A New Moon Ritual To Help You Start 2022 With A Fresh Slate
The days leading up to and following a new moon are prime time for planning, dreaming, and goal setting. The dark night sky can help us check in with ourselves and consider what we want to grow as the moon builds.
And if every new moon is a blank canvas, the latest one, on Sunday, January 2, was more of an empty museum. Since it also coincided with the start of a new calendar year, its refreshing potential was magnified. This means that over the next few days, we'll have a wonderful opportunity to work with lunar energy to manifest something beautiful for the year ahead. Get started with this calendar-inspired ritual for infusing 2022 with the things you love most.
A new moon ritual to start your year off right.
This ritual is inspired by something that spiritual teachers Barbara Biziou and Primavera Salva shared with me during a virtual gathering for the recent winter solstice. In some lineages, they explained, the first 12 days of January are thought to predict how the next 12 months will go. If you have a productive day at work on January 4, for example, you might expect that April will be a month of career advancements or breakthroughs.
It's a high-stakes way to think about the next few weeks, but I appreciate its emphasis on groundwork and setting a solid foundation for yourself. While some manifestation lore tells us that we only need to think our goals into existence, this mindset reminds us of the importance of taking daily action.
I also think there's power in framing January as such an exciting and important time. It may be cold, dark, and bleak outside in many parts of the world right now, but that doesn't mean that our inner lives need to be dull or lackluster. Instead, we can use this well-timed ritual to plant the seeds for the year ahead—and actively help them grow:
1. Lean into the darkness one night this week. Set a cozy scene using a warming beverage, a soft blanket, and a favorite candle. Put your phone on airplane mode, dim the lights, and sit by a window so you can see the sliver of the moon if possible.
2. Consider the 12 months of the year. Starting with January, come up with one word that encapsulates your favorite thing about every month. Let your intuition guide you, and don't second-guess what comes up. The word can be as vague or specific as you like. If you have trouble thinking of one for a certain month, refer to old photos taken during that month to jog your memory.
3. Once you have your 12 words, take out a piece of paper. Draw a circle in the middle of it. Starting with January up top, and then moving clockwise, place your words around the circle where the hours on a clock would go.
4. Here's the key step: Every day until January 12, make a point to do something that channels at least one word on your list. Consider how you can set the tone for the year you want, starting right now. Here are some ideas from my example list:
- Sunshine (April): Get outside at least once every day, and buy some fresh flowers for your desk.
- Birthday (May): Give yourself a gift—even if it's just a night of self-care or an uninterrupted hour to be creative.
- Coziness (October): This is an easy one right now! Luxuriate in the feeling of cozy sweaters, warm hats, and fuzzy socks.
5. Once the 12th of the month is up, return to your list and consider how you did. How can you continue to carry these words into the year ahead? This would be a great prompt to journal on.
6. Place your list somewhere you can see it daily. Let it be a reminder that you never need to wait to do the things you love. You can pursue a life that feels like an endless summer, even in the midst of a snowstorm.
Even if winter isn't your favorite time of the year, this ritual can help you tap into the magic of the season and make your own light on dark days. Wishing you a 2022 that is oh-so-bright.
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 articles on mbg, her work has appeared on Bloomberg News, Marie Claire, Bustle, and Forbes. She has covered everything from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping to a group of doctors prescribing binaural beats for anxiety. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.