13 wishes ritual for the 12 nights

The 13 Wishes ritual is a particularly beautiful ritual with which you can celebrate during the twelfthtide, the season ending in Epiphany.

What is the twelfthtide?

Also called season of ephiphany it is the the 12 holy nights between Christmas and Epiphany. They have been considered a sacred time for many thousands of years. 12 nights, each representing one of the 12 months of the year, invites us to look back, to let go, to recover from the traces of the old year, to come to terms with ourselves and to reweave our destiny.

The special time of the epiphany season  traditionally begins on the night of 24 to 25 December at midnight and ends on the night of 5 to 6 January at 11:59 pm

These nights have their origins primarily in Germanic and Celtic traditions and in ancient lore they begin at the winter solstice on 21st December.

There are many rituals and customs surrounding the twelfthtide. The german term “Rauhnächte” comes from smoke (incense) from rauh (wild) or from the old word rûch. Smudging was believed to drive away evil spirits and furry demons, welcome good spirits and cleanse the house.

One of the most popular rituals during these  12 nights is the ritual of the 13 wishes. 13 wishes are written on slips of paper. The universe fulfils 12 of the wishes and you have to fulfil one wish yourself. You can combine this ritual with the smudging ritual.  For the smudging ritutal, walk through the room every night with your incense and blow smoke into every corner. Imagine how everything negative dissolves with the smoke and something wonderful emerges. As you do this, formulate your own wishes for the coming year.

13 Wishes ritual

Before the 12 Nights begin, think about what you hope for in the coming year. You should take time to do this and have the following things ready.

  • 13 pieces of paper
  • Notebook (diary) and pen
  • Container (glass jar, box or bag)
  • Candle and matches
  • Incense material: sage, palo santo or similar.

Make yourself comfortable, review the past year and think about what you want for your future. These questions may be helpful:

  • What did I want to achieve but haven’t yet?
  • What would I like to give up, let go of, leave behind?
  • Is there anything I would like to learn or skills I would like to develop?
  • What would my ideal life look like and what would have to change to achieve it?
  • Which people or energies would I like to attract into my life?
  • What do I want in general?

You can also use this notebook in the following days as a (dream) diary for the 12 nights and read through the notes from the past year again next year. Reflecting on the past year can help you to formulate your 13 wishes in a powerful and positive way. After writing down the 13 wishes lists, you can also transfer these wishes to your notebook so that you can read through them again next year and see what has actually come true.

Then fold the notes up so that you can no longer see the written word and put them in a container or bag. It is best to place it in a place that you can see every evening so that you don’t forget to burn a piece of paper in the evening.

On the evening of the first night, from the 24th to the 25th of December, you draw the first piece of paper and burn it unread. You give your wish to the universe. You can then incense yourself and your rooms with your incense material and make your wishes.

Repeat this every evening and at the end you will be left with a single slip of paper. You can now open it. It is the wish that you can actively take care of so that it comes true for you.

I wish you much joy in celebrating the season and of course the fulfilment of your wishes!