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Friday, November 21, 2008

Ritual to Cultivate Self Love

To be free, one must give up a little part of oneself.

Hedwig Robinson, Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

This rite is (very) loosely based on the Native American Vision Quest. The one who performs it should not leave the circle of fire until all the candles are spent. The whole of your energies should be directed toward the shedding of self-hate, one's doubts and insecurities while in the circle so that you emerge from the experience as if from a cocoon.

To begin you will need Pen and Paper, The Lovers card from a tarot deck, six candles (fire, masculine energy) and six pennies. (earth, feminine energy) Alternating these 12 objects, form about you a circle large enough so that you can sit inside it comfortably. Symbolically, six is the number of the lovers; here we're thinking of the lovers as one's own inner masuline and feminine selves. Consequently, twelve is the number of the great work of self-transformation.

In addition, copper is the metal associated with Venus, the planet of love; and Abraham Lincoln (whose image can be found on the penny) is famous for two things 1) His Honesty and 2) Bringing freedom to the enslaved. To perform this ritual, you must be prepared to be honest with yourself, and be willing to break away from the yoke of your personal demons. If you are not ready to make real positive changes in your life, then do not attempt this ritual because you will fail.

When all is ready, light the candles and sit in the circle facing Westt (the gate of death and regeneration.) Go into a meditative state where your mind and body are both completely relaxed. When both your mind and body are completely relaxed, say:

As without so within

let the healing work begin;

as within so without

let there be no more doubt.

I am the phoenix that in fire burns,

dies transforms and returns;

I am a treasure that in earth hides,

whose self worth won't be denied.

I am He and I am She

strong & powerful for all to see;

I am worthy of all good things,

& accept that which to me life brings!

Don't just read these words, but take them to heart. Think about their deeper meaning, because you are telling the universe that everything you've been doing up to this point has been wrong. You are ready to banish negavtive thoughts, words, and behaviors that do not projuce the results that you desire.

With this in mind, contemplate the Lover's Card and write down anything insights, wisdom, or inspiration that comes to mind. I'm not going to tell you here what you should be looking for, or what you should see. This ritual is different for everyone and no two people will see the same thing or relate what they see in the card to their situation in the same way.

Remain in the circle until the candles are spent. When you are done, dispose of the candles, but take the six pennies and Lover's Card and wrap them up in a special cloth (for the purpose of this ritual, you can substitue a picture of the Lover's Card that you have printed online) and keep this in a safe place. Record your notes in your Journal or Book of Shadows. Date the entry and leave room to go back and make more notes.

If you truly keep the promise that you've made to the Universe and to your own inner spirit you'll go back to this page often.

Carolina Dean

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