Culture

Here Is What You Told Us You Wanted To Accomplish In The New Year And We’re Rooting For You

It’s that time of year where we make promises to ourselves (and to others about how we’re going to try a little harder in the coming year. How next year is going to be a big one. It’s going to be 2020! We asked our female readers what New Year’s resolutions they had for 2020, and here are some really great ones that we can all aspire to. 

“Follow through with applying to grad school.”

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This is an excellent resolution and one I can relate to 100 percent. This year, after years of graduating from college, I finally decided to really apply for grad school and not put it off any longer. While it may seem challenging to go back to school, especially if you’re working full-time and are scared to get into debt, there are ways to jump over those hurdles. 

For starters, if you’re still working, sign up for only one class. This is manageable, and I can say from experience. If you sign up for one class, you can fit it into your schedule. There’s also a ton of schools that offer online courses, and that works for busy people even more because you can be on the go and still get an education. 

Now if you don’t want to get into debt, but want that second degree, there are so many scholarships that are mainly for people who are going back to school, or that are moms, or that are over a certain age. There are scholarships for the most individual person, all you have to do is Google!

“To have no resolution and just let life happen.”

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Let’s face it, we’re under a lot of stress already. If you’re not busy doing one thing, we’re planning something else. The New Year should have more spontaneity. Who can’t relate to seeking less control? We tend to get so worked up about all the things we need to get done in the day that we rarely have time to let things just be.  Don’t be on your phone every second, take a walk, meet up with friends, but just do it without planning so much. 

“Wake up earlier to have me time in the mornings.”

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As soon as the alarm goes off, we are go, go, go. We go to bed thinking about all the stuff we have to do the next day, and we typically wake up groggy and anxiety-ridden. But, one thing that helps, is to get go to bed a little earlier. This gives you time to wake up and not rush out of bed. It also gives you extra time to lay there and think and be chill. 

If there’s something else that you want time for in the day, whether it is meditating, praying, writing, working out, or walking the dog — get up even 30 minutes earlier, and it will make all the difference in the world. Just remember, go to bed earlier. It will pay off. 

“Be outdoors more — bask in the presence of beautiful scenery and beautiful people.”

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This resolution is everything because it will help you and your soul in so many ways. The less you are cooped up indoors, stuck behind the computer or on the phone, the less you enjoy life. Try going to a park or go on a hike at least once a week. You will find that you have more peace in your life without making a huge change. 

“To be fearless!”

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Being fearless can mean a lot of different things to a lot of people, but what you should think about is what worries you the most. The things that keep you up at night. The things that hold you back. Pushing those things aside is what fearless is all about. Fighting against the things that scare us, that hold us back from accomplishing our dreams. That is being fearless. Even though we can’t be fearless every day, little moments of overcoming our fears is what matters. 

“Smothering myself with self-love. I decided to love myself as hard as I’ve loved others.”

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If you give a lot to others, to your kids, to your family, to your work, you should be giving yourself that same devotion. You may think you don’t have time to be good to yourself but you do by doing little things throughout the day. Indulge in your favorite kind of tea, watch your favorite trash TV show all alone, take an extra-long bath, by yourself those shoes you’ve been coveting for a while. Love yourself by being kind to yourself. Cut yourself some slack. You are a human being, who needs just as much love as everyone else. 

READ: Make This New Year Different By Making Active Positive Changes Instead Of Overwhelming Resolutions

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2020 Has Been A Mess: Here Are The Best Rituals And Limpias According To Your Sign

Culture

2020 Has Been A Mess: Here Are The Best Rituals And Limpias According To Your Sign

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Let’s face it: this year has been an emotional and physical rollercoaster. It’s left so many of us completely dazed and confused and wondering what our future could look like.

Now, more than ever, we need to create a space for personal reflection and get in touch with our powerful inner witch. Plus, spending time, energy, and intention on your goals through ritual work adds a little bit of an extra sparkle to them that may just inspire you to follow through.

Each culture has their own traditions to celebrate the start of the new year and growing up Latinx, we know that there’s nothing quite like a spiritual cleanse or ‘Limpia’ for those who want to revive their energy after being exposed to negative energy. So keep reading to find limpias and rituals curated for each Zodiac sign.

Aries

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The first sign of the zodiac is competitive, courageous, with a ‘winner’ mindset. As a fire sign, Aries can be very emotionally charged —and as 2020 continues to throw some curve balls, we need a ritual with an opposing element like water, to help balance and flush out those high temps.

Here’s a simple ritual:

Fill a glass with purified water and find a place of solitude with no distractions (cell phone off).

Create an intention of what you learned in 2019 that you want to continue growing and learning in 2020.

Visualize that intention being poured into the glass of water. Visualize the element of water cleansing and purifying the negative thoughts.

After taking a moment of gratitude to connect and visualize your intention, release the intention back into the earth by pouring the water on the ground.

Taurus

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Taurus are some of the most loyal elements of the zodiac. They are reliable, consistent and calm. You’ve probably had a less tumultuous year than most – either financially or work-wise. But keep those good, prosperous vibes going with this simple limpia:

Recite a personal prayer to connect you with your source (the higher power you believe most in)

Open windows or doors so that dense energies can flow out.

Light a dried lavender flower bundle like you would palo santo or sage and move the extinguished bundle around your space to cleanse away the negative energetic residue of 2020.

Gemini

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Geminis are full of curiosity, and inquisitive knowledge. But it‘s this mindfulness and curiosity what causes that tendency towards indecision. Being indecisive probably led you down some interesting lessons this past year.

Recite a personal prayer to connect you with your source (the higher power you believe most in)

Open windows or doors so that dense energies can flow out.

In a fire-proof bowl or cauldron, light a piece of charcoal like you would sage or palo santo. Place fennel seeds on the smoking charcoal and pour a small amount of cedar oil on the fennel to increase the burn.

Fan the smoke around you and your space to cleanse away the negative energetic residue of 2020.

Close the ritual with a prayer of affirmation and love.

Cancer

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With the moon as your ruling planet, you are one of the most intuitive signs. You are loved for being attentive and nurturing and this can be draining your energy. Self-care should be an important topic for you going at all times but especially now thanks to everything going on in our world. Here’s a ritual for a spiritual baño to help you cleanse from negative vibes and ease into more chill ones.

Run warm water and fill tub to your liking.

Add sea salt and chamomile allowing the properties to expel in the water.

Place healong crystals of your choosing around the tub, or inside if they don’t have a negative reaction to water.

Light some candles to help you relax, and soak in the warm bath.

Visualize the chamomile and salts working their magic, releasing dense energy from your aura.

Enjoy for as long as you need and close with a prayer of gratitude.

Leo

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You shine bright like the sun. Leo is one of the most charismatic signs of the Zodiac. You live passionately and are usually center stage or the life of the party. For so many, especially Leos, 2020 has been a powerful check against ego and self-identity. A year full of highs and lows helped both make you humble and proud of who you are. Here’s a spiritual bath to help soothe your inner fire.

Run warm water and fill tub to your liking.

Add a handful of dried lavender allowing the properties to expand in the water.

Add a tablespoon of Florida water to the bath —or as much as you feel guided to pour.

Soak in the warm water and envision yourself connecting with the lavender to help you soothe and cool down the overuse of fire within you. Ask for guidance toward a more balanced temperament.

Enjoy for as long as you need and close with a prayer of gratitude.

Virgo

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This sign is known for it’s meticulous attention to detail and impeccable work. Your grounded nature allows you to be practical and get things done —which is something many other signs lack. 2020 is likely throwing you off of your stable nature which has left you feeling frazzled at times. Enjoy the following cleanse to assist you in cleaning yourself of dense negative energy and freeing new space to allow new opportunities into your life.

Make bundles of fresh rosemary (one for each room with a bed and another for a small altar)

Spray or sprinkle Florida water onto bundles.

Pray over the rosemary bundles and connect with the higher power you believe in, and ask for assistance in welcoming in fresh energy before the year ends.

Place a bundle under every bed in your place and another in an altar.

Keep the bundles in place until they’ve dried out completely.

Once they’ve dried out (2 weeks approximately) throw them away in a dumpster at least 2 miles away from your home.

The rosemary will clear out dense energy and will allow a clear mind for your analytical brain.

Libra

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Balance is your safe haven. Structure and diplomacy are ideal for a Libra to thrive. Spending so much time with your head in the clouds requires some time for you to feel more grounded —and that’s exactly what this limpia will help you do.

Set a bowl full of water and salt in the middle of the room you wish to cleanse.

Light an ethically sourced bundle of sage and state a protection intention

Work the smoke from your sage, from the North corner of the room, to the east, south and western corners.

Direct the energy you’re clearing, into the bowl with salt. The saltwater will soak up all the energy you need to release –from anger, to confusion.

Once done with the sage, place it safely somewhere it can extinguish itself until the smoke goes out.

Center yourself in the middle of the room with a black crystal or tourmaline (make sure you sage the tourmaline too), and ask Mother Earth in gratitude, to help you feel more grounded as an air sign.

Scorpio

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This year you were focused and you dedicated a lot of time to areas where you feel that you are in a position of power: work, relationships, etc. If you worked hard, you experience positive karma paying you back in return. You might have had some harsh realizations that triggered you emotionally though. So cut yourself some slack with this limpia to help you revive the energy of your space.

Place purified water in a pot to boil

Once boiling, add fresh basil.

Squeeze 2 fresh lemons into the boiling water.

Allow the water to cool down and place it in a spray bottle. This will be your purification water.

Spray it in rooms, use it to clean desks or mop your floors.

You can use it all year round.

Sagittarius

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2020 has tested your ways of communication. The latest mercury retrograde might have affected some of your friendships or relationships. You learned how to express yourself but also how to not lash out. Here’s a fire limpia to help release any personal, professional or romantic blockages that have been created in 2020.

Pray over fennel seeds to seek for the release from any blockages created in the year.

Light a charcoal block until it sparks and place inside a cauldron or fire-proof pot.

Place copal carefully onto the charcoal and the fennel seeds on top while the charcoal is lit and heated. Pour some ‘road opener’ oil (find it at your local botanica or or spiritual shop) on it and let it smoke.

Perform a self limpia —use the smoke to wash over your head.

Scoop the smoke over your head and down every chakra point up to the soles of your feet.

Work the cauldron in circles over your arms and legs until the smoke goes out.

Remaining smoke can be used to cleanse your room.

Capricorn

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You’re naturally driven and ambitious, but this year’s unprecedented drama and some recent retrogrades might have felt like you were being pulled backward which made you feel anxious. This ritual will help get rid of that left-over anxiety and return you to your usual tenacious self.

Connect with your higher power of love and protection.

Cleanse a smokey quartz stone

Meditate your intention over a dark brown candle. Cut the wick before lighting and pour patchouli oil over the candle for added protection and spiritual grounding.

Write your intention and goals for the rest of the year and propose them to planet Saturn for added discipline and assistance.

Light the candle and place the crystal on top of your paper of intention. Connect and meditate with the crystal for 5 minutes.

Keep the candle lit for the next 8 days or as long as it burns.

Aquarius

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The innovative ones. Working through and shattering old patterns was a big behavior for Aquarius in 2019 – but then came 2020. Leave all the clutter of the mind and our world behind and make way for the greatness to come. This simple spiritual bath will help you come back to center and focus your mind.

Light a white candle

Pray over a bundle of eucalyptus and the candle, stating your purpose for the new year.

Place the white candle in the bathroom with you.

Run a warm bath with epsom salt (2 tb spoons) and place the eucalyptus around the showerhead so that the stream of wafter runs through the properties of the plant.

Drop some essential oil into the bath and soak for as long as you need. Pour the bath water over your head (chakra) and let it touch every part of your body.

Keep the bundle on your shower head until you no longer feel the properties of the plant in the water, then dispose of it 2 miles away from your home.

Pisces

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The most emotional and sensitive sign of the Zodiac. You spend a lot of time dealing between what is real and what isn’t —with your innate ability to tap into other realms. Here’s a simple water cleanse —your natural habitat!— to help connect you with your intention and wishes for the new year.

Fill a glass with purified water and find a place of solitude with no distractions (cell phone off).

Create an intention of what this year has taught you – about who you are, what you value, what you yearn for – for the rest of 2020 and beyond.

Visualize that intention being poured into the glass of water. Visualize the element of water cleansing and purifying the negative thoughts.

After taking a moment of gratitude to connect and visualize your intention, release the intention back into the earth by pouring the water on the ground.

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This Indigenous Group From Michoacán Is Getting Ready To Celebrate A Pre-Hispanic New Year: The ‘New Fire’

Culture

This Indigenous Group From Michoacán Is Getting Ready To Celebrate A Pre-Hispanic New Year: The ‘New Fire’

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With all the Chinese New Year celebrations we saw this week, we wanted to highlight another Spring New Year party. Based on a very different calendar and with very different traditions; the Purépecha people of Mexico are also celebrating a New Year’s celebration soon. And their traditions hail from a distant past.

Each year, the Purépechas light a fire to celebrate the new year, according to the ancient mesoamerican calendar.

Every year, since 1983, the Purépechas of Michoacán celebrate the new year on the nights of the 1st and the 2nd of February. The lighting ceremony of the New Fire, goes back to the pre-Hispanic period.

The Purépechas are descendants of a pre-columbian empire.

Purépechas today, are concentrated in the northwestern part of the state of Michoacán in Mexico. Their calendar is similar to the Mesoamerican calendar —a system that emerged with the Olmecs, and was passed down to Mayans, Zapotecs and Aztecs.

The most widely known version of the calendar is the Aztec version.

The ‘piedra del sol’ is one of the most photographed pieces in the Museum of Anthropology of Mexico City. The use of this calendar was halted in 1521, when the Christian calendar and rituals were implemented by the Spanish.

Like its variants, the Purépecha calendar also consisted of 18 months.

Each month was made up by 20 days, for a total of 360 days in a year. To keep the calendar in alignments with the cycle of the sun, Purépechas would add 5 days periodically —and since they didn’t align with any month, those days were considered ominous.

In 1983, a group of Purépecha intellectuals and community activists reintroduced the use of the old calendar by celebrating its new year.

This date is marked by the night when the constellation of Orion reaches its highest point in the sky. In the past, this meant it was time to make offerings to Kurhíkuaeri, the god of the Sun and of fire. It usually happens on the night of February 1-2.

The Purépecha new year is now celebrated with what is called the New Fire ceremony.

The New Fire ceremony is a Mesoamerican ritual, but originally it was performed once every 52 years, corresponding to the cycle of Pleiades; it was also the day when the civil and ritual calendars coincided.

Today, the New Fire ceremony has been repurposed so that the celebration of the new year can move from town to town in the territory once defined by the Purépecha Empire.

The ritual is carried out in a different town each year. The new village receives the Old Fire from the community that guarded it during the previous year, and lights the New Fire that remains under its protection until it is delivered to the next guardian.

The first time this festivity took place after being reinstated, it was held in Tzintzuntzan.

Since then it has been taking place every year, being an important element for the strengthening and cohesion of the Purépecha people.

The purpose of the festivity, is to keep traditions alive and to rescue cultural elements of the past.

“Even though the New Fire ceremony is the most representative aspect of this indigenous people, it is one of reflection rather than religious or political in nature,” says Patricia Terán Escobar, a researcher at the National Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH). “Some of the objectives are to rescue the collective memory and all the cultural elements of the past, such as the ancient Purépecha tradition of verbally transmitting knowledge from one generation to the next.”

The Purépecha council, Consejo de Cargueros del Fuego Nuevo Purépecha, approved the request for this year’s host.

This year’s Fuego Nuevo celebration was disputed between the villages of Ario de Rosales, Zacapu, Comanja, Erongarícuaro and Capacuaro. The latter was the winner and will be the bearer of the new fire for 2020. The village of Capacuaro was chosen to honor its over 500 years of history.

Capacuaro is one of the most ancient Purépecha communities.

“It was a necessary stop for tradespeople and travelers who were making the journey between Paracho and Uruapan —a trek that took travelers through the mountains, across the ‘sierra P’urhépecha’, a road that Don Vasco de Quiroga, a famous evangelist, often trekked.

This year, the New Fire —aka. New Year ceremony— will take place on February 1 in Capácuaro, which will receive the Old Fire from Cuanajo. Capácuaro is located north of the city of Uruapan, near Paracho.

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