‘Tis the season when we wrap up, not only gifts for those we love, but also on a personal note we wrap up this year’s goals and projects, and prepare to birth the intentions of the coming year. Ritual can be an enriching tool to bring these processes clearly to focus in a very satisfying way. Ritual is both spiritual and physical, and in unifying these two levels it becomes a powerful tool for releasing, renewing and re-creating ourselves.
I love fire for the transformational aspects of ritual; it can be anything from a bonfire to a tiny candle flame. Fire is a clear representative of the love of the One Source of Life. It is also a powerful tool for letting go. The first goal of a seasonal ritual is release – of what is old, what you don’t need or want anymore, what has been hurtful, or what was wonderful but has passed away. To accomplish this goal fire is my first choice. The flames burn things up – truly transmutational – and the rising smoke can help lift prayers and intentions to our Higher Selves and the One Source.
For our second goal, birthing intentions for the coming year, I prefer water – though smoke could be used instead as mentioned previously. Water is the substance out of which life is born, it is the ultimate receiver and nurturer of true intentions. As scientifically shown through the work of Masaru Emoto who wrote The Hidden Messages in Water – water responds in very definite ways to the thoughts and intentions we put into it.
There are many ways you could do a seasonal ritual, and many tools and intentions you may employ. Here is a suggestion for a ritual employing fire and water to clear the old and birth the new:
Part 1 – Release
First, build your fire with whatever resources you have to do so. If you don’t have a fire-pit or a fireplace, you could use a candle. But since we are going to burn things put a candle or tea light into a metal container (aluminum pan or other) and add sand or soil to hold the candle, receive the ashes of what you burn and insulate your flooring from the heat.
Then cut paper squares of 2 or 3 inches from white or color paper, as many as you may need to release the things you wish to let go. You may wish to let go of pasts events or relationships, completed goals, or goals you no longer wish to complete, you may choose to release your gratitude or your pain, love or hatred, fears and worries, your judgments and disappointments, or the younger you who was less mature – in favor of the newer and more mature self you are ready to experience. The list of things to release are very personal and you may define this, however, is right for you.
On each square, write something you wish to release and then roll or fold it and tie it on a long piece of yarn or string. Honor the thing you are releasing – meditate on what you learned from it, what you have gained from it, or what you have given away to it that you need to take back. Then ask yourself is there anything else I need to learn or do to complete my contract so when I release this into the fire I am finished with it. Give thanks for it if you are able to do so. Then knot the individual paper squares onto your string or yarn at intervals so you end up with a string of things to release.
When you are ready, release the string prayerfully into the fire. You can quietly meditate, or dance, chant, play a drum or other instrument or sing as you watch these things burn and let them go.
Part 2 – Birth
Get a clear glass jar or pitcher and fill it with the purest water you have.
On a piece of paper write the intentions you carry for the coming year. These can be outer goals or inward ones.
Tape this to the jar and set it in a sunny place for two or more hours.
Think of this as intentions tea! When it is done drink a glass with an open heart and mind, allowing the unconditional love of the universe to bless you and support your intentions in the way which serves your greatest good. Be open to things working out in unexpected ways and times. To learn more about this technique read The Hidden Messages in Water.
You can prepare Part 2 so it is ready as you finish Part 1 and you can toast yourself with gifts of rebirth! Then as you enter the new year, cross that threshold with an open heart and welcome the unconditional love of the universe to come with you.