I love this liminal time of year, the week before the new year on the calendar begins. The space between, in a form of limbo, the weightless state between two major holidays. Whether or not you celebrate any of these things, there is a sense of anticipation or possibility as we approach a new year. Some may dread a new year, but try to liken it to the first, fresh snow: before anything touches that pristine snow, note the magical moments in the hush, before we deal with the mundane of how to get rid of the snow and move about our day.
This time of year, I am often looking back and thinking ahead, another by-product of the liminal time. I tend to ask myself about what was good, what do I leave behind, and what do I enter into the new year with? Here are three things I am taking with me, so let me know if they resonate with you.
I have reached a point in my life that being around inauthentic people literally makes me flinch. It has been very hard work, trying to find and be around authentic people and practitioners. I have had to step back and spent lots of time observing. Really noticing the people I admire, and whether their actions line up with their “persona”. When they do not, I have turned away, and move more towards those who live their life in accordance with their values.
“But Lisa”, you may ask, “how do you know this about a person you have never met in person, and only know through social media?” You can still observe from a far. Notice if they have sycophants or true friends that show up for them. If they talk about unity, yet cause dissent with their postings. If all they post glorifies themselves mostly, with little acknowledgment of their own community.. These are by no means the only ways, but these key features should get you started.
Apply this to people around you: do they take and take from you, without giving in return? If you don’t feel supported, why are these people even in your life? And also apply this to yourself: is what you say, do and feel line up with who you are as a person? If not, shed that which no longer aligns with who you really are as a person. It won’t happen overnight, but you can begin with small steps. I can tell you from experience, this is well worth the effort.
There have been days this past year where it has been a struggle for me to find the magic. Sometimes rituals and little actions are the last thing I want to do, in the overwhelm or busy-ness of life. Yet, the magic calls to me. I can’t not be pursuing the magic, because I know how wonderful it is when I am in the midst of it!
Whatever magic is to you, nurture it in your life. Bring back ritual, ritual in community, honoring the Wheel of the Year, or observing the lunar cycle into your life. This year, I made an intention of honoring every Full Moon and celebration on the Wheel of the Year, and recorded it in a journal. Like muscle memory, some things came flowing back, and I reveled in the beauty of it. Sometimes, I merely went to bed grateful after lighting a candle. I didn’t give myself a hard time if I didn’t have an elaborate ritual; instead I took pride that I acknowledged the moment. It made a difference, and I approach the new year with confidence that I will incorporate these practices without even thinking twice about it. The practice of them integrated into my spiritual practice once again, and it feels good.
See what works for you this year: it could be reading a book a month about your own spiritual practice, or doing daily divination with your cards, instead of only in crisis mode. See what appeals to you, and set the intention to pursue it.
This last week of the year, we were without water where I live. I had long prided myself in being able to live “without”, and had contingency plans in place for such an event. One lesson we have learned in these COVID Years has been that we really can only count on ourselves, right? Well, the truth stared me in the face. After four days without water, I faced the truth about myself: I am quite the germaphobe, and I probably couldn’t live off the grid. It was truly humbling. It was only four days, and I know full well some people have suffered longer or continue to suffer. I will never take water for granted again.
There have been many truths I have faced about myself this year, none of them were what I would call particularly easy truths. Some may call this Shadow Work, and while most of it didn’t necessitate going inwardly that deeply, I faced a lot of truths about myself in the light. I flinched, yet I was resolved. Truth, while challenging, does ultimately lead to an easier path. There is a saying that if you tell the truth, you won’t have to remember any lies. This is so true, as living with truth makes daily living easier.
Whether facing truths about yourself, the people in your life, or the world itself, do know this: it can be done. It does sting and hurt, and require a bit of fortitude, but in the long run it is so very worth it. The more truth you live in, the clearer your life becomes, in all aspects.
Going Into the New Year
Give it a try: face some truths about yourself, or your magical practice. Can it be improved? Can you change some things? Are you even interested in your spiritual practice any longer? Can you let some things go and lighten your burden? All big questions for a very simple concept: live in truth. Along with magic and authenticity (the magic of three), you may find that 2023 could be your best year yet, filled with possibilities and wonder.
May it be ever so!