TRADITIONS FOR THE NEW CALENDAR YEAR
The end of a calendar year and the start of a new ones always brings with it superstitions and rather odd traditions, well in my family it did and no doubt you all have some of your own.
Light a candle just before midnight on the 31st December and keep the flame going as the stroke of midnight passes. This is done to ensure that you will always have the guardian of the light close by and also to honour the Ancestors and keep their spirits alive. If the candle does not get lit at midnight, all good, light it during the day and of course safety, safety, safety.
BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS
Aside from the wonderful movie of the same name which would be an ideal viewing on this day, the bed and all that pertains to the bed should be given a good clean. Air bedding out if the weather will permit, we are in our summer season in New Zealand so the solar energies are perfect. If in winter mode at least shake out the bedding and give it a good clean. Wipe down the bedstead itself and if feeling particularly festive decorate with a sprig of pine or lavender for healing and protection.
As for your broomstick or besoms, they will also need a good cleanse to remove residue energies of the last year. Sit it by the fire taking care not to set the broom alight, place it out in the sun, the moon or simply give it a good wipe down. A standard cleansing elixir can be half a cup of water with a drop each of lavender, lemon, orange and rosemary essential oils or simply use a few sprigs of fresh rosemary tied together and dipped in water for a herbal brush. Best to do this outside.
BIRCH AND OAK
If you are fortunate to have an Oak tree on your property or close by, take it an offering and then knock on it's trunk three times for luck for the coming year. If you have a Birch as well, then wonderful, a tree of the God and Goddess, take them an offering and give them a big hug of thanks and ask that they may look out for you over the coming year.
Obviously the old calendar gets taken down and a new one put up but for Goddess sake do not do this until you are indeed in a new year. The two calendars are not supposed to see each other either so up to you to sort this one.
Always make sure that on the last day of the year and the first day of the New Year that your kitchen dishes are done and placed away otherwise it will seem that you are doing more dishes this year than usual. We do our dishes on the last day and then not again until the 2nd, that way we do not have to deal with the ‘Throwing out the old’ trad.
Herbal preps, sachets, incenses and talismans that have been made and no longer needed should be discarded however ideally on the 31st of December. Some can be simply sprinkled back onto the earth while others may need to be burnt. If this does not work then try the 2nd of January.
This is an everyday for pet people but for the new year ensure they have plenty of clean water and clean food bowls for when their treats and meals are served today abnd lots of standby foods in the fridge and freezer. Bedding should be at least aired out but do think twice before chucking any of their old toys out on this day and the next for that matter. the toys may look old and worn to you but they may be much loved and needed to them. And of course always make sure that your animals, pets and familiars have a good healthy supply of kisses, cuddles and hugs.
FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD
The pantry and fridge should have within it some of the staples to ensure a good year of food, crops and bounty to come. I like to ensure we at least have milk, seasonal fruit, local cheese, a little apple cider, some organic chocolate and a decent loaf of bread courtesy of our German bakery. Those are just some of my choices, you will have your own but it is about ensuring good food to come your way.
Just before midnight on the 31st of December run through your entire house, bus, barn, cottage or castle and make as much noise as possible until midnight passes. Open and close all the doors with a nice loud bang, clang pots with their lids and generally yell and make merry. Not so nice for the neighbours that may not understand what is going on and for those of you that do live in the city lands, then possibly this could turn very interesting. If of course you missed the midnight run then do it as soon as you can on the day, no worries.
THROWING OUT THE OLD
It is said that we should not throw out anything on this day as luck may go with it. So with that in mind I am more than happy to waive the housework and de-cluttering for another day. This superstition also includes no sweeping out dust, no food from the fridge unless of course it is being thrown out for the chickens or animals, no old furniture or garments, no washing water from clothes or dishes which can become confusing as some traditions tell us to wash and do dishes on this day, so that is a quandary that I will leave up to each and every one of you to ponder. As for me, I do not do housework on this day, it is a new calendar year so dance and make merry, leave the work for the next day.