Dec 27, 2010

New Year beliefs, customs and superstition

As I am writing this, the New Year approaches. It is 28th of December 2010th and I am thinking, about what spiritual work can be done on new Year. So many traditions, and  so many customs, superstitions, some similar, other completely different,  and seemingly having nothing in common at all. Nevertheless each fascinating and intriguing, and unique. Even the well known and worldwide practiced tree decoration has roots in ancient Winter solstice celebrations, but I am sure You knew that :)

Most of them are lots  of fun. Some may include some labor :-) nothing too hard though
You see, the  New Year is that time of Year that has no special place in any magickal nor Religious calendar, yet it holds great power. For Pagans , theWinter Solstice or even Samhain may be considered pagan New Year, but that particular day, that particular time between 31st and 1st of January is a time that holds great power. Humans all over the world are getting ready to “leave the old behind and welcome the new”, to leave worries and all ills and bad behind, and make resolutions   whisper wishes under the New Year’s eve sky.

So what kind of spiritual work is mostly done on New Year’s eve ?
Well I would say : cleansing , prosperity and wishes, sometime love too, though it's better to wait  Valentine’s  day for that last one ; D . Also, divination, like melting small lead petals and pouring them in cold water and interpreting the shapes obtained that way. A nice cup of warm tea just after midnight will both warm You, while the swirled resin on the cup walls, will speak brilliantly about the adventures that await for You in upcoming Year. Of course, there are blessings to be done , so hang a sprig of Holly above Your door lintel to invite blessings and helpful spirits into Your household and sprinkle all the house with blessed water. Burn white candles and Frankincense. Traditionally, blessing is done afterwards the Cleansing.


In many cultures this is the best time to leave something bad behind and perform spiritual cleansing.
The coming of New Year should be awaited in spiritually cleansed home, so that all that is negative may remain in past, never to come back, and so that You make room for the good things to pour in. I am certain that most of You who  read these lines are familiar with some method of spiritual cleansing, or better yet spiritual space cleansing, be it with tools such as incense, or candle or other, or simply ringing a bell and letting it’s harmonizing tones expel all negative. There ya go, some ideas already. Here is also a traditional Balkan witchcraft method, the cunning folk of Balkan peninsula use to clean the home on the 31st of December.

First the witch cleanses the home, physically, preferably expelling all old items, that he/she no longer uses, making sure the dwelling remains clean and neat

Than the witch takes her trusty broom, or simply a new one is made for the occasion. Birch branches binded together with three twines are often used for such/this occasion. The color of the twines are

- red , for protection
- black to absorb negative
- and white for protection and blessings

Should You use a purchased, everyday broom, or bunch of branches You collected Yourself, make sure You tie the twines around the handle, or to use twines ( or yarn ) to secure branches together.

Than the practitioner ( witch, or simply folk, as common folk were known to employ this simple rite ) cleanses the house, going towards the front door , room by room, sweeping and chanting

“ I cleanse not the mere dirt and dust, but I cleanse and chase away all the sickness, ill will, bad luck ( etc. add anything You wish to banish ) away from my home, never to return or bother me again!”

Any dirt, or other items that You may collect, are swept outside the house, and away from Your property.

The broom is then sprinkled with Holy water from the Church , and  placed behind the front door, but the black twine is sometimes burnt. Some witches burn the whole broom,  with all three twines.


In Ireland, people hit the walls, better said knock or bang with Christmas bread in order to chase away bad spirits and vibrations, while in same time attract abundance of food for the next year, so none from the house
Would be left hungry.

It is a worldwide spread superstition that one should hold something made of silver or gold when the clock sounds/hit s midnight. Celtic people would place a silver or gold coin at doors threshold or on windowsills of the house/apartment/other

A brand new bill or few coins can be placed under a green pyramid candle , which is to be lit a hour before midnight and left to burn all the way down, until it would put itself out. If the melted candle wax should form some auspicious shape, this is a sign of great fortune in year to come. Either way, put all in some green fabric, with a pinch of blessed salt if You have, and keep somewhere high above in house , or buried in Your own yard, to attract prosperity all year long.

Now here is something I like to do, just as passes Midnight or early in the morning of thr 1st of January, hold some Basil or Patchouli seed, and infuse them with Your desires to attain money and prosperity and plant them in a new pot with a fresh, new soil to which You have added few Pine needles and perhaps some dried Thyme in a pinch. As the plant grows, so will Your prosperity. I also write 3 letters of Hebrew alphabet considered to attract prosperity : Samech Aleph Lamed , and another good advice  s to read the Psalm 23rd over the pot.

The similar way, You may infuse flax seeds with Your prayers and needs , and sprinkle them in sweeping motion over the body of water ( best river ) , better yet,  if the Moon is crescent, speaking Your affirmations and /or Prayers as You release the seeds, with a sweeping clockwise motion, into the water.


Any whish spell will do. Here is a simple one, I wrote, based on old Roman practice

In red ink, preferably Dagon’s blood , on a larger Bay Laurel leaf write Your wish. Light a single white candle, near the foundation of the candle You may place some D Dandelion root, and on the canlde flame, set the leaf alight ( best to hold it with tweezers, so You do not burn Yourself ) and hold it over some container ( a plate, small bawl etc ) that will collect the resulting ashes. As the leaf burns You may chant :

“ I come asking for what I need tonight
Offering good will and candlelight
Blessed spirits hear my plea
And as I wish so mote it be ! “

When the candle burns all the way down ( chime candle is good to use here ), scatter the ashes in the wind or before Your front door, or in Your yard.

There, hope these ideas serve You and may inspire You to spend the New Year in safety and warmness of Your home, feeling the whole Holliday and not just spending time on some wild party, as You can do that anytime ;)
NOTE: This article was written and compounded by me, and the wish spell was written by me, inspired by an old Roman custom. If You wish to use them elsewhere, feel free but please give credits Shadow of Shadows magio place or , Image of Holly Branch and candle is from , artwork ( banner ) is made by myslef
Many Blessings dear Readers, and Happy holidays !!!

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