Updated: Dec 31, 2021
Change is the pulse of creation. It is how we know we are still here. Change has its own season and even when it visits us at the same time each year or for the same reason, it’s different each time. Taste heartbreak three times and each one will turn you into a different person. New revelations will bubble to the surface, the whispers of ancestors and your own heart.
It’s dice. There’s an element of chance and also, there are only so many ways they can go. For no reason at all, a seed planted in rich soil, warmed by the sun’s rays, fed compost and heartsong, will keep itself to itself, never rising, never blooming.
Change happens for no reason at all. You can do everything right or everything wrong or sit with indecision, frozen, and still change will pull the blankets from your warm bed, leaving you cold and astonished, alarmed even, wondering what’s next.
Trying to discern how you move forward and there’s always the risk of more change. It’s terrifying and liberating, because the truth of it is, when it comes to change, you can’t win honestly and there’s no way to game the system.
It's true every year, but perhaps more true this year, that change has touched us. Our sense of community, of ritual, of work and worth and boundaries has been reshaped. We will never again be who we were.
There may be grief in that. There may be relief. Maybe there's a bewildered delight, because that leaves many paths of possibility wide open for blessings we can't imagine.
We all have our traditions for the ending of one year and the ushering in of a new year. One of the beliefs I have about this liminal time is that to have success with certain goals in the new year, we must take action on those things at the end of the previous year. What does this look like?
In the coming year, I want to experience prosperity, good health, joy and peace, so I work a prosperity jar, make sure that any outstanding bills are paid and make sure to share some of what I have with others, whether that's through donating money or offering homemade food or medicine or emotional support to people in my life.
To bring in good health, I prepare medicines for the coming year, such as herbal vinegars, teas and body oils. For joy, I spend part of New Year's Eve singing and dancing or doing creative work like making candles or perfumes, and for peace, I set aside some time for meditation and sound healing.
This is also the time of the year that I spend noticing the endings in my life. I draw a ritual bath for uncrossing or road opening, I do candle magick for whatever is needed, and I practice divination and trance work, seeking counsel from my ancestors. I take great joy in making a special feast for myself to be shared with my ancestors with foods that symbolize luck, prosperity, wisdom, peace, love and victory.
All of this preparation takes place over the last week of the year, so that it feels manageable for me. When New Year's eve rolls around, all that's left to do is to cook, put the kettle on, light the candles and let whatever needs to flow through me do just that.
As the final day of 2021 approaches, may you have no reason to hold in what you've been holding. May it move through you. May you rest if you are weary and may you move joyfully if you feel like celebrating. We did an impossibly difficult thing, making it to this time and place.
My prayer for you in 2022 is that you trust and use your power, that you don't have to pretend that your load isn't heavy, that there are are hands and hearts and spirits to lighten it, that you feel connected to the radiant, holy wisdom of your medicine and that you're brave and resourced enough to pour that medicine out into the web of creation.