Winter Solstice approaches, and I’m in the mood to plan a celebration. Last year’s Winter Solstice/Full Moon/ Lunar Eclipse was an unparallelled success. This year, I’m bringing back my favorite party activities. In this post, I share the Ritual of Burning Regrets. This ritual is non-religious, non-sectarian, and completely optional.
Winter Solstice marks the time of year when the Earth, here in the Northern Hemisphere, is farthest from the sun. Many ancient cultures developed rituals to recognize their need for the sun, which seemed to abandon them every year. From the point of the Solstice (around December 21 by the Julian Calendar), each day would get longer. The sun would return to warm the Earth.
New Life. New Year. New Chances…
In order to make room for the abundance in store, we clean house. Most cultures include some sort of purification or cleansing ritual in preparation for a new year festival. This served to make room for abundance, and to dispel any bad spirits which might linger from unresolved issues in our lives.
One contemporary example of the power of this purification process is that of Alcoholics Anonymous. One must examine one’s resentments and regrets, for that is the unresolved pain that leads some into addiction. This is a powerful step for everyone, for our deepest pain, fear, and anger are firmly seated in the things we resent and the things we regret.
In this spirit, I adapted a ritual to identify and release regret, replacing it with a positive intention.
In front of the altar in The Pit (in the gravel parking area) is a very special Fire Pit for the ritual of Burning Regrets.
Here’s how this ritual works: On a slip of paper, write down a couple of words that represent something you regret, something that burdens your soul and steals the joy from your life.
If you prefer, you can draw a picture of it or create a paper sculpture that represents your regret.
Think about how that regret has affected your life–relationships, happiness, health, work, dreams… see how it drapes over everything in your life like cobwebs.
Next, imagine yourself moving all the negative energy associated with that regret to the little slip of paper you’re holding.
Imagine the paper becoming cold and heavy as a stone as your regret moves into it. (Take your time with this part of the process.)
Now, imagine how life can be different without that regret.
How will you fill the empty space that used to be home to it? With what will you replace it?
Will you make amends, volunteer, donate?
Will you do more?
For each regret you burn, set a new intention, light a new candle to the world.
This will lock out your regret, preventing it from returning later.
When you feel you’re ready, roll up the slip of paper and twist it once. This locks the regret (and the associated energy) into the slip of paper.
See how like a bird this regret now looks, ready to fly those painful associations away from you.
Imagine this bird as a Phoenix…the Bird which carries Thunder (your regret).
When you’re ready, cast the Phoenix into the fire.
With it, imagine that burning regret transforming into something positive for someone else in the universe.
Imagine that situation, circumstance, or event being lived by someone who can experience it with understanding, with peace, and with joy.
This person cannot find that joy until you release the burden.
Feel the balance of “one man’s sorrow is another’s joy.”
Now, do something to celebrate the release of old darkness/pain, and the return of the Sun (joy, hope, love) to your life.
This is the meaning of the Winter Solstice, the longest, darkest night of the year…a cosmic reflection of the long, dark night of the soul which brings us face to face with our fears and regrets.
Burn your Regrets.
Light a new candle to the world with your fresh perspective.
Your light is exactly what will help others to overcome their own regrets.
This is your purpose in life. It’s the reason you’re here.
Once you open up to your own potential, you’ll find all the things you’ve ever hoped for are already yours.
Peace, Love, Light, and Laughter
to you and those you cherish
during this holiday season
and into the future.