Yesterday, my husband and I prepared for a home blessing ritual I came up with for the New Year. We cleaned for the occasion as well as we could. I am sad to admit we were not able to move things around in the art room, so my altar remains in a state of flux, albeit a functional flux. The piles of snow outside, and my inability to lift heavy objects right now, means that we have to wait on phase two of “operation return my altar to the art room and convert the bedroom nook into a nursery.” However, the bedroom is the cleanest it’s been for months. We’re all caught up with laundry, I gave the carpet a thorough vacuuming, we bagged old clothes for donations, and my husband removed a cabinet that’s been sitting in the middle of the floor for a month since we started moving furniture around. It had become an obstacle for me at night during my frequent bathroom visits, and it sat near my altar. Piled with laundry, it added to a sense of disorder. Well, that’s taken care of and I feel it’s very symbolic indeed! It’s said that what occurs as the old year turns to the new will set the tone for what’s to follow. And while our modern calendar is man-made, and this can be said of any New Year celebration*, it’s difficult to deny the power of such a sentiment. It’s a type of sympathetic magic, an internal magic. I very much hope that our little one comes into a clean world and that we have few to no obstacles in 2013!
|The family altar set up for our New Year blessing ritual. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2012.|
After the sun set, and before heading to a friend’s New Year’s Eve party, we prepared for the home blessing. As you know, I’m not using incense indoors during my pregnancy. It’s common for people performing house blessings to smudge away negativity. I decided to make an herbal infusion. I selected herbs with symbolic or literal qualities that I desired for the coming year. I poured hot water over them, added a few drops of lavender oil for peace, and some vinegar for purification. We made offerings to the Kindreds for all the blessings of 2012, sprinkled the infusion around the house while chanting our prayer**, then did a reading for the New Year using the Druid Animal Oracle. The omens were quite good, and we left for the party pleased.
We ended 2012 with friends, blessed in so many ways, and in pretty good health. We begin 2013 the same way. Here’s to a wonderful New Year! Go make the most of it!
*Samhain, the traditional Druidic New Year, came at such a busy time. We observed the holiday but did not do much to mark the New Year. It was very important for me to take the opportunity on this secular occasion.
** We said a very simple prayer inspired by some of Ian Corrigan’s work, but if you would like something more poetic and historic, Woden’s Wandering Witch shared a Pagan rewrite of a New Year’s prayer from Carmina Gadelica.