Sunday, 30 December 2018

New Year Magic

With the new year coming up, I often think about endings and beginnings. With the new year on the horizon, now is a very good time to get your house in order, to do rituals of release, and work with luck and abundance rituals for the coming year.

If you're unsure of some of the rituals and actions you can do to end the year, here are a few ideas:

  • Clean your home: I mean give it a really thorough, deep clean. Dust everything, move furniture, clean the neglected altars and shrines. I always make sure that all of my laundry is done, my garbage is taken out, my dishes are done, and my fridge cleaned. I always see it as washing and cleaning the dirt and grime of the last year so I'm not bringing any baggage into the new year. It's a fresh start.
  • Clean yourself: Have a nice, cleansing bath or shower. I like to make a tea of cleansing herbs like sage, rosemary, or mint, strain it,  and pour it into the water (or cool it slightly and pour it over your head in the shower, if you prefer). I always make sure it's something luxurious. I want to feel squeaky clean and light. Make it a special event - light some candles, some incense, play some soothing music.
  • Reset your altars: If you have shrines or working altars, the new year is a really good time to set them up for you focus for the new year. If you're looking for love, perhaps you'll buy some fresh roses or place a chunk or rose quartz with some red or pink candles. If you're looking for abundance, maybe you'll anoint some candles with money oil and place some coins. You get the idea. It's a good time to reset your own focus and enter the new year with one foot forward.
  • Make a donation to charity: I like this one, because it ends the year on a positive note, and gives pleasant energy to take into the next year. It doesn't have to be money - perhaps you volunteer some time at a soup kitchen, or you make a large donation of clothing to a shelter. As long as you are giving, you are creating positive goodwill.
  • Burn your calendar: This is something I have done for the past few years. It's a really transformational way to say good riddance if you've had a rough year, or just a good way to start anew. I will usually burn in my cauldron or a fire pit.
  • Reset your wards: The beginning of a new year is a great time to recharge and reset any wards you have on your home - new protection spells, new warding charms, etc. Even just burning some purifying herbs in your space can help to clear out any negative, lingering, stagnant energies.
I also try and set my new year up on the best foot I can, so here are a few things I have done over the years:

  • Set up a Positivity Jar: I have an old honey jar I have painted for just this purpose. I spend the year writing down nice things that have happened, or good feelings I have had, or things I have been proud of - at the end of the year, you open it and read everything inside. It can help to bring some perspective.
  • New Years Resolutions: I hate these things, but I use them more like personal oaths. I try to only make one per year. For example, my own goal for the next year is to reign in my spending on books and limit myself to one a month. I have a huge backlog to be read, and I just got 7 books for Yule. I am hoping it will allow me to be more consistent with reading.
  • Start journaling/a BOS/a Grimoire: Nothing pushes you into the new year like a project. Writing itself is a magical act, and I have found it to be an extremely reflective, helpful process. Being able to go back and read about experiences I have had has made me a better witch. I know what works and doesn't, because I have a record of it.
  • Pull a Tarot card/do a year spread: I love doing this. I actually do a whole spread for the next 12 months - a card a month - and a card for the whole year. I try and take a picture of the whole spread, and write down all the cards, their meanings, and what months they correspond too. That way I can look back at the end of the year, or periodically, and see how things have played out.
All of these things are relatively simple. I try to keep my practice fairly practical, because that is what works for me. Magic is all about the energy to give to it, so if want elaborate or adjust these idea to suit your needs, feel free. I find the most important part is just doing something.

While 2018 has been a challenging year, it's also been very transformational. While I have lost many things, I have also gained an immeasurable amount of surety in my own practice, my choices, and I have healed greatly from the abusive trauma of 2016 and 2017. I finally feel free, and that is so liberating.

I wish you all a wonderful end to 2018, and a prosperous, transformative, and deliciously wicked 2019.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Walking into the darkness

Yes, I am alive. None of the wastrels from the previous post have reached out to me, so that's been blissful. I figured it's about time for an update.

The previous post was cathartic. It allowed me to cull down my social media extensively. I had a few people remove me just prior to and after I posted what I did, but those people are weak and cowardly. My life has suffered no ill effects from losing those people, so net gain for me, I suppose.

In much of the culling in social media, it has allowed me to step back from a lot of things. I did mean what I said about being done with the neopagan community. There are many lovely people within it, but there are also a lot of nasty, damaged people. No one needs that shit, not when there is so much else to live for and busy oneself with. Too many people who seek drama, too many people who have
an agenda, too many people who follow others to the exclusion of all logic. Fuck that.

Family has become a very important part of my life. The past autumn has brought death - my husband's aunt, and my great uncle who was like a grandfather to me. However,  it has also brought healing, it has brought closeness. Forging new bonds and connections. It has been an emotionally exhausting time, and I am hoping that all of that will even out in the new year.

My mother's surgery for her benign meningioma went very well. She is now waking up with no headaches after many years. She spent a little over a month in the hospital after her surgery doing physiotherapy and occupational therapy, but she was officially released on October 31. She's still not allowed to work, and she still has some healing to do. I am exceedingly grateful that she is healing as well as she is, but it's not fast enough for her. Healing from brain surgery is much like healing from a stroke, so she still has a bit of healing to do before she's better. I'm very proud of her progress, though, and we were able to spend the winter holidays together for the first time in many years.

I have been rather preoccupied with family matters for the last number of months, but my own practice has been bolstered by daily devotions and marking the seasons. We've had a very snowy and cold autumn, the weather here is very mutable in the snowbelt. It feels rather cozy, as opposed to stark and cold, but I suppose we haven't even delved into the depths of winter yet. I am prepared to walk into the darkness, especially since midwinter has passed and the days are slowly getting longer.

Life right now is just good music, good friends, good family, and good books. All good things. I've been trying to focus on the positive.