Rituals are a way for us to connect our actions to the sacred; a way we can step into a world where anything becomes possible and where the stiff constructs of reality become less rigid. We are able to connect with the power we hold in ourselves to actively create the world we wish to live in. That is why participating in a ritual around the New Year is a powerful act to invite in what we would like to experience for the following year.
There are many ways to incorporate ritual into your life. It can be as simple as lighting a candle while stating an intention, to as grandiose as creating your own alter that you participate with every day. Incorporating herbs and the different elements are a wonderful tool you can use to help guide your rituals if you are a seasoned practitioner or just beginning.
Here are several of my favorite herbs to use in ritual and the metaphysical benefits they offer:
Lavender: Renewal, clarity, and new beginnings,
Red clover: Nurturing creativity,
Blue vervain: To release anxiety and worry that has accumulated from the past and any that you have surrounding the future.
Rose: anything to do with love and the heart, the sacred feminine. Softens and opens.
Borage: Brings about the courage of a warrior.
Calendula: Fire, action, passion, and transformation.
Mugwort: Ground, center, and manifest.
Using the elements in ritual:
The four elements are air, fire, water, and earth. Each of the elements can be honored through different offerings and actions:
Air: meditations, visualization, breathwork, smudging, burning an herbal incense blend
Fire: writing down things that you would like to release and then burning them, anointing yourself with oil
Water: taking a bath or footbath, anything to do with water, drinking a beverage such as herbal infused wine or herbal teas
Earth: offering something from the earth that you have found, eating a natural and wholesome food like raw coco or almonds, grounding meditation
If creating an altar, you can set up your altar by placing something for each of the elements in a certain direction around your altar: air is the east, fire is the south, water is the west, and earth is the north.
Make your ritual completely unique to you and let your soul create something profound and healing. Only incorporate elements and herbs that resonate and don’t worry about whether or not you’re doing it right. It’s perfect. It can be as long or as short as you like, done alone or with friends. The point is for you to give thanks for all of the lessons and experiences of your previous year, and consciously begin to create the year you would like to have ahead. May you find strength, courage, love and peace in your year to come.