What Are You Doing New Year’s? New Year’s Eve?

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For once in the last five or so years, I had decided on plans for NYE for this year.  Really fucking good plans.  Previous plans were of the stay at home and eat too many cream puffs and drink too much champagne with take out and a couple friends.  That was fine too previously, that had been chosen.

Picture it: me, three of my closest girls.  I punch out of work early and we sashay down to a really high end spa that has heated pools and saunas that overlook the NYC skyline.  We eat killer ramen and we sweat out our toxic impurities or whatever and we come back to my place for a feast of chocolate and we merrily cheer the new year in as boss bitches who are kicking ass and taking names and Jow comes home from his RN shift right before the ball drops and everything is awesome.

Every New Year’s since I was seventeen had been carefully planned and orchestrated.  Open bars at Gaebel’s or QXTs or Platinum, eating and drinking like the bar was open (which it was) and shaking my ass, cozy dinner parties at home where the only requirement was that you eat what I make you, pajama parties watching favorite movies all cozy together.  I have never missed a New Year’s.  I’m not sure how, but I feel like it’s connected to my May Queen vibes.  Marking the return of everything new and good.

Except the part where I’m home with a bug of some sort, mostly sleeping and miserable since yesterday.  I’ve had to reschedule weekend travel plans due to not wanting to restart the whole process again. Everyone around me is trying to help – my mother will let me out of the house to go with her at 5pm for dinner at the restaurant closest to our house, Jow has bravely offered to go with me to said fancy spa soon (he is not into any of that dog and pony show generally speaking), MFHG called to console me, other friends are being comforting . . .but I’m just mad at the world presently.

G. is trying to talk sense into me because G. is ambitious and also going through roughly the same thing at present.  How maybe quiet and solitude is what’s needed and while she is tactfully choosing not to say this, I’ve never, ever chosen that path for new years.  See, *I* thought I was being all alterna by going to flush out my pretend toxins instead of washing down half a box of cream puffs with an entire bottle of champagne.  How novel and different for me!  Oh, the Insta pictures alone of us swanning around in the roof top pools makes me ridiculously excited enough that I would have likely only wanted a delicate glass or two of champagne at most for once in my hedonistic life.

A few people on my Facebook are also sick.  I’m sure there’s a decent chunk of you reading this whose plans have gone off the rails for whatever reason – illness, a fight with someone, no one wants to do anything this year, depression/anxiety, an unexpected bad event.

So since my plans are not happening for me, it stands to reason that your own vision may not have come to pass either.  I have wearied all of my support structure at this point because I’ve been whining non stop for most of today, when I’m not sleeping.  I’m attempting to reframe and reformat but mostly it’s been more whining.  So let’s get productive!  If you are sick, remember this could be done tomorrow, New Year’s Day, or if you are really fucked, it could be done January 14th as Jonquil kindly pointed out on Facebook.  First dark moon, first full moon, first time you stirred from your babka/weed/sonic screwdriver cocktail induced coma, I don’t care.

Small Magic for 2020

  1. You could start New Year, New You: A Self Guided Course in Radical Magical Transformation.  It’s still free, it’s my first class I ever taught.  Technically, going by PastDeb standards, you’re getting a late start to it because December is for closers or– look, I wasn’t sleeping a lot and I didn’t have clean hair a lot then.  I won’t tell if you don’t tell that you waited until you were in full existential crisis mode to get started.  It’s fine.  Better late than at home with a stomach virus.
  2. Fix up your glamour.  My external glamour has taken a dive lately.  My clothes are boring, my hair is boring, my make up is boring and thus I am boring to myself and cannot get it up to be glamorous.  This is a great time of year to work it out, everything’s on sale.  I like the process of play testing things – new hair devices and products, new clothes, rose gold everything make up.  I learned I’m not great at matching swatching from my computer to my real life make up.  So this will be a hung over chick from Sephora’s problem.  She could still kick my ass in doing a cat’s eye with liquid eyeliner while probably still a little drunk.  She’s more competent while still possibly rolling so I will take the Jouet Rose Gold Lip Topper that they selfishly got me hooked on with my Play! box and then stopped carrying and make it her problem.  If you are like me and either have no idea what you are doing with cosmetics and skin care or only recently started to get a clue, the Play! box is pretty decent overall.  Yes, they will insist on repeatedly sending you eye liner you won’t use but oh man!  Who looks generous af when she gives all her unusable samples to friends who can use them?  That’s right!  They usually put Play! boxes on sale like they are doing now so you can either restock on samples that you use sparingly, so you can order the box that the goddess actually intended for you instead of what was given to you or you can try it out without a full commitment.
  3. Drink some chamomile tea and whisper your intents for 2020 into it.  Chamomile is associated with money, peace, love, tranquility and purification.  So, everything.  You’re welcome.  Draw a Tarot card for your 2020 omen.
  4. Take a bath with either three handfuls of sea salt or magnesium flakes (as directed by the package for the flakes).  Light some candles.  Keep your phone in the bathroom.  Cleanse and purify yourself in the bath and imagine all the garbage from 2019 that you’ve collected going down the drain.  Hit shuffle on Pandora or Spotify, there’s your omen.
  5. Cleanse your house by buying sprigs of rosemary.  Wrap a few sprigs together with cotton twine and hang them to dry.  Burn them to cleanse your house.  I specify what I’m trying to shoo out – usually slothfulness is a much bigger issue than malevolent spirits in our home.
  6.  Gilded nuts were apparently common gifts on New Year’s in ancient Rome, at least according to the intertubes.  Nuts with shells on them are probably not too expensive post-Christmas right now so get some hazelnuts (to bring inspiration and glamour), walnuts (to bring wealth and abundance) and chestnuts (to bring love and protection) in their shells and some gold paint.  Paint the shells with symbols and sigils that are meaningful and really confuse the hell out of people close to you when you give them gilded nuts as gifts.
  7. Since bare cupboards are bad luck and most of us are lucky enough to not suffer from that problem, make a donation to your local food bank now that they holidays have passed and food will be scarcer.  Bring yourself a luxurious item from your favorite market that you would generally consider to be too expensive to buy but not too expensive for you to afford – think truffle oil, a fresh pomegranate, good dark chocolate, a favorite spice.  Make sure you eat whatever you get!  Don’t save it for a special occasion.  The goal here is to encourage small luxuries in 2020.  By ingesting this item, you are also taking a trust fall with TGDUH that there will be more glamour and luxury to come even after your current piece has been consumed.
  8. Do something towards your 2020 intentions.  Create art, go to a class at the gym, try a new recipe, learn some rope work, go to a new place, go to an acquaintance’s party, just do the damn thing.  Get the wheel rolling.  Right now you have big dreams, show TGDUH that you have bigger follow through.  You’ve got this, so get it.
Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  


One Response

  1. Pretty-much everything – with the exception of trying to fix up my glamour game (again) – is On Hold until I get back from DC. So, for reasons that have nothing to do with Orthodox New Year, I’ll be waiting until the 14th.
    But at that point, a bath full of chamomile flowers, bay leaves, hawthorn berries, and basil oil will be waiting for me.
    That and a more-than-slightly-terrifying plan to Actually De-Clutter My House, or at least the ground floor there-of, so that things feel less chaotic around here in a way that, hopefully, is sustainable.

    Lyrics that jumped out at me in the first English songs (my Gaelic is almost non-existent – though that song was about drinking and flirting and avoiding your responsibilities, and I can’t help thinking of your Chibi Black Philip, tbh), were:
    The Morrigan sees with a different sight / The Morrigan dreams of, dreams of flight
    You’re just an empty cage, girl, if you kill the bird

    So that’s a thing to think about.

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