Saturday, January 6, 2018

Spirit Work New Years Ritual plus Goals 2018


Every year, I approach goal-setting with fervent studiousness.  I utilize worksheets, calculations, goal-creating apps, the prior year's completion rate and so forth to create a chart of goals I feel I need to complete to feel 100% happy with that area in my life.  My goal-creation has been relatively popular because I narrow down goals so intently but it simply hasn't been working for me.  Every year, something sets me back and I can never achieve 100% "happiness."  This is, of course, a misnomer.  I'm quite happy.

So this year, we're changing things up a bit and getting a little witchy.

THE PREP

This year began on a full super moon Monday at the end of a Mercury Retrograde shadow.  Everything about that points to powerful new beginnings, and gives us the perfect setting to perform powerful spell work and rituals for the New Year.  I capitalized on this by performing this ritual on New Year's Eve - just past midnight and closer to our time on the full moon.

Admittedly, I wasn't 100% sure exactly what I was doing when I started.  I wing a lot of my personal rituals and work with spirits to, in a way, guide my hand through it.

Before performing said ritual, my first goal was to sort out exactly what the year would look like astrologically.  This gave me a full perspective how outside energies could affect me.  It also gave a basis for the ritual I was preparing.

I drew a large circle on card stock, designated where each month landed on that circle similar to a clock, and then noted astrological and astronomical events of interest all the way around the wheel.  In the center, I drew my personal sigil for spirit work (intentionally not shown).

It wasn't a clean, highly organized view of the upcoming year but rather my initial notes, complete with some cross outs and weird formatting.  I wanted it to be raw.  It needed to be.


I then placed this beneath a bowl filled with salt.  In the bowl, I placed twelve white candles - one for each month - and an amethyst stone in the center to amplify the work.


I then created a second "blank" wheel.  This had no astrological or astronomical information - just the months laid out in a circle with the year in the center.


I placed this on top of the astrological and astronomical event paper and positioned the bowl of candles back on top, sandwiching the new sheet.

Finally, I grabbed a pen, an open bottle of wine, some wine glasses, some bread and a little incense.  I was good to go!

THE RITUAL

Ritual began with lighting incense and a casting of the circle with my athame.  Though I typically don't call quarters in my work, I did this night.  I started with west, the direction of the veil to the Other and the door to the spirits.  I find myself starting in that direction more and more often as I dive deeper into my work.  I called upon the door to open and watchful spirits to guard and protect me from those who may wish me harm.  Moving clockwise, I called upon the "soil, bone and dust" of the spirits in the North to guard me.  For air, it was the spirits floating in the sky and clouds and, for the south, it was the tarry, charred entities crawling their way up from the depths.

As above, so below.  As within, so without.  The circle is cast.

I then dropped to my knees in front of west and beckoned spirits with good intentions to help me on my quest.


And so the first candle was lit, starting at the top with January.  For each month, I would watch the incense, scry through the flame and attempt to make sense of what the spirits around me were whispering.  The room was chatty.  I would then endlessly write on the blank part of the paper beside the candles.


Each candle was lit from the previous month to the next month, confirming continuity of the year.

For the spirit presence, it's so hard to even... explain or capture what was happening.  Perhaps these pictures will help.


First of all, the incense ran wild with the spirit presence in the room.  This was just one stick of incense burning erratically and in a way I haven't experienced before. It was spectacular to watch it dance around the room, highlighting each individual entity present for this ritual.


The incense made clear indications of meanings - legible signs that I could readily interpret.


Entities also showed themselves through the incense.

It was incredible.

All spirits who participated were well aware that I was photographing this for my blog, so all photos were captured with permission.


By the end of the ritual, I had a lengthy guide for the year.  But my work wasn't done yet.


Any time you work with any entity, you should provide some sort of offering of gratitude.  They've given you something.  What do you give in return? Tonight, the offering was wine and bread. Yes, those are hot dog buns.  You work with what you got and this ritual was incredibly impromptu.  That's the kind of bread I had available and it worked just fine.


Because of the number of entities present whispering in my ear, guiding my hand, swirling the incense, dancing with the flame and more, I offered four overfull glasses of wine - a full bottle - and bread to each quarter.


Once the offerings were consumed, I would be able to see my year in full - but not until then.


I also apparently needed to do a bit of blood offering.  Despite how fake that looks in the photo, I genuinely gave.


As the candles burned down, I utilized the wax patterns and the order in which the candles died to determine other aspects of the year.



The wax certainly formed interesting patterns.


And, despite what I anticipated, the candles did not burn out in order.  I utilized all of these signs in formulating my year.


I also drank wine and conversed with the spirits who stayed to chat afterward - kind of my own New Years celebration in the Other.  Familiars came and went to talk with them too, including Artemis.


The ritual was highly successful, but I would have to wait until the morning to compile my astronomical and astrological events with my spirit writing to create a doable plan for 2018.

THE AFTERMATH



After I woke up the next day, I took a second copy of the astronomical and astrological events and transferred the entirely of the free writing to it from the ritual.


I ended up with this hectic looking thing, but it's exactly what I need to focus on my year!

THE GOALS

When doing the ritual, I heard a few key points loud and clear.

1. Circle of Fountains needs to complete the Introductory Novice Training together.
Last year, Circle of Fountains shut our Novice program down to revitalize it.  In the wake of some issues we ran into throughout the year in conjunction with the racism prevalent within the community, we wanted to ensure that we were teaching new witches the appropriate material. This is something we had already planned on doing and have fully planned out for the entirety of 2018.  Seems the spirits I worked with last night approved.

I don't see a need to create a chart for this since this has already been scheduled and plotted out in our circle binders.

2. I need to get my altar to my psychopomp guide erected this year.
I meant to get one put together in 2017 but the renovations didn't complete until November.  After that point, I never had any money to invest in the necessary arrangements.  I also didn't have a solid vision; I do now.  The ritual was wonderful on many levels for this as I got to sit down and have a one-on-one chat outside of learning and obligations.

It seems the best time to have this ready would be by Samhain this year for various reasons, so plenty of time to work on it.

3. I'm going to get immensely ill this year unless I can get my health under control.
I was fortunate that I didn't have any major illnesses in 2017 (I had a blocked tear duct at the end of the year and the inflammation was killer but I went to the ophthalmologist and got it cleared up within a few weeks, so eh?).  It seems, however, that 2018 has something different in store for me unless I can fix the situation.  I was unable to focus on my health at all last year.  This year, it needs to be my priority.  I won't be able to do everything I need to do this year if I don't.

Here's the chart from last year:


Daily Meal Suggestions
Breakfast: Tuna salad with 1 can tuna, 2 eggs and may, plus greens and avocado.
Lunch: Leafy green salad with spinach, oranges or strawberries, sunflower seeds, avocado and chicken plus dressing.
Dinner: My husband typically makes dinner, so I'm good with whatever he makes.
Snack 1: Sweet potato with topping OR oatmeal with fruit.
Snack 2: Melon if in season, pineapple if not OR almonds and carrots.

Low-Impact Workouts
General Strength Training: [10 minutes] [20 minutes]
Core | Legs | Arms
Stretch/Yoga: [10 minutes] [15 minutes] [20 minutes]

4. My finances are on track and will continue to be given proper health.
Often, what stops me from being able to make the kind of money I'd like to make is my inability to function thanks to my chronic conditions.  I have a job that can kind of work around on that.  I say kind of in that any contracts I've signed, I'm bound to whether I'm sick or not.  I've literally stopped twice on the way to a gig to throw up on the side of the road, and then thrown up at the gig in the grass and still worked.  But I also get to wake up whenever I like most days, take naps and take it easy on myself when necessary.

If I can stay in decent health this year and take care of myself, I'm on track to double our savings for 2018.

5. I need to find a relaxation method this year.
I have a plethora of issues with relaxing.  Most relaxation methods people find enjoyable and stress-free are rather stressful for me.  Baths lock up my muscles, I don't like people I don't know well touching me for massages and meditation tends to run off to spirit work without my control.  The latter is something I could work on, but it will induce more stress than it'll remove, even by the end of the year.  I need to find something else that's relaxing.  And I need to stop myself from turning it into a side job or a project.  I need to just do it because it calms me.

Something I've missed is playing the piano.  As a teenager, I used to run downstairs to play the piano whenever life overwhelmed me.  I was never great at reading notes but I could listen to a song a few times and pick it up on the piano with my own interpretations.  I miss that.  So perhaps getting a piano this year should be a goal.

6. The house will find its own projects for the year. I have to let it be.
I tend to try to improve something drastic on our home every year.  I was told firmly that I need to not do that because the house will find it for me.  It wasn't a warning that something awful was going to happen to our home - just that there will be little things to fix and I should approach them as they come instead of seeing them as hefty additions on top of the brick of weights I give myself.

I'd still like to paint the stairs this year, but I think I'll find that more enjoyable given what I want to do.  So here's hoping.

7. I should encourage Aaron to cook more.  The spirits like his food.
My husband has become quite the chef over the years we've been married.  Primarily, he does actually love to cook - like, proper enjoys it.  But, secondarily, I loathe cooking and have little patience for it.  The whispers I got from the Other told me that that's fine but I need to let him do it more often.  Not only would it serve our health better but it would bond us more than we already are.  In addition, the spirits would like to consume his food more often so uh, offerings.

With this in mind, I'd like to have dinner with my husband at the dinner take 5/7 nights a week.  I don't think that's asking for too much and will give us plenty of offerings to spirits.

8. My career is going to go through some big (and amazing) changes this year and I need to be prepared.
I think this may be pointing to digital live gigs but it could also be pointing to needing a functional sign.  I did get a sign printed last year but I want one that I can place a time frame and card holders on.  The one I have is prepped for that.  I just need to do it.  This also could point to the need to stock up on digital painted caricatures, too?  I'm not sure.  To be frank, I didn't get much information on my career other than "it'll be fun!" Considering how positive they seemed and considering that I saw a nearly full 25% growth this last year, I'll take it a good thing.  I just need to prep for it.

By March, I'd like to have my sign fixed up and be comfortable with digital life gigs.  I also would like to try to paint one painted caricature a month.  I have a list of public figures for each month if I don't already have inspiration, though I've already started on this month's.

9. I need to take more time for myself.
The overarching theme of what I was told during this ritual was that this needs to be a year I focus more on me.  I've been stunted in my career, in my health, in my mental and emotional growth and more, because I spend too much time focusing on catering to others.  What do I want?  What do I need?  If I turned inward every now and then rather than ignoring that little voice that says "Hey, you need to stop for a minute," I'd be a lot better off.

It may seem like a little much but I'd like to try to have one day a month where I have absolutely nothing planned.  No work, no cleaning, no appointments, no commissions, no blog work.  Just a single day of nothing a week.

THE JOURNEY AHEAD

The following is a transcript of my year from what the spirits whispered at me, showed me through flame and symbolized through shapes in the smoke.  Some of it is very vague.  Some of it is not.  Enjoy.

QUARTER ONE: Refuse to face the shadow and struggle.  Accept yourself and win.

January
January starts and ends with a full moon, the latter of which is a blue moon and an eclipse.  This is the perfect power month to Get. Things. Done.  But I have to actually get to them.  Aim for small but steady changes and prepare to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.  The primary focus here is health.  When I hit the blue moon eclipse, a transformation will occur.

Axiom: A light in the distance. The flame grows.

February
February should be mellow and uneventful.  With no major astrological events and no full moons, this is 28 days of peace that will continue to enforce my progress.  Special attention should be paid to the new moon on February 15th as spirits who want to work with me will come and do a "check up" of sorts.  Otherwise, this is an uneventful month with no axioms.

March
Yet another month that starts and ends with a full moon, but this one's kicked up a notch.  I need to focus on the physical world and finances during this time as I'm about to lose some of the stability I hold dear.  By the equinox, I'll regain my footing.  I need not fear the Mercury Retrograde starting on the 23th.  While in Aries, the retrograde messes with new plans made but my work in January should guard me and my experience protects me.

Axiom: Prepare for a rude awakening and a loss of control that can be recaptured.

QUARTER TWO: A difficult time allows you to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks.  Use it.

April
At this point, I'll be fully submerged in my career and that should be my focus for this month.  I shouldn't worry about setting a daily schedule because I'll have one enforced naturally by the way this month will be structured.  After Mercury retrograde ends on the 14th, it's smooth sailing, even as Chiron enters Aries until 2026.

Axiom: If you prepare properly, you will be rewarded so that not even you can fuck this one up.

May
This will be a hectic month, with no time for myself or changes.  My daily schedule, whatever that may be, will continue to be enforced naturally.  I may become severely ill by the end of the month if I haven't made drastic changes to my health.

Axiom: Lie low. Put your feet to the ground.  Move forward.

June
Work done in February, March and April will determine how this month goes, especially in regards to illness.  If things aren't working out by the full moon on the 27th, forget old promises and try a new direction.

Axiom: The flame can be tampered with but not extinguished.

QUARTER THREE: If you feel alienated, use it to your advantage to move forward in other areas of your life.  Let your loneliness be your power.

July
This promises to be yet another hectic month but it will not be as repetitive as the last and I will need to enforce a schedule to actually keep one.  As Mars Retrograde meets Mercury Retrograde, spirituality needs to be my focus.

Axiom: Center. Love. Embrace. Touch. Don't get burned.

August
There's a reason to focus on spirituality in July.  Still under the effects of both Mars and Merc Ret, I will now feel too drained to be able to do anything.  Multiple attempts to fix this will fail and I'll feel a separation between myself and my practice.  Just don't take it personally.  At the end of the month, Mars goes direct, Mercury Retrograde is a memory and I'll open up to find my path yet again.  No axiom needed.

September
Life continues to be chaotic but I can weather it better if I go with the flow.  If I choose to ride against the current, I will surely self-sabotage, as I'm prone to do.  Everything will come at once but I can withstand it and it will pass.

Axiom: The past will haunt but it is mere distraction.  There is still much to do.

QUARTER FOUR: Strong positive emotions allow you to finish off the year in happiness, comfort and stability.

October
After multiple hectic months, I begin to see everything work together in a sort of dance.  Everything begins to smooth out but not without my insistent input.  I can restore balance and my schedule by the end of the month if I dig in deep and do what needs to be done.

Axiom: Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty in the name of balance.

November
I was told literally nothing else about this month beyond that I MUST participate in Samhain.  Samhain is incredibly special this year, falling on November 7th scientifically.  November 7th is also a new moon and also when the north node moves into Cancer while the south remains in Capricorn.  All of this happens while Venus is in retrograde.  This is about grounding, creativity, nurturing and setting boundaries.  The goals I accomplished in August will pay off by the end of the month.

December
Axiom: Why is it so dark?  Because it comes from within.

I have no other information about December.  That month is determined by the previous 11 and there are too many roads to go down to make it clear.

CONCLUSION

Clearly, this year is going to come with its own set of challenges and hurdles, but doesn't every year? Fortunately, I look forward to a strong start and a smooth finish!

Good luck to you and yours on your goals for the upcoming New Year!

6 comments:

  1. Lovely ritual! I spoke with my animal guides this year to figure out what to work on. Not as in-depth as your ritual, but enough for me. I like to work in chunks. Haha! I hope 2018 is good for all of us, but I have some deep concerns regarding some global issues. I'm hoping I am wrong.

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    1. Thank you! Seems a lot of witches are turning to other entities to guide their year. Last year, I spent too much time on community and global issues; it ate any chance I had to make any real personal progress. This year is an introspective year for me, regardless of what's going out outwardly. Aside from voting later this year, I really don't plan to do anything. I'm politically and socially burnt.

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  2. I LOVED reading this: I'm also SO glad that everything with Artie is going so well! And I also need to look more inward this year. I've also (haha) been told to work with spirit more this year. IS THERE SOMETHING IN THE METAPHYSICAL WATERS OR SOMETHING!?

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    1. We're certainly relieved! I'm not ready to give his physical presence up just yet! Seriously, the spirits are EXTRA chatty this year. Our Novice has had a run in with an immense number of entities clamoring for her attention - we talked about it extensively at our last Drunk Div January 7th. And, during that time, a spirit decided she wanted to talk to my covenmate Amy in the process. Something about this year opens everyone up to some intensive spirit work!

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  3. Thank you for sharing this beautiful ritual! For the last few years I've been doing my planning in a similar way to yours, but (completely coincidentally!) decided to do it a bit differently this year, too. I used divination to help choose my goals, including my first ever rune casting.
    I hope you have a great year! xx

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    1. Thank you so much! Something about the past several years just hasn't been working. I mean, yeah, I get 70% done and that's nothing to blink at but I wanted a change of pace this year. So I totally get it! I hope your rune casting went well and you're able to complete your goals this year!

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