A ritual for grounding and renewal.
I created this ritual because it was time to let go of old energy and welcome something new. Because I’m in the process of going through a major change, right now, and this new moon came along just at the point where I really felt I could understand it enough to celebrate it, thank it, say goodbye to old ways and set intentions for new.
First, I think about my intention.
I know that a major shift has taken place inside me over the past two months, and I know that I need to acknowledge and honour this shift.
I know that there are goodbyes to be said. I lay out the tarot cards I drew at the start of this journey, re-read them, and feel the physical energy that journey has taken. The strange revelations in 3am bus stations, wild drunken parties, hours with nothing but a bus window, new friends, cigarettes on sunny porches, a sore back, a caravan and lots of trail mix.
I felt the spirit of adventure be satisfied. For the past year, or for heaven’s sake for my whole life I’ve rushed headlong into dreams and schemes, fuelled by fire and air, excited, making things happen, doing shit, explosive, unafraid to raze it to the ground and start again whenever felt right.
I feel as though I came here to finally exhaust that energy, to burn it out so that something more solid, more stable, can be built in the embers. I’m not sure what that is yet – in performing this ritual I want to find out. To describe the foundations I want to build and to commit to this work.
This is my intention.
Next I create an altar.
A lantern, for the kind of inner fire I want to take forwards with me. Contained, but burning bright, leading my way with idealism and hope.
A notebook and pen to represent air – all the writing I want to do, the ideas I want to communicate to th world. And for lists and plans and organisation.
A cup of water, for emotional clarity, for being able to hear my heart clearly.
A piece of wood for earth, a chunk I found outside my cabin the morning I first woke up here. This short stay in the woods has brought me such a powerful sense of groundedness, of connection to my body and environment. It’s woken my senses. I’ve lain beneath trees in the warm sunshine feeling the spring earth come to life in the ground below me, watched daffodils emerge day by day from one-inch shoots to golden yellow trumpets, walked barefoot over soft pine needles and washed with a steaming bucket and a flannel in the quiet woods. This place has brought me back to earth, when I was feeling out of touch, as though I was floating just an inch or two above the surface, feet not truly on the ground.
(This has been the transformation. I can feel the ground now.)
At the centre, the white skull of a deer. Death, change, a letting go. This is what I want to honour tonight. The goodbye I am saying to a younger me, one who has brought me this far and is now ready to leave. I add tarot cards, candles, a sprinkle of oil.
My altar is ready.
Then I build a fire.
Collect branches and logs from the woods, assemble a pyramid just like girl guides taught us, made a woodpile nearby. Brought matches. A bottle of water.
Back inside, I make mint tea. I read up a little about the new moon in Aries – the start of the cycle, initiation, creation, and how that is kind of where I am and kind of the opposite of where I am – I realise it is fire that I want to transform, through bringing in everything else. I don’t want to say goodbye to fire, but I do want to use it differently.
I clean around the cabin, put my desk straight, see that things are in order. Put on the lamps and the heater for a cosy return later on. Gather my notes, a second tarot deck, put on another layer.
It’s 7pm. The sun is getting low. The heat of the day is dying.
I perform my ritual.
I light the fire and sit by for a while, watching it, feeding it. This is the fire of the past twenty years. It’s bright and catches easily, quickly building to a big, warm, friendly dance. I put on all of the wood I have at once.
I go to my altar and light a candle for each element. I thank water for my strong heart, for intuition, for knowing that deep down, I know what I need. I thank earth for the past week and for everything I stand on, for Emma, for strength, for my home. I thank fire especially, for the journey so far, for bringing me here to this point. And I thank air for my intellect, my strong mind, the Aquarius in me that has a plan for every mad scheme and a reason for every emotion.
Then I thank death for the luxury of being able to change. I know that fire and air won’t leave my life, but that they will exist in a different way – tempered with earth and water. No more explosions, no blowing things up to see what happens. This is about pulling everything together to create something strong, something truly real. It’s a different blend, a different me.
What am I letting go of? A sense of unfinished business, of urgency. Of untempered fire – which has got me a good long way – but it’s time for a change. Of starting so many projects, of intangibility. I write down words that have characterised my approach to life – words that describe my childhood, teens and twenties. It’s time for something different. I watch the paper burn in the fire.
The death that’s happening is the burning up of this last fiery fuel – it’s cleansing, and will leave a blank canvas, still hot, ready for something new. I want my work, my life, everything, to be steadier, more grounded, more tangible. There will still be fire – those glowing embers are the foundations for the next stage in my life – but also water, earth and a gentle kind of air.
It’s simple, no drama. It’s about conscious creation, saying thank you and goodbye, honouring and welcoming change.
I draw cards for the coming month and year.
Ace of Pentacles
Nine of Pentacles
Through my relationship I find both myself as an independent person, and one half of a team. I am so aware of the strength of Emma and I when we work together, of the power of our shared goals to create the lives we want individually and together.
So much earth. This will take so much work. Tonight I am committing to that work. To us, to sustainability, to foundations and love. I write a few lines to solidify these intentions. To using all four elements of my self.
I make more tea and sit by the fire for hours. Watching the stars come out, watching the flames. Occasionally scribbling notes in the dark, sipping tea. Lying down to feel the ground beneath me, cold now. Close my eyes and hear the flickering flames like the stars in the black sky. Feel how that everyday is transformed inside me, how my four elements are finding a new blend.
Later, I clear away. Drink the water, snuff the flames. Scatter the needles, close the notebook. I bring everything inside, make more tea, and put some music on. My clothes smell of smoke. I turn the music up.
The next morning the daffodils have opened. It’s bright and cool. I look at the smoking embers of my fire and warm my hands in the early chill. Later, I will make gentle plans which embody my intentions, and stretch, and take a first step towards the life I am ready to build.
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.