked for increased creativity in the coming year. Our first child, Rowan, was born on Samhain of that year. So, it not only worked for me, it also taught me sometime about being more specific in my intentions. (Not that I’m not happy with having had my kids, but that really wasn’t what I was thinking at the time!)

The Resolution Ritual is a simple ritual to pack some added oomph into your New Year’s resolutions. Perform it on the first Full Moon of the new year or adapt it to fit an event that suggests new beginnings and transition. You might also want to perform the ritual after a birthday or other major life-considering event.

Items Needed:

2 seasonal altar candles in an appropriate color

2 silver candles

1 blue candle

1 small white or silver birthday candle

1 small wooden box

Various tokens representing resolutions

A slip of good quality paper (parchment or drawing paper)

A good writing implement

You’ll need to collect small tokens to put in your box. These represent your resolutions by helping to focus on your goals. Put some thought into what you’d like to use, as well as the types of resolutions you really want to make. Try to be realistic in what you really want to work towards in the coming year and in your ability to make your desires manifest.

Choose a small wooden box to hold your resolution tokens, keeping in mind roughly how big they are. Decorate the box with drawings, pictures, or some sort of decoupage. Make it something that you’ll enjoy looking at and that has meaning to you. Whether you decorate it beforehand. Whether or not you decorate it beforehand or make the decorating a part of the ritual, it will allow you to meditate more fully on the changes you want to make in your life.

Light all but the birthday candle and the silver candles. Cast your circle, using whatever method feels the most comfortable. Invite the Moon and her powers into your chambers, saying:

“Lady Moon, bright Selene,

Please join in my task at hand.

May your presence add to my strength.

May you witness my determination.”

Light silver candles and bless and consecrate your box. Hold and name your tokes individually, charging each with your desire, intent, and purpose. Equate the name of the objects with your purpose, linking it to a particular resolution. As you finish each one, put it in the box.

Write your resolutions out on the paper. Make these positive statements of the things you will do. Try to be specific. For example, don’t simply say,” I will lose weight this year.” Instead say, “I will lose fifteen pounds this year.” This will also help increase your ability to make your resolutions manifest. Visualize the power in your script as you write. Be sure to write the date on your paper.

Finally, light the birthday candle, letting some of the wax drip near the top of the paper. Press your index finger into the warm wax to better bind the resolutions to you. Roll the paper and secure with a ring or a small length of colored floss. Place it in the box, adding the birthday candle. Close and charge the box, Place both silver candles on the box and allow them to burn a little each day for seven days. Release the circle, you are done.

If you need some reinforcements, repeat the ritual again in six months.



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