In Bavaria during Winter time, there is an old tradition still practiced nowadays: die Raunächte, also known as the 12 Rough Nights of the Wild Hunt. Though it is considered a Christian tradition it is deeply embedded in Paganism. During that time loose botanical incense is being burnt on the stove in a special pan (since I don’t have one of these, I use a small cast iron pan instead).
The Rough Nights are a deeply spiritual time, a time between time, a withdrawal ideal for reflection, inner work and preparation for the new year to come. The silence of Nature only to be matched by the silence within.
As the calendrical year comes to an end, so does another year in our personal growth. Take a moment to be thankful for the lessons, people & good things that have happened to you this year. Be proud of your achievements & rejoice.
Ask yourself, however, if there is still some unfinished business lingering. Do you need closure in some areas of your life? Now is a good time to do so, as you don’t want to drag old things/energies/patterns with you into the new year.
Now, ask yourself in all honesty if there are things/patterns/habits that hinder your growth & weigh you down. Things that you would wholeheartedly like to give up & let go in order to be a better person and/or move on with your life.
Write these things down on a piece of paper, focusing on the peace and the joy you will feel once these things will belong to the past and just be a memory. Keep the list short as these are things are more than just words, they will have to be followed by concrete actions in your daily life.
Now fold the piece of paper and burn it in the flame of a candle, feeling the relief of a burden taken off your shoulders. Take a deep breath, feel the warmth of the candle. Notice how much more relaxed and peaceful you feel.
Inspired by ‘Das Wunder der Raunächte” by Valentin Kirschgruber