In preparation for our upcoming Year Spell Mooncraft on Saturday, January 2nd, 2010 - we thought that it would be good to repeat some thoughts and advice that we have collected from prior years, with a few new things added in for this year. Our Year Spell is the one MoonCraft which is held every year on the full moon closest to the beginning of January. You can get more info, including the address to the Temple on our Facebook page. (Have you fanned us on Facebook yet? Because why not? You should do it now!)
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. A treasure map is the most common name, but sometimes it can be called a wishing picture, or a dream collage. A 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 time frame, 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 or you 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 pictorial format. Glue sticks and 12" x 12" cardstock will be provided. If you would like to, you may also bring a snack or beverage to share during this very social ritual.
Please plan for at least a three hour or longer ritual. This event often goes much longer than our average MoonCraft event, so we advise that you don't plan on rushing off somewhere else until well after 7 pm. Good magick takes time to craft, so give yourself enough time to finish your year spell completely.
What about bringing children? Children are welcome to come to this circle! We do try to provide some entertainment in the form of DVD's to watch or coloring pages for the younger set, but you will need to watch after your children, as we do not provide babysitting . If you feel that a multi-hour event in a confined space would be too much for your younger kids to handle, you might want to consider a babysitter or caretaker so that you can focus and enjoy the circle more. That being said, most children enjoy the cutting and pasting of the collage and can be encouraged to set goals for themselves on their year spells. If you want your child to create a year spell, you may want to remember to bring a photo of them that they can put on their own collage.
Here's a question we've been hearing a lot about this year's event - "Why did you change this MoonCraft to a Saturday instead of having it on a Sunday like normal?" The answer is simple. Because the Full Moon falls directly on New Year's Eve (it's at 12:13 pm on Thursday, Dec. 31st) holding our event on Sunday would put the Year Spell MoonCraft outside of that powerful three-day window around the full moon. Holding it on Saturday puts us just over 48 hours after the full moon, allowing us to take advantage of that wonderful full moon energy.
New advice for this year - bring a chair! We've been growing so quickly that we are often short of chairs. We plan to buy some more soon, but we may not have enough on hand just yet, so if you have a favorite folding chair, you might want to bring it along.
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 the coming months.