Sunday, April 26, 2009

Depression Ritual

I wrote this ritual a couple of years ago. I and others have found it to be helpful. I share it here, so that you can use and share it freely.

Honoring Our Depression

Created by Syren

This ritual is not meant to take the place of professional attention. If you suffer from depression, or feel depressed, please seek medical and therapeutic attention.

This is a transformative ritual, centered on recognizing and honoring all parts of what it means to be a person with depression.

Before Ritual:

-- create/find image representing negative experiences (beast or monster)

-- create/find image representing positive experiences (growth,
self-knowledge, healing)

-- create/find goddess of depression, healing (I view her as a serpent goddess)

-- create a talisman, piece of art, etc for use during difficult times, and for daily recognition (can also be done during ritual)

-- create invoking/positive and devoking/negative pentacles

-- Find a name representing this part of yourself

This ritual can be performed alone, or with a group of trusted sisters, preferably at the Dark Moon. Work on the above contemplative, creative activities during the waning moon, and continue with meditations and other magickal healing work during the waxing moon. You may adapt this ritual to meet your particular needs and situation, however the above activities begin a deep process of contemplation and healing that is the true center of this ritual.

Decorate the altar to your liking, being sure to include items for the Dark Goddess. I recommend colors of black, silver, reds, blues, and green; for shadow work, transformation, and healing.

Now sit or stand in front of your altar.

Purify yourself

-- sage smudge for Air

-- spring water annointing for Water

-- candle flame brush for Fire

-- salt sprinkle for Earth

Ground and Center

Call/invoke the Five Corners: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit

Cast the Circle

The following can be adapted for solitary or group ritual. If in group ritual, use a talking stick as you go around the circle and talk about each of these things.

Call upon the image and/or name of the Goddess you have found or created who has helped you, or who represents your process and healing. Speak about Her, call to Her, offer your thanks and requests.

Bring forth the image of the negative aspect of your depression. Speak out loud about this image, what it means to you, and what it represents. Speak about those aspects that you wish to accept, and transform. You may also share with the Universe/your circle how these aspects have affected your life.

Bring forth the image of the positive aspects of your depression. Speak out loud about the positive effects depression has had upon your life. Take extra time with this if you need to. Think about any self-awakening, deepening and emotional understanding that may have taken place. Speak about how this has affected you, and give thanks for any positive changes.

Now place your invoking and devoking pentacles before you. Write around the devoking pentacle those things that you wish to let go of. You can correspond different things to the element it is associated with. For example, inability to concentrate would be in Air, body aches would be in Earth, sadness would be in Water, lethargy would be in Fire, inability to feel connected would be in Spirit.

Do the same thing with the invoking pentacle, and write in any correspondences with the elements. There are no right or wrong answers, just go with whatever comes to heart and mind.

Begin a MA chant, raising a cone of energy. Raise your voice a little higher with each of seven chantings, corresponding to the seven chakras. Visualize the energy rising higher, the colors of the chakras blending and rising into a cone above you. Chant as long as you like. If you have not created your talisman, begin working on this as you chant and raise energy. Let the creative flow enter and move through you as the energy rises. If you have already created it, hold it to you, charging it with your energy.

Sit and spin in the cone, as it peaks. Enjoy the energy, let it embrace you and heal you. When you are ready, say your chosen name aloud, with pride. Reflect again upon all of the issues and aspects that you have brought forth. When you are ready, release the cone of energy into the sky, sending your invocations and your newly embraced identity into the Universe, and all that you wish to release into Her cauldron to be cleansed. Ground yourself and send any excess energy into the Earth.

Give your thanks, release the circle, and enjoy some delicious comforting food and drink.

Blessed Be.

*The chakra cone meditation was originally conceived by Shekhinah Mountainwater.

Meeting our Depression Meditation

By Syren

Can be included in the Honoring our Depression ritual, or used during your waxing moon workings.

Sit or lay comfortably, keeping your back straight and your feet on the floor. Bring yourself into a deep, relaxed state. Breathe deeply, naturally, without force. Feel yourself relax, your consciousness to draw inwards. Find yourself standing in a forest. There is a soft path before you, wandering off deep into the woods. You feel pulled to walk upon it, yet you may feel some hesitation. You reach into your pocket, and there is your talisman. This gives you comfort, and you begin walking along the path.

The trees begin to get denser, and you feel the energy become deeper, more otherwordly. You feel as if you have been here before. As you walk along, the trees seem to reach down to you, in recognition. You look to the side, and there is a small clearing just beyond some trees. You feel pulled to this space. As you enter the clearing, you feel someone is there, waiting for you. You blink the sun from your eyes, and there before you is the living aspect image of the positive experiences of depression. You introduce yourself with your newly chosen name. This being has much to share with you; you sit together in the clearing and the both of you speak.

Once you have said all that needs to be said, and received any messages, thank this being, turn around, and return to the path. You continue to walk along, and the energy shifts again. The trees lean closer, whispering. You feel a sense of slight unease, yet you know that you are protected and you feel strong. You walk determinedly down the path, and it grows darker, like dusk. You begin to notice a darkened clearing off in the distance, and you know that you are meant to go there. You take a moment, breathe deeply, and feel the strength rising up within you. You step foot off into this open ring of trees. As your eyes adjust to the changing light, you feel another presence with you. This presence is one that you know well, and one that you have wanted to understand. Before you, you see the living aspect image of the negative experiences of depression. Introduce yourself with your newly chosen name. You feel comfortable now, speaking with this being. The both of you sit together and speak.

Once you have come to understand this being better, and you have said all that you need to say, give your thanks, and return to the path. It is dark now, but you can see the stars through the trees, and the Moon beginning to show Her face. The trees still surround you, offering you their strength and protection. You continue down the path with full sight. You walk along, and begin to see a very dark area rise before and above you. You realize this is a cave; no, it is THE cave. You reach the vulva like opening of this giant cave. You stop, place your hands upon the firm stone, take a breath, and enter. The cave glows with a faint light and you are able to see well. You hands glide upon the smooth, cool rock as you walk along. You begin to see a light in the distance, and feel a warmth emanating out towards you. You step into a large open room.

There is a fire burning, with a cauldron hung above it, and a pool of water to the side. You sit down, warming your back at the fire, and gaze into the never-ending pool. You see images in the water, and they all have special meaning to you. As the images begin to fade, you sense a presence at the other side of the fire. You turn around, and before you is the glorious presence of your Goddess. She walks towards you, and you embrace. She already knows of your new name, as She is the one who gave it to you, and She greets you this way. She has much to share with you, and much love to give you. Spend all of the time that you need with Her.

When it is time, give your thanks and praise to this Goddess. She gives you a loving smile, and you know that you are welcome in this place at anytime. You take your leave, and walk back out of the cave.

You return the way that you came. You pass the clearing with your transformed negative aspect; you whisper a final thank you. The sky begins to lighten slightly as you walk along. The trees whisper and brush you as you go. You pass the clearing with your honored positive aspect; and again you whisper a thank you. You continue out of the woods, the sky lightens, you return to the place from which you started, and the sun is shining, the wind gently caresses you, and you feel at peace.

Slowly bring your consciousness back into your physical self. Tap your feet, pat your arms and legs. Wiggle, move. Give yourself plenty of time to return into the present. When you are ready, ground yourself back to the Earth. Get up, and eat and drink something enjoyable.

Blessed Be.

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