Changing Your Story: A Ritual for New Beginnings
This was weekend was a doozy for me: I never sleep well the night before an eclipse, and I’m also highly attuned to shifts in cosmic energy, so I was feeling tired and very emotional in response to Sunday morning’s Pisces new moon and solar eclipse. The theme of this astrological and solar event was releasing, letting go, major endings, and thus new beginnings. One astrologer I follow referred to this phase as having a “point of no return” feeling, while another described it as a “cosmic baptism”, washing us clean and making us ready for new life.
For my part, this new moon/solar eclipse marked the completion of a cycle of acceptance, surrender, release, and change that began near the end of July in 2016. I know I’m not singled-out in my experiences, so perhaps you too have experienced that feeling of “this can’t go on, this must change” in some area of your life, or with some part of your self in the past few months.
It may sound dark or heavy, but the feeling of “this must change” can be incredibly empowering. There’s a strength to its decisiveness, a conviction in its demand, and an understanding deep down inside that the change can happen, must happen, because you have the power and resoluteness to make it so. It’s a reminder that we are the captains of our vessels, and it’s a calling back to the truth of our souls. Sometimes it happens in a quiet and simple moment, in others, a righteous and riotous rising-up of feeling and expression. But in all cases, the second that feeling comes up, the change has inevitably already begun.
What I experienced Sunday morning was less within and more without: I felt a lot of heavy, heightened emotional energy pressing down on me, and I realized that part of what was causing my internal turmoil was my resistance to that energy. Given that I knew what was happening in the Universe (astrologically-speaking), and my recent history with release, I quickly surrendered and asked God “What do I need to let go?”, and the reply I received was, “The story”.
Letting Go of The Story
We all have our stories. As human beings we’re fond of categorizing, qualifying, and embellishing our perceptions of what’s happening or has happened or could happen to us. We have stories about ourselves, the people we know (and don’t know), our childhoods, our hang-ups, our lives, our problems, our callings, our looks, our issues.
The word perception is key, because our experiences are always subjective. Perhaps you’ve had the experience of perceiving an event as having happened one way, but then you speak with a friend and she’s got a completely different spin on how things went down, or were said, and why. Everyone’s point of view is influenced by their own experiences, feelings, prejudices, wounds, fears, opinions, and so on. Everything is filtered through our stories.
The power in perception is choice: the facts never change, but we can choose our point of view to be either positive or negative. This has an undeniable effect on the quality of our lives, our outlook, and our decisions.
For a very long time, I had been carrying around inside a story of “Krista’s unfortunate life”. All my wounds, sadness, childhood traumas, failures, short-comings and limiting beliefs had been translated into a ne’er-do-well, dystopian view of my past, present, and future. And God was telling me that it was time to let it go.
How do you let a story go? Your life’s been your life, right? You can’t change what’s happened! I stayed silent and allowed the guidance to continue to flow through, and what I soon realized was that it wasn’t about changing the facts, it was about changing the perspective: letting go of the old, negative story, and in exchange, putting in a place a new, more positive, and more empowering one.
This felt pretty fierce to me, because in order for it to work I knew I had to authentically, willingly, and lovingly look at my past, own it, accept how I’d interpreted it, and then approach it from a fresh perspective. But I had to be ready, because there came that “this can’t go on, this must change” feeling, and I’ve also learned that God/dess or the Universe never puts in front of you what you’re not capable of handling.
Now for me it was the “Krista’s Unfortunate Life” story, but perhaps for you it’s something different. Maybe it’s the “I Can’t Catch a Break” story, or the “I’m Never Good Enough” story, or the “Life Sucks and Then You Die” story, or the “Wealth [Marriage, Happiness, Weight Loss, Success, etc.] Only Happens for Other People Story” or even the “I’m a Sickly Runt” story. Get real with yourself in terms of how you’ve been interpreting your past and present, and how that’s been setting up your future (cause it has!).
Once you’ve identified the story that you’re ready to let go, read through the instructions below and then plan your timing accordingly.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A good pen and several sheets of paper (yes this must be handwritten, not typed, as the energy of your feelings will transfer through the ink and onto the page). You can draw or paint your story if that feels more natural to you than writing it
- Ceremonial white sage
- A fireproof container or fire pit in which you can safely burn your paper outside OR a plastic container half-filled with water in which you can freeze your paper
- This ritual can be done at any new or full moon, preferably in signs that correspond with the water element (Pisces, Cancer or Scorpio)
- To capitalize on the Pisces new moon and solar eclipse energy, perform it by midnight Wednesday (March 1st, 2017)
- This ritual goes deep, so please allow for a minimum of 2 hours to complete it
- Find a place where you can work quietly and undisturbed for a couple of hours. You may get emotional while writing so please make sure you’re in a private or safe space.
- Close your eyes and think back through your story: when, where, or with whom did it first begin? Float back to your earliest memory, and then put your pen to paper and write.
- Very important: Write your story from the negative perspective first. Don’t censor or edit yourself, really allow your shadow to flow out through your pen. And don’t get bogged down in the details or the accuracy of the thing, let it be an overview, summary, or picture you’re painting. You can draw your story if that feels more natural to you than writing it.
- Let Spirit guide you. Let it wrap-up when you feel complete (by means of comparison, my story was five pages and it went right back to the start of my childhood).
- Take your story, matches, and sage, and go outside to your fire pit or fireproof vessel. Stand solemnly and read your story out loud. When you are finished, say: “This story has now ended. It ends NOW.” Tear it up into pieces, place them in the fire pit, light them on fire and let them burn. Toss some sage on top and let the purifying smoke waft over you. When the smoke dissipates, say out loud: “A new story has now begun. It begins NOW.” Scatter the ashes to the wind.
Go into your kitchen with your story, container of water, matches and sage. Stand solemnly and read your story out loud. When you are finished, say: “This story has now ended. It ends NOW.” Tear it up into pieces, submerge them in your container of water, and place the container in the freezer where it will remain. Light your sage and let the smoke waft over you. When the smoke dissipates, say out loud: “A new story has now begun. It begins NOW.”
- Write your new version of the story, the same facts or highlights, but now from a loving, empowering, positive place. Trust and allow the vision, words and details of that story to flow from your heart and soul. Make sure they feel good and uplifting to you, but again, don’t censor or edit too much. Let it come out of you organically.
- When you are complete, know that this story now lives and breathes inside of you. It is now your story. Keep it someplace private and treasured, and let it color your memories, your present, and your future expectations with hope, happiness, power, positivity, and joy.