Creating Ceremony Lesson Two: And Now You Wait…

Ceremony and Ritual

M

iracles, wait

We are continuing our week-long teaching on Creating Ceremony. Now we turn to Lesson Two – let’s do this!

Have you ever had the experience of creating a ceremony, casting a spell or laying down an enchantment only to discover that despite your best efforts, attention to detail, and hardcore organization the work falls flat on its face?

Maybe it doesn’t deliver the goal you were hoping for. Maybe it doesn’t result in anything at all. Or maybe it concludes in a tangled web of unintended consequences that have you hiding your head under a pillow.

No doubt you have had this experience. I talk to folks every day who go through this, and I have experienced it myself. It is super common. I call it a ceremony slip. (As if your ceremony slips on a banana peel. Oops!)

Ceremony slip is also easily avoidable because usually, this occurs for one simple reason: we aren’t willing to wait and pay attention.

Here you are. At this point, you have already learned to banish (and maybe had a good cry along the way). You are ready to get started formally on creating a ceremony for a specific need or purpose, a need or desire to change within and without.

Now, most books and teachings will tell you that the next step is to state your purpose, make your prayer, and/or write your petition. Declare your intention!

But, in my experience and in my own learnings that is NOT the next step. That is what results in dead, flat, ceremonies that don’t change a thing.

For truly effective ceremonies that don’t fall flat, the next step is actually to wait and watch.

What I’m talking about here is active waiting, not passive, twiddle-your-thumbs waiting. Through your banishing, you have opened the door and cleared the way. Now you need to take the time to see who and what presents itself to you.

You are looking and listening for communiques from the Otherworld and your Holy Helpers (that’s the name I use to describe spirit allies, guardians, and guides). By looking and listening with care, you are entering into deep communion.

This communion can show up in a huge variety of ways. Some of the experiences reported to me include:

  • Dreams
  • Seemingly random coincidences that are strangely connected
  • Finding specific talismans or omens during my daily business
  • Communications from Ancestors and my beloved Dead
  • Friends reaching out with an essential piece of information
  • Opportunities that just magically show up
  • Direct vision and communication with specific Holy Helpers
  • Employing divination to gain clarity and refinement

Listening, watching and waiting is the part of the creation process that takes the most time. It may take one day or several. The process may take two weeks before you have the information you need to move ahead. Sometimes it takes longer. Some ceremonies are weeks, months, or years in the making.

Because waiting actively is the part of ceremony making that takes the most time, waiting is also the part that people tend to skip over. Traditional societies understood that planning and creating a significant ceremony will take multiple days, weeks, or years. It is a process that cannot be rushed, controlled, or plotted out directly on the calendar.

Those creating and participating in a ceremony understand that after initial banishing work, they need to find a way to enter into communion with the what we call the Otherworld. At that point, we are out of ordinary time and in that space of time-out-of-mind that C.S. Lewis describes so beautifully.

Cinderella’s version of this is waiting for the Fairy Godmother to come. She doesn’t know what is going to happen. She doesn’t know that *anything* will happen. But she has banished, and now she waits. In many versions of the tale she grows closer to the natural world at this time, often the first step in communion with the Otherworld. She does not state her desires until after the Fairy Godmother has arrived.

This is crucial because once you have stated your goal or desire, once you have made your petition, the ceremony is in full swing. Before you have struck any matches, made any songs, or done any magic, the ceremony is hot and going because your request, your desire, your prayer has been made.

The question upon which success now turns is…was it made correctly? Did you ask for what you really want? Did you petition for what you actually need?

When we wait and commune with the Otherworld we find that we often receive critical pieces of information and insights that allow us to refine our desires, goals, and intentions, so that our ceremony really does address what we need it to address. Succeeding in this, we can avoid those awful ceremony slips, and the change we create is actually the change we want.

So go ahead and let yourself wait…Fairy Godmothers show up on their own schedule, but they do show up!

xo,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Creating Ceremony Lesson One: Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Ceremony and Ritual

M

iracles, blood

I am sure most of you have heard the expression “blood, sweat, and tears.” We usually call upon it when we have made a huge effort at something. And, like many common turns of phrase, it hides a deeper meaning in plain sight.

Blood, sweat, and tears, are some of the most valuable prizes we possess. In countless fairy tales, a single drop of blood has the power to destroy the most powerful kingdom or overcome the finality of death, where the sweat of physical and mental exertion can show the true nature of a character. And then there are the tears. Tears turn into magical, life-giving waters. Tears heal and thaw out frozen hearts.

In fairy tales and folklore, blood, sweat, and tears are substances that become valuable once they have been shed for the sake of something…or someone else.

We see it in Cinderella. Once the little Cinder girl has realized that she really cannot escape the house…cannot escape her life and cannot go to the ball – which stands for all that is possible and hopeful for her – she begins to cry. Big, body-shaking, river-forming, tears.

The cry of the heart is the action that opens the door and opens the way. Cinderella begins to create her own ceremony. Her tears are what garner the attention of the common creatures around her, creatures whom she has cared for. And her tears are what call in her fairy godmother as well.

Cinderella engages in the first step of creating ceremony: she is banishing.

Banishing is an old word that basically means releasing, letting go or casting out. People often talk casually about ‘letting go’, in order to manage stress. But you’ll also hear on occasion someone talk about the need to banish a room that feels like it is full of funky vibes – they might cense the area with a sacred smoke or recite a prayer of protection to make the area feel cleaner and safer.

But before we talk about banishing rooms or objects, we have to look inwards at our own inner landscapes and ask what needs to be released and put down once and for all.

When we banish, we can take a few moments to acknowledge what is hurting or weighing on or frustrating us. And then we perform a ritual action to release it.

Banishing is the necessary first step in creating ceremony, the thing you do before anything else because it opens the road and it clears the way. When we drop whatever it is that we are clinging too tightly to, we are able to breathe a little easier and see with more clarity and objectivity. Clarity and objectivity of mind are qualities that must be in play if you want to create a ceremony that can really change things from the inside out.

There are lots of ways to banish. There are prayers you can recite. There are specially formulated incense blends that call on the elements of fire and water to assist with removing what is no longer needed. Some traditions call on making noise – like clapping, yelling, ringing bells, or stomping your feet – to clear the spaces both without and within.

Bleeding, sweating, and crying are all forms of banishing – and they are so powerful because they involve our physical bodies and the substances within them. Another beautiful (and simple!) way to banish is simply through breathing. Here is an exercise you can try:

  1. Take a breath in and allow it to move from the soles of your feet all the way up to the crown of your head.
  2. Before you release that breath think of one thing that you need to release and let go.
  3. Breathe it out and into the earth where it can be transformed into something good and useful once more.

There may be many different feelings that this exercise conjure, some very subtle. Each person will find responses in very different ways. But don’t be surprised if you start to tear up a little or have an all-out crying fest. In fact, that is usually a sign that you are on the right track to creating ceremony that really will change you from the inside out.

For more on Banishing, check out this article.

xo
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

How to Banish Social Media Jealousy

Purification and Cleansing

S

taring at someone’s social media account can sometimes trigger feelings of envy—or even despair. You might compare your life to their life—or at least, to a picture of their life—and feel inadequate. Does this ever happen to you? Or maybe you are obsessed with someone else’s numbers – the number of likes and comments that they get. Life is too short y’all – let’s banish that nonsense!

What you will need:
Two candles that have not been used (ie burned) before. I recommend you use small birthday candles for this little rite.
A ritual anointing oil suitable for banishing or plain olive oil
A ritual anointing oil suitable for auspicious joy and happiness or plain olive oil
A clearing and blessing incense like frankincense (Dan makes my favorite).
A list of the things/people that you find yourself getting jealous of on social media.
A list of things you could be focusing on and celebrating if you weren’t so distracted by the green-eyed monster.

Significance:
One candle will be used to banish the envy. The other will be worked with to call in joy and celebration.

The anointing oil suitable for banishing will be applied to the banishing candle – look for scents that incorporate ingredients such as black pepper, cedar, pine, lemon, lemongrass, or sage.

The anointing oil suitable for auspicious joy and happiness will be worked within your joy and celebration candle. Look for a scent that you personally just ADORE.

Frankincense is a traditional incense used for millennia to clean, clear, and bless.

Your lists provide you with focal points for this ritual.

Ceremony:
Begin by Cultivating Calmness.
Light the frankincense
Take your list of things and/or people that you find yourself getting envious over and anoint the corners of it and center with the banishing oil then place it under the candle you are going to use for banishing those feelings.
Anoint the candle with the banishing oil or with olive oil.
Take the list of things you could be (or want to) celebrate when it comes to social media and anoint it with the auspicious oil for joy and happiness in the corners and center.
Place that list under the other candle and anoint the candle with the joy and happiness oil.
Now, take a moment to allow yourself to feel into the envy, jealousy, frustration – whatever the hard feelings are just feel them. As you do so light the candle for banishing and watch it burn all the way down.
Right before that candle goes out, use it to light the candle for joy and celebration so that your feelings of envy are transformed into feelings of joy, celebration, and appreciation. Watch until that candle burns all the way down.
Take the remains from the banishing candle and in a fire safe container burn them down to ash. Take those ashes and scatter them at a four or three-way crossroads.
Take the remains of your joy and celebration candle and bury them next to a healthy tree in your front or back yard or in a park that you frequently visit.
Be free of envy – done!

Final act:
Celebrate a social media moment – big or small – and invite others to join in on the fun!

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.

Magical Missives: Solar Eclipse Magic + How to Banish

Learning and Community

M

Miracles,

Apologies for the re-send of last month’s Magical Missive email earlier today (and a hearty bow and thank you to Mercury Retrograde!) Some of you wrote to me already telling me how much you liked it – which is awesome – but it is not the correct magical missive for this month!

This month we are focusing on the Solar Eclipse that occurs on August 21st. Eclipses are my favorite time to break patterns and I find solar eclipses to be especially strong for this work.

When it comes to breaking a pattern there are several steps involved. The first of course is clearly identifying the pattern that you need to break. Some people like to write this down, others like to talk it over with their magical study buddies, and still others like to go into the liminal and talk to their holy helpers about the patterns that are showing up, gaining further insight in the process.

The next step is to decide what you want to replace your old pattern with. If, for example, you are trying to break the habit of smoking then you will want to replace it with something healthy – maybe eating more greens, or something fun like ballroom dancing!

Then you are ready to banish the old pattern, story, habit, or belief, and call in the new. There are thousands of ways to banish (banish is a fancy word for “get rid of”) things you no longer want or need. While there are elaborate rites you can perform my favorite ways of banishing are simple and straightforward.

What you will need:
Yourself
A quiet space
To think about what you really want and need to banish

Ceremony:
Cultivate Calmness
Breathe in a blessing on yourself, affirming and acknowledging that when we breathe in completely and fully we say YES to life and to all that nourishes us.
Breathe out whatever it is you are ready to banish, breathe out fully, exhaling completely, so that whatever pattern you are releasing is fully let go and set down.
Take a moment to feel into the space that you have created by releasing whatever it is you needed to release.

Final act:
Breathe in fully once more and as you do so, breathe in whatever it is you are filling that space with – in our example above it would be “eating more greens for health and vitality” or “ballroom dancing for fun”. Breathe it in fully and then take a moment to offer thanks as it falls into place.

Patterns broken. Banishment done! Have a blessed eclipse!

In love and blessings always,
Bri

magic, miracles: receive my lunar letters

ARRIVING on full moons each month.