Lift Up Your Life – A ritual for the solstice
It seems very appropriate to (finally) be sharing my first lesson in lifting up your life with you, on the eve of the Summer Solstice and on the longest day of the year. The solstice is the first day of summer, when we are tilted closest to the sun. Its a fire festival! This week we also have a new moon in my astrological sign of Cancer (happening very early on the morning of the 24th) and I’ll be celebrating my birthday on the 25th; all are times when we can use intention setting (and a little magic) to transform and move towards our goals. Thank you for the cosmic push, universe!
Why Am I Here?
Before I begin, I’d like to share a quick story with you about why I’m here. I’ve been on what could be called a spiritual journey for the last 2 years, remembering rituals and divinations that I haven’t done since I was a teenager, reading every spiritual text I could get my hands on, working with spiritual teachers and taking courses. I studied mindfulness and crystal healing to be able to create therapies to help others and I (quietly at first) began making little bags filled with herbs, flowers and crystals, giving them to friends for job interviews, anxiety and sleep. I committed to working with the power of setting intentions with the lunar cycle (which I feel deeply connected to) and discovered I wasn’t alone in this practice. I burst into tears during a full moon circle which felt so familar to me that I was overwhelmed.
All of this followed a time of real emotional upheaval. Friendships I’d had for many years ended, I’d left a job which was draining me mentally and physically and I was constantly anxious and afraid. I questioned who I was, if I was a good person, what I wanted from life and whether I deserved it. It hurt. But… it led me to take a good long look at myself and what makes me who I am. Through the courses, the meditations, the circles, the books and the rituals I realised it’s ok to be me. I found confidence to say “this is who I am” and to share that with other people without fear of rejection or not fitting in.. I found that it’s ok not to fit in! I learned to (start) loving who I am.
So thats where we’ll begin…
A ritual for the solstice
It’s often so difficult for us to show ourselves the same love and compassion for others, to ourselves. If someone is hurt, upset, distressed, depressed or rejected; we rush to comfort them, lift them up, hug them and remind them of how wonderful they are. But we tell ourselves a different story. We tell ourselves we’re not good enough, that it’s our fault, that we’re not worthy, that we’re stupid, and the more we tell ourselves these stories, the more we start to believe them. Lets change the story. This soltice and new moon, I’d like to share with you a ritual for shining a light onto ourselves and what makes us unique.
Incense, sage if you have it or even just a spray of your favourite perfume
A candle (yellow for the sun would be lovely but any colour is ok)
Paper and pen – why not start a new moon wishes book?
Optional: favourite crystals, tarot/angel deck and flowers to decorate your space.
Set aside some time to really focus on this. Clear an evening if you can or just an hour where you can be quiet and not interrupted. Turn your phone to silent and play whatever music seems right – I often go for Stevie Nicks or The Doors, but just as often I listen to sweeping classical music or a mantra – experiment!. I like to wear something for ritual that makes me feel comfortable and powerful. You’ll know exactly what this is for you – it might be a favourite dress, your best lingerie, a top in your “power” colour or your most comfortable yoga gear. Gather everything you’ll need and make your space beautiful. Arrange your crystals and flowers, set out your notebook and pen, have something to eat and drink ready for aftewards to bring yourself back into the physical (choose a favourite tea, a glass of wine, chocolate – anything) and sit comfortably.
Cleanse the space (and yourself) either by lighting incense, burning sage or just spraying a favourite scent. Do this intentionally, really visualise the scent clearing away anything unwanted. If you wish, you can repeat the words “I release any negative energy, thoughts and emotions. I welcome in joy, love and happiness”. You can do this aloud or silently. You can also change up what you want to welcome in! Pick what feels right for you.
Take some deep breaths and bring yourself back to your centre. Let everywhere you’ve been throughout the day and all the thoughts you’ve had drift away and ground yourself in the present. It may feel easier to do this with the help of a guided meditation (choose from thousands online) or with a piece of calming music. Try to sit for at least 5 minutes to relax, unwind and focus.
Get your pen and paper, open your heart and write yourself a love letter. Yes. A love letter. Start with “Dear Me” or “My love” or however you’d begin a letter to a loved one and write it to yourself. Tell yourself what makes you special, how loved you are, what you’re grateful for and what you want yourself to know. Use the solstice sun to shine a light on what it is about yourself you should celebrate and share more of with the world. Write about what brings you joy and how you feel in that moment. Tell yourself it’s all ok. Just write freely and see what happens. It might feel emotional, or powerful or uplifting. Just let whatever comes up come out onto the page and let it be.
Take a moment to breathe, cry, laugh, dance, scream or just re-focus. Bring yourself back to centre with 3 deep breaths.
Begin now to think about your intentions for the coming cycle. If you are using a tarot/angel deck or any other divinitation, now might be a good time to pull a card or cards for any messages or guidance.
Focus your goals on how you want to FEEL. Visualise it. Use powerful words: I INTEND. I AM. I CHOOSE. I COMMAND. I CLAIM. I INVITE. I OPEN TO.
Write them down and get really specific. What brings you joy that you need to do more of? What gifts do you have that you need to share more of? What is holding you back that you need to let go of? What will it look like when you achieve these goals? How will you look? What will you be wearing? Who is with you? Create a picture in your mind and write it down. Commit to it.
When you are done writing, take 3 deep breaths and bring yourself back to centre. Take a moment to be still and then light your candle. You can ask whoever you please to assist you with these intentions – the universe, god, an old goddess, a spirit guide, a loved one Beyonce – anyone. Hold your intentions and ask them to be with you in whatever way feels comfortable to you and then read your intentions out loud, one by one. End with a simple “and so it is”. Say thank you. Leave your candle to burn down if you can and sit quietly with a drink and something to eat and let yourself come back into the physical.
You can now keep your inentions where you will see them every day (and maybe even create some daily affirmations to go with them) or you can offer them up and out to the universe and not look at them again. Choose whatever feels right.
Continue to check in with your intentions through the coming cycle. On the full moon, ask yourself if you are still aligned with your goals. What is showing up in your life that you need to release and let go in order to move forward? Are your intentions showing up? Are you following joy? You can continue this practice with each new moon, revising your intentions as you go.
And do let me know how it goes…
I’l be sharing a group version of this ritual in a workshop this coming Saturday (June 24th) which also includes a wonderful themed yoga practice taught by my colleague Joanna. If you’d like to join us, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for reading.
Kitsch Witch xx