The Road to Hell
Well, everyone is all abuzz making New Year’s resolutions right about now. And as we all know, most of them will be abandoned by February. Why is that?
My theory is that it is all in the timing. Our calendar simply does not sync with the natural cycles and rhythms of Nature. We are in the dark days of the year. It is a time for introspection, reevaluation, planning and choosing our seeds to plant in the Spring.
None of us are very good at patience, that is why it is a virtue. If plants were to begin sprouting now what would happen to them? The first hard frost would come and the plant would die, growth arrested, frozen mid-process. That sounds like most New Year’s resolutions to me.
And yet we are all rushing forward, desperate to make some change, any kind of change to relieve this sense of stagnation. Be kind to yourself. Enjoy the process. Whatever situation you are in was not created in a day, a month, a year. Work with the natural cycles, use them to your advantage.
Now is the time for planning. I know that if I can not sustain a vision of my goal over an extended period of time I will jump to the first shiny distraction that comes my way. This leaves me surrounded by a hoard of good intentions and we all know where that leads. Everyone has a technique that they use to keep themselves focused and on task.
For me, this usually consists of a combination of herbs, crystals, candles, and words. Simple, right? The prep for this technique helps me to be very clear about what I am going to be spending my time doing this year and how I am going to accomplish it. This is not wasted effort. All the thought, preparation, and energy you put into your goal work together to accomplish it.
Choosing My Herbs:
I love incorporating elements from Nature into my work. It is a reminder that I am here in this place and this time on this planet. I am a part of and One with Nature, not outside of or alien to it. So I will look through a few tried and true books and peruse a few trusted internet sources for just the right combination of herbs that symbolize my goal.
Some of the considerations may include Astrological correspondences, symbolic meanings of the herbs or personal symbols of meaning. I will almost always include honey and pomegranate in my work. I now have a large jar of herbs that I will use to burn as incense and to dress candles throughout the year as I work toward my goal. I have also written down the recipe, in the chance that I may need to make more before the year is out.
Choosing My Crystals:
For me, this tends to be a more intuitive process. I like crystals but I know much less about them than I do herbs. I take some time to think about my goal and see which crystals come to mind. I then will look them up and find that they are symbolic of the work I am doing. I never get used to synchronicity.
Sometimes I will also just go crystal gazing. I will visit a store where I can look at crystals and see which ones catch my eye. I might pick them up. Sometimes they are warm or tingling or emanate a pressure that is pleasing to the touch. When this happens I know it is the stone for me. And once more when back referencing I find that it is a perfect choice.
Choosing My Candle:
Most of the time this is simply a matter of color symbolism. These are a few very simple associations to candle color.
White: Can be used for any intention. Purification, Cleansing
Red: Passion, Energy,
Yellow: Personal Empowerment
Green: Prosperity, Heart Issues, Healing
Pink: Love, Affection
Blue: Communication, Peace
Indigo: Intuition, Expanded Awareness
Violet: Connection with Spirit
Black: Absorbing, Banishing, Grounding, Binding
Brown: Court Issues, Prosperity Work in some traditions.
Grey: Balance, Middle Way
But also choosing the type of candle may be important for you. For long-term projects, I will typically choose glass encased vigil candle. I know it is likely to be lit every day for some time during the day. For more short-term issues I like Stagecoach candles. They are thinner than a pillar candle but thicker and taller than a household candle. They are great for carving your chosen words into and also lend themselves better to dressing and blessing. You also have the choice of chime candles and heck even tea lights in a pinch.
Choosing My Words:
My statements are around 10 words or less. This helps you to be very clear and concise. It also becomes easier over time to do this. If it is a struggle at first, do not abandon it. This is an important part of the process. I state it in the positive as if it is already a reality. Statements that include phrases like “I WANT” will leave you wanting. Statements that include “I WILL” push the goal into a future time that is always out of reach. I much prefer “I AM” statements.
Then because I draw strength and encouragement from literature and scripture, I will typically include a quote or verse that is supportive of my goal. I usually write them on parchment, sometimes with quill and ink if it seems appropriate. Other times I simply use my favorite pen. I then burn the paper and mix it in with my blend of herbs that I will use as incense or dressing.
This is a glance into my personal process. I hope that it will help you weather these next few weeks of winter and be ready to plant seeds and blossom come Springtime. Here I am lighting my candle in the darkness and trusting it is calling my future toward me as it keeps me vigilant in the pursuit of it.