Burning the Past – A Ritual for Cleansing Pain

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A friend of mine has gone through some hard times recently, and now that they are behind her she asked me if I had a ritual to help her let go of that painful period in her life.

I love the use of rituals in our lives.  Rituals cause us to take pause, giving weight to things that are significant for us. They help our brain focus and pay attention, and they help us orient ourselves emotionally and spiritually.

Burning has long been used as a ritual of release, so today I’m going to show you a simple burning ritual for cleansing and releasing situations and relationships that have caused you pain.

Many years ago, after a particularly painful relationship breakup, my sister, a girlfriend and I went to the local park and had a ceremonial burning of old letters and photographs one afternoon. I used a great big cauldron from my kitchen and we sat around on the grass, sipping champagne and feeding paper into the fire.  The flames were green and blue from all of the chemicals in the photographs.  A little boy walked past with his mum and said exitedly, “Look Mum, real Witches.”  That made my day, although let’s be clear – I am no witch – it was just a very Macbeth moment!  On the downside, my cauldron was never the same again…

Image from Hecates Cauldron

Burning Equipment – a large flame-proof pot or bowl, or an outdoor fireplace.  Matches. Long tongs.  Don’t use one of your good bowls or pots! Go to a second-hand store and find a big old saucepan or cauldron, or see if you have an old brass or metal bowl in the back of a cupboard.  You could also use a barbeque pit or a campfire, or a terracotta pot.  Be sensible about your burning. Burn outside, observing fire restrictions and keeping your fire away from anything that might catch alight.

Gathering Your Burning Fodder – Never burn in the heat of the moment!  A calm, thoughtful and considered burning is much more powerful and effective.  Begin by finding images, letters or other material related to the situation.  Don’t burn any legal documents.  Don’t burn anything out of spite.  All you are looking for is material that can REPRESENT what you wish to release.  For example, old photographs or letters, old newspaper clippings or advertising – anything that holds emotion for you and that you can afford to send up in flames.  If you have no images or material, then sit down and write a letter to the person or persons involved, or a summary of what has gone wrong and what you wish to let go of.

The Ritual

You can burn alone, or you can burn with friends or loved ones.  Choose what is appropriate to you.

Sit in front of your pot or burning space, hold the images/paper in your hands and just speak from the heart about what this represents to you and why you need to let this go.  Finish with the words I release you. I am done.

Then burn that stuff to ashes!  Feel the flames eating up and rendering that old energy into nothingness.  Let it all go.  That’s why we need to do this ritual outside, where the old energy can escape and be diffused on the wind.  You don’t ever want to do this ritual INSIDE your home – you want that old energy gone!

Honour any emotions that come up for you, but allow the ritual to give you a sense of finality.  When it’s cooled enough, dump your saucepan in the bin or keep it in the garage or garden at home for future burning needs. Celebrate the end of the Releasing Ritual with a beverage or some food – head out for a meal, or go home and have a cup of tea or a drink. Allow yourself reflection time, to recognise that you have closed the door on that part of your life.

In burning the past, you leave yourself free to claim a brighter future.

Full Moon ‘Becoming’ Ceremony

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It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.  ~ e.e. cummings

 

A Full Moon is a wonderful time for stepping into the energy of ‘becoming’, providing a strong transformational force at work in our lives.

Are you ready for a little positive manifestation?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A fireproof bowl or dish
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Paper and pen

The first part of this process can be done at any time during the day, or you may choose to do this just before the Ceremony.  Sit in reflection, and then write down a list of what you are ready to offer up in order to grow into something else.

You can be as broad or as specific as you like, but your list should be about letting go of what doesn’t serve you in your life, and claiming positive energies, gifts, talents and activities in place of what you are releasing.

Here are some examples:

I now surrender the need to struggle, and I accept flow and synchronicity in my life.

I offer up loneliness and accept a healthy love relationship instead.

I am ready to give up my fear and insecurity and step into my life purpose as a successful personal trainer with my own business, helping women to achieve fitness and healthy bodies after childbirth.  I will earn at least $65 000 per year, and work hours that allow me to be with my own children before and after school.  My business will be so successful that I will be able to employ staff to help me, and to move outside my own area to expand into the surrounding suburbs.

When you have finished expressing what you wish to offer up, in order to become something new, keep your list handy – ready for the second part of this ceremony.

Image from samuiphanganfullmoon.com

On the night of the Full Moon, step into the moonlight.  Ensure that you have your offering letter and matches, and your fireproof bowl.  Allow yourself to become calm and centered.

Ideally set aside a minimum of fifteen minutes, but for those of you who enjoy meditation and reflection allow up to one hour.

If the weather permits, do this healing ceremony outside, once the moon has risen. Do not consume alcohol or recreational drugs prior to this process. If the weather or your situation doesn’t permit working outside, you can work beside a window that allows you to see the moon and feel her energy. Even if it is raining or the sky is obscured by cloud, know that the moon’s energy will still reach you.

Sit or stand quietly and raise your hands above your head.  Draw the light of the moon down around you like a cape, wrapping it around your body.  Then allow the light to fill you up, feeling your body becoming relaxed and peaceful.  Say:

I honour You, and I am grateful for everything.

Let these words really resonate within you.  Stand or sit in communion with the Moon, letting her energy fill you with grace and healing.  Allow yourself to honour your emotions, and know that whatever you feel is necessary right now.

When you are ready hold up your offering letter in both hands.  Let all of the pain from your body, mind and spirit drain into the letter.  Allow yourself to become filled with hope and anticipation. Say:

I offer up that which no longer serves me.  I claim my natural abilities and talents.  I claim my life purpose.  I claim all that is good and right for me and my life.  I am ready to Become.

When you are ready place the offering letter into the bowl and set it alight.

Image from servantofgrace.blogspot.com

Now stand or sit in meditation, opening yourself to any visions, words, ideas or messages that come to you.  You may wish to journal these later so that you don’t forget them.

To conclude your ceremony simply lift your arms up to the moon, and then draw her energy down into your heart, finishing by drawing your hands together, as if in prayer, in line with your heart.  Bow your head, and say

Thank you for the Blessing of Becoming.

If you feel moved to say anything else, you may do so now.  Know that your offering and exchange will be honoured.  Trust in yourself and in your own abilities.

Bless ♥ xx

 

PS – If you are working with the energies of a Blue Moon, then go here:

Blue Moon Healing Ceremony