I’m not a believer in Resolutions per se but I do believe in setting goals for myself to improve based on what I want to accomplish. Last year I made a concentrated effort to live more seasonally and to pay more attention to the wheel of the year. I developed a great respect and love for nature and my ability to provide for myself in the process.
Here are some goals that are a bit witchy that you might set for your spiritual practice.
Start a meditation practice. Science has proven again and again that meditation is good for you. Physically it can help you de-stress, mentally it gives your brain a moment to re-charge and spiritually it gives you an opportunity to come back to center, to your true self. Even if it’s only 5 minutes in the morning before you get out of bed, the benefits of meditation are astonishing.
Eat seasonally. Strengthen your connection to the seasons by eating locally and seasonally as much as possible. Plant a garden, buy produce at local farmers markets and know how (and when) to collect nuts, herbs and other plants to enjoy in their season. These lifestyle adjustments go a long way to helping you stay close to nature, not to mention the health, environmental and social benefits.
Learn tarot, runes or other types of divination. Have you ever had someone pull out a deck of cards and thought “I wish I had that gift”? With diligent practice, a year is enough time to master the deck, the runes or other tool.
Become a healer. Whether it’s learning Reiki, Earth Energy Mastery or simply getting better at using essential oils and herbs to promote wellness, learn a new way to heal and experience the rewards of bringing comfort to those around you.
Commit to celebrating all the Sabbats for one year. It’s easy to miss one of the 8 holidays on The Wheel when many of them fall on weekdays and aren’t widely recognized (except Samhain). It’s not like Ostarra is on the average calendar. My secret is to plan ahead. Put the Sabbats on your calendar and know how you want to celebrate them several weeks in advance.
Find your tribe. Many people find satisfaction in being spiritual but not religious. The “regular” Christians can seem too uptight and the full-on Pagan groups can be plain scary. Unitarian Universalist congregations usually offer some pagan services, or you can check out Meet Up for something “pagan flavored” in your area.
Contribute. Spiritual communities thrive on participants from all walks of life. Agree to volunteer your time at least once a month to making our shared world richer. Teach a workshop at a local herb shop, volunteer at festivals, or organize a group of like-minded friends to help out at a soup kitchen. Whatever you have to offer, offer it. The world needs you.
Go on a weekly, or even daily, nature walk. Most people only walk outside in ideal conditions—warm, dry weather that’s only available in most places during certain times of the year. Consider walking on rainy days and listen to the drops of water. A walk on a snowy day makes for a quiet, contemplative walk. Commit to a weekly nature walk for one year and see what it teaches you.
Maintain your altar. For one year, commit to keeping your altar fresh and rotated. Decide what means to you. Does it mean decorating for the Sabbats? Keeping the offering bowl freshly offered? Lighting a nightly candle or stick of incense as a daily devotion? Try maintaining your altar for one year and notice how much more spiritually mindful you become.
Care for an animal friend or familiar. Involving a living creature in spiritual practice is not something to take lightly. All the above New Year’s resolutions may be broken with no harm to anyone but taking responsibility for an animal does carry with it the potential for harm should you decide it isn’t for you. You can have an animal friend as a pet, farm friend, or companion. Just be sure that you are prepared to care for any animal that you take on for the duration of its life.
Have you tried any of these things? Are you inspired to try something new for 2017?