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This is a simple ritual I often have set up during my annual Winter Solstice party where friends gather to socialize and make-merry. At anytime they can choose to go over to this “burning bowl” to release that which no longer serves and replace it with a positive quality. Last year, we did this after a family yoga class and you can certainly do it on your own at home.

Small rituals support our intentions to grow and evolve. Doing this on the darkest night is perfect because your new quality grows with the expanding light of each new day.   It’s the same thing with the new moon. Farmers have always planted seeds on the new moon and then as the moon grows full, it pulls the plants up with it. We can do this with our intentions, new projects and new habits.

This particular solstice is especially powerful for setting intentions, starting new projects and cultivating new habits because it also falls on a new moon. Do this ritual anytime after 7:36pm CST, the exact time of the new moon.

Set up a large glass or ceramic bowl with a lid, or a plate that will cover it completely (this is for safety – to smother the fire if needed). Gather small pieces of thin paper, a pen, a lighter and some kind of “affirmation deck.” I like to use “Angel Cards.” They have words like Wisdom, Joy and Friendship” written on each one. There are so many to choose from! If you don’t have a deck on hand, you can write affirmations or positive qualities on separate pieces of paper and put them into a second small bowl to choose at the end of this ritual.

Write down on a piece of paper what you would like to release – a disappointment, bad habit, grudge or whatever no longer serves your life. Light that paper on fire and let it burn.  When you can no longer hold on to it, release it into the bowl.  You can also throw it into your fireplace or an outdoor fire. Do it with intention. Experience that bad habit, disappointment or grudge burning out of you. Trust that it is gone.

Then, replace it with something positive. This is important! The universe abhors a vacuum so that bad habit will just come right back unless you put something else in its place. You can write a list of people and experiences for which you are grateful, write some positive affirmations or you can draw an angel card. Experience this new quality becoming a part of who you are (or all that you are grateful for really resonating in your life). Trust that it is who you are.

That’s it! Simple and sweet.  Happy Solstice!