Something I’ve been doing for a number of years, which has become an important ritual for me, is marking the end of one year and the opening of the next through a 12-day period of observation. I am eternally grateful to Waverly Fitzgerald for her brilliant fashioning of this idea, and the encouragement that we each find our own unique ways to approach this “bridging” journey.
Day One (December 26) is a day I devote to creating a summary of my year. I spend all day doing this and truly enjoy it. It feels like the perfect “gift” to give myself – this day of slowing down and reviewing. And taking time entirely for myself, particularly after exchanging energy so widely over the holiday season, feels both essential and splendid.
I approach this task as sacred preparation for the work ahead – reflecting where I’ve been so I can decide where I want to go. I love looking over my journals and calendars and spending time remembering. And it results in a review that’s organized in a fairly chronological order.
But another way to do it that also fits nicely into the 12-day framework is to look at things through the lens of the twelve astrological houses. Although I’m not an astrologer, I have to say that using the basic organization of the house system can be a very effective way of looking at the myriad of components that our lives are composed of.
For example, the first house looks at who we think we are; how we approach the world; impressions we make on others at first meeting; and our physical appearance or image. Someone, alas I’m not remembering who to credit, calls it “The Ego Box.” So one way to work with this house is to think about all that happened during the year as reflected through this lens.
The Second House, aka “The Stuff Box,” is about what we value; what it means personally to have a wealthy life; our personal forms of greed and generosity; issues of self-worth. The Third House, the “Teaching/Learning Box” is pretty obvious from the name, but is also about how we communicate and interact; and additionally reflects where we begin to meet the world in social terms. The Fourth House is the “Roots Box” and this is all about our roots and our depths; our home and family of origin; how we define our security.
I like the idea of hitting on all of these life areas in review, and so examining them in this way appeals to me also. And although one might want to take a separate day to analyze each house, because I want to make sure my review is done by the end of the year, I’ve chosen to take a look at four houses a day. So on this first day of my 12-day ritual, I took a look at my year with respect to Ego, Stuff, Learning/Teaching, and Roots.
There’s some pretty rich material to mine here, and I have to say 2009 was a very exciting year for me. In particular I realized how much I focused on setting up structures to help my business function well. Additionally I learned lots; made some wonderful new friends; and created some things I’m pretty proud of.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a posting of what I did on Day 2, and also include info about Houses 5-8. But if you’re inspired to share any of your own end-of-the-year-beginning-the-next rituals or traditions, I’d certainly love to hear them.