New Year, New Spiritual Practice
After leaving polytheism last summer, I’ve been in spiritual limbo. I have been busy re-building my practice, as is evident from previous posts, but I’ve been missing the actual doing of it. I haven’t done any rituals since last summer and I was finally feeling the lack. In the spirit of my New Year’s theme (progress, not perfection), I took what I have created so far and made a simple New-Year ritual out of it.
I’m pretty satisfied with what I came up with. I keep thinking it needs more, and I may add more from time to time, but I also appreciate the simplicity of it. The longer and more fancy my rituals become, the less motivated I am to do them. For now, I intend to keep this format, more or less, for regular bi-monthly rituals.
Heart of Winter Ritual
I have come here to recognize and celebrate the beginning of a new year, a new quarter, and a new season; and to calibrate my compass for my journey into the first season of the year. The Year is 2019 and the Season is The Heart of Winter.
I begin this rite by calling for grith,
that in grith, I may receive the voice of the universe
and it may receive mine.
At this time, I set aside my woes
which I am want to blame on all but myself
that I may take responsibility for my future
and express nought but gratitude
for the freedom and opportunities I have to do so.
As I sit before my altar,
I feel the waters support and surround me
delivering me to myself.
I feel the land extend about me
anchoring me to the physical world.
I feel the sky stretch above me
calling me to a higher purpose.
I have arrived at the sacred center,
before Fire, Well, and Tree,
where all that was is and may be meet in sacred union.
From here, I prepare myself for the work ahead of me.
I warm my heart before the sacred fire
that all I do be in love and kindness.
I cleanse my mind with water of the sacred well
that it be ever open, curious, and discerning.
I grow the sacred tree within myself,
that I might live in harmony with nature.
By Fire, Well, and Tree have I prepared myself
For the journey ahead of me, into the first quarter of the new year
As I step boldly into my future,
May the phrase “Progress, not Perfection” be my guide this year
May piano practice be my focus this quarter
And may the mini-challenges I am about to propose keep me from stagnation this season.
This Heart of Winter Season, I challenge myself to:
Try a new recipe
Enjoy a day without social media
Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts
and last but not least, slow down and appreciate the season before it is over
Meditative Focus: The Milky Way Galaxy
Before I close this rite, I would like to express my gratitude for (all things I am grateful for atm)
(Include prayers, condolences, etc. as desired)
And now, I must take my leave from Sacred Time, that I may proceed on my journey
May the Tree become once again a figurine; the Well, water, and the Fire, a flame
That I may return to the mundane, having been nourished by the sacred, its magic within me, showing me the way.
Love and Peace to All Beings!
As it was, as it is, as it evermore shall be
With the Ebb, With the Flow
nb. Rather than breaking up my year according to lunar or solar markers, I follow the Gregorian calendar, breaking it into 24 bi-monthly seasons, named according to the climate and phenology of my area. I have found this method to feel more harmonious than attempting to juggle multiple calendars, spiritual and secular. I still keep track of the moon, and even give my own names to the full moons, but my primary spiritual calendar is Gregorian.
I have made a few adjustments since I last shared my 24-season calendar. Here is the updated version:
* Closing words inspired by the Carmina Gadelica as modified by Ozark Pagan Mamma