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Raven (yes, really), a pagan, homeschooling mother of two -- one teen, one tot -- shares her adventures in parenting from a pagan perspective. Watch her juggle work, education, parenting, cooking, gardening, and . . . how many balls are in the air now? Sometimes they fall, and sometimes she learns from her mistakes. You can, too.

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Cycles of Renewal

When does the year end? The answer to the question depends on who you're asking.  For a Celtic pagan, Samhain might mark the end of the year, or another might say Winter Solstice, for the light returns.  The Chinese calendar changes dates each year, but falls sometime around the end of January or beginning of February to mark the renewal of a lunar cycle. While the Gregorian calendar tells us January 1st marks the beginning of a new year, cultures across the world and through history have celebrated the start of a new calendar year at different times in the cycle of seasons.

Thus, it is no surprise, as the digital age expands our ability to learn about and communicate with other peoples globally, a trend grows across the internet to not make resolutions, for the impetus to make change at the start of a new year often fizzles out.

How then do we keep our goals in mind?  By taking action in the present.  Every small step made toward a goal, regardless of the time of year, will bring us closer to realizing it.

Each person experiences an on-going cycle of life, death, and rebirth in all they do.  Each solar year marks the blossoming of new life, its flourishing and reproduction, the withering away, and regrowth when spring returns.  The moon "dies" in its waxing and waning cycles each month.  And every one of us will repeat mistakes we thought we learned, we will work to make changes, some of us will succeed immediately, some will fail one or more times first, and some will think they've reached success only to slip down again. 

Who we are -- our deepest selves may remain -- but we die and are renewed over and over again as we learn and grow. Rather than make a resolution for a new year and a new you, take time to honor who you are at your core, see your highest self as clearly as you are able, and work every day or every moment you can remember, to make choices to bring yourself closer to showing your highest good in your work.

Like every skill, it takes practice to make conscious choices, to free yourself from habits that chain you to a persona you no longer wish to present, but little steps can take you onto a new path.


A Smudging Prayer

With this smoke, I banish what no longer serves me
With this breath, I invite in what I need to free me
With this smoke, I release old habits
With this breath, I am renewed

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Raven lives in a forest with her two homeschooled children, partner, and several demanding cats. She enjoys performing, cooks a mean burger, and is obsessed with farming, but has yet to adopt a goat. Her publications are listed at


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