The good news is, astrologically speaking, 2018 is predicted to be a much better year for everyone. If you want a little extra insurance, these New Year's good luck rituals can help you manifest everything you want in 2018. The position of the planets in the coming year make it the perfect time for a fresh start. Even if you're not superstitious, after the dark and twisty turmoil of 2017, there's no harm in practicing a few rituals that could help make 2018 shiny and bright.
"In the Chinese calendar, it is the year of the dog — a year of new beginnings, awakening consciences and fighting for our rights," Astrologer Walter Mercado wrote for the Miami Herald. "A year of learning and of putting to work what we learned in years past." While the trials and tribulations of 2017 may have left you feeling wrung out like an old dish rag, every struggle can teach you how to move forward in a positive way.
The year of the dog, which begins in February, will reward those who are generous of spirit, and work hard to contribute to the conversation. "... 2018 is expected to bring prosperity, particularly to those who, like the dog, are proactive, work hard and communicate well," Kathryn Wortley wrote for the Japan Times.
"Moreover, experts predict that those who show generosity to others will reap the greatest benefits throughout the year." The year of the dog is still a month away, but there are some good luck rituals you can practice on New Year's to ensure you're ready to receive all of the dog's gifts. Because, you totally deserve them.
1. Write Down Your Intentions For 2018
If you're familiar with the book The Secret, it's all about the laws of attraction. Basically, you attract what you're thinking about. If you're thoughts are all doom and gloom, that's what will show up in your life. It's rumored that singer/songwriter, actor, and activist Lady Gaga read The Secret and acted on its wisdom to help launch herself to global stardom.
"Essentially, [Lady Gaga] suggests that images of success (e.g., trophies) can take the place of actual successes (i.e., more victories)," Piers Steel Ph.D wrote for Psychology Today. "So instead of going out and making it happen, we reflect on past or imagined glory and do nothing. The symbol replaces the reality." I have actually have a manifestation meditation that I do from my teacher David Elliott that focuses on these same principles. After doing it for the last few months of 2016 I ended up with a new house and a new job, so there just might be something to it.
If you want to manifest certain things in 2018, write them down now. When you get up each morning look at your list and imagine that these things have already happened. It's not magic, you're still going to have to take active steps to make your dreams come true, but you may be more likely to attract opportunities if you believe you can.
2. Start A New Ritual
If your current way of life isn't working for you, practicing a regular ritual can help you turn things around in the new year. According to Barbara Biziou on Rewire Me, "This series of consciously created symbolic acts gives you tools to shift your mindset, break through hidden barriers, and open yourself to an expanded vision for your life."
Your ritual doesn't have to be anything complicated or new age-y. Pick something that works for you that can help keep you grounded when life starts to go sideways. "Rituals can be as simple as transforming your morning cup of tea into a ceremony of connection or placing a coin in a 'success jar' to acknowledge your accomplishments."
3. Lighten Your Load
If you plan to stay home on New Year's, instead of sitting on the couch marathoning Fuller House, take the time to lighten your load instead. A common New Year's tradition in South Africa and Italy is to throw everything you no longer need out the window. While I don't suggest doing this in the literal sense, New Year's is a perfect time to pair down and declutter.
By getting rid of old things that are just taking up space you can make room for new possibilities to come into your life. And, instead of putting all of your unwanted clothes and items on the curb, find a local charity to donate them to instead. Because, if you believe in the law of attraction, when you give something away you usually end up receiving something in return.
4. Let Go Of The Past
As humans we tend to focus a lot on the past instead of living in the present. If you don't want to carry your existential baggage into 2018, consider engaging in a letting-go ritual to cleanse yourself of bad mojo. This one is actually pretty easy, and is something Phoebe on Friends probably did every New Year's.
Write down what's no longer serving you, release it from your mind, and then shred or burn the paper. "Rituals talk to our subconscious," Kripalu presenter Barbara Biziou said on the Kripalu blog. "The releasing ritual gives us the message that that part of our lives is over."
5. Cleanse Your Body To Manifest Good Health
After you cleanse your mind, it's time to wash 2017 off of your body. A great way to do this is by taking a relaxing epsom salt bath to ensure good health for the coming year. "While both magnesium and sulfate can be poorly absorbed through the stomach, studies show increased magnesium levels from soaking in a bath enriched with Epsom salt," Melissa Breyer wrote for Care2 Healthy Living.
"Magnesium and sulfate are both easily absorbed through the skin. Sulfates play an important role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins, and the proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. They stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are thought to help detoxify the body of medicines and environmental contaminants." And, if you're physically worn out from 2017, epsom salt is also great for sore muscles.
6. Verbalize What You Want
OK, I am not really into the whole affirmation thing, but I do believe that saying something out loud can increase my chances of getting it. After you write down what you want to manifest in 2018, and shred and burn what you want to release, it's time to verbalize what you hope to attract. "Sumerians believed that just naming something can breathe it into existence," Sage Goddess wrote on her blog. "Your words truly have the power to manifest your wishes." If you feel silly doing this, you're not alone, but you have nothing to lose by trying it.
It's also important to change how you talk to yourself, and one way to do that is to take time to say something kind to yourself every day. I remember reading an interview with Lady Gaga where she said her yoga teacher advised her to spend 10 minutes a day saying kind things to herself. She said she was only able to do it for five minutes. Being kind to yourself is harder than you think, but it's an important step in manifesting what you want most. If you want to engage in even more manifestation rituals, Sage Goddess is hosting an online full moon ritual Jan. 2.
7. Cleanse Your Home
Aside from decluttering your space of physical items, it's also a good idea to cleanse your living space of any existential angst that's accumulated over the past year. Get some sage and smudge your home to clear out everything that's weighing you down emotionally, and to make room for new, positive energy to come into your life in 2018.
8. Welcome Positive Energy
While it's important to get rid of old energy and material items that are weighing you down, it's also a good idea to invite positive energy into all areas of your life. "Add fresh flowers or plants to your space, which will help create a high-vibrational living environment," Energy Muse wrote on it's blog.
Welcoming a new plant into your home is a powerful symbol of rebirth, and it's pretty easy to do. Additionally, "Add new sheets to your bed, put out new towels, and fill your fridge with new food. Anywhere that you are able to add a touch of newness will improve your New Year."
9. Harness The Energy Of Fire
Twice on New Year's Eve I participated in a fire walk in New Mexico. This is exactly like it sounds, and even though I ran across hot coals on bare feet shouting out my intentions for the coming year, I didn't get burned. Do not try this at home. It's important to do it with a professional healer who is well versed in cultivating fire energy. However, you can still make a fire, or even light a candle to release the energy of the past year and welcome in the gifts of the new one.
"Light a black candle (made from beeswax if possible). In candle magic, black absorbs negativity and destroys it, connects with self-control and resilience, and offers strength and support in manifestation work," the website Wiccan Spells wrote. [...] "As you light the candle, contemplate what you have been through in the past year, and focus on releasing any energy baggage you may be carrying, disintegrating it through the transforming fire; then visualize the fire bringing energy and spark to your future."
10. Make An Offering
You can also set your intentions for 2018, and make an offering to the universe in exchange for good fortune in the coming year. "In Feng Shui, oranges represent prosperity because of their resemblance to the Sun," Energy Muse wrote on its blog. "Placing a bowl of nine oranges in your kitchen (which is the area of the home that brings in wealth and abundance), will help to bring in positive energy."
11. Commit To Setting Intentions For 12 Days
One New Year's tradition in Spain is to put 12 green grapes into your mouth at midnight to ensure prosperity for the next 12 months. In addition to stuffing your mouth full of grapes, a common New Year's spiritual ritual is to use the first 12 days of the new year to set intentions for the next 12 months. "Pay homage to this idea by spending those  days focused on what you most want your year to hold," Arcadia Publishing advised. Pick one thing to focus on each day with the idea in mind that each day represents one month of 2018. And, don't forget to say it out loud and write it down.
In general, practicing rituals can help you feel more grounded and can bring more stability to your life by "enhancing daily routines, enriching milestones, and guiding us through life’s inevitable transitions," according to Biziou. "Rituals both support and honor the changes we experience and increase our capacity to overcome adversity, strengthen our relationships, and experience joy and abundance."
While your life isn't going to change overnight, consider trying some of these rituals, adopting a daily ritual of your own, and then see how much has changed in your life at the end of 2018. You just might be surprised at the power you have within yourself to manifest everything you want like a boss.