I love bucket lists. Who doesn’t? They inspire us to dream bigger, travel more, try new things and imagine all the possibilities.
But what about our spiritual lives? What lies ahead in our path remains a mystery, but if you could make a few roadside stops, where would they be?
Sometimes called “The Witch’s New Year,” Samhain marks the beginning of a new cycle of the Wheel of the Year. Celebrate by setting new goals for yourself!
Try this: sit down with a pen and paper (yes, a real pen and some real paper), set a timer for 15 minutes and brainstorm all the things you would do in your pagan life if your resources and time were unlimited.
Here are 20 ideas to get you started. As I do them (or have done them), I will leave a link to a post about the experience.
Start a mind/body workout regimen. In a couple of months, everyone begins the predictable process of making resolute, well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions to be more fit and lose weight. Rather than joining the (sometimes unhealthy) crowds in a crash diet stampede to the local gym, consider taking a more spiritual workout approach.
Participate in a paranormal investigation. No matter what they say in public, most people feel something a little compelling about ghost chasing. With the veil between worlds at its thinnest, the time before and after Samhain presents an amazing opportunity to try this out!
Visit Salem, Massachusetts. Contrary to popular belief, no witches every actually stood trial or were put to death in Salem. The victims of the Salem Witch Trials were very likely Christians accused of witchcraft falsely by their community. However, this hasn’t stopped the pagan/Wiccan/modern witchcraft culture from making the trip to Salem a kind of unofficial pilgrimage. Salem embraces this designation, especially during the month of October, when the many occult shops and practitioners put on events.
Discover your pagan roots. Everyone alive today in the world carries the genes of pagan ancestors. Whether you people hail from Ireland or Botswana, discover and learn about where you came from for deeper meaning in your practice. (I recently got my DNA tested and found out I descend partly from India and partly from Romania—-both historical and current pagan cultures that interested me greatly from the beginning.)
Create a mini shrine. Already committed to a pagan path? Express yourself creatively by designing a mini shrine that suites your specific approach to the Craft.
Get to know your tarot deck. Refuse to let your tarot deck intimidate you anymore! Break away from your dependency on the little booklet that came with your deck and become fluent in the language of tarot.
Gather fresh flowers for every Sabbat. Nothing brings the spirit of the season into your home like a fresh bouquet of local herbs and flowers. Be creative! An arrangement of pinecones or winter vegetables makes a lovely centerpiece during the less garden-y months.
Try a weekly nature walk. If you spend more time in front of a screen than surrounded by green, take some time out for yourself and commune with nature. The effect of fresh air and the time spent un-cluttering your busy mind refreshes even the most frazzled witch.
Read every book on this list. Or feel free to compile your own! Amazon lets you create lists if you constantly come across books you mean to read but never get around to. It helps to refer to one for those trips to the library or when your friends/family start asking what you want for yule.
Celebrate every full moon for one year. We all skip Esbats occasionally, but committing to a full year of planning them out and following through cultivates self-discipline, lending to power to you magick.
Visit New Orleans. Famed for its rich spiritual traditons (like hoodoo and voodoo) and swarming with ghost stories, a stay in New Orleans enriches any pagan’s bucket list!
Try fasting for spiritual insight. Fasting gifted me one of my more interesting spiritual experiences this past year.
Learn to write your own spells. Learning to write your own spells puts the power (and responsibility) of your magick in your hands—-exactly where it belongs. Get creative and express yourself!
Write down your dreams every night for a full moon cycle. It’ll blow your mind. You very likely experience reoccurring themes in your dreams that play out completely subconsciously. Bringing them to the surface with a dream journal provides special insight into both your dreamning and waking life.
Take a belly dance class. If you’re looking to discover your inner goddess this turn of the Wheel of the Year, a belly dance class makes the ideal introduction. Explore your femininity, celebrate your mystique and draw out your unique allure.
Go to a lantern festival. I haven’t yet done this, but it looks amazing!
Experiment with dark moon divination. We tend to place a lot of emphasis on the full moon in witchcraft, but the dark moon calls to our sense of mystery and intuition. Try a new form of divination this Wheel and commit to practicing every month during this sensitive period.
Commit to living closer to the earth. All of us can do better. And little changes make a big difference. No need to go crazy, just pick one or two new habits to work on at a time. Then notice the little ways Gaia thanks you for your contribution to protecting the natural world we love so much.
Learn to live with less. If it’s been a while since you’ve de-cluttered, experiencing the spiritual rejuvenation of weeding out unnecessary clutter. You’ll literally breath easier. I promise.