Hello everyone, and I hope your Yule was absolutely magickal and lovely. There were so many witches who responded to last week’s episode and so first of all, I have to thank Britta again for taking time to write and share so much information and especially for sharing the 13 wishes ritual last week. This tradition really struck a chord, and I’m just so not surprised, because I knew just by the way that it hit me, that it was going to really resonate with a lot of us.
It’s such a simple and beautiful way to close out the year and look forward to the new year, and I for one am so excited about it. I burned my second wish last night, and I got to thinking about how I could incorporate the ashes from these burnt wishes and use them in a New Year’s ritual. You know how I love saving ashes.
So I’ve been kind of brainstorming, and it’s still a work in progress, but I’m going to hold onto the ashes of all the burnt wishes and because I will have that final, thirteenth wish to open and read on the last day, I’m going to incorporate all those ashes into a spell powder, which I don’t even know if I’ve talked about since I did the air magick episode which was like, episode two.
Anyway, I’ll probably mix some powerful manifestation herbs, like sage, basil and cinnamon in with the ashes, I’ll probably dress a candle with some of that mixture and I’ll blow the rest into the four cardinal directions as I hold that final wish in my mind, right as the clock strikes midnight.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves just a bit, I wanted to start with a question:
I am having difficulty trusting my intuition. I feel at a visceral level that I know what is in store for me in the near-ish future. But sometimes my mind gets in the way and tells me that there’s no way I know what’s to come, especially no way that what I feel is to come is even possible. How can I learn to trust my intuition?
Now, this witch messaged me a couple weeks ago, and the timing was interesting because I got a very similar question from three different witches right around the same few days. And that happens sometimes, I’ll get similar questions from several witches and it’s such a nice way for the universe to say ‘hey dumbass, this is something you should probably have already talked about ages ago. Why don’t you do it now?’
And here’s the thing: learning to recognize and trust your intuition is such a common concern. Mostly, we just have to start paying attention when we have those flashes of thought, and make a mental note of when we’re right. Don’t overthink or second guess yourself. Listen to that first, immediate flash of insight. As you keep piling up more and more instances of just ‘knowing’ you kind of have no choice but to start trusting yourself. Give yourself some credit. If you had a friend who had that same intuitive knowledge, you’d probably have no trouble believing in their abilities. We have to give ourselves the same benefit of the doubt that we easily give to other people.
And one more quick question that I wanted to answer was from a vegan witch who wrote in after the hedgewitch episode. We went over a chamomile balm recipe in that episode that calls for beeswax. Well this witch wanted to know if soy wax was a suitable substitute and the answer is yes, absolutely. Soy wax works beautifully in skin care products and chamomile balm is no exception.
And now I would like to just talk about different ways we can use the new year to advance our own magickal agendas. We will talk about how we can set ourselves up for the best possible outcomes for the coming year. We can’t plan for every eventuality, and fate will always throw us curveballs, but I am an organizer, and I like to go into each new year with clear expectations so that I can position myself for success when I see opportunities arise.
So this isn’t the first New Year’s episode we’ve done, and I have talked a lot about what makes New Year’s eve such a good time for working magick, even though, inherently, there’s not a whole lot of significance to this date. The new year according to the pagan calendar falls on Samhain, but that doesn’t mean witches can’t get something out of this. So ever so briefly to recap, I kind of think of it this way: new year’s eve is a big party. It begins in New Zealand and just rolls around the globe like a huge wave of collective energy, building and growing.
Once midnight hits in our own local area, wherever we are, we release our own energy and intent into that wave. It all continues to grow together, this huge bubble that just gets bigger and bigger until it’s all spent once the new year makes its way all the way around to the Pacific islands. Now, you have to agree that’s an enormous amount of energy that we can all piggyback off of. When that much energy is raised, we can easily use it to propel and magnify our own intentions. So I personally do not like to waste it.
The new year is also the perfect time to reevaluate, it’s nice to look back and read through all those journal entries I’ve been harassing you about and see what kind of magick you’ve made this year. It’s also a good time to start a new journal, if that’s something that you’d like to do but haven’t started yet.
And I know it’s not always easy to find the time or even the energy to write all this stuff down, but it’s the end of the year, journals and planners are going to be on clearance, and there’s no reason not to start now. I actually prefer a planner, but you should just use whatever you’re most likely to stick with. And some things that would be really helpful to include in your journal or planner are things like significant astrological events, such as when planets are retrograde, or significant dreams that I’ve had, synchronicities, my daily tarot card that I drew.
I also like to keep track of the moon phase, this is why I like a planner, because at the beginning of the year, I can go in and write in all the moon phases for each month. It’s just an easy way to make sure I can plan ahead for particular spell work that I want to do. I can write down whatever rituals or spells I’ve worked to mark the moon phase, and then it’s easy to go back and make notes about my result or any other little tidbits that come to mind later.
If you are taking part in the 13 wishes ritual that we spoke of last week, then this would also be a good place to make notes when those wishes begin to come true. All in all, this is a low-effort way to prioritize your craft. You can carry this in your purse or your bag and make notes as things occur to you and you can do it when you have the time. It isn’t a big, formal affair like a grimoire.
But this information that you collect can be added to a grimoire. It’s a great rough draft for any kind of proper grimoire entries that you decide to make. We are going to do an entire episode on grimoires coming up soon, and this kind of informal record-keeping will make a grimoire so much easier to create.
This is also a good time of year to practice some divination. We talked very briefly last week about making an onion calendar to get an idea of how much precipitation we will get in each month of the coming year, but another little item that Britta mentioned that we didn’t really expand on last week was this:
Each of the twelve nights, from the solstice through the New Year, represents each of the coming twelve months of the next year. So the idea is that if the first of the twelve nights is moody and sad, then that’s how your January will be. If the second night is fun and happy, then that’s how February will be, and so on.
There’s also wax divination. To determine how the new year will treat you, or to see if there are any important warnings you need to heed, melt a heaping spoonful of wax over a flame, and then pour it into a glass of cold water. You’re meant to divine messages from the shapes in the wax. Traditionally, this was done with lead, due to its low melting point, but it’s also pretty toxic these days, so folks use tin or wax. You can order tin online for this, but wax works too, and it’s probably easier to come by.
Lastly, I wanted to read a little excerpt from a book called The Old Magic of Christmas, by Linda Raedisch. And I do love this book, it is filled with historical accounts of old, old Yule traditions. It’s got information on elves, Krampus, the Yule goat, goblins, ghosts, vampires, and more. And all of these creatures featured so heavily in original Yule and Christmastide observations. But there’s a really cool bit of divination lore that comes from the Lapplands which is where Santa’s predecessor was from before we relocated him to the North Pole and traded his oxen for reindeer. This passage concerns a divination tool called a witches drum.
So however you choose to divine the future of the new year, maybe with tarot cards, or a pendulum, or mirror scrying, I do hope that this year will treat you very well.
And finally as a little bit of housekeeping, I want to just say that I’m getting a new computer this week because the one I’ve been using is just not up to the task anymore, and I’m going to have to transfer all my files, pictures, video, everything. And so while I hope nothing gets lost in the shuffle, I am just saying it could happen, so I thank you for your understanding in advance in the event that it takes me a minute to get things on track.
I still have access to everything from my phone though, so keep writing, messaging, and emailing me. You can find me on middleagedwitch.com, on social media at @middleagedwitch, and you can email me at email@example.com.
So until next week, have a fantastic Twelve Days of Yule, keep those wishes burning, and we will talk again soon.
My name is Eli Ro, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch podcast.