Saturday, September 1, 2012
PBP 22: Roasty Toasty: 6 Ways I use Fire in Ritual
I wasn't planning to make a real post for a while due to the shit in my life currently, but tonight I burned some shit under the full moon, outside, in my tiny cauldron, and I realized this feels too awesome not to share. So I present to you, 6 ways I have used fire in ritual (that you may not have considered yet, or maybe you have.)
Fire has the unique ability, like many things in nature, to nurture or destroy, at terms. Fire is a truth-seeker, a leveller. It leaves nothing in its path, it razes everything, good or evil, no matter, and eventually fertilizes the land and launches the cycle again. Because of this, fire is both a strong purifier, and a wonderful friend. A destroyer, ruthless and terrible, or an aid to banishing our demons. My uses reflect the myriad visions of Fire as a tool.
1. To Sniff out a Betrayer/Bad Intentions
This ritual is best used if you suspect a frienemy of bad intentions towards you, including lying, backstabbing, or other unsavory things, but you have no evidence.
You need a control to be able to do this right, as in, you need to write somebody down who you KNOW is not currently being an ass to you, so you can observe how the fire burns in general.
What you're going to do is use a candle (I use black, scribed with sigils etc), invoke whatever, and ask the fire to show you who the betrayer is. Ask it to make it very clear.
Take some basic paper and write the names of the people you suspect in red. This isn't aimed to harm or bind them, just to show their true intent. There are other spells for that.
Then, burn a blank piece of paper in the flame, and see how it burns. Fire tends to burn certain paper a certain way. Do that a couple of times, so you really know what's 'normal', etc. Once you have a feel for that, burn the paper with the name of the person you trust and don't suspect. Observe how the fire burns that one. Get a feel for it.
Then, burn the betrayer paper names. What you're looking for is suspicious activity. Suddenly 2 flames, the flame turns weird colors unexpectedly, it burns MUCH faster or slower than the controls, etc. Any of these things are valid. You're looking for beyond a doubt here. Don't look for evidence where there potentially isn't any.
Theoretically, if done right the fire will burn a lot weirder on the true betrayer name.
2. In Basic Divination
Again using fire in divination is a process. You need to work with the fire and figure out what is no, what is yes, what is maybe, etc. There is no set way I've discovered to discern this.
Again I use a candle flame. The method is basically focus on the flame/candle really hard, then when you feel in sync with it, ask it to show you yes, no, etc, like a pendulum. Take careful notes and make sure the answer is clear. YES might be a sudden spike in activity, NO might be a lick to the left or right.
My method for this is the same as a pendulum. Ask questions you know the answer to to ascertain accuracy or if you're reading right, then proceed to questions you don't know the answer to.
3. To Release Cursed Objects
Don't fucking do this unless you know what to do with this. Let me make you an analogy. You free a tiger from the zoo cause you felt bad. You feel good for freeing this. Then you realize you have no way to transport the tiger away or keep it from eating you, because it has instincts and you're delicious. That's the same for releasing cursed objects via fire, okay.
I only burn cursed objects when there is definitely no way I can salvage that shit, which is, thankfully, rarely. But burning cursed tarot decks, papers, etc is an option to forcibly release the curse via destroying the item utterly. The problem is the item was containing the energy, and now you just let it the fuck loose. You best know, if you do this, you need to contain the shit in such a way it doesn't go right back for you again. Ironically releasing a curse outside in a ring of mirrors can confuse the thing and protect you. Also, it could open a portal to the astral and fuck you up. Woops.
If you're gonna do it, do it in a circle of some sort. I even do that and I don't fucking use circles on a regular basis. Or inside a sigil or something, because the minute you release the tiger, it is probably coming after you first. Call in the big guns, whoever you have. And be vigilant about cutting attachments and ties and doing a cycle of purification things for yourself after the thing is complete.
But don't fuck around with burning cursed objects unless you know how. (or know somebody who does)
3a. To release NOT cursed object energies
This is conversely the BEST way to release a binding you did on another or yourself, or a spell you no longer want in effect, or the feelings attached to items you have from a person who moved on, or a spouse who left.
It's really cathartic to burn objects we have strong feelings for if those feelings are no longer helping us, because fire forcibly releases the energy and returns it to the universe. I recommend this. (Outside under the moon is rad by the way. Get a cauldron and go to it.)
Don't be weirded out if you start crying or getting emotional during the burning. It serves as a psychological catalyst to be able to make our pain and memories physical, and then to burn and destroy them. It releases a lot of pent up feelings.
4. To Release Spirits
If you have Spirit attachments to items, this can forcibly release the Spirits too.
However refer to my consent posts etc and make sure the Spirit wants you to release it from the item, if that's its 'home'. Assuming the Spirit is just a regular joe, not really hurting anybody. If you have a malevolent Thing attached to your shit, again, burning it might just make it easier to get directly at you. Same goes for an item somebody gave you on purpose with an attachment.
An alternative to outright burning said items I have used is burying. You can, conversely, burn AND bury, to keep the thing from getting at you. Again, only use if you know what you're doing, etc.
You might consider cremation a form of releasing a Spirit Attachment to a body via flame.
5. In Shadow Working Rituals
I use fire in Shadow Work often.
If you're like me and have traits or self depreciating attitudes you are working on, here's a simple ritual I plan to use for the next dark moon cycle.
1. Sit down and think about some traits or thoughts you want to change. These can include negative and non-serving thought patterns, like you always think you're too 'fat', or too 'thin', or not 'pretty' enough, or you put yourself down all the time, or you left people walk all over you, or you're constantly getting into bad relationships because you have a lack in yourself. These are all things I consider things to work on via Shadow work.
2. Narrow this list down to 13. (You don't have to, but I like numbers, y'see.)
3. On the third day of the full moon, when the waning cycles begins, annoint yourself in whatever you like and announce your intent to work through some issues for the next cycle. Be aware this can be very emotional and taxing, because you're adding strong magic to shadow work, but that it can also jumpstart very great healing. You can announce this to your deities/guides/ask for help, whatever you feel you need to do.
4. On each day for the moon cycle, all the way until the Dark/New Moon, focus on one of your traits on your list. It doesn't have to be dwelled upon, all day. You can set aside time. I would say after work/obligations, because it's best to rest afterwards. But set aside time in which you create a symbol of your trait, like even writing it on a slip of paper, and then you focus on it. You really remember all the times that trait has occured or brought you down. You remember the good moments and the bad ones. The remembering on purpose is a huge part of shadow work, because we like to forget instead of deal. You might bring up emotions; you might scream or cry or get angry. Channel this energy into the symbol you have, seeing it enter the object.
5. When you feel you have focused enough energy on the symbol, go outside, if possible, and burn the object in a cauldron or other fire proof container. What I have taken to doing is burning paper directly on a bed of loose White Sage. This way I am purifying my object by fire and by vibrations from my herbal incense, in a way. I light the herbs/sage and let it catch the object on fire. I obviously prefer to do this as night under the moon/stars.
6. While the thing burns, say 'By Earth and Fire, I release you.' You can chant the phrase, say it once, whisper, shout, whatever feels right. Watch the object as it burns. Feel the fire burning your attachments, your old patterns. Let the fire take as long as it needs. You might notice very charged items burn a very long time. This is necessary. As for relighting if the flame goes out, do what feels right to you.
7. If possible, keep the ashes. I prefer to dispose of the ashes on the Dark Moon itself, in the trash or similar.
8. Rest. Repeat for every night, and on the Dark Moon get rid of the ashes, anoint and cleanse yourself, and say 'By Earth and Fire I am Reborn.' You should feel lighter, at the end.
6. In Wish Fulfilment Rituals
I do a ritual every Jan 1st where I write down simple wishes for the year on paper, charge them and toss them into my fireplace. I think of this as releasing the energy on my papers to the air, so 'deity' can hear them. It was stupidly simple at first but it's become a serious ritual for me. Try tossing wishes into a fireplace sometime. It's cathartic.
You can tie herbs into bundles with wishes and toss them into a fire too.
Anyway, some things to think about for you all while I get my head back in order.