Monday, May 10, 2010

A Banishing Ritual

Banishment is one of those tricky gray-area rituals that gets a conscientious witch to thinking. Is it okay to banish someone? Does this cross over that rather sketchy line of acting harmfully towards another? But if done with kindness and grace, banishing someone from your life or even some unwanted thing from your life, can actually be a very positive act.

I personally have someone who has been a very unpleasant presence in my life for many, many years and while I have been as tolerant as humanly possible with them, I can no longer endure their painfully negative energy; energy that is routinely directed at me. And so the time has come to sever the ties between us and send them away as powerfully- and as gently- as I am able. Here is a fairly simple ritual for getting rid of that which no longer serves its purpose in your life, for whatever reason.

You'll want to perform this ritual when the moon is waning. A Saturday is the best day of the week for this, and if you're lucky enough for the new moon to land on a Saturday night, you'll find yourself with an additional boost of power in your corner. However, any time during the dark of the moon will work just fine so don't feel you have to do your banishment ritual on a specific day. Choose an object that represents what it is you want to banish: a photograph or personal belonging of someone you no longer want in your life, something that represents a bad habit you wish to break, a failed endeavor (a business, a personal relationship) that you no longer want your heart to pine over, or anything negative that you just can't stop dwelling on and want permanently gone! Place the object on your altar surrounded by four white candles. Also use white candles for the four quarters in your circle as well. Cleanse the perimeter of your circle with the four elements: sprinkle it with salt water for earth and water and burn sage for fire and air. Cast your circle and call upon those deities that are known for being powerful custodians of the cosmos: Hecate, Anubis, Cerridwen or anyone else that will aid you with their strength and ability to weed out that which is negative.

State clearly what it is you want banished and then sprinkle your object with the salt water and pass it through the sage smoke. Now, instead of continuing to focus on the negative in regards to this person or situation, express the positive energy you wish to draw to you in its place. You want to turn the negative into a positive. You can say that you wish to turn your broken heart into one filled with perfect love. Or if you're banishing a bad habit, express the good that will come of ridding yourself of it rather than focusing on what it's doing to you now. Move widdershins around your circle and chant

"I release you, negative energy from my past,
No pain nor sorrow ever lasts,
I heal my spirit, I heal my soul,
As I release you from my life
I am again made whole."

At first you may feel rather tired or slow, but as you continue to chant and release the negative from your life you'll feel your energy building and growing stronger. Continue to raise this energy by moving and chanting faster and faster. As you feel the spell coming to its climax, stop moving in the circle, stand before your altar and direct your energy into the object. Say

"I cast this spell now three times three
As I will it, so mote it be"

and either tear, break or somehow dramatically destroy this object (it can also be burned in a cauldron with a fire already lit in it). Ground yourself, thank the spirits for their help, close your circle and then permanently dispose of your object by throwing it in the trash, flushing it down the toilet, burying it in the ground or tossing it into moving water. Be sure to give thanks to Mother Earth for her recycling powers and if you can, open your doors and windows and with a broom sweep out the negative energies from this ritual. Likewise, you can smudge your home with sage to re-cleanse your environment.

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