This year the Summer Solstice feels a little bitter, a little cold. Maybe that’s because we’ve already begun shedding our feathers. Gather them together, gather up the remains of experience, the weighted memories, the pain that has outlived its usefulness. Then gather up the spices: cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, cloves. This is the summer to burn it all down, and the fire should smell as delicious as what will rise from its ashes: you.
Before Performing the Ritual
If you determine that the Phoenix Ritual is right for you this Summer Solstice, it’s important that your first steps be to cleanse and protect yourself, then spend time in meditation and preparation because this will be intense. This ritual will draw upon the energy of the eclipse along with the spirit of phoenix, the new moon, and the summer solstice and it will require a lot from you in terms of energy. I highly recommend spending some time in meditation connecting with the phoenix spirit before performing the rest of the ritual.
The Phoenix ritual is a very simple ritual in action. It can be a difficult ritual in terms of presence. This ritual requires you to be fully in your body and in your feelings. There is no disassociating with this ritual. It is powerful. It is important that you are in touch with what you feel the entire time.
White candle (chime candles work well)
pen and paper
fire safe containers, lighter
cinnamon, clove, frankincense, myrrh
a tin or piece of cloth
The Phoenix Ritual
I am tempted to tell you to consider what you want for yourself, what you want to embody, but instead this is what you should do: connect with your true intentions. Not what you think you should want, not what is easiest, only what is true. This is essential to performing this ritual successfully. Observe what it feels like to embody these true intentions: your sense of freedom, of peace. Take the white candle and carve your name and birthday into it. Speak over it, telling the candle that it is you, anointing the candle sparingly with olive oil, infusing it with the energy of the intentions you discovered for yourself by speaking them over it.
Set the candle aside and breathe. Create space to connect with your feelings and body in the now. Then begin pouring all of your feelings and experiences out on paper, holding nothing back, everything that has been a weight on your heart or mind, anything that has held you back. Give yourself permission to emote as wildly and unabashedly as you will. Forget restraint. Let it all out. Just make sure you put it down on paper (or anything else that can be safely burned). This is the funeral pyre. It is natural to grieve.
Fortify the funeral pyre with spices (cinnamon, frankincense, clove, myrrh). Then burn it. Watch the fire consume it. Pay attention the alchemy that occurs. Light the wick of white candle from the flame of the funeral pyre and set the candle in a fire safe container away from the pyre and allow it to burn down separately (I’m counting on you to practice fire safety here). When the funeral pyre is burned out completely and the container safe to handle, gather up the ashes and seal them in resin, or put them in a decorative tin or a bit of cloth, secured.
Allow the white chime candle to burn all the way down and out. If you need to put it out for any reason, snuff it out, don’t blow it out. If you have to put this candle out, you can re-light it later to finish the ritual, but it should be done within 24 hours of beginning the ritual. It is best to allow time for the candle to burn out completely so as not to interrupt the flow of the working. Any candle remains can be buried.
The ashes you have secured are your offering, the offering of who you were and what you carried given up willingly so that you can renew yourself and become. Offer these ashes back to Hekate (or any of the gods you work with, or just to the earth if you work with no gods) by burying it at the crossroads. But offer it with intent, with thanks, knowing that as it is offered it no longer belongs to you. You don’t carry this weight in your body or your spirit anymore.
Ritual After Care
Take a cleansing bath (or shower) after you’ve completed this ritual. Then make sure you eat, rest, or do whatever your body tells you to do. You can expect that the effects of this ritual will be felt or a while. Please refer to this article on energetic cleansing for some of the side effects you can expect from this kind of working.
featured image via pixabay