Regardless of whether 2014 has been joyous, difficult or a combination of both, it is sensible to use this moment to take stock of what the past year has meant to you; what you've learned, what you've lost and what you've gained, both good and bad.
Remember and give meaning to your experiences over the year. It is so important to live consciously and acknowledging your past is a good way to avoid being in denial or lacking gratitude. Spiritually speaking, giving proper thanks for blessings received and goals acheived helps to pave the way for future rewards.
The last day of the calendar year offers a wonderful opportunity to take stock, to let go of what no longer serves your life and to give thanks for what does.
A simple ritual to accomplish both uses 2 pieces of paper, a white charm bag and a pen, a cauldron, a black candle and a white candle.
Release and Renewal Spell
On your working table, place the cauldron in the center. Facing north, set the black candle behind the cauldron to the left and the white candle behind the cauldron to the right (both unlit).
On one paper write down what you are grateful for; any major blessings, achievements or events that brought you joy in 2014. Fold this paper into a little packet making each fold toward you and set it in front of the white candle.
On the other paper, write down what you wish to be free of in the new year; specific obstacles that you feel are holding you back. Fold this paper away from you and set it in front of the black candle.
Cast a circle and/or anoint with oil if desired and light the candles (first black then white).
Holding the obstacle paper in hand say,
"Remove the chains, these ties that bind; free me from what holds me down. Dissolved, discarded, left behind; I now move forward, blessed and unbound."
Ignite the paper in the light of the black candle and drop it in the cauldron to burn away.
Moving toward your list of blessings, place this in the white charm bag and drip a few drops of wax from the white candle into the pouch then say,
"Blessings given and goals acheived,
I acknowledge and thank those who've helped me succeed.
I work to preserve what has been earned, and seek to build on what I have learned.
To increase the bounty, encouraging growth; joy and prosperity, shining forth."
Tie the bag shut, extinguish the candles and end the ritual. After the rite, bury the ashes (or cast them to the winds) and keep the charm bag in a safe place with items you treasure.
The charm bag can be buried at the end of each year and a new one made if desired.
Blessed Be and Happy New Year