What are YOUR Year End Rituals?
What’s that you say? You don’t think you do any rituals?
If we define a ritual as an activity we repeat at regular intervals that has special meaning to us, then we can come up with a pretty long list.
The use of light. We use light to commemorate historic events, such as the eight candles for the eight nights on the Chanukah Menorah, or seven candles for seven principles during Kwanza. We symbolize Spirit with candles for a Christmas eve candlelight service. We love to give our meals a romantic ambiance with candlelight, or we will light a candle to remember a loved one who is far from home or has passed away.
We also use light to decorate the outside of our homes, not in candles but in a festive string of bulbs. There is also the procession around the house, in the dark of course, with the yule log at the lead. With all the local friends and family cheering and marching, we symbolically beseech the return of the sun. And again, we light our own candles from the yule fire to rekindle the fire of life in our collective hearts.
Then, there is Food. Making and eating certain favorite foods like the same cookies or Yulekake (Norwegian Christmas bread) we ate as children, (all from Moms recipes) or how Dad carves the Turkey with the family carving set are 2 more rituals that come to mind.
We each have our own versions of these rituals and probably several types more. Mine includes a ritual cleaning of my home environment. During the last week of the year, starting with the day after Boxing day, I start to tidy up, clean, de-dust, vacuum and touch up the paint in some places. I will often move and reorient things like the beds, dressers, chairs and the couch. I hang the artwork in different places, put some textiles, souvenirs or trinkets away and bring out others. Sort out and trim up the old fading houseplants.
Then I cleanse myself with a ritual bath, again with candlelight, bath salts or bubbles, perhaps some champagne? …lotion applied head to toe, and other usual self-care rituals.
When I have made myself happy with the new arrangements, I smudge the entire house with smoke, drumming and sprinkling of scented water, which dispels stale or stagnant energy and tends to make everything feel fresh and new by circulating it around a bit.
Shifting energy in your house, mind and body will help bring in the new life energy that will assist the manifestation of your goals and plans for the New Year.
This shifting goes far beyond the normal cleaning or disinfecting of the toilet or scrubbing the sink or bath tub. It is also a blessing of the spaces we inhabit. It is to give thanks for a safe container where we can recuperate from life’s challenges or incubate new dreams, where we eat together, sleep and love together, share our communal rituals together.
So, what are Your rituals? Do you wear a special sweater when you sit down to write? Do you eat certain things during the week? Do you say or do things just before you leave on a trip? What gives your everyday life meaning?
Would you like to have more meaning? Can you make your own new rituals? I bet you can. I invite you, be your creative self and share them with me on my Facebook page.
With Love and Light…