In this past year we have borne witness to great suffering; we have experienced loss, isolation, and collective grief. We have also recognized our interconnectedness, our capacity for both mutual aid and radical self-care. Hopefully, we are all recognizing our potential to make magic through actively building the world in which we want to exist.

I have never been one to make resolutions at the start of a new calendar year, preferring to set intentions with the moon cycles. The changing of the date won’t suddenly alter the landscape in which we’re living, but I think we can all benefit with cutting ties with this dumpster fire of a year, and so I thought I’d share a simple spell to bid adieu to 2020!

Often, when I explain what being a witch means to me, I talk about the archetype of the witch, the historic context and the power of “other,” etc., and I find myself downplaying my craft. Why? It feels too personal, too “woo woo.” Ultimately though, whatever your spiritual practice may be, rituals and spells are simply a way of focusing our intentions through motion and materials.

For this spell you will need:

  • A pen or pencil
  • 2 pieces of paper
  • A length of string
  • Scissors
  • Optional: a candle, bells, whatever you use to set a magical mood—it’s entirely up to you!

Begin by preparing your space—ring a bell, cast a circle, cleanse with smoke, etc. The important part of this is that you feel like you’re in the right headspace to focus your energy.

Take time to meditate on what this year has taught you. We can thank an experience for showing us both what we *don’t* want in our lives, and for giving clarity about what we do desire, need, and deserve. On the first piece of paper, make a list of what you wish to leave behind in 2020. It can be both big things, like social injustice, and little stuff, like petty irritations. On the second piece of paper, list your intentions, wishes, goals—you name it.

After rolling up your papers like miniature scrolls, tie each scroll with opposite ends of the string. Here, you can personalize the spell as much as you want by adding a phrase, movement, etc., but I like to focus a bit when tying the knots, visualizing it binding my intentions.

With your intentions clear and focused in your mind’s eye, cut the string between the papers, visualizing a clean break between what you are shedding and where you are focusing your intentions. Burn (or recycle!) the “shedding” paper, and keep the “intentions” paper in a place where you’ll be reminded of your intentions (a wallet, a corkboard, etc.).

And that’s it! Feel free to personalize as much as you want, a big part of the joy and magic in our craft is making it our own. Happy spellcasting!

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