Christmas and Yule are my favorite holidays. I celebrate them together, honoring both the Christian and the Norse elements of my cultural heritage. Modern pagans refer to the Sabbat held at the winter solstice as Yule, an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning wheel, as in the wheel of the year. The same word exists in old Norse, and in Sweden, Christmas is still called Jul. For me, these two holidays are just different verses in the same divine epic: the return of the light and the birth of Christ.
Yule and Christmas share the theme of faith; faith that the light will return, faith in God’s love. After the rough year we’ve all had, and considering the challenging spring ahead of us, it is important to take some time to nurture our faith in the good things. For me, rituals have become an integral part of cultivating a healthy, positive mindset because they affect every aspect of my existence: mind, heart, and spirit. This prosperity bowl ritual has helped me to stay hopeful and focus my mental and emotional energy on abundance during a trying autumn. It really helps to create a physical object that represents your needs and desires. It becomes a focal point that you can return to and keep working with to build more focus and energy. Creating a prosperity bowl is also a fun activity that lets us spend time with our inner child, engaging in pleasure and play.
Many of the natural materials used for Christmas decorations, such as dried orange slices, fir, pine, cedar, cinnamon and cloves, carry symbolic meaning that can be used in prosperity magic. The basic principle of traditional folk magic is sympathy and correspondence; meaning that the materials used in a ritual are symbolically linked with your magical intent (= the change you wish to bring about in your life). This type of symbolic thinking have been employed by poets since ancient times and it really is the essence of creativity. Children use their poetic imagination to make sense of the world before they are thought logical and scientific thinking, and we all have the capacity to evolve our creative sensibility as adults. I have realized that a lot of focus is being put on the “science” (technique) of magic these days, but I really want to emphasize the the “art” of magic: the expansion of your imagination when finding your place in the mythological universe, in crafting tools and rituals, and in interacting with nature as if it is really alive and speaking to us through its own language.
A Prosperity Ritual
The framework for this ritual is very simple and the intention, prosperity, wide enough that you can tailor it to your specific needs. The prosperity bowl is a vessel for energy that you can continue to work with by adding new “ingredients” to your bowl regularly, by recharging it, or by incorporating it into another prosperity ritual.
Timing: You can make this planning as simple or as elaborate as you wish, taking into account the phase of the moon, the moon sign, planetary hour etc. etc. I simply chose to hold my ritual on a sunny day so that my prosperity bowl (and I) could bath in the warm, uplifting sunrays while being infused with the expansive energy of the sun. Another idea is to include this ritual as part of a Yule sabbat on the summer solstice (Dec 21), or to make your bowl on Christmas Day (Dec 25), when the moon is favorably positioned in Taurus.
Place: outside if possible, at your indoor altar/shrine or any other calm space
Materials: Get creative. Play with seasonal correspondences. The color green is associated with the abundance of the earth and with stability, gold with wealth and success. Plants and herbs such as cinnamon, orange, cloves, pine and cedar symbolize prosperity. Use fresh or dried plants or essential oils that resonate with your intention. Look for green, gold and yellow stones/crystals, ribbons or candles. Coins are obvious symbols of wealth but they might not wok so well if the wealth and abundance you wish to bring into your life is of a more spiritual or emotional kind. For my ritual I used a green bowl, branches of fresh fir and cedar, a small amazonite, a variety of coins, and some cinnamon sticks.
How to: Gather the materials at your altar or any other calm space. Sit comfortably and take a few deep breaths to ground and center in the present moment. Invoke the presence of any divine or natural energy you see fit. This can be done by saying a prayer or invoking the elements with words, symbols or tools. If nothing else, lightning some incense creates a nice atmosphere and it can be used to cleanse the ingredients before they go in the bowl. Place your bowl in the center of the altar, cleanse it by moving it through the smoke of the incense, or by sprinkling it with water or salt, and then mindfully place all the ingredients in the bowl, cleansing each item before putting it down. Hold your hands over the bowl, and tighten the muscles of your body to raise energy from within while projecting your intention (prosperity) into the bowl. When the trembling becomes as strong as it can, release your grip of the bowl and send your intention out in the universe. Relax. Smile. Give thanks. Place your bowl somewhere where you can look at it often and keep it for as long as you need it.