My Banishing Ceremony
(We are thrilled to announce that kmillecam has agreed to join Exponent as a new perma. Welcome! She is a feminist, dancer, reader, wife, liberal, real foodie, abuse survivor, activist, yogi, green, pilates-loving, EWG-reading mama. Her two little boys keep her days busy, along with her quest for living life fully awake. In addition to guest posting at Doves & Serpents, and sharing here at The Exponent, she blogs about real food and abuse survivorship at her personal blog k-land.)
The day after the full moon, or the first day of the waning moon, is the day reserved for banishing rituals. It’s a time to remove obstacles and release those patterns in our lives that no longer serve us.
I have been thinking about motherhood and the full moon. I feel the brokenness of my maternal line back to my ancestors, how my own mother is a void in my life. My grandmother died earlier this year. I sat on her grave a few weeks ago, under a tree, on the edge of the cemetery. I spoke to her and kissed the stone that covered her. I did sun salutations, felt the grass and the sun warming my face and torso. I cried, felt connected to her, all without any answers about the next life.
At Phoenix Youth at Risk we set soul-shaking goals. My first goal was to do the Forgiveness Process with my father who sexually and physically abused me when I was a child. After I completed that goal via several weeks preparation and a lot of outside support, I got to thinking about my mom.
My mom most likely suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. I had been so distracted by the obvious abuse in my life from my father, that I had not been able to understand why my own mother never knew how to love me. Until now. Why did she require my emotional sacrifice as she treated me like an appendage to her broken life? Why couldn’t I make her realize what she was doing to me, and what she continues to do?
On a weekend this past October, I decided it was time to have my banishing ceremony. I did not banish my mother, I banished my toxic beliefs and patterns that I got from her. The mother I have always wanted doesn’t exist. I released the fantasy of finding her. I let go of hoping she would change. I wanted no more expectations. I released and let go.
The night before my ceremony, I stood in the moonlight of my front yard for a solitary full moon ceremony. I cried under the moon, my constant comfort in the sky. I directed the energy from the moon to my heart center. I pressed my hands to my heart, and talked to the moon about how I wanted to feel right and focused during my banishing ceremony the following night. I realized then that even though my mom-link is missing in my life, the moon is always there. The Goddess is my source of strength. I am a goddess. The moon is my mother. I am a mother. I am a good mother.
My banishing ceremony the next day was beautiful. I met with friends and family, most importantly my husband and children, to light candles to the four directions under the bright, misty moon. We held hands and stood together in a circle. I read my thoughts about my mother, and I offered up the papers of journaling I had been saving. Everyone took a slip of paper to write a personal issue to release into the flame of the center candle.
We burned our conflicts, our negativity, our unhealthy attachments. We healed together. Since that night I have felt catharsis and emotional upheaval. I feel so much better and yet I feel the exhaustion of healing from deep, emotional work. I still think of the brick circle in my front yard I stood in alone under the full moon. I still think of the circle we created under the waning moon at the park, as we held hands and listened to each other.
The circle is never-ending, reminding us of the cycle of life. My ceremony is over and the circle is undone, but never broken.