Friends, I face the winter feeling tired, deeply and completely. My imagination worn and threadbare. My intuition craving the kind of quiet and space that only darkness and snow can bring.
I feel this while also feeling pulled to meet you here. I want to welcome you into the barn. Light a candle. Pour you a mug of tea and talk. Since I can't have you over, I'll share a series of brief letters in the coming weeks. Each letter welcoming you into the barn and the wintering rituals that weave me into the world during this season.
May we experience the deep reset that only winter can bring. May we move toward spring with intention, feeling replenished, nourished, ready for the wonder, instability, and transformation of the coming year.
. . .
Letter one: A Releasing Ritual for the New Year~
Before you begin, gather:
~ a special taper candle.
~ a book-binding needle, embroidery needle, nail, or special writing tool.
~ your journal and a pen.
We begin by making space within ourselves for the energies to come~
You can perform this ritual anytime you feel called. Your body will know when it's time. I'll be working with the liminal energy between the Full Moon on the 29th of December and the New Moon on the 13th of January. But trust your own knowing.
You can do this ritual alone or with those closest to you.
Step one — Set yourself up in a clean and contemplative space. This might be at your altar. A reading nook. Outside in your wintering garden. Soaking in a ritual bath. At your kitchen table or even standing at the threshold of your favorite window.
Step two — Get comfortable and cast your gaze inward. Call up the past year month by month. Take note, without judgement, of the memories that rise, the places in your body you feel sensation or numbness. Scan your spirit, your mind, your physical and emotional forms. You may want to gather this all in your journal or work off the page in the darkness of yourself. Let what rises rise. And take a moment to hold this past year with love. Thank yourself for caring for yourself.
Step three — Now, from this loving place, think of the loops or cycles, the limiting behaviors or negative self-talk that you've fallen into this past year that may be holding you back from resilience and balance. Again, do this without judgment. You are holding space for yourself now. You are not conjuring these behaviors, only noticing them and the harm they allow you to perpetuate against yourself. Gather these loops, cycles and behaviors and tuck them into a single word or phrase. For example: Guilt. Shame. Stagnancy. The idea here is to have a simple, stable word hold the energies for you.
This may take 15-seconds or two weeks. Trust yourself.
You'll know when you're ready to move to the next step.
Step four — When you're ready. When you feel you've channeled the energies into your word or phrase it's time to release these behaviors to make room for new ones: On a special taper candle, with a needle, nail or writing tool, engrave/write the word or phrase that represents and holds the patterns you’d like to release.
Step five — When you’re ready, light the candle with the intention of melting those tendencies away from your life. As the candle burns (it may take most of the day), allow yourself to feel those patterns and emotional states transform into ether and smoke lifting away from your body.
Feel the room this release allows.
Step six — As you let this room glow and radiate, imagine the year ahead. Month by month, what energies do you wish into the world? How do you want 2021 to feel for yourself and others? You may choose to tuck this feeling—this wish for the year to come—into a word to hold close, or simply leave it as a feeling: atmospheric, breathing, alive.
Step seven — When you have your feeling, wish, and/or word, let it take up residence in the newly made space inside yourself made possible by the release of the limiting behaviors. In other words, you are replacing self-harm with a wish for the world.
And if you find yourself drawn back into those limiting patterns, flood the pattern with your wish for the world.
Every day of 2021, commit yourself not to a resolution, but to this living affirmation: yourself. The gift you will be in the world.