This ritual is inspired by huntress goddesses like Artemis and Diana, who was traditionally celebrated at the Nemoralia of Diana by the ancient Romans on the Ides of August, and for many now at the Full Moon in August. FYI, the Ides referred to the mid-point of the month.
Because this ritual has two parts (releasing that which is no longer required AND inviting a new path), it can be done at the Full Moon, the tipping point between the Waxing and Waning cycles of Grandmother Moon OR you may choose to separate the ritual into two parts, such as setting the New Intentions in the New or Waxing Moon and doing the Release at the Full or Waning Moon.
Some like to start their release rituals at the Full Moon, a very powerful time, but I always like to wait just a little . . . until Grandmother Moon shifts to her Waning Phase. I often do a final release in the Balsamic Moon aka the Waning Gibbous Moon, just a few days before she enters the Dark Moon Phase.
This ritual can be done at home or outdoors, in Circle or as a sole practitioner. And, of course, know that you can “change it up” to reflect your personal practices and traditions.
You will need:
- two or more small dry twigs to represent your Arrow(s) of Release and your Arrow(s) of Intention
- paper strips for writing your release statements
- lighter or matches
- a source / receptacle for fire for sending your arrows to the Universe; this could be a small cauldron, candle, metal bin, fireplace or bonfire.
Whatever you use, be sure to practise fire safety. Fully extinguish your flames and arrows/twigs when the ritual is complete. Do not leave your fire unattended at any point during your ritual
For me, this includes:
- creating a small altar for each ritual, with elements representing my guides and allies (and their energies) as a visual (and energetic!) reminder of their support and my connection to them
- assembling materials (paper, pen, twigs, etc)
- having a favourite playlist on a portable device ( tablet, smart phone, etc) to enhance the mood and align with the energetic rhythms
- setting intention for the ritual
- creating Sacred Space: this could include energetically cleansing the area where I will perform the ritual, such as smudging, using a drum or rattle or singing bowl, keening, using a windfall branch to brush away stagnant energy, lighting a candle, etc. Some like to handcast a circle, to further define the Sacred Space
- calling in the Directions (or Quarters): you may start in any Direction. Some prefer to start in the East, others in the North. This is a personal choice. There is no right or wrong.
- calling on my guides, allies, goddesses and ancestors
Begin the Ritual
Start by grounding and centering, breathing deeply and slowly until you feel any tension ebbing away. I like a count of four for the inhalation, exhalation and the pause between each; use whatever rhythm works best for you.
Focus on your breath, feeling that slow deep inhalation reaching into every part of your body and into your chakras. Feel the Air energy reaching into every cell of your body, inspiring you, cleansing you.
With each breath you exhale, feel any toxins, aches, pains, or unwanted thoughts to leave your body to be accepted by the outside Air for cleansing and returning to Mama Earth.
Invite your Allies, Guides, Goddesses and Ancestors to join you. Thank them for showing up and supporting you, guiding you, inspiring you. Invite their wisdom and their advice to gain additional clarity for what may be released and where your new path or actions may lead.
Then, invite their wisdom and insights, by asking your allies:
- What can I now release that no longer serves my way forward?
- With that release, what can I now invite, begin or continue in my life?
Journal your thoughts and their wisdom, noting especially that which you will release and your new intentions.
Create and Release Your Arrows
Write that which you wish to release on a strip of paper, and wrap it around a twig. This is now your Arrow of Release, for offering to the fire for transformation and release. Know that it’s okay to have more than one twig, and more than one piece of paper wrapped on each twig.
Do the same with your new intentions and invitations to create your Arrow of Intention.
First, using the candle, or a small cauldron, offer your Arrow(s) of Release to the Fire and allow the flames to send them to Spirit. As you release, declare your intention to release all with this Affirmation; you can also modify to reflect your way of being or simply create your own.
That which I now release, go away from me.
I thank you for all you did for me.
Never come back, as I have set you free.
So mote it be.
Take a moment to again thank that which you are releasing for supporting you in the past. Their job and their journey is now complete. Feel the release, feel it leaving your body and being accepted by Spirit for transformation. Feel the lightness that comes from releasing the weight of those burdens . . . allowing new energy and intentions to flow in.
Now offer your Arrow(s) of Intention to the Fire and allow the flame to send them to Spirit for igniting and manifesting in your life. As you invite the Arrow of Intention to manifest, declare your intentions with a simple affirmation that you create, or use something like this:
The wisdom of Diana and Artemis
has raised my awareness
The strength of The Amazon
ignites a new path thereupon
I now invite ________ into my life.
Take a moment to feel your new direction, envisioning where it will lead you. Know that your aim is true as you launch your arrow toward a new path for you.
TIP: When offering your Arrows, raise your awareness to how long your arrow(s) and the papers take to burn. Does each burn in the same way, at the same speed? If they burn slowly, that may indicate there is work to be done to achieve your goal or to release; if they burn quickly, that may indicate you are more than ready to let the thought go or to achieve your new goal.
Continue to breathe deeply and fully. Feel the sense of release and new space / new intentions, and do not be surprised if emotions arise to your consciousness. Let them flow so they can be either internalized or released as needed. This is a natural part of the process.
Relax and take your time as you move towards completion; 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. Complete by again thanking your guides, allies and goddesses for their support in this ritual, with special thanks to Artemis / Diana (for her true aim!)
Close your circle as you opening it, closing the space, Directions/Quarters, etc. Be sure that all flames are fully extinguished and that you safely dispose of any ashes. For instance, once cooled, offer the ashes to the Earth for a final release or use them in the optional ritual below.
Use the smoke from the burning Arrows (if using them in a cauldron or other container) to smudge / cleanse and ignite your chakras:
- your Root (1st) Chakra for Right Action and to feel safe and fearless,
- your Heart (4th) Chakra for Self-Love and Compassion
- your Third Eye (6th) Chakra for Wisdom and Insight
- or wherever you think you need the support
You may also use the cooled ash from your burned arrows and paper to anoint the same chakras, and to ground the intentions into your Self.
Take a moment to internalize the Wisdom / Medicine of your guides, allies, goddesses and ancestors, as your reflect on this ritual.
In your personal journal, or in the comments area below, share your thoughts on this lesson, this ritual . . . and what you are now releasing from your life and what you are now inviting into your life.