Out With the Old
The importance of ritual and new beginnings
Posted Jan 14, 2012
Because this New Year I didn't stop. I didn't draw a line in the sand and say, "This is where the old year ends and the new year starts." Yes, I drank champagne and rung in the New Year with my loved ones, but what was missing this year was a ritual washing away of the old to make way for the new.
A few years ago, my husband and I had weathered a particularly bad year. I'd received a life-changing (although not life-threatening) diagnosis, we had each suffered the death of family member, plus we'd had some financial strain thrown into the mix. We were so wrung out by the holidays that we didn't even stay up to see in the New Year.
The next day, we both knew we'd made a mistake. If ever there was ever a year we needed to see the back of, it was this one. So we did something that, for us, was a little unorthodox. We performed a Wiccan cleansing ceremony.
Now, maybe your personal belief system doesn't stretch to this kind of thing, and that's okay, but for us, it worked. Did we actually chase out evil spirits and create a protective barrier with a spell? I can't be sure, and it doesn't matter. What's important is that my husband and I joined forces and created a united front against the crummy year that had dogged us. We made a pact to not carry the negative effects of the previous year with us into the New Year. Even though we still had to mourn our loved ones, adjust to our new situation, and fix our finances, performing a ritual at least signified a fresh new start.
Before the first month of this year is over, I plan to perform a ritual again. It probably won't be anything as elaborate as a Wiccan ceremony, in fact it might just be a walk to a significant spot on a hilltop or simply lighting a candle together and saying, "This is where the New Year begins."
Nothing much will change in our lives, but symbolically we will agree to let go of last year's baggage and focus on the year to come.
Because, you can't truly start over with Plan B until you say a proper goodbye to Plan A.