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All's Well that Ends

We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant today. We had a fun waiter with whom I conversed about chopsticks (we had brought our own, as we usually do). When we left the table, he wished us a happy New Year and we responded in kind.

And then I laughed.  Because it's likely that neither of us actually celebrate tonight as the start of a new year. O, yes, culturally-speaking, everyone celebrates today as "New Year's Eve."  But the reality is that I celebrate the new year at the beginning of November and again at the Winter Solstice.  And he will celebrate the lunar new year in several weeks.

But the pull of tonight's liminal status is hard to ignore. And it is awfully nice to wish someone a kind of blessing that will last for a whole year: Happy New Year!

I reckon we could say that everyday, since each dawning brings the potential of a new year, a new time, a new life. The combined wishes of so many people--even those we may count as insincere--have to raise some powerful energy--and how fine it is that we wish each other happy.

In pondering the coming Gregorian year, I am well pleased that it ends in 13. Good old, misunderstood, lucky thirteen. As I do my work throughout this year and travel to the places I will travel, I will think myself and the whole world lucky that we live in this 13 year.

Let's continue to ponder the meanings of thirteen and the symbolism of it from our esoteric studies and practices. Let's wish each other happiness and prosperity, justice and freedom.  

And embrace the good luck that is all around us, looking for a happy home.

Happy new year.

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H. Byron Ballard is a ritualist, teacher, speaker and writer. She has taught at Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Unity Festival, Southeast Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including “Birthed from Scorched Hearts“ (Fulcrum Press), “Christmas Presence“ (Catawba Press), “Women’s Voices in Magic” (Megalithica Books), “Into the Great Below” and “Skalded Apples” (both from Asphodel Press.) Her book Staubs and Ditchwater: an Introduction to Hillfolks Hoodoo (Silver Rings Press) debuted in June 2012. Byron is currently at work on Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet. Contact her at,


  • Diotima
    Diotima Monday, 31 December 2012

    Great post. And you know I'm all for pondering meanings and symbols. But, WTF? No explanation of the picture? We're supposed to call the London cops? Alright, I'm pondering the symbolism....

    Oh, and while I'm trying to wrap my mind around the police box, a very happy 2013 to you.

  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard Monday, 31 December 2012

    I suppose it's because I'm thinking of time passing and traveling in the new year and so...a tardis. The Tardis. We made a gingerbread Tardis and just finished marzipan fruits and Doctors. I did a small bust of Tom Baker--his hair was a pain. Happy New Year, my dear. Let's drink more and hex more, too!

  • Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker
    Susan “Moonwriter” Pesznecker Monday, 31 December 2012

    Love the Tardis!

  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard Monday, 31 December 2012

    Thanks! We've tidied it a bit since the picture. It was great fun.

  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven Tuesday, 01 January 2013

    Diotima, you need to bone up on your nerd credentials. That's Doctor Who's conveyance, the Tardis. (Just ribbin' ya!)

  • Diotima
    Diotima Tuesday, 01 January 2013

    Anne, you are absolutely right. I have managed to avoid Dr. Who for many years now. I suppose I'll have to break down and watch it at some point. At least I now know what a Tardis is.

  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven Tuesday, 01 January 2013

    Dr. Who is an acquired taste, if you aren't a natural nerd you probably won't enjoy it. I'm an on-again off-again fan myself. But since the entire culture is going nerdy now a primer might be in order for cultural literacy purposes:,39924/

  • Diotima
    Diotima Tuesday, 01 January 2013

    Thanks for that, Anne. I watched Dr. Who once or twice long, long ago, and remember thinking it was dreadful, though I've always been a big sci-fi fan. I guess I caught it during a bad time. I may try again, but now at least I know enough to get the references.

  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven Tuesday, 01 January 2013

    If you are going to start from scratch, do so with the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston, 2005.) Completely yummy, that one, and some excellent scripts. (The two that followed were, ahem, too young for me to drool over, as I have sons that age.)

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