A New Year Fire Ritual To Set Your Intentions For the Year Ahead
Perform this fire ritual to set intentions, release old experiences and welcome new possibilities in the new year.
You stand on the crossroads of past, present and future. What do you intend to release from the past year? And what do you seek to draw into your life? This fire ritual can help you set your intentions for the year ahead.
A fire ritual burns away the detritus of the past year. The emotions, experiences and people you no longer wish to hold onto. A new year ritual can help you free yourself from your chains.
Yet, whenever you create space in your life, you are creating a void to be filled. To set your intentions after a New Year fire cleansing ritual is to give shape and form and energy to the kinds of things you most desire to fill that fresh new space with. What is it you desire? New behaviours and beneficial habits? Achievable goals? A transformation of the energy that you receive, emit and are surrounded with?
Setting your intentions for the new year need not be performed on a specific day. The day you choose to match your needs and schedule is just fine. We are all still in the cusp, and the move from the old year into the new is as much a personal feeling as it is a date on a calendar. Nature is not ruled by calendars – there is a general sweep from one season and state of being into another, so you need not worry unduly about specific dates for your ritual. Your personal gut instinct is just fine, dear heart. And never forget that nature has your back.
Your aim will be to write notes for want you want to cleanse from the old year, and what you want to welcome into the new one.
The cleansing fire will burn away the old; it will give space from the big bright new to rise from the past’s ashes like a phoenix.
You may wish to make your notes quite small, so you have less paper to burn.
Write notes on what you wish to release from the past year. It might be:
- People you wish to let go of in your life
- Emotions you wish to release and transform
- Past experiences you wish to disentangle your energy from
Next, write notes on what you wish to welcome into your life in the new year. It might be:
- A specific goal, like completing a creative project or achieving a specific event
- An influx of people and situations that will nourish you
- The channelling or emergence of something new in yourself
- A general transformation of the energy in your life
- A pot luck surprise. Never underestimate the powers of chance, serendipity and synchronicity in working magic! Curiosity and a positive outlook give space for magic to flow.
If there are specific people you wish to release in your life, you may choose to burn a photo, or a printout of one, and specify your intentions by writing a note on the back of the photo.
Charge your notes how you wish. Some example methods might be:
- Taking care with the design, ink/colour choice and wording
- Transforming the notes into sigils or poems
- Wafting your notes over a lit candle – not close enough to burn, but close enough to start tingling with fire’s transformational energy
- Putting them in a box, and surrounding that box with your preferred crystles, candles, and Tarot cards that most clearly relate to your desires.
- Do you have a regular prayer or chant you draw strength from? Say it over your notes. Your breath, your intent, the music of your voice… these are all powerful tools to weave strength and protection around your intentions.
Finally, you may wish to tell friends what you are doing and invite them to take part. They could supply their own notes for your ritual – by hand, by text, by DM, by speech. The method of receiving the notes is a pact between you and your friends.
We, all of us, have things we wish to release and call upon in our lives. Not all of us are in a position to devote the time and energy we wish to our practice. To invite your friends to participate in your ritual can create positive vibes of trust, generosity and emotional strength that can benefit you both and lend further power to the ritual itself.
Creating a fire ritual to set your intentions for the new year
Create your space. If you are fortunate, you may be able to gather kindling (and bbq lighter aids) and light your fire somewhere natural and safe. It may be in a designated fire spot in a wood, or you or a friend may have a garden area and bbq pit. You may have a single candle, or a lighter, or you may have a gas hob on top of your oven. If you are using a candle, you may wish to conduct the ceremony in a sink, or place the candle in a large glass bowl or plate, in order to ensure that the fire cannot spread. Whatever your methods, ensure you and your environment are fully safe, and always have a jug of water to handle along with a thick towel to smother the fire if required.
As you can see, my preferred method for fire rituals is to use my beloved Zippo lighter. It’s portable fire wizardry. It also stays alight so I don’t burn my fingers, and fellow Twin Peaks fans may appreciate the high vibes of the inscription I chose… ‘Fire Walk With Me’.
Set your sacred space. You may wish to bring holly into the space in honour of the Holly King, who rules from midsummer to yule. His time is ending, and the time of the Oak King is coming. Or, if that is not your personal ethos, you may wish to include elements of past and new in the ritual space, and elements that evoke growth and the passage of time. You can also add opening and closing elements to this ceremony as you see fit, depending on your personal practice.
Ground yourself in a way that feels right. You might want to stamp the earth, or simply sit and feel the earth connecting with your body.
Start with the things of the past that you wish to release.
Light the flame, and make an invocation that acknolwedges the past but sends it on its way.
You may wish to say something along the lines of:
I am ready to release these lessons, feelings and circumstances of the past year that no longer have anything to teach me. I acknowledge my past and am ready to learn and experience anew.
You may then read each note as you burn it, or simply see it curl in the fire and feel the release without words.
Now take up the things of the future you wish to welcome.
Next, give phoenix energy to the intentions you are ready to draw into your life.
As you bring them to the fire to burn, you may wish to begin with an invocation along the lines of:
I invite these energies into my life. I am ready to serve my higher self, to be more present, and to welcome nourishing emotions and circumstances into my life, that I may flourish and grow.
When all the notes are burned, ground yourself once more. Take a few deep breaths. Perform an action to help dissolve your attachment to either the past or new intentions. This could mean doing a belly laugh (fake works) or rubbing your hands to rub off the attachment then using them to blow a kiss to the universe. Finally, stamp your feet, have a shower – whatever gets you fully in your body and centred once more.
May you find fun and value in setting your intentions for the new year, and feel a sense of release in performing a ritual to cleanse the old and welcome the new!