Go Natural for the New Year


Go Natural for the New Year

Celebrate the Wheel of the Year Instead

Getty/Bogdan Kurylo

Energetically, celestially, astrologically, physically—January 1st is just one day.

All over the world, people acknowledge January 1st as the first day of a new year. Certainly, that’s the case in terms of the Gregorian calendar and how we keep time; 2023 becomes 2024. This slip from one year to the next can feel important, especially since the last couple of years have been so challenging in such novel ways. We’re clinging to the hope that this year is going to be better.

Inevitably, some things will improve, some things will be worse, and some things will stay the same. We don’t know exactly how it’ll all go, of course. It’s just how time works, and January 1st is as good a time as any to acknowledge that.

Another Way to Mark the Days

One thing we do not need to do, however, is make New Year’s resolutions. Of course, you can if you want to. But energetically, celestially, astrologically, physically, there is really no reason to do that on January 1st. It’s just one day.

[Read: “Why You Should Resolve Not To Make Any New Year’s Resolutions.”]

The Wheel of the Year is the Wiccan holiday calendar, with eight holidays that correspond to occurrences in the natural world. Rather than arbitrary dates for holidays, each one is a celebration of the season or the changing of the light.

When we allow our perspectives to shift and change with the natural movements of the world around us, it can be much easier to feel the shifts with each movement in the Wheel of the Year.

Around the Wheel We Go

For Wiccans, Halloween (or Samhain) is the first day of a new year. The winter celebration of light is on the winter solstice (December 21st or 22nd), the longest night of the year before the sun slowly starts to return to the Northern Hemisphere again. January 1st is nothing!

The next holiday on the Wiccan calendar is Imbolc or Candelmas on February 2nd, which aligns with Groundhog Day. This is a time of year where we start to feel the sun returning. It’s a midpoint between the dark solstice and the spring equinox, and we can acknowledge the turning of the Wheel. This is also closer to Chinese New Year, a much more reasonable time to think of a New Year beginning.

Wheel of the Year

[Read: “New Moon, New Year: Wisdom from the Chinese New Year.”]

January 1st is just a couple of weeks after the winter solstice. It’s still dark at this time, still cold, and not a great time for mobilizing. We are still deep in the dark season. It is a perfectly reasonable time to be thinking about a New Year’s Resolution. The dark time is an excellent place to be considering what kind of work we want to do in the coming year and making our wishes—as we might do ritually for the winter solstice. But it’s not a time for action. Not a time to do anything, not yet, not before we have the energy of the sun and a little warmth on our side helping us to move forward.

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

One possible reason that so many New Year’s Resolutions fail is because trying to take on an active new task in the darkest, coldest time of the year is against our nature. We’ll have a lot more success if we start something new on Imbolc or even wait until the spring equinox.

So this New Year’s, if you’d like to make a resolution, go for it. Especially if that resolution has anything to do with taking care of yourself and listening to your body. But consider thinking of it as an intention. Take your time in unfolding that intention. Allow your action to come later. Enjoy your celebrations if you are doing anything, but take the pressure off of January 1st. Rest, relax, and enjoy the natural turning of the Wheel of the Year.

For more of Julie’s resolution solutions, consider her ideas for holistic New Year’s resolutions.


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Go Natural for the New Year

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