What are your end-of-year traditions? Do you have any?

Something like reflecting on the past year and preparing for the new?
Decluttering your home, deep-cleaning your house or filing away documents that have been sitting around for months?

Until now I haven’t had any of these as part of my routines at the end of the year. However, this year, I’m starting a new tradition.

The magic of 13 wishes

The time between the end of December and early January has a long history that includes different rituals. There is a window of 12 holy days between Christmas Day and Dreikönigstag – which apparently in English is just called “Twelfth Day”. In Germany this time is called “between the years” but commonly it’s known as the “Twelve Days of Christmas”.

During this time, we celebrate “Rauhnächte”. While researching for this article, I found out that in English it’s referred to as Twelfthide, the season of Epiphany. Interesting!

Anyway, let me tell you about the “Rauhnächte”, based on what I learned online.

These Twelve days symbolise the twelve months of the coming year and are supposed to predict the coming year.
The word “Rauhnächte” literally translates to “smokey nights” or “wild/hairy nights”, depending on different sources. They start in the night from December 24th to 25th (actually 12am on the 25th) which is the first Rauhnacht.

So what do you do during those nights?

One of many rituals of the Rauhnächte is about making 13 wishes for yourself that you send out to the Universe. It’s a beautiful idea to focus on what you want for yourself and what you imagine the next year will bring for you.

Every night, for 12 nights, you take one of your wishes and you burn them. That way, the wish will be transformed and handed over to a higher power, like the Universe, which is now taking care of them.

The 13th wish is for you to take care of.

How does this work?

Ahead of December 24th, sit down with a piece of paper and write down what you wish for. But be aware that there are some rules that are important to follow when deciding on your wishes.

  • The wishes should be about you and not anybody else.
  • Stick to a concise statement and make it concrete.
  • Use present tense language and write them as if this wish is already reality. So instead of saying “I want to have 20 new clients next year”, write “I’m working with 20 perfect new clients in my business.”

How do I decide on my 13 wishes?

This is where you want to take some time to reflect on your past year. Find a comfortable space, light a candle, put on some nice music, have a cup of tea ready…

Think about what went well and what didn’t over the past 12 months. What were you aiming for and what have you achieved?

Try to focus on what’s the highest priority on your list for the future. Come up with as many ideas as you want and narrow them down to the 13 that stand out to you the most.

The magical ritual

Once you’ve made your choice, write every wish on a small piece of paper. Fold the paper so you can no longer see what’s on it. Put the wishes in a bowl or a jar and every night, starting from Midnight on December 25th, take one piece of paper and set it on fire.

Please make sure you have a fireproof vessel at hand for this!

On January 5th, you’ll burn your 12th wish. After that, there should only be 1 piece of paper left in your jar or bowl. That one, you are allowed to open and read.

This wish is meant for you. It will be your responsibility to make this one come true, the universe will take care of the rest. It could be that this will be the hardest wish to take care of but don’t let this discourage you!

burning wishes magic of raushnachte

How do you feel about this tradition? Are you going to give this a try?

I’ve never done it before but over the past years, I’ve come to realise more and more that the Universe is really looking out for me. So doing this ritual is just another step in trusting this higher power around me and focusing on my goals.

Comment below or message me if you have any questions or would like connect over this ritual with me!

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