New Year’s Reflections and Practices

Now that the mania of secular Christmas and New Year’s is petering out, I’m enjoying some of the rest and reflection to which Winter invites us. How about you?


2018 was a slog for many of the people I’m closest to, but I honestly can’t complain. My family and I are well, and we have what we need. After struggling with school during his elementary years, my son transitioned to middle school with aplomb, which was a relief for the whole family. In addition to education, cooking and sharing meals are centers of our family’s life, and in the fall we removed and replaced our entire kitchen. I’m deeply grateful for the beautiful new space, and I look forward to sharing it with extended family and friends.

I dove deeper into hunger relief work by volunteering at our area’s food bank in 2018, where I assisted with nutrition education classes and worked in the garden.

I spent the past year reflecting on boundaries, and I initiated in earnest the challenging work of resetting boundaries with my family of origin. I also learned a lot about friendship.

Much of my energy in 2018 went into RN life, specifically on identifying my professional values and boundaries and approaching the ever elusive work/life balance. On NYE I gave notice at my current hospital position and will look for a position in the community in coming months.

I facilitated two public sabbat rituals at First UU in 2018. In our first, just before Samhain, we honored ancestors and celebrated the Cauldron of Changes in a lovely little circle of 13. For Winter Solstice we hosted 31 (!) in the circle, which was a pleasant surprise and a challenge. I think it went well; I got positive feedback, and I’ve identified some things I can work on as a ritual facilitator for a big group. Our regathered First UU Pagan community, which I’m calling the First UU Pagan Alliance, will not pursue membership in CUUPS at this time. Our minister Meg Barnhouse and I are planning a divination ritual with the runes for the Feb 2 sabbat.

I continued walking in Tejas Web’s New Moon Pentacle Walk as my schedule permitted in 2018, and my family and I attended Dandelion Gathering in October. I watched the Winter Solstice sunrise from Mt. Bonnell, as is my yearly custom.

During the past year I began studying the runes as a divination tool, and I began exploring what devotion might mean and look like for me. More in future posts.

I regret not gardening or traveling or camping or walking outside with Poe more often than I did in 2018 but plan to correct that this year. I’m certain to continue the work around boundaries and relationships that I began last year; minding the edges is just witch life.

I’ve eaten my New Year’s black-eyed peas and greens. When our firewood dries out from recent rains, I’ll burn a sprig of last year’s mistletoe, too.

Happy New Year to you and yours!





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