Many Pagans have been feeling the tidal shift of the year since Samhain, some even since the first of August, or the Equinox. But Samhain, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, is the time that our animal nature begins to really feel it: things are getting dark. It will be cold soon. We start to reassess the year we’ve had, and begin looking toward the year to come.
At a gathering in an urbane San Francisco watering hole last week, a woman whom most of us had never met asked our group what we did on New Year’s Eve. Most of us were saying we did not make resolutions. She had a list of things she worked on weeks in advance of things she wanted to accomplish in the coming year. One friend said her New Year season started at Rosh Hoshannah, cycled through Samhain, and on into the celebration of the Planting of New Trees. That is a long one! I and a couple of others remarked that for us, things started shifting at Samhain. I then said that, while I don’t make resolutions, I do set an intention for the coming year. This intention underpins my action and inaction, my plans, my prayers, and my practice. It reminds me of what is important to me, so I can return to that again and again.
I’ll gather with a small group of friends tonight. Starting around 11pm, we will begin to state our intentions to one another. Today, I would like to know, what is your intention? Have you thought about it? Does the whole concept even resonate with you? What will guide you in the coming months? What will help to steer your course?
Whether you honor the Gregorian New Year or not, I want to leave you with the best spell I’ve ever written. This spell changed my life when I really needed it. It has worked better than I could have imagined. The more this spell gets passed on, between friends, families, and lovers, the stronger it gets and the better it works. I offer it now to you. Raise a glass of whatever you have handy and repeat after me. Say it loudly:
“Love! Health! Prosperity! Knowledge! And Great Sex!
Have a joyous, warm, safe, love-filled Winter.
May your coming year be blessed.