January

This simple spell is best performed at the beginning of the New Year or just after Yule, the first day of Spring, on your birthday, or any other date that represents a new beginning for you.

Gather together a long tinsel garland and some small candles. Using the garland, create a large spiral on the floor and surround it with the candles.

Walk the spiral as you would a labyrinth. Pause at the entrance to visualize what you wish for the New Year. Begin your walk at a pace that feels right, repeating the incantation:

“With each step I take,
with each breath I create,
let my spirit awake
for this wish I make.”

Once you reach the center, verbalize your wish. Retrace your steps out of the spiral, repeating the incantation again.

Notes:

  • Your spiral can be made from any materials you wish to use, such as flowers, shells, stones, leaves… etc.
  • If this is included in a group ritual, create a grouping of three spirals like those found at Newgrange in Ireland.

~Sedwin

The first day of the new year is always a time to make promises or resolve to make the year a positive and prosperous one. With the help of the Roman God of new beginnings, Janus, and the Goddess Diana’s influence, you can step into the New Year with viable resolutions for the year ahead.

Diana was worshiped in the countryside, and gifts and offerings of fruit were left in forests or at crossroads. To invoke the power of Janus, salt and cakes were placed on a sacred altar. For this spell you’re going to combine the ingredients necessary into one special enchantment.

What you will need:

A handful of earth taken from each of the following places and gathered in a paper bag. (If you can’t get to any of these places, then three handfuls of earth from your own or a friend’s garden will also work.)

  • A crossroads
  • A forest, woods, or park
  • Beside a river, stream, or lake

You will also need the following:

  • 3 cupcakes
  • A tiny cup of sea salt
  • 2 white candles

The Spell:

Place the bag of earth in the corner of your altar to invoke the power of Diana’s abundance. Then place the three cupcakes in front of the bag, and lastly the tiny cup of salt at the front.

Now light the two candles to invoke your deities, and as you place them on either side of your offering, say or whisper the following:

“Diana, Janus, hear my prayer
and bless this sacred altar.

For all year long let earth’s riches empower me.
Let abundance bring me happiness.
Let your wholeness bring me prosperity.”

Say this three times, and then thank your deities.

“Thank you, Diana for your help.
Thank you, Janus, for your direction.”

Now leave the candles burning for a few minutes while you gaze at your altar and calm your mind.

Finishing Up

When you feel the spell is complete, leave the cup cakes at a crossroads or cemetery. If those places are not available or accessible to you, put them out for the birds. Empty the bag of earth somewhere outside where you feel really happy to be. As you sprinkle the earth on the ground, Janus and Diana will start to work the magick of prosperous living into your life.

Note:

This spell can be done at any time during the year when you are wanting to make a fresh start, or if you are heading out in a new direction.

From: Spells For A Magical Year

To ensure that your life is blessed with good luck through the net twelve months, perform this simple spell at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

You will need:

  • A green candle
  • Cinnamon, Cypress or Lotus essential oil

First, open every door and window of your house to allow the spirit of the old year to depart.

Go outside and light a green candle that has been anointed with a few drops of cinnamon, cypress, or lotus oil, and, without uttering a single word, reenter your house through the back door.

Walk through every room with the candle in your hand, go back outside through the front door and then in again by the back.

Additionally, you may place a silver coin, a piece of coal and a piece of bread on a windowsill or porch at midnight on New Year’s Eve, and then bring them into the house after you rise from bed on New Year’s morning.

~Gerina Dunwich

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Altar: On cloth of shades between white and black, place four white and grey candles, a vase of flags and banners in the colors of a snowy night, a bell with a clear tone, a knife, a glass of white wine, and incense of cypress and juniper.

Offerings: Blowing curls of paper into the wind. Ringing bells or wind chimes. Study and learning, especially of a field of knowledge that is difficult for you.

Invocation to the North Wind

Breathe in!
Breathe in the wind of the North,
Cold and chill,
Ice-flecked wind that brings
The order for all life to sleep,
Forcing closed our tired eyes,
Wind that sweeps down from the poles,
Wind that sweeps away our resistance,
Wind that invites us to lie down
And embrace the darkness,
Whistling wind that comes in
Through the cracks and chinks
Of our fears and longings,
Breath of winter, wind that strokes the starry skies
Over the dead fields, and calls to us
With sere and weathered voice,
Black wind of night that cuts us
Like the razor-edged knife,
Have mercy on us!
Breathe in
And cleanse your body yet again.

Chant:

Boreas Boreas Breath of the North
Wind of knives

Wind chimes and bells are rung. Wine is poured as a libation. All process outside and release messages on small curls of paper into the north wind.

From: Pagan Book of Hours

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The Festival of Janus, or The Agonalia, was held in Ancient Rome on or around January 9th. Here is a ritual to celebrate the God of doorways, openings, and beginnings.

  • Color: Dark Blue and Black
  • Element: Air
  • Altar: Upon cloth of dark blue and black place a ruler, and on one side things of the past, and on the other side things for the future, including a goblet of wine.
  • Offerings: Measure something accurately. Any work requiring measuring is honored today.
  • Daily Meal: Any old-fashioned recipe.

Invocation to Janus

Hail, Lord Who Looks Both Ways!
Hail, face of the past
Turned towards memory!
You see all that has been,
Not only our beginnings,
But our past deeds
Which have brought us to this day.
May we learn to take responsibility for them.
Hail, face of the future
Turned towards possibility!
You see all that might be,
A multitude of choices,
Yet that multitude is pruned
Back to a likely few
By the deeds of the past.
Hail, Lord who stands at the boundary
Of then and now, of there and here.
We stand also at that boundary.
Teach us to see how the past
Shapes the future in its hands,
That we may not be blind to our own divinity.

Chant:

Measure the line
With memory
Stand on the line
Of possibility

(Pour out the libation of wine and exit. Work today should concentrate on making or mending things. See especially to fences and gates. Planning for future events is also acceptable.)

Found at: Pagan Book of Hours

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All trees or boughs
That have been cut
And kept for luck
Within the house

Must not be cast
Away and scorned,
But gravely burned
To dust at last;

Chop them fine,
Give them flame,
Offer this rhyme:

Forgive our fire,
Faithful tree:
Warm us now
Who have warmed thee.

From: Crone’s Book of Magical Words

Here is a nice ritual to invoke favor from Weavers of Fate, the Moerae. It is particularly appropriate for birthdays, the New Year, the Kalends of January, or any day of significance and change. The Moerae (or Moirai) were supposed to appear three nights after a child’s birth to determine the course of its life, so this too would be an appropriate time for this ritual.

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Who are they?

The Moerae are the three sisters who decide on human fate: Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropus. They sing in unison with the music of the Sirens, or so it is said. Lachesis sings of the things that were, Clotho of those that are, and Atropus about the things that will be. They are most honored among the gods because they distribute justly, and have a share in every home. They give men at their birth their share of evil and good, and they punish the transgressions of both men and of gods.

  • Lachesis (the past): the apportioner of lots.
  • Clotho (the present): is the spinner.
  • Atropus (the future): is said to be the eldest, the best and the shortest of the sisters.

It has also been claimed that Tyche (Fortune) was one of the Moerae, and the most powerful of the sisters because beauty, virtue, and good Fame are in her keeping, and also because she finds pleasure in dashing immoderate hopes.

The Ritual

Colors: White, red, and black.

Element: Air

Altar: Drape with cloths of white, red, and black, and place upon it three candles in these same colors, three goblets in these same colors holding white wine, red wine, and elderberry wine, a spindle wound with handspun thread, a piece of woven cloth, and a large knife or pair of shears.

Offerings: Libations of wine.

Daily Meal: Vegan. Should be eaten in silence.

Invocation to the Moerae

(Light the white candle and raise the spindle.) 

Spin truth into words,
Spin words into doom,
Spin doom into fortune,
Spin fortune into life,
Spin my life fine and strong,

O Lady with the spindle
Whose thread is my beginning.

(All take a piece of thread from the spindle. Pour out the white wine as a libation. Light the red candle and lift the woven cloth high.) 

Weave truth into vision,
Weave vision into mind,
Weave mind into spirit,
Weave spirit into life,
Weave my life with depth and color,

O Lady with the shuttle
Whose tapestry is my existence.

(All knot their thread. Pour out the red wine. Light the black candle and lift the shears high.) 

Cut truth away from falsehood,
Cut falsehood away from illusion,
Cut illusion away from matter,
Cut matter away from body,
Cut my body away from my life
When the time comes,
O Lady with the shears
Whose knowing hand is my doom
And also my truth.


(The leader of the ritual drapes his or her head with a cloth of black and walks around the circle, cutting each thread in silence. The cut threads are laid upon the altar as an offering, and all sit in silence, meditating on their Fate and that of the coming year. Leave in silence.)

From: Pagan Book of Hours

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The following is of archaic Celtic origin. On the surface it is a triple recital of the thirteen months of the lunar year. Each word, however, is the name of one of the sacred trees, which in turn each have deep philosophical and magickal implications. Additionally, the thirteen, taken in sequence, tell in rich detail the life of the Sacred King and the archaic Legend of the Goddess.

All Witches should know or be strongly encouraged to study and research the hidden meanings behind this, working from the material provided by the poet Robert Graves (The White Goddess) .

Very powerful when done as a group, this chant can be done by the solitary practitioner as well. Provided here are the instructions for a group ritual, which can then be adjusted to suit an individual practice.

Prior to commencing the chant, everyone gathers in the circle, with the implications of the chant being described by whoever is leading the ritual. Pause in silence for a period of thirteen heartbeats while everyone meditates on what has been said, then the leader of the ritual intones the words of the chant loudly and in a rich voice. The chant is recited with all in the circle responding, three or nine times, as deemed appropriate. The chant is closed with the final invocation. If available, incense may be thrown into an incense brazier at the close of the chant. Everyone should remain silent for a while afterwords.

Here is the chant, which is repeated by all in the circle, slowly, and sounding each letter long and resonantly:

BETH
LUIS
NION
FEARN
SAILLE
UATH
DUIR
TINNE
COLL
MIN
GORT
PETH
RUIS

Repeat three or nine times as desired. I personally like the idea of repeating each individual name three times, and then repeating the entire sequence three times (which adds up to nine).

The leader of the circle closes with the following calling:

Benignissime
Solo Tibi Cordis,
Devotionem
Quotidianam Facio,

Blessed Be!

From: A Grimoire of Shadows

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This is something nice to do as a substitute for the New Years Resolutions we make and break every year.

Make a list of the real wants and needs that you have within you. Maybe you need to give yourself more time, or speak out about the desire for recognition of the person you really are… Only you know what you really want and need. Write it down.

Now, consider the whole nature of gift giving and the appropriateness of the things you yourself have given and received this year. Then, make a present to yourself of one of the things you just listed.

If it requires a phone call, make that call. If it means something must be purchased and you can’t afford it, start by putting pennies in a jar. Do you need to rearrange your schedule? Enroll in a class? Whatever it is… get started right now, today.

Need some help taking that first small step.? Here’s a small blessing spell from me to you:

Take, and welcome joy within you:
Showers, flowers, powers,
Hatfulls, capfulls, lapfulls,
Treasures, measures, pleasures,
All be yours to enjoy.
Blessed Be.

Verse from The Celtic Devotional

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Here is an old old spell you can use as a way to say farewell to the Solstice and make a wish for the coming twelve months. It’s less dangerous than it seems, though care should always be taken.

Fill a shallow dish with raisins and pour a few spoonfuls of brandy over them. As you pour the brandy, say the following:

You shall receive whatever gift you may name,
as far as wind dries, rain wets, sun revolves;
as far as sea encircles and earth extends.

Put out the lights, then set the brandy on fire. While it is still going, snatch one of the raisins from the flames. As you put the raisin in your mouth, make a wish. It will be granted in the next twelve months.

When doing this with a group, each person gets just one raisin. when doing it alone, you can pull out 3 raisins and make three wishes.

If you would like some advice about what sort of magick is needed, simply enter a short explanation of your situation. Our resident witch will be happy to assist. Good Luck!!

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We should educate people that ‘Witch’ is not evil but ancient and positive. The first time I called myself a ‘Witch’ was the most magical moment of my life.

~Margot Adler

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