The New Year
Written by A.Rosenbush, Dec. 26, 2022
For Witches our New Year does not typically align with the western secular New Years’ Day. Yet many of us will begin the year with new resolutions. We will perform rituals and spells to leave behind the old. While establishing positive energies, goal setting, or even just simple renewal charges to set our way going into the western New Year. Yet, as we enter the New Year with the heaviness of winters’ sleepy grasp upon us it can be hard to get started other than a small bit of energy or a spell for some. So, here are a few helpful tips both mundane and magickal to begin.
· Organization - it's important to remember, regardless of how unfun it might be, that organization ahead saves us steps in the long run. So, the first tip is to organize your calendar. This includes both your mundane and your magickal calendar. We all know when the sabbats are, yet we might have to make exceptions as to when we can gather to celebrate them. For example, if you know ahead that you will be vacationing around the time of Midsummers, allow yourself that time on your magickal as well as your mundane calendar. And give yourself a few days option for leniency for any travel delays, much needed rest afterwards, or difficulties you might encounter. And if you don’t encounter any difficulties All the better, now you have a day free to embrace and live in the moments surrounding the sabbat. Then on your mundane calendar pick a month that is not overlaid with other responsibilities to put together your general needs yet essential. Such as, you can schedule a ‘medical needs period’ where you schedule your physical and your regular dental appointments. From there schedule your time based upon your own unique lifestyle and order of importance.
· Rest - times of rest need to be regularly scheduled as well. And not just rest days during the year where we take a day off for ourselves and self-care. We also need to schedule time for ourselves to sleep. It is a well-known fact that most Americans do not receive the necessary amount of sleep to maintain a healthy mind and body, yet we are to spend approximately 30% of our lives asleep. Lacking sleep can lead to health issues, concentration issues, emotional difficulties, stress, and other problems. And as most Witches, Wiccans, and Pagans hold dual careers between their magical and mundane lives rest is an essential part. Allow yourself at least 7 to 8 hours every night for complete sleep. And develop healthy sleeping habits such as a scheduled bedtime and wake time on a regular basis. And take yourself away from unnecessary media distractions such as television, social media, just browsing or scrolling the internet for at least thirty minutes Before bedtime. This allows your body and mind to acclimate to the rest period prior to the actual sleep (Grigorian BOS 1998). Instead during that time try something else such as reading, journaling, or meditation to allow your body and mind to slowly come to a more calm and rested state.
· Take a Self-Assessment vs. Your Goals - consider where you are now. Look at what you want to achieve. Take an assessment of your habits. For example, if you want to get healthier in the new year you first need to know where you're at currently health wise. This might require you to visit your doctor or it may just require you to look through your cupboards and decide what kind of foods you've been eating versus what you want to achieve. Also, be aware of your sedentary behaviors if you want to start a new project. Here take an assessment of how much time you spend during the day on social media or watching TV vs. the time you need to give over to this new project or hobby in order to make it a reality. Consider making a checklist or a daily timeframe to allow for this. Then make your adjustments accordingly.
· Write Down Your Goals - after you have done some organizing, a self-assessment and a goal checklist or schedule, write it down. The act of writing for many or what is better known as kinesthetic learning helps us to make the idea(s) of what we are doing more real, more permanent. It takes the goal from the ethereal to a physical thing. Making it that much more likely to act as a reminder in the mundane world which helps keep us on track.
· Give Time to Your Healthy Relationships - human beings from the beginning have sought out company and communion. The joining together with others to we think ‘better ourselves’. At first, this was primarily about survival. Yet over time it became a societal need. And today human groupings are organized in systems from the intimate, to the immediate (friends and / or family), to the acquaintance(s), to our distant communities. As pagans it's not uncommon to get so drawn into our acquaintance, friends, or spiritual communities that we can fall short with paying attention to those in our closest relationships. Sometimes this is because our spiritual community offers a family connection that we think we don't otherwise have, and that can be a very good thing for some of whom this is the case. But other times there are those who do have family connections and they are healthy ones, even if they disagree. And for those who do have connections and then withdraw from those for our own spiritual pursuits it can sometimes cause feelings of fear, of neglect, and just simply create misunderstandings in those relationships. That's why it's important for any spiritual leader in paganism or otherwise to encourage Healthy relationships in your life. And encourage licensed professional medical or mental health counsel where needed. Because spirituality Can’t answer everything. The reality is the people who are closest to you are going to be the ones who come to you when you are in real need, witch or not. Because where there is love, there are no labels, no boundaries such as “what group you belong to vs. this church or temple I belong to”. So, cherish those healthy relationships by giving them due time. Enjoy the time you have with your partner, family, close friends, groups, and / or coven as the case might be. Remember to communicate, share stories and ideas, go ahead have discussions even on conflicting ideas and be open, laugh, and be grateful. Relationships can often be taken for granted in pursuit of more ‘important’ goals. Yet as we grow older it will be the relationships we shared and the memories we shared that we will eventually look back on not how much we bought or what we put on a shelf.
· Try Something New - it’s a simple fact and very important that in any spiritual journey to experience new things. Experiencing new things might seem big and take us out of our comfort zone. These things might even be scary or create some feelings of apprehension, or they can be smaller things such as just taking the time to read a new book. Regardless, having new experiences also helps us to grow. And growth helps to become more than we are now. To become more open minded by seeing things from a new perspective or through new experiences, and people. And growth is essential to the spiritual process.
· Think for Yourself - the last thing is that no matter what in the New Year if you follow the attitude of bringing a new year should bring in ‘new you’. Then let it be you. You can study and learn from others, you can listen to stories and opinons, and this likely will help to grow your knowledge. But to grow wiser we must often experience things for ourselves. To do this successfully we must be true to ourselves. So, in 2023 I encourage everyone to take a real hard look at who they are. Consider doing a self-assessment of where you came from, who you are, what are your likes and dislikes, what you are doing, and why. Consider any prejudgments or biases that might be held and why? Where do they come from? And then ask yourself are they a benefit (Grigorian BOS 1998). And as needed if something doesn't fit with where you see yourself in 10 years then work to change it. But always change for you and your needs, and / or the needs of those closest to you. The ones that you care enough about to consider essential to your life. If you create change in your life, it should be because you want to, you chose it. This is essential to the spiritual journey in the first step of Knowing Thyself by assessing who are. Followed by the journey of growth through embracing change as needed.
Make 2023 a positively magickal year for yourself as you choose it to be. Embrace joy and find what fits you and your life best both in the magickal and the mundane. And if you choose to take steps towards setting goals or improving your New Year in 2023, and you find that something didn't work. That a goal you set, or a direction you undertook is not what you thought it would be, consider another path as you go. You don’t need to wait for a sabbat or for the secular New Year to arrive. You can goal set in the mundane world at any time. And you can cast spells and perform rituals in line with planetary hours (which happen Every Day!), or Moon cycles (which repeat every month!), so there’s no need to wait until a seasonal sabbat if the need is immediate. Then embrace the fun and the mystery and the main workings of ritual with the seasons, Moon phases (esabbats), and / or Divine Sacred Days (Grigorian BOS 1998) as you see fit.