Eclipse 2024: Ritual For A Reset

Eclipse 2024: Ritual For A Reset April 4, 2024

Recently Ian Corrigan — a leading figure in American Neopaganism, one of the primary teachers in the modern Druidry organization Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF), a founder of the Starwood Festival, and a man I think of as a friend (though I don’t want you to blame him for that) — posted A Charm for the Full Eclipse of the Sun.

In his words, it is “based on the idea that the unique, contra-commonplace event of the joining of Sun and Moon, and the extinguishing of the Sun’s light presents a threat to the Good Order of the Worlds.” As with every ritual Ian crafts, it’s elegant and powerful and you should take a look.

Not All Order Is Good

Now, the Good Order of the Worlds is (by definition) Good. But as a Discordian, I feel compelled to point out that not all Order is Good.

I’m not out to harsh anyone’s Good Order, and if your life is currently in Good Order may it remain so. But it occurs to me that many of us find ourselves in a Bad Order.

Perhaps for the past year or so your life has been marked with heartbreak and death. Perhaps your financial affairs or your work life are in Bad Order. If you’re an artist of some sort, perhaps your creative life is stuck in a Bad Order blocking the flow. Perhaps your relationship with alcohol or drugs or other behaviors are in Bad Order, you’re either unable to put down an unhealthy behavior or you’re feeling stuck in trying to start a desired new behavior.

Photo by Brad Caldwell. Public domain by grant of the photographer.


Push the Reset Button

If some part of your life is in Bad Order and you could use some aid in shaking loose from it, I suggest that this Great North American Eclipse provides a unique magickal opportunity for a reset — especially for those in the path of totality, but you can work this ritual even if you’re in an area where it’s only partial.

E.C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, notes that “[t]he myth and the ritual [around eclipses] are all part of interpreting and engaging the forces that make the world the way it is.” Eclipses have inspired murders and suicides and mass panics; but they’ve also inspired warring nations to stop fighting and make peace.

There are many forces “that make the world the way it is”, and many possible interpretations of an eclipse.

I do have to stipulate that if you are able to read this, there is some degree of Good Order in your life — you are alive, possessed of your wits, and in such material circumstances that you have access to the internet. Things could be worse. In shaking loose the Bad Order parts, we want to preserve those things that are in Good Order.

Indeed I’ve managed to wrangle myself an invitation to travel to Ohio and observe the eclipse at Ian’s home, and I won’t be aiming to disrupt his ritual work to preserve Good Order! I’ll be holding intent to preserve that Good Order. (Having the sort of relationships with people that get me invited to such events is a bit of Good Order I want to preserve.)

But I’ll work some magick of my own over on the side. If you can piggyback your magick on that of someone more skilled, or on a group, in a way that aligns with the general goal but makes it more specific to you, by all means do so.

The basic structure of Ian’s ritual is the same as the ritual I do every Winter Solstice night: light a fire in the sunlight and keep it burning through the dark, to preserve the light and guide back the Sun. That fire represents the Good Order — the Sun, warmth, light, the regular cycling of day and night.

Note that this ritual structure is independent of whether the eclipse is obscured by clouds or not. It’s still going to get dark and then light again.

The Ritual

I’ll have to improvise and adapt and see what sort of buy-in I can get from others for my situation.

But if I were going to do this ritual on my own, I would add to that “large” fire a “very small” fire which we want to burn out quickly, lasting a shorter time than the eclipse, to symbolize the Bad Order we wish to banish; and a “second large” fire, which we want to burn for some time, to symbolize a new personal bit of Good Order we will invoke to replace that old Bad Order.

“Large” is relative here: both our “large” fires could be anything from tealights to bonfires, we just want something that will burn for an extended time, longer than the eclipse. They need not be the same size.

For our “very small” fire a birthday cake candle would be a good choice, they burn out in a few minutes. Or you might just burn some paper in a bowl. Wrapping the paper around a small amount of cleansing herbs, or adding some essential oils, could also be an option. (It is perfectly okay to “smudge” with herbs, would-be gatekeepers notwithstanding.)

Take some time beforehand to write down, on two pieces of paper you’re willing to burn, what is the Bad Order you wish to be free of, and what Good Order you wish to replace it with. Decide also on verbal names for your Bad Order and your personal Good Order — your papers might be short lists or full-length essays, but you want a brief label like “my writer’s block” or “my desire to smoke cigarettes” to speak in the ritual.

I like to light ritual fires with wooden kitchen or grill matches, gives a bit more physicality to the act. And if I’m using candles, I like my “fire” to consist of more than one (lit from each other or from the same match) if it’s intended to burn for a while, for the redundancy in case one blows out accidentally.

Light the first “large” fire some time before the eclipse, saying “I light this fire in light of sun, to be the Good Order Of The Worlds and of my life, to burn through the dark and guide back the Sun.”


Public domain / CC 0 image via MaxPixel


As the eclipse begins, light the paper with the Bad Order, and use it to light the “very small” fire. (Or let that paper itself be the “very small” fire.) Light it seperately from the “large” fire, i.e. strike a different match for it rather than lighting it from the first fire.

Say, “By the power of the light of the Sun and the shadow of the Moon, as the light of the Sun dies out, so does (name your Bad Order). Burned out and gone, never to return!” You may wish to repeat that “Burned out and gone, never to return!” several times as that fire burns out.

You have now ritually banished that Bad Order from your life. Acknowledge that. Dismiss that Bad Order. See how it is reduced to ashes. Tell it to not let the door hit it on its ass on the way out. If you’re a Babylon 5 fan, give it a Vir Cotto wave goodbye. Sing it “hey hey hey, goodbye!” like a baseball pitcher leaving the field.


Focus your attention now on that first fire, the Good Order. I’m hesitant to use the word “gratitude” because of how it’s been polluted by pop spirituality, but consider the fact that you are alive, that you have the wherewithal to perform this ritual, that some things at least in your life are going okay. Whatever challenges you have faced, they have not defeated you, for as long as you live you are not defeated.

Hold that light, that spark, that fire, in your mind and heart as the eclipse progresses to totality.

When the sun starts to return, as the light grows again, we move to the last bit of ritual work. We will replace that old Bad Order with our new Good Order.

From the first fire, light the paper with your personal Good Order, and use it to light the second “large” fire. Say “By the power of the light of the Sun, as the light of the Sun grows, so does (name your personal Good Order).”

Consider and honor what work you have done (like driving hundreds of miles to witness an eclipse) toward your intended new Good Order. And consider what work you are going to continue — a daily writing practice, having a monthly savings plan, using nicotine gum rather than reaching for a cigarette, whatever concrete steps are relevant to your desired change, because you do have to get off your ass to make the magick work — to help you bring that new personal Good Order into your life.

See the fire you’ve just lit fueling that work. See how it grows from your perseverance, your strength in not letting your challenges defeat you. You carried the spark of that Good Order through the darkness, like the embers our distant ancestors carried from camp to camp before they figured out how to bang rocks together.

Now you’ve breathed life on the embers to renew the flame. Let it blaze in your life.

Cool Down and Clean Up

Now, enjoy the spectacle of the eclipse and the Sun’s return!

Allow your two “large” fires to burn as long as you can. Let them burn themselves out if possible; if you must extinguish them, visualize yourself taking their energy into you first.

Dispose of any ashes or remnants of those two Good Order fires respectfully, in an invoking manner. Scatter ashes in your garden (once doused, of course), use leftover candle wax as firelighers, and so on.

Dispose of any remnants of that Bad Order fire in a banishing manner. Wash ashes down the drain or bury them. Wrap leftover wax in paper, seal it up, and throw it in the trash; or ritually burn it in a much larger fire full of purifying intent.

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