Understanding the planetary energies at play in our daily lives can be at once empowering and terrifying. This month’s celestial configurations are sure to stir things up for most of us and without a proper container for the transformations we are being called to undergo , things can get a little (or a lot) overwhelming. Even those of us with established practices like therapy, bodywork, or spiritual commitments, can always do well to add a little magic into our lives.
Today, as Mars and Mercury conjoin in an exact opposition to Pluto (at 22 degrees Cancer and Capricorn respectively), it would be a good idea to do some ritual gardening; pruning things that you would like to see grow in new ways, weeding energies that threaten the harmony of your psycho-spiritual ecosphere, and planting seeds for the future.
Ritual magic need not be extravagant. If you happen to have virgin parchment and eye of newt lying around, by all means utilize the more exotic tricks of the trade. But if all you’ve got is a houseplant or a box of broken crayons and scrap paper, don’t let the mundanity of your resources halt your inspiration. Magic is the act of making the natural into something supernatural.
Today’s ritual is in three parts. Below are the instructions and materials I am using, but the exact implements can be modified to suit your needs. As with all rituals the only thing that really matters is that you find (make, demand, create) a space in place and time in which you can settle your mind, collect your energies, and focus on the task at hand. As a single mom myself, I know how hard this first step can be, but the sooner we let go of the ideal of what ritual looks like, the sooner we can get to work hiding in a closet while the kids play or droopy eyed at the kitchen table after everyone has gone to sleep. Magic is not reserved for sorcerers.
After taking some time to meditate loosely on the issues and feelings that are present today (which are likely connected to bigger patterns of the month and year), begin to outline your personal ritual, either on paper or simply by visualization. Light a candle, burn some incense, or diffuse some oil, and cleanse the air around you. Now you are ready to begin.
Step One: Pruning
I’ve got a lot of houseplants and I’m pretty good at caring for them. They get just enough water, lots of communication and love, and are located in the exact right place in my home for their maximum light requirements. However, I’m terrible at pruning. Today I’m pruning each of the plants and collecting the discarded leaves into a pile. Once complete, I will ask the leaves to assist me in pruning energies in my life by representing qualities that I need assistance transforming . I’m working on my goal to transform my perfectionism into a healthy striving for quality and aesthetic richness, instead of allowing it to devolve into a paralyzing fear of never being good enough. I’m using the leaves of my gigantic fern to teach me about the beauty of the wild and to temper my fears of loss. If you don’t have any houseplants to prune, you can make a garden of your own with torn pieces of paper upon which you have written key words that capture the essence of your growth needs. Dry out the leaves or compost the papers.
Step Two: Weeding
Today’s planetary configurations certainly would be appeased by a handful of hours in the harsh sunlight, literally weeding a garden plot, so if you can, do that! If, like me, your garden is not manicured or doesn’t exist, you’ll have to find something else to ritually purge. That box of cookies that has been eating away at your dietary intentions, the netflix subscription that keeps sucking your time, the thread of text messages you keep reading over and over: get rid of it. Physically remove them from your life and make room for healthier habits, satisfying self-care routines, and fulfilling mental health practices. Mars likes cutting things away and will ease the separation. Of course our problems do not disappear so easily, but honoring the need to weed will show the universe that you are committed to you, and with the third step you can set some intentions about what you would like to invite into the newly cleared space.
Step Three: Planting
If you have an altar, today is a day for prayer and offerings. Write, draw, whisper your goal to the altar and feed the prayer with red rose petals, garnet clusters, black tea leaves, saffron, or sandalwood. Burn a red candle. If you don’t have an altar- build one! Visualize yourself through the struggles of the day/week/month and then set to work along the path.
It is of utmost importance that you return from a ritual space and close the circle of energy. This can be as simple as verbally giving thanks and stating the ritual is now over, the circle now closed. It can be as elaborate as utilizing salt, banishing powders, or smoke to send the energies and spirits back to their realm. Harness the tools, wisdom and strength already available to you and return to your day. Sing yourself back.