It’s easy for most of us to think about New Year’s resolutions because we make them every year and it’s a common tradition. What many of don’t think about, though, is how to make space for the coming year by clearing out the accumulation of the year that’s just passed.

One of the greatest barriers to bringing what we want into our lives is the accumulation of old unfinished creations from years past. In general, most of us are great at starting things, but not so great at finishing things. Magically, that inhibits our new creations.

This time of year is wonderful for contemplating what we have started in the past year, what we’re ready to release, and what we’re ready to complete. Clearing the decks is the name of the game at the end of the year. Here are some great ways to clear the old out of your life:

<> PAST THEMES: Use the Medicine Cards, runes, Angel Cards, a tarot deck, or any other symbolic method to help you see the themes that ran through your past year. Draw one to five themes. Reflect on what they tell you. Overlay those themes on the events of the past year. Appreciate them and prepare to release them.

<> WRITE: Settle yourself into a quiet space inside, then reflect on events from the past year. Write about any event that pops up — that means it was in some way significant. Write until you feel complete, then review what you’ve written. Appreciate each event for what it has brought you in learning, growth, and enjoyment.

<> BURN: Gather together symbols of the themes from this past year that you are ready to release. If you can’t find a symbol, draw a symbol or write a few words on a piece of paper. Whether you’re working with personality defects, repetitive mistakes, old patterns, or traumatizing events, make one symbol for each item. When you’re all done, lay them out before you and do a quiet meditation or prayer of release. Then, with great appreciation, burn them in a fire-safe location, such as a wood stove, firebowl, or fireplace.

<> ROOT: Mother Earth has an almost infinite capacity to accept and recycle whatever we’re ready to release. Rooting is a great technique for letting go. You may want to first use the Medicine Cards or writing to collect the things you want to release. Then send them into the Earth through roots from your feet. To get a complete description of rooting, send a blank email to

<> MAKE PHYSICAL SPACE: Sometimes just clearing out mental or emotional space isn’t enough — we actually need to clear physical space. If you’ve been storing old “stuff” around your house, take time to clear it out. Donate it to thrift stores or friends in need, or throw away what’s pure junk. Making a fresh start with clean living space is a wonderful, healing, and meditative way to end the year!