When I was in my late twenties I lit a fire and burned all my journals. It wasn’t a ritual, I was disgusted by how I kept repeating the same sh*t over and over — with my father, my relationships and with the moods that whipsawed me and made me a holy terror to work or live with.
I don’t know if you have any memories you cringe over but those blow-ups at work are definitely some of mine. Sheesh. But I have compassion for her – with all those bi-polar genes she didn’t understand or accept – oh, and the hormones. Plus the activated nervous system and all the fear, fear, fear.
Did burning the journals release me? Break the patterns? Was it a symbol that I was ready to do life differently? Oh, maybe it was an accidental ritual?!
Recently I found a journal that escaped the fire. In it I’d made lists of all the things I wanted way back then. Of the 50 or so items I have achieved, experienced, or obtained 95% of them. I couldn’t believe my eyes!
A few of the items on the list (I know now), would not have been “right” anyway. But I see where those desires went. How they diverged into better things.
Writing is magic for allowing what you want and releasing what you don’t.
I used other tools through the years: therapy and spirituality, Tarot cards, finding the Divine Feminine within. I discarded dozens of modalities that seemed like the be-all, end-all at the time…I won’t say which because you might be using them. Nothing is right for everybody. Everything is right for somebody.
But, writing was (and is) my constant. So I share, teach it, coach with it. Here’s some prompts and practices from my writing altar to yours…
Embody your intentions
Writing by hand shifts you physiologically. Science proves we learn best when we take notes. Writing will help you retain and process. Your brain communicates with your body and vice versa and you actually remember more clearly.
Not only do you prime the pump for more writing, you become more coherent in mind, body and spirit. Begin with a few deep(ish) breaths and see how writing can help you calm down.
Take your ideas and turn them into something tangible
It’s powerful to put words on paper. Now it’s outside your head and able to manifest. Now you can see it in front of you, you can evaluate and build on your ideas. And, it’s no longer something niggling back there. You can stop worrying about it.
When you can’t sleep because your mind is racing, write. Get it all out as if you are emptying the container of your brain. Trust that all the sh*t you’re worrying about will be right there on the paper on the nightstand when you wake up.
If you ever find yourself up in the middle of the night, I have about a hundred different writing practices for witnessing your own brain and soul in my book Midnight Pages: A Mystical Workbook for Writers, Insomniacs and Night Owls.
Get it here: www.themidnightpages.com.
Release and let go of the past
Journal everything you’ve been preoccupied with. The mistakes and things you regret and can’t forget.
Writing will give you perspective and unloads the “facts” as you remember them. You realize it’s all story that you’re are telling over and over.
Remember one of the beautiful, creative things about writing is revising. We can tell the story a different way, and that might be the greatest writing practice you’ve ever tried.
Receive channeled guidance
Sit and imagine yourself surrounded by a protective bubble of white (or gold or another color) of God/Goddess light. Center yourself and ask a question. Put your pen on the paper and wait. It might take a few tries, but keep asking and waiting, with pen in hand.
If you are impatient you can start writing the same sentence over and over. Try: What would it be good to know?
Where are messages coming from when you try automatic writing? Maybe your guides, ancestors, your highest self or inner wisdom. It’s all the same: energy. Spirit.
Create the future
I use lists for this. Lists of what I want. What I imagine. What I dream of. What I want the world to be. How I promise to contribute. What I intend to do. Start by numbering the page 1-25 or 1-50. When it gets hard to come up with things, that is when the Divine steps in and things get interesting. Don’t censor. Just list.
Those are really just a few things a deeply personal writing practice can do for you. Of course you can write books and poetry or content for your blog if you’d rather and all those practices work well for that too. But using writing as a technology of magic is making a journal into a super-power.
Let me know about your spells, rituals and writing-experiments.