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Not About the Year in Review. Not a Top Ten List



Tricky, isn't it? When you celebrate a new year at a different time in your liturgical calendar than you do in your cultural calendar. Lots of us do that, of course, and it gives those of us who like to restart and evaluate our efforts many opportunities to do so. Jewish New Year. Lunar New Year, birthdays, handfasting returns. All of them, all year long.

I've been very absent from this blog for many months. No apologies--I've been walking my talk and also, may the gods help the listeners, talking my walk.  I'm about to announce my traveling schedule for 2017, am editing a book while writing another, preparing an online course in ancient British magics and setting the stage for my daughter's marriage--the week before Samhain.

But I came here specifically today to say this--the next year will be tricky and momentous, as they almost always are.  As a priestess and teacher and friend, I want to remind all of you that your strong intentions mean so much in the way time forms itself around you and your life. But intentions aren't everything--there are some things that are simply not your job to do.  Please let guilt about that go, flowing as energetic compost into the Earth.

Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices. Many of us use this liturgical piece, some of us dismiss it. But the cold fact is that life is best lived with celebration and joy in it, even if the celebrations are small and the joy timid. No, this isn't about the Law of Return or Attraction or any of that. It is about our very human natures. Life is bearable with a little joy. Life is grand as the dose increases.

So, as the Wheel turns yet again, consider what it is that pleases you, that pleasures you, that makes you smile quietly when you think of it.  Consider doing more dancing, more singing, more ritual in small groups.  Eat fresh food when you can and drink lots of water. Rest when you can't sleep. Call back your dreams of five years ago and see where they stand now. Consciously let go of the things that no longer serve or nourish you.

Fear not, as the story goes. Fear not...for behold!


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H. Byron Ballard is a ritualist, teacher, speaker and writer. She has taught at Sacred Space Conference, Pagan Unity Festival, Southeast Her essays are featured in several anthologies, including “Birthed from Scorched Hearts“ (Fulcrum Press), “Christmas Presence“ (Catawba Press), “Women’s Voices in Magic” (Megalithica Books), “Into the Great Below” and “Skalded Apples” (both from Asphodel Press.) Her book Staubs and Ditchwater: an Introduction to Hillfolks Hoodoo (Silver Rings Press) debuted in June 2012. Byron is currently at work on Earth Works: Eight Ceremonies for a Changing Planet. Contact her at,


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