This year July has been a month of overheating and fire – in very literate way. All over the world we have seen massive heat waves and heat records broken. Many countries are suffering from dangerous and massive forest fires. Warmth, which is so important to all life, can be really dangerous when things overheat.
This is true also in our personal lives. It’s good to experience feelings strongly, but sometimes our emotions heat up too much, and if we don’t let them out in a healthy way, we overheat and overreact or even light a fire figuratively.
For me, writing has always been a way to reflect my emotions and cool down the biggest bursts before I let them out – if I just am strong enough and consciously let myself transfer the emotions first to paper. This requires lot of practice and also basic mental balance. When you are tired, your blood sugar is low, or you are other ways physically or mentally unbalanced, it’s much harder. So, to do the ritual tonight, I hope you rest and eat first and get ready to receive and release whatever the lunar eclipse brings up.
As I write this, today is not only the Full Moon, but also a lunar eclipse, during which the Earth moves between the Moon and the Sun, blocking most of the Sun’s light which normally reflects off the Moon. This does not make the Moon disappear, but turns it orange or red – a so called “Blood Moon”.
For our ancestors, the Moon stood for change, whereas the Sun stood for stability. Lunar eclipses were considered to represent extreme changes, even death. Some believed the moon was eaten by a dragon (Filipinos), a jaguar (Inkas), a troll (Scandinavians) or a Wolf (Vikings), or that the world would end during a Lunar eclipse which turned the Moon red, the “Blood Moon”.
The world will not end today, but with this strong symbolism and mythological stories around the lunar eclipse, I suggest we all do a little cooling and releasing ritual that allows us to be reborn by releasing something that you don’t need anymore in your life.
Before the eclipse, rest well and eat well. Try to put yourself in a state where you are ready to meet your deepest fears, ugliest thoughts and things that you know trigger you the most at the moment. During the eclipse, while admiring the Moon turning red, take some time to yourself and let those feelings out – but not aloud – instead, write them on a paper. Write them straight from the most painful spot from your body, as they come out without censoring things.
Brene Brown talks about writing down the Shitty First Draft – the painful version with no edits or “kill your darlings” – how you experienced the painful and ugly event in your life. Parts of it may not even be true, it may be your interpretation of the event or just imagination or a fear, that does or doesn’t have roots in real life. As Brene says these often come out as personal “conspiracy theories”. None of this matters, since this paper will never be read again nor shown to anyone else on this planet.
The meaning of this exercise is to let out the darkest feelings you have on a paper safely, without having to sensor them, be ashamed of them or act on them. The only meaning of this exercise is to let go of the deepest and hardest feelings you have around this painful subject by owning them instead of letting them haunt you inside your head. This will not remove them from your life, but this will make it easier to carry this load or memory, and helps you to structure the painful event better. You may need to repeat this ritual many more times and work with a therapist or a mentor, but this is a good way to start letting go of something that you don’t need anymore.
After the writing, make a little ritual of burning the paper and cool the ashes down with water. Do this in a safe way without causing any more fires, a little candle on top of your toilet sink will work well. On top of that, take a good, refreshing shower. If you have a friend or a partner around, ask them to wash your back gently and lovingly. Remember, that your feelings are real and you have right to feel them. However, it’s your responsibility to let them cool down in a healthy, non-destructive way. This has been one of the biggest lessons for me to learn, and I’m still learning.
I wish your the most gentle and loving, longest total lunar eclipse of the century, and visible or not, take advantage of this magical and natural event to cool down your emotions and let go of the unwanted ones.