bigstock-Pagan-Initiation-Ritual-104153981-EDIT200While many people engage in the ritual of New Year’s Resolutions, very few people actually take the time to stop the rhythm of their daily lives to hit the magickal “Reset” button. In tribal times, people used ceremonies to release the old and welcome the new–usually during or the equinox. In modern times, however, these times have become simply holidays, time off from work and time for family. While holidays can often mean family time, which can resemble tribal ceremonial gatherings, unfortunately the family members rarely participate in activities that are intended during gatherings… to release the old and welcome the new.

Modern Magickal Ceremonies
Depending on the people with whom you gather during the holidays, conducting modern magickal ceremonies can either be done as a group or on your own. Both group and solo ceremonies can be equally effective. Many students in our classes conduct group ceremonies, often but not always at the solstice of equinox. While the solstice and equinox are indeed powerful times of the year to conduct ceremonies, if it is not possible to conduct a ceremony during those times of year, any time will do. The goal is to take the time to stop the daily routine of our lives and spend a certain period of time purposefully releasing the old from the past season (or seasons), and welcome the new for the coming season.

There are many powerful reasons to take the time to conduct such magickal ceremonies, including:

  • releasing old beliefs that no longer serve you
  • processing events from the recent far past that you have not yet resolved so you can put the events and information in the proper place in your consciousness
  • releasing people and relationships in your life that no longer serve you, and which may cost you energy to maintain
  • allowing the new ideas, emotions, directions, guidance, and spiritual power from your spirit guides, totems, and other higher beings to enter your consciousness
  • gaining new perspectives on your life, including possible new options for career, health, money, love, family, and more
  • expanding the spaces in between the daily actions of your life to allow the magick to seep into your life and take its place in your life

There are many other benefits to spending time designing and participating ceremonies. One major benefit is that you probably won’t catch any major flus or colds going around. While catching a cold does often have to do with being in proximity of others who are sick, practitioners who take the time during the change of season to celebrate with ceremony tend not to get sick.

Because there are no ceremonial periods integrated into modern everyday life, the body, mind, and Spirit often have no recourse for creating a magickal period of celebration other than illness. If you think about it, getting sick forces us to slow down, take time to rest, and avoid going to work. While lying flat on your back due to illness isn’t the most pleasant way to release the old, sickness does get the job done. The old is released through all the somewhat unpleasant aspects of sickness, as well as through sleep and dreams and even the images and dreams associated with fevers. Being sick for a period of time gives us a different perspective on our lives. We move slower, think less, feel more sensation, and have the time to consider the various aspects of our lives that we usually never have the time to do.

As we begin to recover from our illness, we feel a new sense of vibrant energy. We enjoy the return of our normal vibrant energy–something we tend to take for granted on a daily basis. Recovery from illness can make us more appreciative of various aspects of our lives. If you journal, you will see the difference in your perspective in your life, as brought about by sickness.

So while getting sick is certainly one way to release the old and bring in the new, wouldn’t taking just a few hours to participate in a ceremony be much more fun?

Simple Magical Ceremonies
While many of our students do create and participate in ceremonies rich in content and filled with people, this is not a necessity. To celebrate the release of the old and the arrival of the new in your life, you can do something as simple as inviting a few friends over for a drumming ceremony. If you prefer to fly solo, consider some of these simple options:

• Sun Candle: Gather a bright yellow candle (no red or orange undertones) along with wooden or paper matches plus a plate. Gather pen and paper. Divide the paper into two columns. On one side list all the aspects of your life that you would like to release (the old). On the other side of the list, write all the new aspects that you would like to invite into your life during the coming season. Find a quiet place where you can be undisturbed for at least an hour. Gather all your materials and sit in the South facing North with your materials in front of you. Light the Sun Candle with the matches. When the candle has a strong and steady flame (called a working flame), place your list on the plate and put the candle on top of the plate. In a voice of command, say the following verse:
“Child of Wonder
Child of Flame
Nourish My Spirit
And Protect My Aim”

Sit quietly until you feel complete. If you like, meditate by staring at the candle flame. Or simply envision the energy of the old leaving your life as the energy of the new enters, Feel free to repeat this simple ritual for several days in a row if you like.

• Announce Your Reset to the Universe: Another simple way to release the old and welcome the new is to make your list, as in the previous exercise, and then announce your intentions to the Universe. Once you have made your list, find a place outside where you feel comfortable speaking to the Winds, Sky, and Earth. Start by facing East. In a voice of command, speak the following: “Winds of Knowledge, With Beauty I Greet You. I ask your help in releasing the old from my life and welcoming the new into my life. I thank you in advance for your help.” Turn clockwise and face the South. Address each direction as follows:

  • South: Winds of Power
  • West: Winds of Feeling
  • North: Wind of Strength
  • Sky (face East and put attention upward): Sky Father
  • Earth (face east and put attention downward): Earth Mother

• Hibernate: If doing either of the two exercises above seems to be too much, then simply do as many of the creatures in Nature do… hibernate. Whether you need to request that your family not disturb you or you simply need to spend the night in a hotel, take a day or two to simply sleep, eat, rest, read, relax and rejuvenate as you like. You will be amazed at how following the simple guidance from your body will recharge your batteries in a hurry!

Another way to get your new year off to a new start is to join in the magic with others. We are currently offering you the opportunity to try out our classes for free. The only payment we’ll ask for is that after each set of classes, you provide some sort of testimonial or way of passing the magick forward to others. For more details on this special offer just email us at info@shamanschool.com and we’ll send you the details and a coupon code to purchase the Magical Element Air classes at no cost to you to get you started. In this new year let magic help you let go of the old and invite in the new.

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