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The dead of winter is not the time for resolutions.  Nature is in its cleansing mode and we can capitalize on this phenomenon by letting go, releasing and cleansing ourselves of qualities and conditions we no longer want in our lives.

This New Year's cleansing ritual can be done either on New Year's Eve, or can be part of the celebrations on New Year's Day.  Make it as personal or social as you like; add your own ceremonial touches to make it a special event for you and anyone who participates.  

Our meditation group did this ritual yesterday during our weekly meeting and it was powerful!  We chanted and sang as we each threw our mistakes into the ceremonial pyre, leaving us all feeling purified and cleansed of all that we no longer needed.  

Our family, including my daughter and her friends, all participate in this ritual every year, even by proxy!

It’s a cleansing ritual that can be done any time of the year when we feel the prompt to celebrate releasing and letting go of anything we don’t need.

Our Zodiacal purpose

Astrology, as with many other life tools, has a lot to teach us about ourselves and life, and one important point that it teaches is how to stay in synch with the natural rhythms of life.  

It's no wonder that resolutions don't stick. The dead of winter is simply not the time for resolutions. It's the time for cleansing, releasing, purging. It's what nature is doing.  The currents of winter energy are being directed toward cleansing;  we would see more of our own strength if we followed this model.  

During winter, plant and animal life are either dormant or holding their own against the often brutal forces of the elements.

Dormant means a resting period during which plant growth ceases or slows down; according to Wikipedia, plant metabolism virtually comes to a standstill during the dormancy of winter.

The winter of the soul is our time to die...it's ok....we’ll be born again!

Now is the time to release everything in us that keeps us from expressing our most authentic self.  Now is the time. The forces of nature are at hand.

And then, with our cleansed and purified selves, we begin the march into Spring, radiating with self respect from having endured the soul’s storms, and more than ready to face, resolve and complete just about anything life brings us. Especially resolutions.

New Year's Cleansing Ritual:

This is a simple yet powerful, therapeutic and healing way to end the old year and begin the new.  

Personalize and dramatize it to your own style and needs.  Some years we're glad to be rid of and we can send them off with a “Good Riddance” sentiment!  Sometimes, we‘re celebrating all that is and has been and will be!

Write down everything in your life that you want to release, whether it's negative personality traits, an unhealthy relationship or a meaningless job.

Write down everything that needs releasing, forgiving and letting go in your life.

Now, ceremoniously tear the paper to shreds and throw it all away.

Or, set it on fire (be sure to use responsible measures) and watch the ashes of your old self go up in smoke.

As each piece of paper is given up to the fire you can use the Sanskrit term they use during homas, fire ceremonies, to add a potency:  "Swaha!"  The original word is:  svaha, and it means, “so be it,” which is what “amen” means.

We chanted ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ and ‘Hallelujia’ during yesterday’s ritual.

This ritual can be done by children and adults and is a powerful way to bring in the new year.

Happy and prosperous 2012 to us all!  Part one of this article explored what each of the Zodiac signs needs to cleanse for the new year.

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