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Thoughts FromThe Four Gates

  • Writer's pictureKai

First Footing - Traditions for a magical New Year

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

People drawing the words 2023, hearts, and stars with sparklers.

I've seen many folks asking about magical practice or rituals for the new year. While you certainly can design something specifically for the new year, many of us have traditions that bake in some Work for the new year. Often there's things that we do that started as ways to set intentions for the new year, and over time, that meaning was lost.

Things here to consider is why we do some things around the new year. Of course, there's the tradition of the new years resolution, which IS about setting intentions directly. You can magic that up by designing ritual for keeping you on track there. There's other things that you can do here. In some places there's this tradition of what's called "first footing". This is the idea that the first guest to come over after the new year can set you up for the rest of the year. I certainly make sure that someone other than my ex wife is the first person to come over. Family in general is great for this, as who doesn't want closer relationships with family?

Rituals done overnight at new years can have some amazing staying power. I almost always do some simple candle work if I'm home for new years. I tend to ritually clean on the days, both because by this time the winter means we need to touch some things up, and because it can set that tone.

I have kids, so I'm usually home on new years eve. That of course shapes what I do and when. I take this time right after the ball drops, when I send the kiddos off to sleep, and I'll take the better part of an hour to work on something that I want to see grow for the year. For example, this year I'll start to pull around tax stuff for the business, and setting up proper monitoring for the business income. I got caught off guard, and would like to get that all squared this year.

This idea of firsts for the year is often reflected in the traditional foods for new years. Red beans and rice are traditional in many places, and is a prosperity thing. Corned beef and cabbage is the exact same idea from a different place in the world. You can see a LOT of prosperity work tied into traditional foods for new years day. Of course, if you think that the traditional foods are gross, then eat things that symbolically say prosperity to you. Bread with barley has some energetic things tied to it, but also things like steak, or even fancy snack crap like caviar, although THAT I always thought was gross.

In short, the things we do, take in, or surround ourselves with on the new year are the things that we attract for the rest of the year. This of course also works in reverse. If you want it out for next year, get it out before it starts. This is the kind of thing that's less about very large ritual, and more about just kind of doing it with intention.

Of course, many folks get readings for the new year, to see what the year ahead holds. It's likely a good idea for most, and you're welcome to drop by and get set up with me.

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