Given everything I’ve seen on my social media feeds over the last few days, not many people will be sad to see 2018 draw to a close. It’s been a challenging year on many levels for me personally as well, but I’ve also had some amazing blessings to balance things out (okay, almost balance…lol!). However, I am determined to have a happy and magically witchy New Year, even though I’m still not sure exactly what I’ll be doing (I’ve still got plenty of time to prepare, right? 😊).
While I try to put something together, I figured I’d do the same for a post. After all, for the past few years, I’ve done a “Witchy New Years” kind of roundup, so it seemed only natural to carry on the tradition today. Here are some ways I’ve found (from other witchy people) to add some witchiness and magic to your celebrations. My hope is that something here will inspire you, as it’s inspiring me.
A Short Ritual for the New Year
I like to look at the holiday season as a liminal time. The change from the old year to the new year is not on the Pagan Sabbat calendar, but it’s still a magical time that we have rituals for in our culture (and other cultures also share in this; the turn of the year, for example, is big in Asia and in North American-Asian communities). Here’s a little non-tradition-specific ritual to acknowledge the change with some of our North American customs but also throw in a Pagan sense of the sacred. It shouldn’t cost you much and you can do it as a solitary or as a group.
Be sure to check out the rest of the article, Seekers and Guides: A Short Ritual for the New Year, written by Sable Aradia for the actual ritual. It’s beautifully simple and thoughtful (two of my favorite things in magical workings).
Speaking of Patheos…
On a Pagan New Year
Did you know that Julius Caesar, who created the Julian Calendar that will still use today, was pagan? Puts a whole new perspective on that age old debate of what is actually the Pagan New Year (Ostara? Samhain? Yule? NYE?). In his article, On a Pagan New Year, Jason Mankey discusses the reasons why New Years Eve works just as well as other, more Pagan seeming, choices –
There are other solid Pagan reasons for January 1 as the start of the New Year. The month of January is named after Janus, who was the Roman god of doorways, beginnings, endings, time, and transitions. He certainly sounds like the right type of god to kick off a New Year, and January 1 was said to be sacred to him specifically. The January Kalends (a celebratory season that later influenced Christmas) served as a celebration of the New Year for several centuries and was when Roman consuls began their terms of office. (2) (And if Kalends sounds like calendar to you, you are right! It’s where the modern word calendar comes from.)
That’s just a small snippet of his entire article, so don’t forget to click on over and read the rest.
Ritual for prosperity
There was also this – 12 Rituals To Do In 12 Days To Guarantee 12 Months Of Love & Prosperity by Barbara Biziou over at Mind Body Green. According to her, the first twelve days of the new year represent each of the twelve months, and you can use simple keywords to bring prosperity and love to the coming year. She offers two simple rituals to start –
1. Ritual for love
Wear new red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring in love.
2. Ritual for prosperity
For good luck and prosperity, you can throw money into your home the first time you enter it in the new year. If you are staying home on New Year’s Eve, go to your front door at 12:01am and throw coins or paper money into the front door. Bless it with your “inspirations” for the new year.
On Jan. 2, you could give some money away freely as a sign to the universe that YOU ARE PROSPEROUS.
Now, focus on the following keywords each day for the first 12 days of the new year. Each of these words can evoke a special energy that will make your new year special.
And the rest of the article lists her keywords and how to focus on them each of the twelve days. Again, beautifully simple and thoughtful!
Thresholds Crossed into 2015
This article from three years ago, from one of my favorite pagan bloggers Bee Smith, talks about a wonderful celebration attended by folks of all faiths –
The calendar New Year does not often feature in pagan festivities, yet it a liminal time; a threshold is crossed and thresholds, as we know, are thin places of transition, magic and manifestation.
In Ireland, however, the whole period from Solstice/Yule through to Nollaig na mBan (Women’s Christmas/Epiphany) has a pagan quality. Unless you are actively associated with devout, practicing Christians, Ireland often feels to me the best place to celebrate the winter holidays. You don’t have to be celebrating with self-identified pagans or out of the broom closet witches either. It all seems to happen organically. Maybe Spirit is just pagan in the Irish air.
The rest of her article on the Witches & Pagans site (aka PaganSquare), Thresholds Crossed into 2015 gives a beautifully simple and thoughtful (yep, those words again) overview of her experience. Oh, and she also has a personal blog called, Sojourning Smith – be sure to take a peek at her beautiful prose over there!
Last, but not least, this is the one thing that hubby and I have done ever since our first New Year’s Eve together waaaaay back in 1987. It’s something hubby’s grandmother (who came over from Ireland when she was 16) swore by, saying it would bring prosperity into the home for the coming year, and it’s wicked simple. We put a loaf of bread on our kitchen table at some point during the 31st, and leave it there until the morning of the 2nd. Some years I’ve baked the loaf, some years we’ve bought a fancy bakery-type bread, and others we just used an unopened regular loaf from the grocery store.
I did a bit of Googling a few years back, and found this has roots in a couple of different places There’s this Irish Christmas superstition (from Irish Culture and Customs) –
After evening meal, the kitchen table was again set and on it were placed a loaf of bread filled with caraway seeds and raisins, a pitcher of milk and a large lit candle. The door to the house was left unlatched so that Mary and Joseph, or any wandering traveller, could come in. It’s also said that leaving a loaf of bread on the table will ensure bread for the coming year. And, you should also leave a bowl of water out to be blessed by the travellers – this water would be used for cures.
And this bit from Travelers Today –
Another Irish tradition is to bang bread loudly against the wall in order to keep all the bad luck and bad spirits far from any Irish home.
New Years Quoto
I leave you with the words of the amazingly magical Neil Gaiman, as I also have the tradition of putting his quotes on my photography (aka, my quotos). This particular quote is from a decade ago, and I’ve paired it with a composite photo I created using one of my million crow shots, and one of my bazillion moon captures.
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