First of all, I know that the secular New Years isn't a "pagan holiday" but I still think it's important to recognize it. It's a perfect opportunity to reflect on the lessons and blessings of the previous year and explore new beginnings. This is what I am doing:
Today think about resolutions. What would you like to accomplish in the coming year? What would you like to learn or change about yourself?
Dont just write your resolutions, have a game plan on how you are going to accomplish it. I say pick three of the most important goals to you and really flesh out your game plan for them. If loosing weight (a popular resolution) is one of your goals, figure out how you are going to accomplish that. You could see your doctor to get a check up and discuss safe, healthy ways of loosing weight, change your diet, include an exercise routine that you can stick to. If your goal is to pay off debts pick one debt and figure out how much money a month you would have to pay to have it paid off by the end of the year. How are you going to come up with that amount every month? Do you need to make a little extra money? Do you need to sacrifice an unnecessary expense to reach your goal?
New Years is a great time to organize your finances and start budgeting.
When you have your resolutions/goals and you have your game plans, here is a ritual I wrote:
You will need:
- Sage or another cleansing incense
- 3 candles either white, or each candle can be a colour representing your goal)
- A sharp tool to inscribe your candles
- Anointing oil/Purified salt water
Cast your circle in your regular way.
Sit in a comfortable positing and think about the past year. What did you accomplish? What did you not accomplish that you hoped to? What were the blessings in your life? What were the challenges in your life? What did you learn?
Thank the Goddess, God, Spirit, universe (whatever you subscribe to) for another year of life. For all the blessings AND challenges because each challenge was a learning opportunity.
Feel proud of yourself for getting through another year, for everything you accomplished. Be gentle with yourself for the things you did not accomplish or for mistakes you may have made. Remember that whatever we do, it was the best we could do at that time.
When you are ready, take your incense and Smudge yourself. Take a feather or your hand and waft the smoke over your head and down your body, visualizing the smoke cleansing away impurities, stress and baggage from the last year leaving you feeling refreshed, energized and centred.
Then take your candles and dress them by carving symbols into each representing your goals and anointing them with anointing oil or consecrated water (this can be done before the ritual). As you dress each candle visualize the goal and yourself achieving it.
then Light the first candle saying "In the year 2012 I will achieve/ draw to myself.......(insert goal/resolution here)". Take a minute to visualize the goal again. Then light the next one and so on.
When you are done say "The spirit of these flames shall burn until my will be done." Then leave them on your altar to burn out (if it is safe to do so).
Close down your circle in your way.
Now I know there is a lot of theories and fear surrounding 2012. But I refuse to let fear of the unknown take hold inside me. Whether you believe the world will end this year or that there will be a major paradigm shift or that nothing will happen, the important thing to remember is that you need to live in the now. I feel that the way to deal with any fears about the world ending or majorly changing is to treasure what you have and live each day to the fullest. Spend quality time with your loved ones, do the things you've always wanted to do, clear up any arguments, misunderstandings or negative feelings you may have with people.
And also let this be a wake up call. It always amazes me that every time there is widespread fear of the world ending, everyone panics but when the crisis passes people just go back to old habits. Really think about the fact that without the earth we are very screwed. We cannot survive. So take care of her. I strongly suggest that one of your resolutions is to be more earth friendly or 'green'. If we all change our own bad habits, that is the change that is needed. As Rumi said: "Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.