Happy Secular* New Year! My friends and peers have told me of so many New Years customs they celebrate- I had to share! Stay tuned for my New Year's resolutions later this week!
"I celebrate Hogmanay, the Scots New Year, so every year at this time I clean my house from top to bottom and chase out all the bad luck and negativity of the past year with my broom and herbs. You can't uncross yourself if you don't clean house first! Then I'll prepare a spiritual cleansing bath for myself after which I'll perform a purification ritual along with an uncrossing to open myself up to what the New Year has to offer (and get rid of any intentional or unintentional evil eye action). Then on New Year's Eve I'll fast and prepare a feast to eat after midnight. I will leave things on my altar I want to attract in the coming year - coins for prosperity, cards and gifts from my friends and family, food and drink for plenty, and so on. On the stroke of midnight I run around the house and open every window and door to welcome in the New Year." -Ms. Graveyard Dirt
"On New Year's Eve, we have a low key dinner party. Each person brings a tarot deck and selects a card to do a group reading for the coming year."- a Witch friend from the Bay Area who wishes to remain anonymous
"I eat black eyed peas on New Year's Day, to usher in prosperity for the year. Here's my recipe:
1lb black-eyes peas (some times called cowpeas or china peas)
one small onion
salt—a teaspoon or so
cayenne pepper (sometimes called red cocaine)—use lots!
(I have also seen recipes that call for ginger root or ginger root powder. Sounds delicious, I will try this next time.)
Wash peas thoroughly and let soak for one hour to overnight. When peas are plump, crush them with your hands to release the skins. Rinse the skins out; they will rise to the top. (This step will require repeating until most of the skins are rinsed away: patience may need to be evoked.)
Blend cleaned and hand-crushed peas with chopped onion, salt, and cayenne in a blender or Cuisinart to puree.
Place pureed mixture into a clean ceramic or glass bowl to ferment twenty-four hours.
Carefully drop the batter into hot peanut oil with a tablespoon. Turn once when the sides turn a little brown. Sprinkle with a little salt while still hot.
Enjoy this ancient ancestral food of the African people, the predecessor to the modern hush puppy. Let these cakes nourish you and your soul as well as the hearts and spirits of those with whom you share."- Mother Sister Daddy Queen
While I am fully aware of our current calendar is the Gregorian calendar, which is a Christian invention to get folks aware from the older, lunar (read: pagan) calendar- it is now the secular calendar we are all forced to use regardless of religious orientation.