Birthday Magic

This is another forum post from a magical community, that’s getting turned into a blog post for alert readers. There was a discussion on this other forum about magical workings that you could perform on your birthday, in order to welcome new energy or new potential into your life, and to open a new way of living for yourself. None of these ideas are bound to specific times of year; you can do these regardless of when your birthday might be.

  • Fun things with purpose
    1. Being an astrologer, geomancer and non-rational consultant and coach, I should begin with “get a tarot reading or a ‘year ahead’ reading from an astrologer or other sort of fortune teller”. It doesn’t even have to be me.
    2. Create a petition to your guide and guardian spirits of the goals or objectives you want to achieve in the coming year: health and wealth objectives, opportunity objectives, ease and grace around complicated subjects, amazing sex, delightful friendships, and more.  You can sweeten the deal by giving them a chunk of frosting from your birthday cake or even a full slice, and light a candle specially for them.
    3. Walk around the yard of your house, or around your neighborhood, looking for plant or insect life. Acknowledge it in some fashion. Admire its branches or its web or its wings. Notice what it does in your world, even if all it seems to do is bloom. Say hi, wave, tell it that you’re glad to meet it, and move on.
  • Ritual Actions
    1. You can also give yourself a bath, washing off the cares of the previous year.  
    2. Pair this ceremonial bath with a massage or some similar form of body work.
    3. You can go for a walk that visits places you regard as sacred in your neighborhood, and leave behind (biodegradable, natural) tokens of thanks and gratitude for the previous year.  
    4. Combine these with verbal offerings. This is a great way to establish a connection to the land, and to let them know it’s your birthday.  
    5. It’s a good idea to take a trash bag with you, and pick up any garbage along the way.  Going for a walk on your birthday also establishes your Healthy Girl Year: keep doing what you did on your birthday, and all is well.
    6. Give away a mathom or two.  Alert JRR Tolkien readers will know that this is the custom in The Shire, that you don’t get presents on your birthday but give them.  Choose a few things you can do without, but that are nonetheless valuable or interesting, and hand them off to friends as tokens of your esteem or appreciation.  You can make note of the Tolkien connection as you do.
    7. Do ten push-ups, ten jumping jacks, ten sit-ups, and ten squats. Can’t do ten? Do five. Do one.
  • Art Magic
    1. An excellent thing to do is write a note in the cover of a few books and hand those off to friends, saying something along the lines of  ” to X my cherished friend: I hope you like this book, given to you on the occasion of my XXth birthday, mm/dd/yyyy.  Pass it on when you’re done!”  You’ve now done two things: you’ve physicalized a connection with a friend, and you’ve added an element to your immortality spell when the book eventually winds up in a second-hand shop or a garbage pile (otherwise known as a future archaeological site).
    2. Put three big things on your bucket list for the year: two to do this year, and one to do “someday”.  After a few years, cross off one of the ‘someday’ events and put it in the year’s to-do list.
    3. Start writing a grimoire or a book of shadows by hand: that collection of the ritual actions, poems, incantations and other magical devices you know of that successfully change your heart and mind toward new endeavors or bring success. You can use the guidance here. You can start with this list.
  • Activate Friendships and Alliances
    1. Send a chunk of cash or leave a larger-than-usual tip to a person who helped you get through the year, just because:  your hairdresser or barber who gave you that nice haircut, the bartender who talked you through your break-up, the tarot reader or astrologer who helped you avoid the mess last March.
    2. Write a hand-written thank-you note to someone who did something for you, even if they had to do it for you.  Thank an employee for finishing a report on time, thank a contractor who finished your kitchen remodel three weeks late and charged you extra.
    3. Support an artist.  Buy a small piece of art from someone relatively unknown.  Use Etsy or Deviantart or Twitter to find and commission a piece of art. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but there’s power in knowing you bought something from someone who made it by hand (it can become a mathom in a few years if you like).
  • Improve your self and your self-image
    1. Clean out your closet.  Ok, you shouldn’t do this ON your birthday, because it’s a chore but go through your clothes and get rid of anything stained, worn, stale, damaged beyond repair, or that no longer fits.   If it can be repaired, and you know how to do it, do it.  Once you’ve done that, buy a garment that has the same look-and-feel as something you loved but was hopelessly damaged.
    2. Dress up. Whether you’re going out for dinner or having coffee with a friend, put on the clothes that make you feel like a smart, pulled-together, organized and completely capable badass. If that means a suit and tie, do that. If it means wearing your renaissance faire Tudor doublet over jeans and a t-shirt, do that. If it means an Edwardian walking skirt and a jacket with a killer profile, do that. One way or another, make sure you make an impression on people — and the universe — when you step out of the house.
    3. Draw a tarot card, and then draw a picture of it into your notebook. Date it and sign it, and write a little note about what it meant to you to draw that card from the deck, and then try to physically copy it.  Doodle something every day or every week for the coming year; you’ll be a better artist in a year than you are now.
    4. Start a journal. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, and you don’t have to write a lot. For a while, I kept a fancy five-year diary, where I wrote 1-2 sentences on the same page of a 365-page book on the same day every year. I think an unlined journal is best, but
    5. Write a poem. Start with a haiku (3 lines, 5-7-5 syllables), a quatrain (4 lines, rhyming ABAB) or two heroic couplets (four lines, rhyming AABB), or even a sonnet. Writing a poem a day will help you think and plan more clearly, and it will give you mastery of language.
    6. Take an online class in a language you’ve never studied: Irish or Welsh, Russian or Quechua, Japanese or Hindi, Mandarin or Nahuatl, Akkadian or Hebrew, Latin or Navajo. Maybe it’s the language of a place you want to visit, maybe it’s a language that has authors you’d like to read in something other than translation, maybe you’d like to have an unexpected conversation with a stranger. It doesn’t have to be more than fifteen minutes, but make a connection. Repeat if it appears to serve your needs.

This is not a complete list. Feel free to add items in the comments, and I’ll add them to the list (with credit and links to your blog or Twitter feed, etc) if you want that.

But I want to point out that you aren’t limited to doing these things for your birthday. You can do them with your loved one for an anniversary. You can do any of them solo on a significant date, like the anniversary of your graduation from high school or college. You can begin anew with a new attitude and a new story, at any time or in any place.

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