One of the ways this year and this virus is infecting us the most is through fear. All of us live with fear but mostly we push it to the back of our minds. Times like these have made that an impossibility. There it is in your face and on the news and in the stricken expressions that reflect yours.
Fear is a cancer that eats us from the inside out. Fear lives within us, its underbelly tickled regularly now. And so I designed this ritual for my coven to help us all combat the fear that is breaching our surface glass so regularly now.
Whether you consider yourself a Christian or a Buddhist or a Pagan or a breatharian is kind of irrelevant. Ritual is simply a container in which to hold intention and every single religion in the world has their peculiar set. These practices are comforting and their power to shift how we feel is unrivaled. Atheist? I bet you still blow out candles on a birthday cake and make a wish or try to keep the knife clean. Also a ritual, some would even say a spell.
So I have crafted this ritual to acknowledge our fear and uncertainty, to allow it to have its place in this process but not take over. I wrote this ritual for vernal equinox yesterday. Then last night I switched on the news to catch up with what our too late to the game PM is now suggesting and it sent me into an anxiety flat spin, like a plane that is spiraling out of the sky and heading for a crash. Because my practice is everything, I immediately enacted this ritual. This shit works, darklings but it is not a one shot deal. Fear is a slippery sucker to wrangle, a shapeshifter and a repeat offender. The more you do this, the better it works.
You will need: (adjusted for isolation of course)
Pen and a piece of paper
A small fire: I recommend contained within a cauldron but I am sure you can work it out safely or use your fireplace / fire pit / inner MacGyver to make it so.
The Sum of All Fears Ritual
Anything we deny in ourselves rises up larger until we acknowledge it. So take your pen and paper and scrawl out all of your deepest darkest fears. Every little panic in your belly, your worst case scenarios and all the catastrophic thinking that you are trying so desperately not to let your mind gallop away with. Call them by their true names. Tune into your anxiety instead of trying to moderate or deny it. Let it have its voice and allow the lot to run off the end of your pen. Do it until you feel spent. Allow the tears and the shaking and the discomfort of this deepest primal fear that lives within us all: fear of death and departure from the life we know.
Light a small fire in your cauldron. A stainless steel bowl does the job though it lacks the legs – secure it with rocks.
Take some deep breaths to steady yourself: if you are anything like me, actually writing out your fears can leave you in quite a state. That’s okay. This is fear of death and loss and grief. This is anxiety about the future and survival and uncertainty. It is LARGE.
Take your parchment of fear and anxiety and hold it above the cauldron. Ask a higher power – and it can be the Goddess, your God, David Bowie or the Great Spaghetti Monster – to witness your fear and transmute it in the flames.
Cast your parchment into the flames and blow on to the fire, allowing your out breath to take the residual fear / emotion from your body to fan the flames. I call this dragon breathing and I love it as a practice.
Declare your intention to not live from fear.
I have made this a daily practice, as the sun sets. The darkness will often raise up the fears we have been stashing in our shadow during the day. I catch ’em at the gate and burn them. I would love to hear how it works for you.
Take care darklings, big love to you and your kin through these burning times.
Art by Roy Lichenstein, 1963 | Ritual c. Kerrie Basha, 2020