I don’t practice this ritual as they did in days of old, but I’ll happily link to Wikipedia’s definition of Saturnalia for those wanting to know origin stories. For me, I continue using the phrase of old because it suites the same time window – new moon before the new year. On that night I have a ritual and it is highly valuable to me and has most frequently given me the results I ask for.
Unlike many others, I have spent most of my time in ritual alone. I haven’t spent time reading about Wicca and I don’t belong to a coven; I have friends who do, and we have many overlapping beliefs, but I wouldn’t dare to say that I do as others do because I honestly don’t know their ways. In fact, most Wiccans have a name for me – solitary; the name makes me smile as it’s quite accurately how I spent most my time in ritual and practice.
However, a handful of years ago I asked four girlfriends if they wanted to join my ritual. Over time friends had shown more and more interest in my rituals and I decided that I’d be open to inviting people, as long as there was no pressure to act as high-priestess. I dig an informal collection by a fire, each individual listening to their own needs and honoring them in group or in isolation as desired.
My major spiritual alignment comes in rituals with the moon. New moon is a manifesting moon and full moon is time to release. THIS MOON is the perfect time to do both; get rid of what you are done with and put that mess behind you AND set manifestations for the next year. So incredibly helpful!!
FIRST – write down what you are done with: relationships, behavioral patterns, worries, fear etc. When it comes to releasing and to manifesting, I like to think in four categories to create life balance: HOME, CAREER, RELATIONSHIPS, BODY. Once everything is written down find a place to speak to the moon, remember it is new moon so you don’t see her – but she’s there. I start like this, “Hello mama moon, I call on you tonight, I call on the angels, guides, and ancestors who watch: take these burdens and help me to be done with them. I release to you BLAH WORRY and BLAH FEAR and …” this often turns into some kind of honesty free-style as I go through my list and call it out and say I’m so friggin done with and I do not want this relationship or any like it to take its place, etc. Let your inner you lead the conversation. Then thank the moon and all others you called in to help/listen and THEN GO BURN THE PAPER.
Next step: Manifesting.
Again I utilize the four categories: Home, Career, Relationships, Body. I write what I will have in the new year. Don’t write a want or you’ll manifest wanting that thing! Write it as though you have it. Now, go tell it to the moon and all others who serve and support you. I like to keep that paper and reiterate it on the first new moon of the new year. I often give people a white candle to be lit when you recite manifestations and take home to light as often as you like and remember or recite the manifestations each time.
One year, I was convinced I should invite more people, that many people would like to participate. My friend was right, people did want to participate! Into my tiny one bedroom with a shared tiny yard came 30 or more people. I barely had time to ritual myself but when I did ritual I loudly asked for a bigger space, somewhere I could host these types of gatherings and have plenty of room for all. I had no plan of how to get there, I didn’t have resources to move. However, within three months I moved into a house with a gigantic yard perfect for fire and rituals. When I moved into that house I thought, “I could start a family here.” The next month I met the man who recently asked me to marry him. So… I highly recommend this ritual.