My Thoughts on “Arbitrary” Time Markers


So, I saw a post the other day, can’t remember who or what or where, but the gist of it was someone lamenting the fact that people are excited for 2016 to be over because, to the original poster, the New Year is just some arbitrary time marker in a vast and uncaring universe that exists in a perpetual state of chaos.

Being the hermit that I am, that thought has been clanging around the inside of my head for a few days, and a bit of light just shone on it while watching a tarot reading. I’ve come to the conclusion that I really, really don’t believe in arbitrary time markers. That is, I don’t believe that they are arbitrary.

Let me explain.

While they may have been a bit bizarre and new to begin with, time markers like the turning of the year or the end of a school season are, I think, just as powerful as other, “natural” time markers like moon phases or the changing of the seasons. The difference is that one is man-made, which doesn’t make it any less special or any less meaningful. The new calendar year is observed by so many people around the world that it makes no sense to me for it not to contain some significance. Just because it’s familiar doesn’t mean it isn’t magical. I feel like that bears repeating.

Just because it’s familiar, doesn’t mean it isn’t magical.

It’s just like the way languages and incantations work. The words themselves are man-made, the meanings applied by people like you and me, and we use them every single day. The only difference between a poem and an incantation is the intent behind it. If one walks into the new year feeling like it’s the same old thing once again, how much change do you think they’ll attract? As opposed to someone who sees the new year as a time to start fresh, and do so in accordance with consensus reality. Pardon my french, but this shit is powerful!

I don’t know about you, but I am good and ready to start making some magic happen in the new year. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not worth it. If it works, use it.

Lykke til.

Four Subtle New Year’s Rituals

Hello friends! As promised, I’m back with a post about the obvious.

New year’s tends to be a quiet affair around my household. No fireworks, drunk uncles(unless you count Loki), or a big family countdown. As such, my rituals for welcoming the change in calendar are pretty subdued, but even subtle magics can have big ripples.

For me, new year’s “season” starts around Yule. From there I do many small things leading up to the actual day itself. It’s a pretty withdrawn period in which there’s a lot of looking back, a bit of looking forward, and overall trying to stay in the now as best I can.  So here are a few of the things I’ve done for the past few years, every year:

New Year’s Tarot reading
I find that the space between Yule and “next year” is an excellent time to sit back and get grounded again before whatever happens next slaps me in the face. Around this time, either on Yule night, New Year’s Eve, or the Day itself, I’ll do a tarot reading to see what’s coming down the pike. This year I did one that includes a bit of what’s leaving me, which I found surprisingly useful. Now that I know which skins to shed I can shed them faster and move on with my life.

New Calendar Creation
This is on the really subtle end of the scale, and it’s not really all that “magical,” but I’m sure someone could put a bit of spark into it if they were so inclined. I take a lot of pictures each year, generally of landscapes, stones, and other beautiful things. Last year after Christmas I decided to go find an online calendar maker and make my own. I did it again this year, and I include things like full moons, the changing runic half-months, the Celtic Tree months(which is also useful for my writing since that’s what my book-world uses), and some smaller celebrations like my “Braniversery” and “International Tartan Day.” Because kilts.

Cleaning Out the Closet
Every year, partially on the insistence of my mother, I clean a bit of extraneous crap out of my closet. It’s always something different each year, but I find that it’s a good way to get rid of old energies that don’t need to be around any more. The simple act of digging through stuff, remembering, and figuring out what needs to go dismisses old demons and skeletons that might have been shoved into the dark space to rot. It’s also useful for getting rid of old identities, attitudes that no longer serve a useful purpose. Doing some cleansing with a little smoke or salt never hurt anyone either, as long as any fire is kept away from the flammable stuff.

Swearing an Oath
Every year on New Year’s eve, I stay up until midnight, at least, to make my new year’s “resolution.” This is by far the most involved ritual on this list, and it’s not super-complex at all(I tend to save the complex stuff for the Big Holidays). Back in the ol’ days, the Norse had a ritual called Heitstrenging in which vows were made on the bristles of a boar, which was then sacrificed. I, being who I am, feel like this is something of an important concept to bring back. The serious oath-swearing, of course, not the animal sacrifice. I don’t have a boar(except Gullinbluesti) and even if I did I’m not inclined to sacrifice it. So, before dawn on New Year’s day, classically I’ve sworn an oath on my hammer. This year, however, I thought it appropriate to swear my oath on my staff-spear(it needs a name and it’s a complicated little thing. I’ll take pictures at some point). What was my oath? Can’t tell you that. 😉

That’s all on that matter, for now. I might expand on this list next year, but for now, this is what I do. Quick, subtle, easy(ish), and effective. Perhaps on Imbolc I’ll find a more complex ritual to talk about, but for now that’s it from me. What do you do to welcome the new year?

See you soon!

New Year with the Wildwood

Hello, friends!

Last year was a wild year. Looking back at the spread I did for last year, it’s clear to me just how much I’ve changed. Being “Bilbo Baggins’d by Fate” doesn’t even begin to cover what happened. Sandbagged, more like. But I was right, it was an adventure, an emotional roller coaster, and I’ve come out the other side a stronger man. I was also spot-on in my reading, with the upsets and the job(which was the upset), even though the time scale ended up being far longer than I thought at the time. What I got blatantly wrong was the destination: emotional connection with another being, in this case Frey. Also…let me just giggle a little at past-me’s thoughts about the Queen of Cups. Just wait for it, honey. Just you wait. *shooshpap*

As is becoming custom with me, I’m doing a personal reading for the new year, this time with the Wildwood deck since it’s pretty grounded in reality, which is something I need right now. I’ll be using the New Year spread from Little Red Tarot, who I recently stumbled upon and find intriguing. So, without further distraction:

To paraphrase from Little Red’s page:

  1. Center (three cards): The current situation
  2. Dusk (two cards): What’s leaving you at the moment
  3. Horizon (two cards): What’s arriving in your life in the new year
  4. Focus (two cards): Where to focus your energy
  5. Tools: Resources you can draw upon to help you.

And here’s what the Wildwood had to say:


1 – Center – World Tree, Seven of Stones, Two of Stones
Right now I’m in the process of healing from all the weirdness that went down in the last year. However, I’m also at the end of that particular journey and am about to start another. I’ve learned what I needed to and can move on to face new challenges with the skills I’ve accrued. New beginnings are going to be a theme this year, I think, given all the bunnies.

2 – Dusk – Five of Arrows and Seven of Cups
My time of frustration is finally over, and it’s time to move forward. Let the ram go(stubborn pride, maybe?) and save your arrows, move on to bigger and better things. It’s time for me to stop mourning all that I used to be. I’ve payed my respects, and learned all that I can. Now, I need to live for my current self, and my current situation.

3 – Horizon – Queen of Bows and Three of Cups
Joy is making a gran reentry into my life, and with it inspiration is sure to follow. The energy of the Hare, contains kindness, compassion, and a willingness to walk in darkness with awareness and purpose. The Hare is driven, and will drive others as well. A cautious rebirth into something greater, and lighter.

4 – Focus – Two of Arrows and King of Bows
Speak the truth. Truth will always prevail, especially when spoken by an impartial judge, but do not utter words harshly. The Adder’s tongue is swift but subtle, willful in its execution. The Adder’s energy is mature and intelligent, unchallenged in its power, and yet somewhat playful. The words hissed by the Adder are runes, or the Truth as told by Loki.

5 – Tools – Queen of Stones
The Bear is old and wise, curious but cautious. Her approach is pragmatic and generous, yet in defending what is hers she is ruthless and swift. When searching for solutions the Bear is cunning, and surprisingly dexterous, yet grounded and steadfast. The proverbial winter is over, and it’s time for me to come out of hibernation.

Thank you for being here with me, everyone. With any luck I’ll be back tomorrow with a post about my other New Year rituals. 🙂 See you then!