Burning Yesterday: a fire ritual of letting go.


Crafting My Talisman

Immediately following my first spirit journey, my shaman leads a fire ritual to let go of the past that still hinders peace & growth along my journey.

I don't have a specific craft in mind as I venture into the nearby woods. Following the lovingly guiding energy of my faeries, I gather five pine cones & one large stick before returning to the shaman's yurt.


Lifting each pine cone like a curious child would, I visually examine them as I brainstorm. My thoughts form without my knowing & my hands begin to move in craft-making mode before I know what I'm actually doing.

I tear off one small piece from each pine cone: one pine cone to represent each large bundle of grudges, & one petal of prickly bark from each one to symbolize breaking away the bitterness, tearing my heartache off its roots. All of this is pain & resentment I carry is from people who severely wronged & wounded me, damaging an important part of my spirit that never quite healed properly; rather, it merely coped to survive, never knowing how to thrive.

Next, I gently lift coloured yarn from the craft box: first green; then yellow; needing a third, I settle for pink. Using Scotch tape, I press the pine cone bits against various sections of yarn.

A divine light within me answers my question regarding my selection of yarn colour. The green string represents the power of nature; yellow, the power of the sun & of light; & pink, the power of love. These powers, together, can conquer all—even the demons plaguing my spirit.

I wrap the decorated yarn around my stick, the fabric's colours slightly overlapping as one ends & another begins. This also holds symbolic meaning, as the power of nature, light, & love are all combined within this glorious universe, all affecting & blessing each other, creatively & beautifully.

Addressed to the Flame

Setting my craft aside, I lift my pen & write a letter to the sacrificial fire we are about to ignite:

Let go of

expectations

judgments

bitterness

fear of the unknown

self-loathing

negative thought patterns.

By the power vested in me

& channeled through my faeries & my phoenix,

I RELEASE THESE

for they no longer serve me.

I gratefully acknowledge & let go of all these things

holding too much negative energy to hold onto anymore.

With a grateful, joyous, peaceful heart,

I breathe in life & exhale anything that threatens

that beautiful, raw, energetic, inspiring,

almost-tangible life force.

& so it is.

amen.

As the fire is sparked, I try to ease into the moment, as I've done successfully for the past hour or two.

Unfortunately, however, my PTSD is slightly triggered. I watch the flames & feel the subtle heat seeping from it, & my mind drifts to memories of watching my apartment burn down a year & a half ago, robbing me of nearly all life's earthly possessions I had worked so damn hard to acquire.

I take a deep breath, setting my intention on the most positive & uplifting aspects of this Universe. A loving force within guides me as I write:

I forgive you, fire.

I love you, flame.

You are a soul

who can't be tamed

(just like mine).

Tears slip down my cheek as I breathe in this healing, cleansing sensation of pure release, of letting go, of casting off a weight I've been drowning under for far too long.

Victory Chant

There are three small bowls of herbs, including sage, & a beautiful braid of sweetgrass, which are all used to bless the ceremony.

This spiritual goddess of a shaman leads us in a prayerful chant, the shaking of rattles, & the beating of drums. The energy builds. I feel my spirit connect with this energy. The fire beckons, inviting me to release this baggage burdening my soul.

I approach the source of light & heat, whisper a prayer, & sprinkle more herbs onto the beautiful, precious flames.

Into the fire my talisman goes, taking along my burdens with it! The flames eat it alive, slowly, delicately, savouring each bite, for this is a victory worth remembering the flavour of.

The yurt heats up not only with fire but with the loud, roaring chant of victory! My spiritual leader & friend bang on their drums & hammer at their rattles, screaming & shouting & singing for joy! My burden is gone! I've been set free!

Celebrating this release feels like inhaling a breath of fresh air after being locked underground for ten years.

I feel light, free, redeemed.

For the first time in so long, I don't feel alone in this immensely challenging & painful journey I've been on. Walking this path feels like a blessing right now, not a burden.

How beautiful!

How uplifting!

How cleansing!

How enlightening!

I am deeply grateful.