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Setting Intentions

I make time between Samhain and Gregorian New Year for cleaning, organizing, and contemplating.

I appreciate the time to prepare.

Some consider Samhain to be the end of the old and the start of the new year – and I used to be one of those. These days, however, I am appreciative of the longer tides. Maybe it is a hallmark of middle age. Years rush by and I want to deepen and savor the gifts and the lessons.

In recent years, I’ve come to understand that Samhain marks the threshold of many things, including the winding down of the old year. This enables space to open for deeper tides of magic, and helps me percolate on my new intention for the coming year. I appreciate the subtle changes that occur within my practice and my work by this shifting of attention. The tide carries me through Solstice and on. I don’t feel slammed into a new year, breathless, filled with resolutions I’ve scrambled to make.

In allowing space for winding down, cleaning up – and pondering my heart, soul, work, and relationships – I find that when the time to set my intention arrives, that intention can arise from a clear, less hurried space. 

Gregorian New Year’s Eve, I gather with a small group of friends to eat and drink and laugh, to  talk about our last year, and our hopes for the year to come.

Around 11pm, we pause. Take a breath. Drop within. From that place, whether we’ve thought long and hard, approached from different angles, or just opened our hearts to listen, we will set an intention for the coming year. These are not resolutions – not self-improvement lists. These are intentions that weave themselves in and out of all our activities, setting the tone as we move through time. We then pull runes, one each, to gain more insight. Then we toast each other, and toast the coming time.

The lessons of last year’s intention have been varied, surprising, sometimes amazingly challenging, and also filled with loveliness and joy. It is one that will likely stay with me.

What do I want for the coming year? More Love. More Justice. More Kindness. More Creativity.

What will my new intention be? I’m not yet sure.

I’ve been listening, opening, and pondering. I have some ideas, but the intention itself may not gel until that magic moment, somewhere before midnight, when my heart and mind open, and the words fly free.

I wish you a contemplative dark moon. I wish you a joyous new moon. I wish you a joyous year to come. 

May the ancestors and descendants bless your path in equal measure to your honoring of them.

And as always, I offer you my favorite spell, written in a time of huge transition a decade ago. It has served me well. The more you pass it on, the stronger the weave of magic.

Raise a glass of whatever you like. Repeat after me: 

Love! Health! Prosperity! Knowledge! And Great Sex! 

May these properties helps us to grow joyous and generous lives, well supported by family and friends. May these properties help us grow a society that offers justice and kindness to all.

So mote it be. 

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