For those who don't already know, I am in the midst of an intense foundational transformation right now. It's been most evident for me in the workings and manifestations of my life over the past year or so, but it's been brewing since my sojourn to Hawaii in late 2016.
Recently, I have had to face some very potent truths about how I view my Self and my role in the greater world community. It has been a painful and sobering little pill to swallow, but the omens were becoming so loud and obnoxious that I just couldn't ignore them.
Through this process I have played the role of death midwife to some dreams that I've long held for my Self and my life. There were clues before now, of course, that these dreams were dying, but I, in warrior fashion, kept fighting the inevitable, bolstering these dreams as best I could with whatever means were available. So, they survived in a sort of half-life state well beyond the peak freshness date.
But now there's no more bolstering: These dreams are no-mist-on-the-mirror, pennies-on-the-eyes dead.
So, now what? I've been carrying these dreams with me—as a vital and visible part of me—for ages. It feels strange to just suddenly have this open empty space within, and not do something to mark the transition.
So, I have created a ritual to do just that. I will be marking this transition with a very intentional release of these dreams. I will give my Self the sacred space to mourn them fully, to express gratitude for all they shared with me, to forgive the failure, and to call in something bright and beautiful and aligned to fill the void.
This is why we create rites of passage; to intentionally mark meaningful transitions by honoring what was and by inviting what is next.
Since this is a death, it seemed only fitting to make my ritual rite of passage a funeral. And while we tend to shy away from all things related to death in this western culture of which I am a part, I am sharing this ritual with you here to remind you that death is simply the ending that makes space for a new beginning. It is a wonderful thing to mourn the loss of what is past, but it is equally important and wonderful to open up to what will take its place.
Please feel free to use this ritual in any way you feel called to do so. I hope it serves you well in the passages of your own life journeys.
Requiem for a Dream: A Ritual Funeral to Honor the Death of a Dream Unrealized
You will need:
avocado pit, fresh
carving tool (and/or writing tool)
cloth or bandage (I used cheesecloth)
herbs/oils for anointing (I used frankincense, cypress, and sage infused in coconut oil)
a patch of earth (outside is great, but potted earth is also fine)
candles (preferably black or white)
Begin by taking a ritual bath for purification. (While it's not wholly necessary, I find this to be a good way to begin any ritual. And if a watery bath isn't your style, you can take a smoke bath with a favorite smudge blend, or even a gemstone energy bath by 'smudging' yourself with Citrine.)
Dress in something comfortable that feels resonant for a funeral. I chose a long black dress. I also made a black veil for myself because it helped me to connect more fully with the concept of mourning something as it is passing through the veil between the worlds.
Light candles around the space to set the mood, and to provide illumination for your ritual and for the passing of the deceased.
Cast the Sacred Circle, calling on any guides, totems, elementals and/or deities you wish to join you in this ritual.
Make a special invitation to the goddess Perspehone to aid you in this rite. Persephone is a goddess with ties to both the living world and the world of the Shades. Ask Her to act as a guide for transporting the deceased (the unrealized dream) to the realm of the dead where it can be recycled into something fresh and inspiring. Ask Her, too, to bless this transaction, making it holy for the good of any involved.
Choose a symbol(s) or word(s) to represent the deceased. Carve or write them onto the fresh avocado pit. (The fresher it is, the easier it will be to carve.)
Now, saturate your piece of cloth in the anointing herbs/oils. While it is absorbing the magickal properties of the herbs/oils, turn your thoughts on all that you learned from the deceased. Fully feel the gratitude for the lessons and gifts that were brought to you from your relationship with the deceased. Hold your hands over the cloth and offer this (or a similar) blessing:
Herbs of blessing, do your work
Purify this icon for the passage of death
Consecrate this sacred vessel
By your alchemy and my grateful breath
Then take a deep belly breath and exhale those feelings of gratitude into the anointed cloth.
Remove the cloth from the herbs/oil, gently wringing out any excess moisture so it doesn't drip everywhere. Place the carved pit in the cloth and wrap it delicately and reverently. This is the burial shroud.
Spend a moment holding the shrouded pit in your hand(s) while thinking or speaking of the lessons it offered you. Then, with a final kiss of gratitude to honor what this dream taught you, bury it in the prepared patch of earth.
Walk widdershins (counterclockwise) 3 times around the grave saying the following:
Thank you for your blessings.
Thank you for your wisdom.
I lovingly release you.
Take as much time as you need to mourn and meditate on this passage.
Close your Sacred Circle. Ground and center yourself by coming back to your rhythm and flow.
You can choose to tend your buried avocado pit if you like, or release it out into a Natural area to be composted back into nourishing earth, as I did.
Blessed be, and happy magicking!