In preparation for our upcoming Year Spell Mooncraft, I thought that it would be good to put down some thoughts regarding the year spell, including questions that we get asked every year, and advice for creating an effective spell for your year.
What exactly is a Year Spell?
In the tradition of Sacred Circle, what we call a year spell is something that is known by many names. Treasure map is the most common name, but sometimes it can be called a wishing picture, or a dream collage. I have been told that the technique is included in the book "The Secret" but I have not read it myself. Our Year spell is basically a visual collage which contains images, words and ideas that you wish to come true within the year.
So, how does it work?
The basic technique is that within a set timeframe, you look through magazines, catalogs and other paper items such as journals or newspapers, and cut out things which grab your attention and which you think best represent your goals and dreams for the year. You then paste these items onto a collage and then hang it in your home where you can see it on a daily basis. There are a lot of articles and self-help books that promote different ways to do this. Our tradition is a little specific in the way that the year spell is created, which is what makes it such a powerful ritual!
Our year spell differs from many of these other techniques in a few important ways which you should know about. Firstly, our year spell has a time limit on it. It is crafted specifically for the year in which it is created, and the goals and images captured on it are visualized to happen within that time frame. Now this does NOT mean that if you put something on the year spell that does not come true within the year, that it will never happen! You may have to add some goals year after year until they finally manifest. However, keeping your goals firmly in mind will definitely help with the manifestation process! Coming back to your goals and dreams on a yearly basis can also be a great way to check in on yourself and your own personal progress.
Second, we highly recommend that you bring a photo of yourself to cut out and attach to your year spell! Some websites and books say that this is not as necessary, but we have found that putting your own image into the representation of your goals and dreams is a very strong bit of magic (and there's also some other magic to do with this part that is given out only through oral tradition!) Couples can craft independent spells, or if married or committed to one another, can craft a joint spell. Families can craft one spell for their family group. Children are encouraged to think about their own hopes and dreams, and very often become immersed in the creative process of cutting and pasting images for their own collages. You may also wish to consider what the content of the photos that you bring to the spell are, since you are setting the tone for your year, and should probably choose a recent photo where your emotional state is one of peace, happiness or contentment. If you don't want to cut up a favorite photo, you may wish to consider a simple color photocopy of it as an inexpensive alternative.
Finally, doing such a ritual with the support of a group and being able to access the shared energy, power and intention of the group makes for a very strong vibratory message that is sent to the universe. Petitions are always more powerful when they have more signatures, right? Well this is the same principle. More energy + more intention + more voices = more powerful manifestations. This is "the secret" behind coven and closed-group workings, only this time there is no initiation required.
What do I need for a Year Spell?
As mentioned above, one of the most important items is a recent photograph of yourself, your family and your children. Besides this, you will want to bring your own pair of scissors, and it may sound strange, but if you have any magazines laying around your house, bring a few along. We have found that if your goals are in specific areas, you probably have some representations of these goals in magazine, journal or catalog form. For instance, if one of your dreams is to travel to a tropical paradise on vacation, you may already have purchased an "Islands" magazine or something similar, just on a whim. Or if you are interested, for instance, in buying new equipment for your photography hobby, it's common to have one or more gear catalogs handy. These items can make it much easier to represent your goals and dreams in pictoral format. Glue sticks and 12" x 12" cardstock posterboards will be provided. If you would like, you may also bring a snack or beverage to share during this very social ritual.
By way of mental preparation, if you have done a year spell in the past, please spend some time with it, see what came true, what did not, and what you'd like to carry over into the new year. If you haven't ever done a year spell before, do a mental review of your year behind, and then look ahead a little and see what you might want to manifest in 2009.
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
New Year, I look straight in your eyes -
Our ways and our interests blend;
You may be a foe in disguise,
But I shall believe you a friend.
We get what we give in our measure,
We cannot give pain and get pleasure;
I give you good will and good cheer,
And you must return it, New Year.
We get what we give in this life,
Though often the giver indeed
Waits long upon doubting and strife
Ere proving the truth of my creed.
But somewhere, some way, and forever
Reward is the meed of endeavour;
And if I am really worth while,
New Year, you will give me your smile.
You hide in your mystical hand
No “luck” that I cannot control,
If I trust my own courage and stand
On the Infinite strength of my soul.
Man holds in his brain and his spirit
A power that is God-like, or near it,
And he who has measured his force
Can govern events and their course.
You come with a crown on your brow,
New Year, without blemish or spot;
Yet you, and not I, sir, must bow,
For time is the servant of thought
Whatever you bring me of trouble
Shall turn into good, and then double,
If my spirit looks up without fear
To the Source that you came from, New Year.