Samhain Sweeping: Cleaning up for the New Year

It starts with a feeling. A feeling that emerges around the autumnal equinox. I start to get itchy and overwhelmed with the things still sitting on my To Do list.

(And on the floor of my office.)

Things I need to plan.

Things I did but need to file away.

Things I want to do next.

Things that are in a pile for the next class, ritual, etc.

The end of the year is when I start to clean up, move out, and make room.

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Getting Rid of the Past

I’ve always been the type of person to not hold onto things. I don’t have my yearbooks and I don’t have much from any of my childhood, outside of pictures my parents gave to me.

I don’t like the idea of having things that represented old parts of me. I don’t have my old diaries and I don’t have much from old relationships. 

So when it comes to this time of year, I start to get uncomfortable. I’m usually over-scheduled and full of Samhain things. I’ve left piles of stuff all over the place and I’ve accumulated stuff that doesn’t need to be in my physical space anymore.

October is also a time when I start new things. I don’t do it on purpose, but it’s been what I’ve done. I’ve started new jobs, new covens, new projects, new classes, new writing, new relationships, etc.

It’s no wonder I’m ready to clean up after the frenzy of the year.

Clean and Release

I need to make room for what’s coming, what always comes.

  • Clean the clutter* – I start with clearing out the things I don’t need anymore. The things I don’t resonate with or things I know are not goign to be of use.
  • Clean the physical space – I rearrange things and do the things I should be doing more regularly anyway. Vacuum, dust, wash the floors, etc.
  • Clean the altars – I take everything off my altars to see how it feels as they move away. Sometimes the altars are moved around the house, and sometimes everything goes back (with less dust) right where it began.
  • Clean out old magick – I start lighting all the half-lit candles and remove any old spell pouches or offerings from various areas around the yard and home. I try to complete what hasn’t been completed.
  • Clean away old energies – Lots of clearing out with sage from our backyard or lavender. Sometimes I’ll use mugwort smoke to entice new dreams.
  • Release – I take a few deep breaths and release what’s left to be released. Sometimes, I’ll ring a bell or open the windows or sing a song. Let the cleansing be done and complete.

I’m sure I’ll shift these around — and I’m sure some of these tasks will continue after October 31 — but the intention of clearing away what no longer serves and clearing away magick that is done is what matters.

I’m making ready for the new year. For new blessings and new possibilities. 

*clarification — I give away, rehome, or donate things when I can. I rarely throw things in the trash.

About the Author

I'm a Witch, a priestess, international teacher, often-vegan, invocateur, ritualist, drummer, writer, moon devotee, Sagittarius, and Reclaiming initiate. I am committed to facilitating community growth and connection through ritual creation, storytelling, moon magick, drumming, and embracing beauty in all of its forms. And I am delightfully devoted to Aphrodite, Hecate, Iris, and the Norns. You’ll often find me writing poetry, singing to the moon, crafting songs, and looking for a snack. Here, I'll be writing about the moon, ritual, rewriting personal and collective stories, and poetry. And letting inspiration take the lead.

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