It’s been a difficult year. After a global pandemic and multiple lockdowns, it’s likely you’re harbouring some negative energy or anxiety.
A burning ceremony is an incredible way to deal with these worries and stressful thoughts.
An ancient transformative ritual, burning ceremonies are a way of releasing things that no longer serve you. These could be specific thoughts, emotions or negative feelings.
The fire in a burning ceremony symbolises wisdom, knowledge, passion, and purification, and the ceremony’s purpose is to release tension from the past.
It also helps you embark on a path of spiritual healing.
By letting go of negative habits, unhealthy relationships, or poor experiences, you make space for healthy, productive and healing practices.
When deciding what you need to let go of, be honest with your choices. They must be genuine weights on your mind that take up mental resources.
After a successful burning ceremony, you’ll be surprised at how much lighter you feel.
How to Perform a Burning Ceremony
There’s a few things to consider when planning to perform a burning ceremony.
Firstly, you’ll want to make sure you’re alone or with a small circle of loved ones. It can be triggering to revisit traumas or negative experiences, so you’ll want to feel safe and loved throughout the ceremony.
Being in the loving presence of your own self – or those closest to you – means you’ll be able to perform the ceremony to its fullest extent.
- A pen
- Matches or a lighter
- Any negatively associated item (if it can be burned)
- A safe, burn-friendly area (this can be a glass bowl, a metal trash can, a fireplace, or anywhere else where lighting ablaze won’t be a safety hazard)
1. Practice mental preparation
Mentally preparing for the ceremony is just as important as actually performing it. Do whatever you need to do to put yourself in a positive mindset.
Try to clear your head of any anger or irritations. Burning experts advise you never to burn while hot-headed. The ritual has the most impact when it’s performed from a place of rationality, peace and acceptance.
2. Create your burning space
A burning ceremony is ideally performed outside, in a place where there is no threat to yourself or others. Use a large bowl or container and make sure to clear the area of anything flammable.
If you’re outside, pay close attention to any dry leaves or natural materials in the surrounding area. If you spot any, move them.
Have someone else come to examine the space as well. This helps ensure the ceremony won’t pose any fire hazard.
3. Clear your intentions
Keep in mind that a burning ceremony is not just a general release of all bad feelings. For it to have the largest impact, you need to have one or several intentions held firmly in your mind.
Remain calm and grounded in these intentions and focus on letting go of any thoughts or experiences outside of these. Some common intentions that can be useful include:
I am peaceful
I am grounded
I can let go
4. Ground yourself
This step is a literal one.
Physically ground yourself by sitting down or by planting both your feet firmly on the ground. This helps you experience internal settling by mirroring a settled mentality with your physical body.
Release any negativity or tension through your body into the ground and let it pass. Stand quietly for as long as you need and honour your commitment to let go of any thoughts preventing your happiness.
5. Write, burn and release
Once your environment and mental state are ready, it’s time to start burning.
Write down what you’re ready to let go of on a piece of paper. Light the piece of paper, or your burn-friendly item of tension, and place it in your burn-friendly receptacle.
Watch the paper curl, and watch the lick of the flames as it consumes your negative thoughts. Take a few deep breaths, rub your hands together, and let go.
As the negativity burns, notice how any attachments leave your body and mind.
Now, repeat your intentions: You are peaceful. You are grounded. You can let go.
Empowering Yourself After a Burning Ceremony
Letting go of your negative experiences will be both cathartic and overwhelming. If you’ve been struggling with these emotions for a long time, they may even make up a part of your sense of self.
Often, you’ll find yourself with a lot of mental energy suddenly available. It’s okay if you feel scared or nervous at this. To combat any anxiety, it can help to make a list of the things you want to do with your new mental space.
But most of all, allow yourself to feel light and free. Reflect on the burning ceremony if you can and think about what it’s done for your emotional health.
You’ll soon find you’re in a far better place and you can work towards harbouring positive feelings going forward.