As we approach Samhain (Halloween, Winters day) it is a perfect time to release anything that no longer serves you.
Traditionally this time of year, as the earth seems to draw back into herself, marks the ending of one year ready for the birth of a new.
As nature herself (in temperate Britain) seems to clear away the exuberance and excess of High Summer, it is a good time clear in our homes, and hearts too;
On a physical level;
Chose three things each day to give away, slow but steady.
Pick your most cluttered room, and really work at clearing it. Promise yourself a treat for the room when you have finished.
Enjoy the financial savings of a "larder" week. Apart from needed essentials cook only with what you have in the house. You'll clear space, save money, and be creative at the same time!
Have a swap evening, all bring books, or clothes and the like- and head home with something delightfully new to you.
Clear out old books, clothes and items no longer loved- whether to a good cause or to sell at boot fairs & eBay. Your discarded goods may well brighten someone else's day.
For the heart;
A much harder releasing process, but then the results are much deeper too.
When we retain anger, hurt or shame for someone, long after the event, we are keeping the ties open. Time does ease all wounds, but when we keep our focus on the negative emotions we don't give the wound chance to heal. It is as if we keep scratching at the healing scab to remind us of our pain.
When I talk about forgiveness, I do not mean you have to invite someone back into your life who has caused you a lot of pain.
I am not saying you need to trust someone who you think is capable of hurting you again.
I am not even saying you need to tell them you forgive them. This is a personal process for you, that you only need share if you choose to.
The first person you need to forgive is yourself.
If you are holding onto resentment it may well be because deep down you think you were in some way responsible for what happened. perhaps you felt the hurt was justified, you deserved it, or allowed it to happen.
It is important to release the pain, shame, hurt or guilt you are holding. This is about owning and honouring your feelings. Recognizing that they are causing you pain. And loving yourself enough to let them go.
The forgiveness is not based upon the other person, but on you.
As a shaman I believe a ritual is the perfect support to releasing these limiting and damaging emotions;
"Ritual affords us a time and space for safely expressing deep emotion through periods of crisis and confusion"
Emma Restall Orr
But what is a ritual?
Ritual is a very personal thing, for me it is when I take the time to pause the everyday world and connect on a deeper level- either with myself, or with my spirit guides.
One thing IS very important to me. Not the timing, or place, words or people. But the importance that it is real, of the time and place.
Reflective of need, fluid.
The most powerful ritual is free of dogma, weaving the best of tradition with the creativity of the moment.
Your ritual needs to matter to you. If you work with angels, yoga, crystals, tarot...build your associations into this ritual.
A suggested Halloween Release Ritual;
(needing candles, a smudge stick, pebble/crystal to be buried, a treat to eat & drink)
Find a time when you will be alone in your home (or be with someone you are sharing the ritual with)
Have a nice relaxing bath or shower, and put on fresh clothes.
Turn off all the lights, music etc in the house and just have a few candles in one room.
Watch the candles burn, engage with the flame, and allow yourself to connect with the sad/shameful/guilty/hurt emotions you may have.
Feel free to cry, or shout out your anger. Express how you are feeling.
When you feel ready pick up your smudge stick and light it from one of the candles.
Slowly and gently smudge yourself, feeling the smoke cleanse your energies. Go around your home, room by room. Put on each light (leaving it on) and smudge each room.
When your whole house is smudged, and all the lights lit take the crystal/pebble outside. This represents your old feelings of hurt. Bury it somewhere, in an old plant pot, at the root of a tree, deep in a hedge line. I'm not suggesting a spade and large hole, just pop it into the earth and feel the earth taking your pain.
Now go back in to your home, put on some music you love & treat yourself to a favourite food and drink.
Breathe and smile.
If you like the idea of a Halloween Release Ritual, I am holding one on the afternoon of 30th October in East Sussex. The focus is on healing the ancestral line, but there will be space for personal release too.
You can find more details here and more details about my shamanism here
Blessings for a fun and cleansing October, Maddy Elruna x x