Luna writing with a feather pen

Witchy rituals to wrap up this year and get a head start on the next

We all have our own ways of transitioning from one year to the next. If you’re not a fan of traditional New Year’s resolutions, here’s some witchy rituals I used to help wrap up 2021 and start 2022 off strong.

Looking back on 2021, it was the most difficult, painful year I can remember in many ways. And it’s not just me. Everyone I know has been through it this year. 

Even though 2021 was massively horrible in so many ways, it was also full of blessings and lessons. Oh so many lessons!

Witchy rituals to end the year

To help me extract the hidden gems from this challenging year — and then compost the rest of that sh*t — I turned to rituals. The holiday season is a rough time of year for many, especially those of us who can’t be with our loved ones for whatever reason. My husband, Jason, and I were feeling particularly raw around making plans for Christmas this year, so decided to celebrate Yule, or the Winter Solstice, instead. We still had a fun day of eating lots of food and watching movies on Christmas Day, but it was a lot more relaxed once we took the pressure off!

On the winter solstice, Jason and I did letting-go and intention-setting rituals together. The letting-go ritual involved making lists or writing stream-of-conscious letters to ourselves and burning them in our wood stove.

Luna writing witchy rituals with a feather pen
writing down your dreams and visions makes them real

During the intention-setting ritual, I wrote down four intentions. Then, I infused them into four jasper stones, which I plan to bury in the corners of my garden this spring. Jason also burned his intentions list, because why not? He’s a fiery soul.

Another ritual I haven’t done yet involves writing the names of people and things I want to let go of on pieces of toilet paper, freezing them in ice cubes, and then burying them in the snow. I’m waiting for another decent snow fall before I do this one!

Aligned 2022

On a different day, I did a thorough review of my past year and set clear goals for 2022. I followed Gala Darling’s Aligned 2022 mini-course for this one, and highly recommend it for anyone who does better with a little bit of structure (I see you, Virgos!)

I love Aligned 2022 because Gala poses the questions in a way that makes you appreciate the way things can actually turn out great, even when they seem to be going so horribly wrong.

Oddly enough, the thing I’m most grateful for from 2021 is my friendship with a strong, beautiful, spirited woman who was diagnosed with cancer in the spring. I’m so thankful, not only for her love and support as a friend, but also for having the opportunity to come along on her journey to remission. It’s given me a new perspective on life and what’s important. Learning that she was cancer-free was one of the Top-5 moments of my year, as was launching this website. 

Even if you don’t know Hayley personally, I think anyone who has — or is close to someone who has — cancer or another chronic illness would benefit from reading her blog, The C-Bag Chronicles.

Aligned 2022 also made me realize that I forgot to celebrate something major — something that changed my entire year, and probably the course f the rest of my life. I left the soul-sucking job I’d hated more and more since around the time Covid hit in March 2020.

I wanted to drop that freelance client for a long time but never did becase I felt nervous not knowing how I’d replace the income. When I finally left, I didn’t feel anxious or stressed at all! I felt free. Lighter. Happier. Proud of myself.

Not only did it feel good to leave, but I was proud of the way I handled it. I was professional and polite but still honest about how I felt the company’s expectations and demands were increasing while my compensation remained stagnant.

I forgot to celebrate at the time, so, I’m going to celebrate now!

In fact, I realized that all the best things about 2021 happened after I ended my contract with that client. I started this website, wrote more than 50,000 words of my first novel, and was able to help Jason with the dozen or so home improvement projects we have going on at any given time.

In addition to reviewing the year, celebrating forgotten wins, and releasing the past, I also took some time to set intentions and plan goals for the next year.

What’s the difference between goals and intentions?

Gala defines goals as “what by when?” I’ve also heard of the mnemonic SMART when describing goals, which I kind of hate because it gives me flashbacks to boring business workshops. Anyway- SMART stands for specific, measurable, and time-bound. I forget what the A and R stand for, so they’re probably not that important.

Setting intentions, on the other hand, has fewer rules. An intention can be as simple as one word that expresses the general direction in which you want your life to go.

Most of the goals and intentions I wrote down are personal, but I’ll share one that’s popped into my mind more than once during these year-end rituals.

Be kind.

Specifically, kind to myself, my body, and others. I assume that the third part will be much easier if I stick to the first two.

Sooo… what does that even mean?

As much as I strive to share positive, life-affirming messages meant to empower others, I struggle with an inner critic. The little voice inside my head who won’t shut up about how I’m not good enough, not working hard enough, not healthy enough, and not productive enough. ugh.

The other day, I was talking to a friend on the phone and we realized we both say mean things to ourselves in our own heads while we speak encouragement and positivity to friends and sisters in the same position. Can you relate?

For me, being kind to myself means talking to myself the way I would to a friend. When I feel afraid, unworthy, or doubtful of my own ability to handle a situation, I won’t allow myself to slip into a pit of self-loathing. Instead, I’m going to speak words of encouragement and remind myself of how awesome I am, just like I would if I was on the phone with my bestie, listening to her talk about a hard time she’s going through.

This is just one small example of how I plan to prioritize kindness in my daily life.

Another intention I have is to greet each day with zero expectations.

I started practicing this intention in the fall, when the topic of lowering expectations kept popping up in my life. It felt like the universe was nudging me hard.

First, the guy who dropped off our excavator rental suggested I lower my expectations when it comes to getting the materials we needed to build a barn before the first snow of the season. (We still have not built the barn, ICYI).

Then, I was listening to a podcast in which a woman shared that her secret to success was having zero expectations every day. She claimed it made her a better mother, a kinder boss, and a happier, more creative person. That all sounds great to me!

I can tell you one thing, lowering my expectations has been tremendously beneficial for my mental health! Instead of feeling frustrated and disappointed when things don’t come through “according to plan,” I feel grateful they come through at all. Or grateful they didn’t! What’s that they say? Keep your gratitude higher than your expectations?


The best thing about reviewing and planning before New Year’s Eve is that you get a head start on everyone else! Let me know if you use any of these rituals, and go get em, tiger!


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4 thoughts on “Witchy rituals to wrap up this year and get a head start on the next”

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