New Year's Hearth Blessing Beads

New Year's Hearth Blessing Beads

My family and I started this tradition about 25 years ago. It's been a beautiful way for us to connect as a family, and share our intentions for the new year in a ritual way. The blessed beads have graced a special place in our home ever since.

The beads are cleansed upon purchase and at the end of every year, blessed for the new year in a blessing ceremony; and finally strung and placed in the home where they will be seen throughout the year. 

I suggest you do this ritual together with everyone who lives in the household and let each person contribute an intention for the new year (of course supervise young children and assist them with placing their wishes on the beads -- beads can be a choking hazard). 

Step 1. Select your Beads

Select a set of large beads as your prayer beads, and a set of smaller beads to use as spacers between the prayer beads on your strand. Choose a sturdy natural material -- the beads will be re-used year over year -- ceramic, glass, wood, and metal are all good choices. Ensure you have a compatible coord to easily string them on -- beads with at least a 4mm hole and a thickly waxed 1mm cotton or hemp cord (or even wick) works well.

Choose the number of beads: You can use however many beads you would like, best to choose a number that is meaningful to you. I'd suggest a minimum of 13 beads, and a maximum of 48 beads to keep the ceremony to a reasonable length. 

Step 2. Cleanse Your Beads

If your beads are strung from the previous year, take them down and gently untie the strand releasing the beads into a bowl (keep the coord intact and separate for restringing again later). If your beads are brand new, open the packages and count out the proper number of beads and gently place them into a bowl.

Run the bowl under gentle and cold water, and cleanse them (imagine all of the intention and energy in them draining away, and being replaced by clear white light). Carefully drain the bowl of water, and then spread the beads out on a plate or towel to dry. If you'd like, you can also place them in the sun or under the moon to further charge and clear them.

Step 3. Stage the Ceremony

On New Years Eve or New Years Day, prepare a space where you and other household members can gather around a table. Create a wreath for charging the beads in the center of the table, this can be as simple or as elaborate as you like.  Add at least one candle -- more if you would like. Be sure to be careful if your wreath materials are flammable and elevate your candles in holders as needed to be safe.

Separate the spacer beads from the prayer beads, into two bowls. Pick a third empty bowl and place it into the center of the wreath, this is where the blessed beads will go during the ceremony. Set aside the spacer beads with the coord for stringing later (to be done after the ceremony).

Step 4. Blessing Your Beads

Invite all your household members to the table, and ask them to help add blessings and intentions for the hearth for the next year. Light the candle(s) and say a short prayer or note of gratitude for the coming year. You may also call in any spiritual assistance you would like (tailor to your faith -- angels, elementals, spirit guides or animals, ancestors, god(s), etc.)

Pass the bowl of cleansed beads around the table, where each person selects a bead and hold it in their hands, imagining their wish or intention for the year to go into the bead. When ready they can share their intention aloud (optional), and then place the bead into the bowl in the center of the wreath, and pass the remaining beads on to the next person.  Continue until all the prayer beads are blessed and in the center of the wreath.

When finished, say a prayer or note of thanks and extinguish any candles which are lit.  End the ceremony, by choosing someone at the table to string the beads and hang them up.

Step 5. Stringing & Hanging Your Beads

After the ceremony, even the next morning, set aside some quiet time to string your beads and hang them. Place one or two spacer beads between each prayer bead, and string them all thoughtfully -- tie the coord with a snug (but not too tight) double granny knot (remember you will have to be able to untie it in a year). While tying the knot, say a quick blessing over the strand. Hang in a prominent place in your home, as a reminder to everyone of the all blessings you have in your life!

Passing On the Tradition

If you want to share or pass on this tradition, you can create another strand of hearth blessing beads and gift them for New Years! Select a different set of beads for the recipient's hearth and bless them with yours as you do the ceremony -- this is beautiful token of love for a new home or newly wed couple.

To do this, cleanse the new beads (as well as the old ones), and simply place both sets of beads in the bowl to be blessed (make sure the beads are different enough to tell them apart), and have each person offer a blessing on the new beads for the recipient in addition to the normal household beads. 

When stringing the beads, string each set of beads separately-- except take one bead from your string and add it to theirs, and add one of the new beads to your strand. Now your prayer bead strand contains just one of their prayer beads, and their strand contains one of yours. Gift the new string of beads to the recipient to hang in their home for the new year (and share this information with them so they know how to re-bless their beads each year and pass them on!).

From that point on the swapped beads act as connection beads between the two strands, blessings traveling both ways between the households. You may do this for as many recipients as you want (parents, children, close friends) and may have many different kinds of swapped beads eventually in addition to your starting houshold beads on your strand). In the future, treat these swapped beads the same as your normal beads, and bless and string them together, knowing that the blessings go to your household and the other household as well.


Keep some extra prayer beads on hand in case any get lost or broken/chipped over the years. When cleansing your beads you can check them over, and replace any that might be damaged or add/remove beads for changes in the household -- you may want to add some beads when someone is born, or remove some when someone dies.

You may add music, herbs, or scents to the ceremony, and make it as formal or informal as you like. There are many ways to adapt or change the ceremony for different situations:

  • Invite friends to contribute to the blessing of the beads during a house warming party, and finalize it with a lit candle and a prayer or note of gratitude together. 
  • Have a group of people each bring one bead, and send it with their blessing to a strand of beads for someone who is going through a troubling time, a new journey, moving away, or celebrating a special event.

Our children loved to contribute to this magical practice, and also loved being able to string the beads later (sometimes with a little tying help if they needed it).

Don't be too strict about anything, remember it's the intention that counts! For New Years, we've done this on Christmas Eve, New Years Eve, skipped it all together, and even one year on Chinese New Years! If you have a very hectic holiday season and don't get to re-blessing your beads, don't fret-- magic is powerful and it will patiently last another year!

Wishing you a blessed, safe, and happy home with this beautiful practice you can share with your loved ones, and pass along between generations, or from one home to another.

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