The Full Moon is a powerful time each month for me, as Seanmháthair Gealach — Grandmother Moon in Irish — shifts from the rising action-oriented waxing energies of the Divine Masculine toward the waning reflective intuitive energies of the Divine Feminine. It is a good time to re-assess, course correct and release whatever no longer serves us.
For me, ritual or ceremony is an important part of that. Yes, I can consciously reflect on what I’m releasing but taking it one step further, with ceremony, serves to reinforce the release for me and helps me fully integrate the release deep within, deep into my Wise Inner Self which can raise my awareness if patterns or belief begin again.
You can create your own ritual, or adapt this simple ceremony which can be done indoors or outdoors.
In this ritual, I harness the energy of Fire for transformation and release, so this ritual would be good during Summer (associated with the Fire element) and when the Moon (or Sun) is in a Fire sign such as Aries, Leo or Sagittarius.
Materials and Preparation
You will need three or more candles, a smoke medicine bundle (aka smudging bundle or incense wand) or any cleansing tool you prefer, matches or lighter, fireproof vessel, and objects representing the four classical elements of Earth, Fire, Air and Water. You could use a feather for Air, a candle for Fire, and so on.
Prepare by meditating on what you wish to release, and write it onto a small piece of paper.
Create a positive intention for the ritual. It can be as simple as “Today I release all that no longer serves me”.
Begin the ritual
- Go to a place you have defined as a sacred space. It could be your altar at home, a place you like to walk or meditate, or a grove in the forest.
- Cleanse the space using whatever is most appropriate for you and the space: smudging, lighting incense, a sprinkling of crystal elixir or purified water, stirring the air with a rattle, drum or singing bowl. As this is a Fire release ritual, do consider using the Fire element (smoke medicine aka smudging or saining, incense, etc) if safe and appropriate.
- Call on your team of allies — this could be your guides, spirit allies, animal and/or plant allies, ancestors, etc — and ask them to support you, guide you and be present with you during the ritual.
- Create a simple altar (or add to your existing altar) by laying down the four objects representing the elements of Earth, Fire, Air and Water in the directions to which they correspond for you. For me, that is North for Earth, East for Air, South for Fire, West for Water. In the Southern Hemisphere, North is typically Fire and South is Earth.
- Add your candles to the altar, and light them, along with your fireproof vessel or cauldron.
- Using your smoke medicine or incense wand, slowing start to trace a counter-clockwise spiral from your feet to above your head, widening the circle the higher you go.
- Look up to the Moon (if indoors, visualize the moon in your mind’s eye) and breathe in the power and cleansing energy of the Moon. Feel its light and energy flow from your head down through your chakras, all the way down to your feet.
- Continue breathing in the light of the moon while reading out your list of things to release, for each one stating “I now release you”. Breathe out the energy of things that no longer serve you after the release statement.
- Place your release paper in your fireproof vessel and ignite it, burning the paper to fully release the energy, once again stating “I now release you”. Notice how quickly or slowly the paper burns. This may be a reflection of how easy and deep this release may be for you . . . or how challenging it might be to complete.
- Extinguish your fire carefully.
- Once the ashes cool, you can use these in further rituals or simply return them to Mama Earth in a safe and environmentally sound way (releasing to water or earth).
NOTE RE FIRE: If you choose not to use Fire for this ritual for any reason (e.g. risk of wildfire, personal choice, health conditions, etc), tear the paper into the tiniest of pieces and release them to Mama Earth, disposing of them in an environmentally sound way.
Complete the ritual
Continue to breathe deeply and fully. Feel the sense of release, and do not be surprised if emotions arise to your consciousness. Let them flow so they can be released. These are a natural part of the release process. Relax and take your time – each of us completes at our own pace, in our own time.
When you feel the final shift and release, give gratitude to your allies for their help, and thank your Wise Self for the release.
Raise your awareness over the next few days to how this feels, if the release is complete, as it may take some time to fully integrate. Notice how it feels to experience without the burden you were carrying, and how your world looks without it. And do consider capturing your thoughts and experiences in your journal.
When using smoke medicine (smudge bundles, incense, etc) always be respectful of others around you; some people cannot tolerate the release of smoke in the air due to underlying conditions or personal preferences. Be sure you handle anything flammable with care, and fully extinguish flames, embers, paper, herbs and candles completely.