Standing on the cusp of the New Year holds so much power and potential all packed into one moment. We stand in the doorway, the gateway between this year and the next. Time slows. The clock strikes Midnight. The Witching Hour. Where all is one and all is possible and all times merge together as one.
I have a few New Year’s thoughts and some intention setting exercises to share with you all for New Year’s, to embrace and partner with this time of year and its energies.
The sky is filled with brilliant sunshine today in St. Louis, and I’m packing up to head out on Sunday to a retreat to Teotihuacan, Mexico led by the don Miguel Ruiz family to welcome in the New Year. I can’t wait to share that experience with all of you when I return! This is how I have chosen to ring in the New Year, focusing on transformation of fears and embracing my authentic self. But there are lots of ways you can do the same right here at home, and without as much time!
I like to think of the god Janus at this time, looking back at what no longer serves, at what we might change, at what we would do the same if given the chance all over again. And then also looking toward the future, toward what we wish to bring into our life, to nourish and grow in the coming year.
What seeds do we wish to plant in the Spring? All plantings must begin with a thought and an intention. We can germinate those seeds and goals over the Winter so they are ready for the new growth of Spring. These are excellent topics for your journaling and meditation practice at this time of year.
Janus is a Roman god associated with doorways, beginnings, and transitions. He is pictured as a bearded, two-faced god, looking both to the future and the past. January received its name from Janus, appropriately as it is the first month of our new year. Janus was also invoked first among the gods in spiritual readings.
When we formally initiated my coven, having already worked as circle for at least two years prior to becoming a coven, we did so on January 1, 2010, in a ritual working with Janus.
This January 1, my last day in Teotihuacan on retreat, will mark the 5th anniversary of our formation as a coven! I am so looking forward to our coven gathering this January to celebrate with my sisters! It is hard to believe we have been together for over seven years now as a working circle.
But there is more on this 5th anniversary!! In that same ritual five years ago, I planted the seeds of Spirit’s Edge, and what an amazing 5 years it has been! You can read my prior blog posts to see all of the “firsts” – there are so many each year!
This year of course, just in time for the 5th anniversary of the planting of Spirit’s Edge, our Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple received its official Missouri non-profit status!
We graduated our first Witchcraft I & II students in the Spirit’s Edge Mystery School!
We formally initiated the Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Tradition!
We had our first Spirit’s Edge booth at Pagan Picnic, our first food drive for Operation Food Search, and so much, much more!
Including our new temple Facebook page… I would like to thank everyone so much for the likes on our Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple Facebook page! Just 24 more “likes” to reach 200 – exciting! Everyone is welcome follow our temple page and join our online community.
As for our Spirit’s Edge: A Seeker’s Salon community group page, we have 488 – just 12 to go until we reach 500! Wow. Just over a year ago, in Oct. 2013, we had 130 members – such an amazing and beautiful growth of community over this past year!
My coven’s working five years ago on New Year’s Day, to initiate our coven and where I planted the seeds of Spirit’s Edge, was so appropriate, as it was a beginning and a New Year. The beginning of the year was sacred to Janus, as also were the beginnings of other things, such as each day and month. Janus was honored on his feast day of January 9, Agonalia. In one myth, Janus is the son of Hecate and Uranus, but there are others as well. When Saturn was kicked out of Olympus by Zeus, some myths have it that Janus greeted Saturn on Earth. Mmm, Saturn. I love Saturn as well.
So what can you do to partner with the energies of this year? You may not be able to head off to a spiritual retreat, or may not have time for a full ritual to work with Janus, but even if you are celebrating New Year’s in traditional style, enjoying parties and the company of friends, you can still take a few moments for yourself!
You could walk outside and feel the crisp air, focusing on the breath entering and leaving your body, listening to the wind rustle in the remaining leaves on the trees, connecting in with the life pulsing within the earth around you, and imagining what you want your life to look like in the coming year.
Of course, we also have our free, Online Spirit’s Edge Shamonial Temple’s New Year Full Moon ritual on Sun., Jan. 4 – just join the event page to participate and please feel free to share with your friends!
If you have a little more time, here is another great practice for this time of year that I love, and you get to burn something! …
Take a few minutes to sit in quiet contemplation. As you do, list five things that no longer serve you, which you choose to gently release from your life. Write those five things to release on one piece of paper.
Then write five things you wish to grow in the coming year on another piece of paper.
Next take a cauldron or fireproof pot (or use your fireplace) and go outside with the piece of paper with the five items you wish to release out of your life. Bring a lighter, and I like to also use a pair of old kitchen tongs to hold the paper up in the pot to light it and help it burn. Then set it on fire! Watch it burn.
As it burns, focus on transforming what no longer serves into the blessings and goals you wish to manifest in your life. This is a very satisfying exercise! You can keep re-lighting it until the paper is completely extinguished. Then, let the ashes cool and return them to the Earth.
Lastly, place the list of five things that you wish to grow in the coming year in a special place, where you can see it and be reminded of the dreams you are growing this year.
Whatever you do, wishing you a blessed, prosperous and love-filled New Year! Love and blessings everyone!