New Beginnings Ritual

Climber watching a mountain ridge
Each new adventure begins with a single step. Buena Vista Images / Getty Images

There are many times in our life when all of us feel like we need a new start. Whether it’s at the beginning of a new year, a new moon phase, or even just because we’re having tough times in our life, sometimes it helps to sit down, breathe a bit, and focus on making things change. You can do this ritual any time you need to, but the important part is to remember that you're doing more than just ritualizing your commitment to new beginnings. You're also going to have to focus on the mundane things that make those changes take place.

Part of this process includes saying farewell to the old things. It’s time to get rid of the baggage that’s been dragging you down, toxic relationships that are holding you back, and the self-doubt that prevents you from successfully reaching your goals. For this ritual, which will help you say goodbye to the old and welcome the new, you’ll need the following:

  • A plain black candle (black is for banishing)
  • A plain green candle (green is often associated with success and new ventures)
  • A paper and pen
  • A fireproof bowl or small cauldron
  • Incense of your choosing

If your tradition normally requires you to cast a circle, do so now.

Light the black candle, and take a few moments to ground yourself. Meditate on all of the issues holding you back, causing you problems, or making you feel unworthy. If there is a certain deity that you have a connection to, you might wish to invite them to join you at this time, but if you don’t want to, that’s okay – you’ll simply call upon the energies of the universe when it’s time.

When you’re ready, say:

Life is a twisting and turning path, ever changing and flowing. My journey has brought me this far, and I am ready to take the next step. I call upon the energies and powers of [deity name, or simply The Universe] to guide me on my way. Today, I say farewell to all that has prevented me from becoming the person I wish to be.

Using the pen and the piece of paper, write down things that have created stumbling blocks for you. Bad job situation? Unsatisfying relationship? Low self-esteem? All of these are things that prevent us from growing. Write these things on the paper, and then light it in the candle’s flame. Place the burning paper in the bowl or cauldron, and as you watch it burn, say:

I send you away, far from me, and far from my life. You no longer have any influence upon me. You are my past, and the past is gone. I banish you, I banish you, I banish you.

Wait until the paper has burned completely away. Once it has done so, extinguish the black candle and light the green one. Watch the flame, and focus this time on things that will help you grow and change. Planning to go back to school? Moving to a new city? Getting healthier? Just need to feel like you’re worth it? These are the things to think about.

When you’re ready, light the incense from the flame of the green candle. Watch the smoke rise into the air. Say:

It is a time for change. It is time to begin anew. It is time to be a new person, strong and secure and confident. These are the things I will achieve, and I ask [deity name or The Universe] for guidance and assistance. I send my request out into the skies, to the heavens on this smoke, and I know that I will become a better person for it.

Verbalize the things you’re sending out, and make sure you’re using an active voice rather than a passive one – in other words, instead of saying “I wish I was healthier,” say “I will be healthier.” Rather than saying “I would like to feel better about myself,” say “I will believe in myself and be confident.”

When you are finished, take a few final moments to reflect on the changes you plan to see. Also, be sure to consider the mundane things that you will need to do to bring about your transition. For instance, if you choose to be healthier, make a promise to yourself to get more exercise. If you plan to move to a new town and make a fresh start, plan to begin searching for jobs in your destination city.

After you have finished, extinguish the candle and end the ritual in the manner of your tradition.