As the year draws to a close, this is a good time to look back on 2022 and the lessons it had to teach us. Many are still recovering from the challenges of 2020-2021, so let's all give ourselves a pat on the back just for making it this far! Now we can look ahead to 2023... a New Moon on December 23rd makes this a great time to plant intentions for next year and find, or maintain, direction.
I have fun with time-honored traditions when it comes to setting intentions. The custom of "planting by the signs" may seem old-fashioned to today's farmers, but humans have always used the planets and stars in our agricultural planning, and apparently it worked well since we aren't all hunter/gathering these days. I think of the heavens as one of many natural tools our Creator gave us to help navigate and make the best of our earthly life.
This month's New Moon in Capricorn means business... literally! Capricorn is grounded, hard-working, organized. Right now, there are FIVE planets in Capricorn so it's a great time for your dreamy Neptune visions, your big and bold Jupiter aspirations, and your deep-thinking Mercery ideas to all get filtered through the practical worker bee that is Capricorn. This is the time to plant seeds for what you will grow in 2023. Then take some time each month to foster growth by making that phone call, buying that domain name, signing that lease... whatever steps you can take to propel yourself forward. Want to create a visual reminder so you don't forget to work on your intention each month? Try planting an actual seed:
All you need is a jar, paper towel, and some seeds (beans work well). On the night of the New Moon (or sometime near it) take time for prayer and meditation. Choose one thing you'd like to grow, or a direction you'd like to take, in 2023. It might be a business venture, a creative project, a personal goal like practicing more self-care. Write it down in the form of a positive intention... for example, "I will practice monthly self-care activities in 2023" or "I am ready to embark upon this journey of self-employment. By the end of 2023 I will have finished my website and made 3 professional contacts." Wrap your seeds loosely in a damp paper towel and place them into the jar with your intention paper. Keep moistening the paper towel and watch for sprouts.
Keep your jar on a sunny windowsill so when life gets busy, it will catch your eye and remind you to ask, "Have I booked a self-care appointment this month?" or "Have I worked on my website?" If your seed fails to sprout, don't worry that it's a sign of failure (unless you didn't put the work in and water it). It could be a dud seed, or your water/sun/jar situation wasn't just right. It could be that you need to do this your own way. Perhaps by purchasing a plant that has meaning to you. Tightly roll your intention paper and press into the soil with your finger. Then water it and enjoy your New Moon Intention Plant all year!
Some people struggle with this exercise because it's difficult to focus on one intention. It helps to sit down first and write two lists: all the positives in 2022, and all the negatives. Sometimes it feels like we had a bad year, yet we are surprised to see more positives than negatives on our list. Seeing it all spelled out may help you home in on what you'd like to see more of in 2023, and what you'd like less of.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the negatives, here's another tool from the old days: halve some lemons and place them around your living space. Over the next few days, let loose with your negative energy; allow yourself to think all the thoughts and feel all the feelings as you review the year. Release negativity (ideally with sound; talking, singing, dancing to intense music) to be absorbed by the lemons. When the lemons get yucky, thank them and throw them out (or bury them) with a firm Farewell to the past.
Feeling scattered to the wind like dandelion wishes? Then make finding direction your intention. "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you..." Try a short period of hibernation; a "silent retreat" including prayer/meditation yields amazing results. You can do this in a hotel, or at a friend's house, or in nature... withdraw from your daily surroundings and spend the time with no tv, no phone, no interaction with other people for at least one day. If you put the work in and do the asking, the seeking, the knocking, then all year long there will be signs and opportunities and words spoken by people around you, that will guide you in a direction to take. Keep your eyes and ears open, nurture your Intention Plant, and all will be well. Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!