On Christmas day (or early on December 26, depending on where in the world you’re located), the moon will cast a shadow on earth and cover the sun’s center, appearing like a ring of fire for our annular solar eclipse. To ancient cultures, eclipses were viewed as ominous events. Related myths speak of sun-eating dragons, squabbling siblings, and headless demons, who ancient dwellers would bang drums or scream at to drive away.
Today we have a greater understanding of the celestial mechanics behind eclipses, but they continue to represent powerful and potentially disruptive portals that we can harness for self-awareness and growth.
This ritual can be done anytime you are at a turning point in your life or seeking to integrate lessons over a period of time.
Time commitment: 20 minutes
Lighter or match
Set up your space so that you are sitting eye level (but not too close) to the two candles with about one foot of distance between them. Choose candle colors based on the energies you are seeking. Here is a handy guide that explains the significance of different candle colors. Place your pen and journal within arm’s reach.
Cleanse your space and settle into a comfortable seat with a straight back. Take a few deep breaths until you feel fully present and ready to begin the ritual.
Light both candles and then allow yourself to focus on the candle to your right. Begin to think back to the beginning of the year and what was taking shape for you. If you like, you can think back to 2010 and consider the events of the last decade. Stare into the flickering flame and see if you can conjure an image of yourself at that time. What was coming into your awareness and what significant shifts were occurring in your life? Let your vision blur as you travel back in time and observe the portals that were opening. See if you can identify any emotions that were particularly strong at that time. What did you most need and were you able to receive it? Do this exercise from a place of curiosity and without judgment.
See if you can summon a word or phrase that describes the door you stepped through at the beginning of the year or decade. Perhaps you had just ended a relationship and were beginning a journey to independence and self-love. Maybe you underwent a career shift that led you to follow your soul’s path. Write this word or phrase down in your journal.
Let your gaze shift to the space in between the candles and start to think about what occurred after you stepped through the portal of 2010 or 2019. What happened in the following years or months? What beliefs governed this time in your life? What growth took place? Let a word or phrase come forward that summarizes this period in your life. Write it down in your journal.
Begin to let your focus drift to the second candle on your left. This candle represents the end of this cycle and the new portal you will step through as you integrate the lessons from the last year or decade.
Eclipses mark sacred beginnings and endings. As you close the door of one experience, a new opportunity will emerge. Consider what you have healed and what you are ready to let go of. As you stare into the fire, ask what you need to release in order to step more fully into your purpose. What will this release prepare you for?
Write down a word or phrase that describes the door that is closing and what you are releasing.
Look once more at the second candle and begin to envision the future. Let your gaze relax and see if any images come forth through the flame. What do you feel ready for? What would you name this door that you are entering? Write it down.
You should now have four words or phrases written down in your journal. One describes the journey you began at the beginning of the year or decade, the second reflects the experience of that journey and the growth that took place, while the third marks the closing of a chapter, and the final word or phrase represents an intention to carry into the future. Spend some time journaling about these words or phases you have undergone and the new portal you are entering. Once you are finished, give gratitude to the universe, your guides, and yourself and blow out or snuff both candles.
Feature image from “Argentum” series by Guido Argenti