Seasonal Rituals for Fresh Starts
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Seasonal Rituals for Fresh Starts

Seasonal Rituals for Fresh Starts

Seasonal Rituals for Fresh Starts

EVEN THOUGH WE designate certain times to begin afresh (like New Year’s Day), each sunrise and moon cycle offers that chance as well. Every season and cycle, we can welcome new beginnings, new goals, and new opportunities to evolve and un-peel what no longer serves us.

These past months, many of us spent the full and new moon cycles clearing off the sludge from 2020 and transmuting the toxicity into opportunities for real transformation in 2021. With spring approaching, we feel the need to clear, clean, cleanse and move forth with new projects, birthing our dreams.

For example, in our casita over the last few days, my family and I have been busy clearing out, filling two truckloads full of items to donate to our local thrift shop, one truckload to take to the dump, plus a barrel full of papers ready for a bonfire. Our home feels lighter and ready to receive the mystery of life, helping us love one another and make new memories filled with laughter. Personally, the pandemic has given us insight, moments of contemplation, and lessons in being PRESENT. 

I am a person with a lot of energy and on the go 24/7. I tend to multitask and overextend my energy, at times forgetting to just sit and hold my partner’s hand and listen to his guitar playing. Both the pandemic and being diagnosed with terminal cancer have given me pause, brought on the brakes, and placed many projects on hold. So I am reaffirming the RELEASING of the past with all its shades of toxicity, and I open my heart to RECEIVING the present with all its mystery filled with love, hope, and memories. 

I share with a humble heart a few simple rituals that you can do anytime you might need a boost towards a new beginning or wish to cleanse the energy no longer serving your path. 

Thoroughly clean the house to release and receive

Sweep with a broom from the door to the street when you want to drive out bad vibes, troubles, and negative things from the home. I make a rosemary tea floor wash and use it to sweep my floors or mop them. Then I leave the broom across the outside of my doorway until the first week of the next month. This practice is not an everyday kind of sweeping; it is a sacred ritual of creating peace and order, and refilling our homes with love by letting go that which is ‘at war’ with our spirit. The broom represents the winds of change bringing us the bright energy of hope and the promise of a fresh new start. Sweep away.

Throw out a glass of water

Throwing a glass of water out towards the street symbolizes the expelling of tears, worries, and negativity. I hold the glass of water and release my sorrows into it and then toss the water onto a tree or flowerbed. I experienced many losses last year, and I honored them by placing the energy into a vessel of blessed water, and then allowing them to flow back to Mother Earth. 

Make some noise

Making loud noises drives away spirits that do not belong in your home. Put on some fun music. I like Celia Cruz’s “El Yerberito Moderno,” “Rie y Llora,” or “Aché Para Todos.” Ring bells, play a singing bowl, beat a drum, play a flute. I keep wind chimes outside by my portal porch for this purpose, but even just ringing your doorbell several times works. This year, my five-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter has been drumming the sacred huēhuē. 

Open doors and windows

Opening doors and windows will cause negative energy to leave and good energy to enter your home. With the doors and windows open, I smudge my home with copal, holding the incense burner in my right hand and following it all through the house, starting from the front door and coming full circle back to the front door. I let the copal burn completely down, releasing the negative energy and blessing the renewed space.

Copal incense burning in a popoxcomitl, or copalero. Image courtesy of the author.

Light candles

For those who like candles, you can light three candles in a triangle at exactly midnight to set an intention or new beginning. If you choose, you can light one red candle for love, one green candle for prosperity, and one yellow candle for abundance. Place these on your altar together with grains of rice, lentils, and 13 coins (no matter their value), which represent good fortune. Choose the colors and objects that feel right to you; the power is in your intention and intuition.

Create a ritual of mindful eating

As I prepare for each New Year, I make sure to have a plate of grapes close by. Following Spanish tradition, I eat twelve grapes, representing the twelve months of the year, while making a wish for every month. However, I use the same idea each season, adjusting it for different purposes: for example, I might eat seven grapes for seven new goals, thirty for thirty days of envisioning a new job, six for six months of manifesting. Adapt and adjust the ritual according to your needs and intuition. Create a mindfulness ritual by eating the grapes with intention.

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Burn the negativity

Once a week or month, take some time to write out everything you’d like to forget or release, and then, in a safe place, simply burn the paper up. Once you've burned it, you'll be ready to take on the new without all that weight on your shoulders!

Write out a ‘lista de deseos’

Write out a wish list. Not resolutions—just realizations or wishes. A lista de deseos (wish list) for the new year, the next six months, or the next thirty days (adapt it to your situation) should include all those goals you’re intending to reach. Whatever it is that you put on your list, make sure to also place your heart and soul energy into them. At the beginning of the year, I plant my list in a new pot with new seeds and water it through the winter months; by spring, my plant (which is usually an herb) has bloomed along with my wishes. I then plant the herbs in my garden.

Give yourself a rose limpia

You can give yourself a limpia (a spiritual cleansing) with white roses or any color of roses that speaks to you. Sweep your body with the roses, expressing gratitude for the cleansing. You can then take a bath with the petals or set them free into the ocean, a river, a lake, or other body of water, thanking them again for their gift. The belief is that this limpia helps you start fresh because it cleanses and releases you from past energetic cords. Roses, a powerful companion for the heart, can encourage self love.

Desde mi corazon, may these ideas offer some comfort and hope towards our new path together in the present.

Cuauhtli Cihuatl (CC)

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