We’ve all had interactions with people that leave a negative lasting effect on our emotions. When we finally rid ourselves of toxic friends as well, there can be lingering feelings of sorrow, sadness and pain. Sometimes, if we neglect to take care of these feelings as they arise, they build up inside of us until we just can’t take anymore. This build up affects out relationships with our loved ones and ourselves and our gods. While we should all strive to deal with our negative emotions as they arise, it doesn’t always happen.
This is why I like to do this ritual once a year. You can choose a season or time that you personally feel is a good time to shed these troubles. There are many options. Winter is good because we are turning inward and working on ourselves. Spring would be appropriate since it corresponds with new beginnings. Summer’s heat can “burn” off our unwanted energy. Autumn is good for visualizing our issues falling like leaves, going into the earth where the energy is transformed and becomes positive energy to nurture the future growing season. Of course, you can always do this ritual at any time you feel you need it. Your path is your own.
I begin by making a list of the things I feel are holding me back. Relationships that have been dissolved but still have lingering hurt or anger. Some years I have bitter feelings about things that just didn’t go my way. There may be resentment between you and a loved one. Problems at work etc. The list goes on and on. I find once I start jotting down the things that are obvious, other things come bubbling up to the surface. Sometimes it’s things I felt I dealt with but really just suppressed or was in denial about. You’d be surprised at what you carry around with you each day. Even if you are a typically happy, balanced person, there are things in your subconscious that affect you however subtle they may be.
Don’t forget issues you have with yourself. Were you dishonest with someone? Did you cheat on your diet and now feel guilty? Did you let yourself down? Not fulfill a commitment you made to yourself? Do you tear yourself down about your looks, your intelligence, competency etc.?
Be honest with yourself. No one will know what you are writing down except you and Spirit. Since Spirit already knows these things there is nothing to hide. The more honest you are the better you will feel afterward.
Gather up enough slips of paper to write out one or two sentences for each issue. You could even go so far as choosing specific colors of paper to represent the feelings associated with each issue.
You will need a fireproof dish, or fireplace, fire pit, even your BBQ will work. You have to be able to retrieve the ashes when you’re finished. (Always use caution when working with open flame. Use common sense and keep a fire extinguisher handy!)
Doing on issue at a time, focus on how it makes you feel. You may have painful memories brought to the surface. (I recommend that if you suffer from PTSD or any other mental health issue, you should seek medical advice to assist you in dealing with your issues. Spells do not replace therapy or medicine. I will get to this topic in the last part of this series of posts.)
Once you know how you feel about the issue, write out a sentence or two describing in detail the problem and how you feel about it. On the back of the paper write the words: “I release this negative energy. So it is.” You can use something similar to this is your own words if you wish. It just has to communicate that this energy will no longer be within you.
Do this for each issue until you have a complete pile of slips of paper. Light your fire in whatever medium you’ve chosen. Throw in some dragon’s blood or sandalwood or other cleansing incense or herb. Ground and center and be focused on your purpose. One by one, read the sentence aloud. Then read the reverse side releasing it. Throw it into the fire and watch the flames consume the paper. Know in your heart as the fire consumes you are truly released from that issue. Once you’ve gone through all the papers, sit for a moment gazing into the fire and allow yourself to feel peace all around you. Know you are cleansed and ready to start fresh.
Once the fire has died out and it is safe to retrieve the ashes, take the ashes into the woods and bury them. Leave and do not look back.
A variation of this ritual is one of forgiveness. Instead of writing out the negative emotions, instead write of your forgiveness. Forgive yourself, people, loved ones. Forgiveness does not mean you condone the behaviour, it simply means that you will not allow the negative energy to rule your emotions. It also doesn’t mean you need to let the person back in to your life. It just allows you to release the energy.
I want to make a note here about forgiving “Spirit” (God, Goddess etc.). It is one thing to release your negative feelings toward Spirit as in the previous ritual, but I personally feel that I would never do a “forgiveness” of Spirit. Our gods have very good reasons why things happen to us the way they do and it’s all relevant to our path even if we don’t understand it or can conceptualize it at the time. So if you are angry with Spirit for whatever reason (common ones include losing a loved one, divorce, job loss) it is better to let go of the negativity and anger that you are holding on to. You can use the previous method for that.
May your new path be blessed with happiness and positivity!