"Listen to the long stillness: New life is stirring. New dreams are on the wing. New hopes are being readied: Humankind is fashioning a new heart. Humankind is forging a new mind. God is at work. This is the season of Promise."
— Howard Thurman
For me, even when I've stayed home and gone to bed by 10 pm, New Year's Eve still has a revelatory feeling. I've not been someone who wants to climb a mountain first thing New Year's Day. Businesses are closed, people are recovering from the night before, and it is nice to enjoy a rest after all the holiday hustle. Luckily, 2022's 1st new Moon is on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, at 10:34 am PST, giving you plenty of time to enjoy staying up late and sleeping in on the 1st!
With every lunar cycle, the New Moon is the time to set new intentions. 2022 boasts 13 New Moons, instead of the regular 12, so you will have extra lunar support for your growth this year. Maybe you already have a list of goals and intentions for 2022, or maybe you are someone who's resolved never to make New Year's resolutions. Either way, I want to invite you to put aside your plans for this exercise. When we make plans/intentions/resolutions we do so by envisioning where we want to be, which is fine; however, what we think we want is not always what is in our highest and best. We want to deliberately and intentionally release any negativity and pessimism to make space for lightheartedness. To use a gardening analogy, this New Moon and the new year are like an untouched plot of rich soil. We will have enough time and space to grow and harvest a variety of crops, but before we get to planting, we are wise to consult nature and listen to the season.
For this ritual, we will be using each of the four elements. For earth, you can use any stone, but if you have an amethyst, this is a good opportunity for it. Amethysts have cleansing properties and they gained their name from the Ancient Greek word meaning “not intoxicated”. If you had too much fun with Bacchus at New Year's amethyst is a good ally. For water, you'll need a bowl of fresh water and a bowl of saltwater. For fire, use any candle you like. If you have a purple candle, that is ideal. For air, you will be connecting with the breath. You will also need a paper and a pen.
Make yourself comfortable with a cushion on the floor or a chair. Place the freshwater bowl in front of you to the right and the saltwater bowl on the left. Place a piece of unlined paper in front of each bowl. Light your candle and take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes and center yourself, focusing only on the breath. Allow yourself to look back on the past year. What lessons have you outgrown? Are there people or situations that you want to deliberately leave behind? Are there beliefs that you no longer support? The goal here is to stay grounded and not become emotional, judgemental, or attached to your thoughts, while still acknowledging any pessimism or negativity. Write down any fears, negative thoughts, and beliefs that you want to leave behind. The ego may want to kick up some big resistance here and invite the brain into stories that giving up fear means becoming vulnerable and exposed; which is true, but not the way that anxiety says it is. We are all vulnerable at all times. We want to deliberately become vulnerable to surprise and delight. The ego says, "f no!" to surprises, even and especially good ones! Just continue to anchor in the breath and release everything you want to leave behind in 2021. When you are complete, take your page and tear it up. Take the pieces and light them on fire with your candle. As you do, say aloud, "I am gratefully releasing and letting go of the year that has passed," then drop them into the saltwater. Fire represents our passion, so as you burn the page, feel your inner flame. Recall something that you were passionate about as a child. For me, it was the color pink, My Little Ponys, Punky Brewster, stationary, my dog Radar, and more. As children, our passions are intense and when they are no longer of interest, we don't mourn their loss because we're onto the next. As kids, we don't cheat ourselves out of getting excited through hypervigilance. Call upon that same enthusiasm as you say farewell to 2021.
Next, take a long look at the blank page and the freshwater. Close your eyes again and return your focus to the breath. Here lies 2022. Like the New Moon, the year and the lunar cycle are a blank slate. Know that sitting with the unknown having only starlight, is fantastic. At this moment, there is only space for delight. Anything that feels like a goal attached to an outcome creates a space for defeat, and there is no room for that here. Visualize the blank page and the clear water as you say aloud, "I welcome the new energies this lunar cycle brings. I welcome inspiration that is aligned with only my highest and best." As you stay in this meditative state, pay attention to what makes you feel a sense of lightness. If you want to ask the divine for a word or an image to guide you as the "theme" of the year, do so, then listen. Your page can be blank, you don't need to put anything on it until you feel inspiration and connection to do so. When you feel complete, simply offer thanks to the Divine and to yourself, blow out your candle and send your 2021 pages down the drain. Between the New Moon and the Full Moon on the 17th, keep your amethyst or earth stone close by. If you need clarity or inspiration, reach for it and listen. As you check in with your intuition, expect that Divine will show up to assist you in your goal setting in ways that surprise and delight.
Add to your 2022 page whenever inspiration and connection strike!