Sometimes, things feel overwhelming.
Horrifying headlines, escalating divisions, and misinformed people on your social media feeds…it’s a lot. Sometimes, it gets to be too much. It’s tempting to want to turn away, cover our ears and be all “la la la la la.” Sadly, we don’t have that luxury. Too many crucial things are increasingly fragile, and the timeline on preserving them is perilously short.
But the journey to resolution is long and tiring. Burnout and hopelessness is abundant among those who are working for change, along with those only hoping for it–two things which will absolutely decimate what we are trying to achieve.
The following rituals may help restore you when navigating a tough time. Both have a mundane and Magickal options. You can use either or both.
A Ritual for Hope
Best time: Waxing Moon
Stones: Rose quartz, citrine
Deities: Elpis, Brigid, Bast, Amaterasu
If you’ve gotten one too many scary headlines on your phone and you’re starting to feel like all is lost, try these things:
Mundane: Read the articles. The headlines are usually the scariest part. Even in terribly dismal stories, there is almost always a line of hope, mentioning some sort of action or plan being implemented to counteract the bad news. Sometimes, they’ll even include suggestions of what you can do, yourself.
Magickal: Charge a stone (those above are good suggestions, but I’m a big fan of collecting stones from the park) by holding it to your heart. Ask for the blessings of a Deity or Ancestor (or both) whose story inspires hope in you. Focus on that story until you feel the stone pulse in your hands with the rhythm of your heart. Carry this stone with you when you’re feeling down. Be sure to charge it up periodically–particularly in times when you are feeling especially hopeful. Save it for later!
A Ritual To Find A Way To Help
Best Time: Full Moon
Stones: Amethyst, Tiger Eye, Hematite
Deities: Athena, Artemis, Astarte, Selene, Horus
Something awful is happening in your community or to someone you love and it is breaking your heart. You want to do something but you feel you don’t have the resources, time, or know-how to be helpful. But there is almost always something that can be done. It might be small, it might not. But no action is too small. Small actions, over time, are not only helpful, but sustainable. Remember, we’re need to avoid burnout in our work or good deeds.
Mundane: Do a Google search on how to help a cause you care about. Pick a method that brings you joy. Helping in a way that you don’t like is exhausting and not necessary. If you like throwing parties, dedicate your party to that cause, and collect goods or cash from your guests. If it’s a loved one in need, don’t just say, ‘Let me know if you need help,’ call them up (or call someone close to them) and offer something specific. Like, “Hey, I know you’ve not been feeling well. I’m mowing my lawn this weekend. Want me to come over and mow yours, too?” or “I’m running to the grocery store–can I grab something for you?”
Magickal: Take one of the above stones (or again, a pebble from the park), and leave it in a glass of water under the Full Moon. Make an offering to a Deity or Ancestor who had great success in their endeavors, and ask for guidance in finding a way to help the cause or person you care about. Sleep with the stone under your pillow for until the next Full Moon. Inspiration will strike. Follow it! And enjoy!
To Take a Pause When It Gets To Be Too Much
Best time: Dark Moon
Stones: Onyx, Iron, Smoky Quartz
Deities: Hekate, Quan Yin
You’ve been working on solving problems for so long, you’ve been reading those scary articles every day, you’ve gotten into one too many arguments with people who just don’t get it. You’re exhausted. Your head feels fuzzy. Guess what? It’s time to stop–for now. There will be more opportunities to help later. Resting and recharging are essential for your work to continue. Helping yourself is absolutely crucial to preventing burning out entirely. Try these activities below:
Mundane: Take a mandatory social media break. Carve out hours to watch something that has nothing to do with current events or problems in your community. Tell the person or group that you’ve been helping that you need some time to yourself for a few days, but you’ll be back on (insert date here). Get out into nature, walk in your park, leave your phone at home. Scheduling regular times to do this will prevent getting burned out in the first place.
Magickal: Write down everything that is wearing on you about your current situation. Burn the paper while rubbing a grounding stone (either one mentioned above or one you find in your local park or garden). Breathe deeply and as you exhale, release the breath into the smoke from the burning paper, letting it blow away. When the paper has burned out, release the ashes into the wind. Take a short, meditative nap after saying a prayer to an Ancestor or Deity with whom you feel comfortable.
Be good to yourself. Take care of yourself. And get back in the work when you’re ready.