Season and Spirit: Magickal Adventures Around the Wheel of the Year

The Wheel of the Year is the engine that drives NeoPagan practice. Explore thw magick of the season beyond the Eight Great Sabbats.

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New Year, New Moon, New Day

b2ap3_thumbnail_Strobe-star.pngI don't make New Year's resolutions. I never really have. As a kid I was intrigued with all the lip service this idea got, but I noticed that no one ever discussed what actually became of the resolutions they made at the beginning of the year. And then it was never a surprise how quickly people joked that they had broken them. Making resolutions seemed, quite frankly, futile. So I never make any resolutions. Nor do I panic about making all kinds of plans and commitments right on New Years Eve and Day. A New Year needs a few weeks to start unfolding itself and revealing what it is.

Traditions abound about how New Year's Eve and Day should be best spent, to ensure a new year's worth of blessings and prosperity. Special foods are prepared to ensure prosperity (black eyed peas & collards, grapes, baked fish, are a few examples), and folk magic spells are still passed down through the generations. In my own family, right after we watched the ball drop in Time Square, we'd throw a big pot of water out the front door onto the lawn, to carry all the past year’s ills and troubles with it. The innate sense of freshness, renewal and change that is associated with the Winter Solstice and its different iterations , is also reflected in the magic of the turning of the calendar year.

At New Year's we get an opportunity to move forward and let go of what weighs us down, and to bring into our lives greater joy and fulfillment. Like any act of magick, we prepare the space by cleansing it, and then invite our desired “guests” into the space we have cleared. It's a good idea to clear one' space psychically from time to time, and New Years is an excellent time to do energetic and psychic housekeeping in your home space. After cleaning the house, you clean away psychic junk by smudging your space with sage, sweet grass or incense. You can charge salt water and flick it all around to dispel negativity lingering in the space. Rooms can be cleared sonically as well, thru chanting, singing or by ringing temple bells. And of course, by stating your intention: I clear this space of all negative and unwelcome energies. Keeping that thought in mind as well as saying it aloud while you smudge or asperge amplifies the intention.

Once the space is cleared, clear the space inside your self! A good ritual bath or shower for the New Year can be a wonderful way to renew yourself. You can add salt to your bath or wash your hair with salt water to really clear out the psychic gunk out. Wearing new clean clothes, new jewelry, and cologne all help us breathe into our own renewal. Take some time to get quiet, create sacred space in whatever way feels best to you, and consider what you want out of the coming year. What do you want to accomplish, how do you want to feel? Map out all the things you want for the year, all the things you want toe experience or accomplish. Use a journal and a wall calendar to lay it all out. Consider if your plans seem too busy and ambitious, or not challenging enough? Is there enough fun in all the work? Is there enough challenge in it? Get it down on paper somehow, through journaling or making art. I always make a collage which carries my intentions and intuitions of the coming year. Don't worry that these plans are set in stone. Anything can happen to derail the best laid plans, but the time spent alone laying out the year's work can be create a wonderful guide for the coming months and an ongoing support in achieving your intentions. You can refer to this through the year, and amend plans as needed.

Today being the New Moon, the possibilities and adventure or the New Year seem very close. Not only can we set intentions for the coming lunation, but for the whole year. With 5 planets in Capricorn today, it seems very appropriate to lay out our work, to see where we need to commit, and where we need to let go. Whatever transformations we wished to bring about in our lives, whatever we want to manifest for ourselves, there is no better night than tonight for conjuring these possibilities and for starting to move towards our goals and desires. Having let go of the past, being clear in mind and body, we are part of the promise of the New Year. It's a clean slate again. It's a mystery to approach with curiosity and an opportunity to create something beautiful. Pure magick!

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Leni Hester is a Witch and writer from Denver, Colorado. Her work appears in the Immanion anthologies "Pop Culture Grimoire," "Women's Voices in Magick" and "Manifesting Prosperity". She is a frequent contributor to Witches and Pagans and Sagewoman Magazines.

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