What is your relationship with letting go?
Ritual and magical practice can help us with more than manifesting, attracting, and calling in. It can also help us shed, let go, and transform ourselves and parts of our lives.
The winter season invites us to incubate, release, and hibernate. It is an ideal time for release work (as well as the fall!). The phases of the moon that correspond to release are all the waning phases – the waning gibbous moon, the last quarter moon, the waning crescent moon, and the dark moon. Learn more about the phases of the moon with The Ritual Deck (pictured below.)
Before we get into the rituals, I also want to add that we can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to let go of things, and I want to honor that letting go can be really hard. Especially if what we’re letting go of has been something we have loved and cherished but is no longer a fit, feels comfortable, and/or feels safe.
So please, be gentle with yourself, be kind to yourself, and let release happen on your own timeline.
Keep scrolling to find a few rituals to support you in letting go.
MOON RITUAL FOR LETTING GO
Our sweet, gorgeous moon is more than just an archetype, a deity, or energy. She is a real living body just like the Earth that we can go outside and look at, connect with, and talk to. I think sometimes we forget this but this is one of my favorite practices!
This is ideal to do when the moon is in its waning phases but still visible (so not the dark moon).
For this ritual, what you’ll need is yourself, an offering for the moon, and clarity on what you’re releasing. Your offering could be anything – a plate of your dinner, a glass of water, a branch, a flower, a drawing, a song – let your intuition guide you and go with what feels right.
When you have your offering, it’s ideal to go outside and sit or stand under the moon. If it’s really cold out or you don’t have space outdoors to do this, you can also sit by a window – that works just as well!
Take some time to center and ground yourself, entering a ritual space. Turn your gaze to the moon, ask to connect with her, and share your offering with her. Spend some time gazing at her and share your offering with her in whatever way feels good to you.
When you’re ready, tell her what you’re desiring to release. Ask for her help letting go. Sit in meditation, drawing down her energy and light through your crown and your whole body, letting this energy fill you up and either help you release whatever you’re desiring to release internally (blocks, fears, internal limits, ways of talking to self, etc), or charge you with the courage and power to release externally (a relationship, a job, a situation, project, etc.).
When you feel the energy shift, you know you’re finished! Thank the moon, ground yourself again, and spend some time journaling and processing afterward.
TAROT OR ORACLE SPREAD FOR LETTING GO
For this ritual, you’ll need your tarot or oracle deck and journal. Take some time to create a ritual space, whatever that means to you, and ground yourself before working with your cards. Set the intention to communicate with your highest self, spirit guides, ancestors, intuition, or any other deities or beings you had a relationship with.
Once you’re fully present, shuffle your deck and pull cards for the following questions:
- What do I need to let go of at this time?
- Why do I need to let go?
- What is on the other side of this release?
- Supportive energies to connect with to help me let go.
Take your time with each card, really letting its messages move through you. I find it incredibly helpful to either meditate with my cards or journal about each card and what the spread means to me. I always get more information and a deeper understanding this way.
When you feel complete, it could be nice to add the cards to your altar – particularly the first and third cards – to support you throughout the release.
CANDLE MAGICK FOR LETTING GO
I love working with fire in spells and rituals, so naturally, I love candle magick! Fire is such a powerful element with its ability to transform and transmute – think of how fire turn logs into ash. It helps things change shape, die, and transform.
For this spell, you’ll need a black candle, a tarot card or oracle card representing what you’re releasing, and a safety pin to carve your candle.
Start by grounding yourself and casting your circle. Call in any supportive deities, guides, or other beings you have a connection with to join your circle and help you.
Next, you’ll want to intentionally choose the card from your deck that most represents what you’re releasing at this time. Take your time with this and really make sure you’re clear on what you’re desiring to release.
Once you have your card, it’s time to carve your candle. Carve into your candle any words and/or symbols that represent letting go to you. For example, I like to carve the glyph for Pluto into my candles when I work with releasing spells. Pluto represents change, rebirth, and transformation. Symbols and words work best when they’re personal to you, so don’t worry as much about the technical meaning and just intuitively choose what feels right to you!
Once your candle is ready, set it up with your card under it and take a few deep breaths. Speak your intention aloud as you light your candle, saying, “As I light this candle, I release X.” You might like to spend some time gazing into the candle flame as you focus on this intention.
Then, it’s time to raise energy. You can raise energy however feels good to you – you might chant, sing, dance, do breathwork, or use any other tool that feels good to you. As your candle burns, you are raising energy in order to support this release.
When you feel the energy is at its peak, direct it with your intention towards releasing whatever it is you are releasing from your body, from your life.
When you feel complete, ground yourself again. Let the candle burn all the way down, thank any beings who joined you to help facilitate this release, and re-open your circle. Spend some time processing in your journal afterward, writing down what came up for you and what you felt.
About Eryn Johnson
Eryn Johnson is a breathwork facilitator, tarot reader, and Reiki Master based in Fishtown, Philadelphia. She is also the host of the Living Open podcast for mystics and seekers, a storytelling tool here to help facilitate soul evolution. The foundation of her work is energetic and based on the belief that there's nothing wrong with you- we are simply programmed from a young age to forget the truth of who we are. She uses energy work, storytelling, and breathwork to guide you back to you - your heart, your power, your magic. Find her work at www.living-open.com and @erynj_ on Instagram.