I’ll introduce (or re-introduce) you to some of the celebrations that have been lost through the millennia.
Anna Perenna is the goddess of long life and renewal, health and plenty. Her two names both make reference to the year: anna means "to live through a year", while perenna means "last many years" (the root source of the English words annual and perennial).
This goddess is associated with cycles of renewal, and connecting the past to the present. So it seems appropriate that Anna herself is described in some legends as old, and in others as young.
The Festival of Anna Perenna on the 15th of March (March being the start of the year in the old Roman calendar) was beloved by the common people. On the evening before, people would gather at the 1st milestone on the Via Flaminia in her scared grove of fruit trees by the bank of the Tiber. Revelers camped out, some bringing tents, others making shelters from leafy tree branches or by draping their cloaks over poles. There they picnicked through the night, feasting, dancing and singing, and celebrating with copious amounts of wine as they toasted to health and long life. They believed that one would live as many years as the cups of wine one could drink, so of course it was traditional to get quite drunk.
Who knows? Maybe the current tradition of clinking glasses together to toast the New Year began with old Anna Perenna.
I love buying new calendars after the holidays, and filling them in. It’s probably the writer in me, but using an online planner just ain’t the same. I know many people swear by their Google calendar or Microsoft or Android planning tools, but I get such pleasure from actually putting pen to paper.
I have a “family” calendar on the kitchen wall. We joke, “If it’s not on the calendar, it likely won’t happen.” Seriously, it’s like our appointment bible.
In addition, I have my own specialized “writing” planner, where I lay out the whole year’s writing conferences and associated costs, track sales, and outline chapters of the book I’m working on currently, plus notes for the next one or two. Those chapter notes eventually end up in the manuscript on my laptop, but the ideas germinate in the longhand notes in my planner.
Then, there’s the more esoteric part of my planning.
Every year I lay out a tarot spread in January, the Wheel of the Year, a card to represent my dominant theme, thought or challenge for each month of the year. This year, my January card is the Two of Cups.
In my deck, the Two of Cups depicts a man and a woman embracing while holding cups in what appears to be a wedding ceremony. The caduceus of Hermes spirals in the air above them. The two-snake caduceus design has ancient and consistent associations with trade, negotiation, balance, duality (union of opposites), and cosmic energy. On the Two of Cups, the caduceus sends a positive message for new partnerships, and suggests that with honor, respect and balance, new relationships shall be rewarding. At the top of the caduceus is a lion’s head, a symbol of passion and fire energy. The two snakes that wind up the caduceus represent dark and light and their coexistence within us.
A bond is forming between myself and someone else, be it a truce with a sworn enemy or an embrace with a new love. My initial feeling is it’s a budding love, and a platonic one with a large difference in ages.
But the two of cups is a weak card. The cards around it in the reading hold great sway in determining the outcome of this deepening relationship. I’ll be taking a close look at the February card (2 of Wands) on one side, and December (3 of Pentacles) to figure out how they will influence this new “romance.” I’ll let you know how things shake out later on this month.
What activities do you conduct to look into the future and make plans for the New Year?
- Do you buy a new planner and fill in important dates?
- Or, do you prefer electronic planning?
- Do you use any divination tools?
- Do you write a daily “To Do” list?
- Or maybe you let the fates determine your actions?
I’d love to hear what you want to achieve in 2018, and how you plan to convert your dreams to reality. Remember, a goal is simply a dream with a deadline!
Next week, I'll share a spell for healthy sleep, and a purification spell for your home, along with my favorite ways to add magic to your cleaning chores.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!