Talk all you will of magick and mystery in late October and early November, of Samhain and thinning veils. Talk of Yule and Christmas as the season of miracles and magick. This, the start of a new year, is the most magical time of all. And the new moon of January 2nd makes this liminal time the opportune window for setting your course in the year ahead.
A new year bursts forth with possibility and hope, new beginnings, and a clean slate on which to write our future. Forget resolutions, because most all of us do as soon as winter turns to spring (or sooner still). This is the time for setting intentions—and we all know that magick is born of intention.
There is a difference between resolution and intention, subtle as it may be. We resolve to watch what we eat and lose those extra pounds. We resolve to quit smoking, to give up sugar, caffeine or alcohol. We swear this is going to be the year we succeed.
All fine and good, but how do you intend to accomplish all that you resolve?
Where Are You Now?
Start with an inventory of your life. The answers to the following inquiries might take the form of lists, or descriptive writing. Some of your answers might overlap.
- What is the most important thing that happened last year?
- What will I always remember?
- What would I most like to forget?
- What brought me happiness?
- What left the greatest impression?
- What was I most afraid of, and did it come to pass?
- What changed this year, and did it change me?
Where Would You Like To Be?
After you’ve given yourself time to contemplate and record your yearly inventory (take as long as you need), answer the following questions:
- What do I want to change about my life?
- What/where can I Improve?
- What can I release?
- What will I keep?
There may be more than one answer to each question. Again, you can make lists or write at length, but in the end, do your best to hone your answers to a single sentence.
For example, a number of years ago I finally arrived at my master plan for making positive and lasting change in my life—I want to have less of the things I don’t need, and more experiences that enrich my life. That started out as wanting to have less and do more. In my mind I knew what that meant, but shorthand isn’t always received as intended by the universal powers that be. I could have easily found myself penniless and working multiple jobs. Be specific.
My desire to lighten up takes many forms, from releasing what I have, to accumulating less. It means resisting my urge to buy pretty, vintage dishes that I don’t use, but that take up space in my cabinets. It means recycling perfectly good, empty jars that I might use some day. It means putting the colorful envelopes from greeting cards into the recycling bin, instead of saving boxes full of them to use in my art. Good glory, it means stop keeping junk mail with one blank side because I have enough note paper saved for the rest of my life. It means trusting that if or when I need the dishes, or the jars, or the scrap paper, there will be plenty to be had.
Remember that these questions aren’t necessarily (or only) about material things. I also want to change habits and relationships. And yet, that somehow comes under my master plan. Things I don’t need include drama, strife, grudges, poor eating habits, needless worry and anxiety, etc. More experiences that enrich my life include time with loved ones, valued friends, physical activity that gets me out of the house, and a healthy diet that helps me feel better as my body ages.
A Simple Plan
Intention is the root of all manifestation magick. We desire something, we give energy to making it happen, and we purposefully move toward it. Simple, right?
Then why do we sometimes fail? Well, because some things are harder to attain than others. I can’t bring back a loved one who has crossed the veil and I’m pretty sure there is nobody who can. I can’t make personal debt magically disappear, but I can do everything in my power to manifest income, make payments, and avoid further debt—I might also get lucky and win a lottery, or come into an inheritance. I can’t snap my fingers and produce a completed book of Tarot interpretation for self care, but I can write about one card each day until I’m done—and I might be so inspired by a brilliant muse that I’d swear I was channelling.
Successful manifestation is, maybe, 10-percent intention and 10-percent magick. I know it’s all of 110-percent consistent effort. This is not to say that the alignment of the stars, and the moon, and the sun, and way the wind blows does not factor in. Nor does it disregard the effects from the energies of the elements, and the deities, and the spirits, and the very force of life itself.
Working in both the mundane and the magickal realms gives us the best of both worlds, and the greatest chance at success.
The simplest thing I can do to attain my master goal, is to ask of everything, how it enriches my life? Will another set of beautiful luncheon plates give me pleasure, or bring frustration because I have no room to keep them? Will engaging in an disagreement with my spouse enrich my life? Certainly not in the moment, but if it pushes us through to a new, better understanding of a situation, then maybe yes. But honestly—that one is mostly no.
Actions equal results, and it takes consistent action to manifest your desires; but a witch worth her salt can’t deny magickal influence—the sudden, unexpected windfall or the brillaint muse. The law of attraction gets a bad rap in some circles, lumped in with toxic positivity, but honestly, you can not practice the craft without believing in attraction.
It’s true, we don’t attract every misfortune in our lives by the vibes we send out—life is chaos and bad shit happens to good people. So it must follow, then, that we can’t attract good fortune no matter how positive we are.
Well, sort of, because there is this thing called momentum and it’s also a truism that a stone rolling downhill is going to continue on that path. Likewise, in trying to peddle a bicycle up that same hill, momentum is going to go a long way in helping us reach the top. We build a sort of vibrational momentum with the things we do. If we take risks, we’re on a course with a higher probability of being harmed. If our actions support attaining our desires, we’re building momentum toward that outcome.
Your actions are best tailored toward attracting what you want, and at least part of your effort should be surrounding yourself, as much as possible, with like vibrations. If you want to be a professional singer, you take lessons, you practice, practice, practice—but I’ll bet you also listen to great singers (recordings and live concerts), you hang around people who enjoy music, you read about the industry—all of that is creating a vibration to attract similar vibrations.
Give Yourself A Gold Star
Remember in school, when your teacher put a star sticker on your paper. Or maybe they had some fun stamps that said Good Job or Perfect Paper. It felt great, didn’t it? And you wanted to feel that again. All of that is vibrational energy and it begets more of the same. So, when you’ve planned your actions and set your course, conjure up some good vibrations and build the momentum for manifesting your desires.
Set these simple goals and give yourself a star, or a treat, or a pat on the back each time you complete a task:
What can I do—
- This Week
- This Month
—to manifest my desired outcome?
For me, just crossing tasks off my list gives me a great sense of satisfaction and reward. In fact, I sometimes put a thing on my list after I’ve done it, just so I can cross it off.
Right now, my daily goal is to follow the chore schedule on my calendar. I’ve set a reminder for 11:00 a.m. every week day to tidy a different zone in my house. Each takes about 30 minutes, and also serves the purpose of providing a physical break from sitting at my computer or art table. At the same time, I take my daily vitamins, drink water, and eat lunch.
Wait, what? That’s more than one thing! Yes, it is—but all I have to do is heed the reminder that pops up on my computer, one simple action, and the rest follow.
Every week I tackle one small household project in my journey to living simply. Cleaning a closet, purging a junk drawer, organizing the pantry or my magickal cupboard of herbal tinctures, lotions and potions. If my drawers and closets are all organized, and there is no pressing chore (who am I kidding?), I challenge myself to find 10 things to toss, repurpose or donate.
Every month I strive to complete a larger project from my list. This past month my husband and I finally tackled new carpeting in 3/5ths of our living space. Well, we didn’t install it, we left that to the professionals. But we spent three days moving several rooms of furnishings into just two rooms of our house—and then, we moved it all back again. The exhausting effort reinforced my commitment to downsizing our possessions.
Whatever your desires, tap into the powerful new year-new moon energy. Set your intention and chart your course. Start small, build momentum, take action, be consistent and get busy making some magick in your life.