While some people spend New Year’s eve entertaining with fortune-telling and séances, most folks are busy enjoying good company, great food and even better legal beverages. Many in America cuddle up with family and good friends and watch the annual ball drop in New York City. Others throughout the world have more traditional pursuits where the emphasis may be on superstitious or occult traditions.
History.com offers a wide perspective of celebrations country to country. Some countries have come to think of peas, beans or other legumes as resembling money. These foods, thought to resemble discs or coins, were used in traditional meals, to bring financial success to friends and family. Lentils are an Italians favorite, while black-eyed peas are the choice in the deep South of the United States. For Spanish-speaking cultures, a dozen grapes are eaten to bring in wish fulfillment. Pork is considered, by Cubans, Austrians, Hungarians and others, to ring in progress and prosperity. For the Netherlands, Holland, Greece and others, a round cake or a cake in the shape of a ring, states that the year has come full circle. The Swedes and Norwegians make a rice pudding with an almond in it. The lucky diner who gets the nut will have great luck in the new year.
The idea of making resolutions goes back much farther than one would think. It was first found among the ancient Babylonians who made promises to please their gods and start the new year with a clean slate. This even extended to repaying debts. Many in the English speaking countries believed that this was to be a time of forgiveness of wrongs and slights by others.
Bill Petro explains that resolutions were also a part of ancient Roman life, and January comes from the name of the two-faced god, Janus, known for beginnings and endings, and protection while crossing bridges. In pagan Rome, most resolutions were about improving one’s morality and behaviors toward others. After Christianization, Romans focused on prayers and petitions and fasting. Early American Puritans rejected the pagan name of January, according to Petro, and called it simply first month, but interestingly the celebrations were non-existent but the resolutions returned to being about being a better person to others.
Many point to the fact that many well-meaning people think about resolutions, but fail to act and achieve. Alex Epstein, ignores the naysayers about New Years Resolutions and the sad statistics about how many people actually follow through on their good intentions. He suggests making a resolution “to do the most important thing of all: to take your happiness seriously.”
From an occult perspective, we are simply talking about manifestations. It is important to note that manifestations are not miracles. To simply it even further, occultists will often say “as above, so below.” A secular viewpoint would change this to from the mind to the mundane. Thus, do not make a resolution to quit smoking, the resolution would be to make a serious attempt. Do not say you will lose 50 lbs, state that your weight will be at a healthier point in 6 months. Never say that you will marry “John or Jane Doe” but instead ask for the perfect person for you to come into your life. And… as for money… never ask for dollars, ask instead for financial comfort in the coming months. Do not visualize how to do it, visualize the results.
May you have a healthier, happier and more prosperous year to come!
Epstein, Alex. (2006). The Meaning of New Year Resolutions. Retrieved from http://www.aim.org/gu…/the-meaning-of-new-years-resolutions/
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