My Journey Inward “As above, so below”

My Journey Inward “As above, so below”
By: Shirley Lenhard

     I have decided to use writing prompts for my descent into the dark days to quietly reflect on the year that has passed since Imbolc, 2019 and to begin the journey inward, and readying the fields of my life for the next planting of my Seed Work on Imbolc, 2020. The theme for this descent into the darkness is beginning to take form and facing genuine fears is at the top of the list.

     My first writing prompt is “As above, so below.” I am beginning to understand that my journey isn’t just about the things that I will reap from what I have sown. It is so much more than that! My journey is one of self-actualization and self-empowerment and whatever is inside of me should be exponentially deeper and better than what is outside of this shell. I am also beginning to understand the very broken nature of who I am and the juggling act of what I feel in stark comparison with who I outwardly portray myself to be. There is much inner conflict. This descent will be one of truth telling, contemplation, and diving deeper into the aspects of the Crone so that I may eventually understand that which I can change and that which simply must be and then live my truth fully, completely, and deliberately.

     The first Esbat celebration on Sunday, October 13, 2019, will be a ritual of Fire and Release for me. I have been journaling all of the things that I see in my path that have not served me well. Those things include self-deprecation, self-doubt, and poor self-esteem. This is a difficult thing to write about and to share publicly because to know me in person, my outward display is one of confidence, self-love, and high self-esteem. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am fraught with insecurities; and that is ok, until I feel crippled by the fear. I just cannot continue to live outwardly confident when inwardly I am panic stricken and fearful of so much. This ceremony of Fire and Release will be a letting go of all that I have held within. The facade is crumbling and the lies are being revealed. IT is now very necessary for me to release that which does no longer serves me. Facing fears, I believe, will be the major part of my seed work at Imbolc. As any one else, I am an imperfect, yet perfect work in progress. It is time that I embrace these aspects of myself and practice in a way that furthers my own spiritual evolution.

     A simple ceremony of Fire and Release, while simplistic in ritual, is anything but simple in practice. This ritual is used by me to lift heavy burdens from my shoulders and I have neglected that part of my practice for a very long time now. It is high time to begin anew and to bring about the change that I have desired but have done absolutely nothing to effectuate.

     Before any ceremony or ritual, I always ensure that I have everything that I need in the sacred space before opening the circle. I place my petitions in the center of the circle and place my hand over them and reflect on the energy, emotions, and feelings of how my life will be without these things in it any longer. One by one, I pick up the papers, unfold them, read them aloud and then after reading one, I say the following:

This is who I was.
This is not who I am.
This is not who I want to be.

By Flame and Soil, By Wind, Gods and Sea
Take this negativity away from me!
As I will so mote it be!

     I then light the paper and let it burn in my need fire. I do this for every petition until they are all done and burnt to ash. If the petitions are burned in a need fire, I leave the ashes to be carried on the wind, but if I place them in my cauldron and there are any ashes produced from the petitions, I put them in an envelope and take them with me on a walk. I will either release these ashes on the winds to go forth for the greater good of all with harm to none or over running water with the same intention for the greater good and with harm to none. This is a very powerful and symbolic ritual. For me, I must be prepared and ready to give something up to the universe, never to be invited back into my life. Now I must prepare to be absolutely sure that I am ready to give it up and absolutely sure that I will not be re-inviting it back into my life, whether in another form or precisely in the same manner. This is an invaluable ritual to perform prior to the planting of my seed. It serves as the first powerful act on the journey inward, toward planting my next bountiful harvest!

     I hope that the descent brings us all into the darkness that we need to quiet out egos and to explore that which no longer serves us and that which will bring us to our highest and best good. Until next week, be well and be blessed and make every moment count.