Hello everyone! Wow, it's hard to believe that the new year is upon us. For some, 2007 may not have been a great year and it is certainly time to let it go. There truly is something magickal about the dawning of a new year! If you allow it, every year can dawn with a new sense of purpose and enthusiasm! If you think about it, all over the world, millions upon millions of people are celebrating this chance at a new beginning. That is a great energy to tap into.
I love some of the New Year's customs from around the world: In Mexico, and some other cultures, people are sure to wear red underwear on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day if they want to find love in the new year (or keep the love they have). In Brazil, Venezuela, and some other countries, they eat 12 grapes, one at a time, for each chime on the clock at midnight. With each grape they eat, they make a wish for the new year! It could be the same wish for each grape or a different wish for each grape.
In many countries, and this of course will appeal to all of us Vodouisants, people make a doll or some kind of effigy that usually represents an old man. He could be any size; some get very elaborate and are the size of a grown man, others are quite small, the size of a doll. In this old man they stuff letters they have written explaining what they want to let go or get away from themselves. Hurts, traumas, and negativities from the prior year, etc., are all writtten on paper and stuffed inside the man. Then, at midnight, he is set on fire and all the negativities of the prior year are burned to ashes and let float away.
Actually, many cultures have this same tradition, some at different times of the year. Here in New Mexico, we have the burning of Zozobra (Old Man Gloom) the second week in September. This is held yearly in Santa Fe and certainly is something to see! The tradition is very similar to the one described above with people putting all their petitions in Zozobra and then he is set on fire! It is a pretty big spectacle and draws thousands!
If you have pain and sorrow that you are harboring from this year, why not do some sort of ritual at some point between New Year's Eve and the first couple of weeks in January? It could be as simple as burning a candle and focusing on a new start to something as complex as making your own little "Zozobra" and burning away all the hurt and negativity that you have experienced. Make a fresh start! Sure, all of us are looking for a fresh start every January, and maybe that has never worked for you... yet! Just because something hasn't worked yet doesn't mean to stop trying!
Love to you all,