January 29, 2014

A Ritual to Release the B.S. ~ Sarah Alvarez-Tostado

Warning: naughty language ahead.

Each New Year offers us a chance to reflect, turn our gaze inward, and reboot our consciousness.

Often our focus turns to the needs of the material body or material success while we squander another opportunity to purify the spirit.

Physical and material needs cannot be ignored, but what are the deeper issues informing these promises to ourselves? Is it the fear of aging and death? Is it anger or painful childhood memories? Fear of lacking social status? Is it our inability to let go of the past? Exploring the underlying source of these promises and resolutions soon reveals unresolved bullshit.

Now that we’ve acknowledged that the source of these vows to improve ourselves is bullshit and that all the bingeing and purging of that New Year’s Eve party has done nothing to remove it—how are we going to get rid of all this bullshit?

I’ll tell you what we’re going to do: we’re going to step up like Perseus to the Minotaur. We’re going to greet that monster born of fear and desire head on. We’re going to challenge it to an honorable battle. We are going to release that bullshit with this DIY purification ritual.

Ingredients for this Bullshit Ritual:

● a pen, paper and an envelope

● a fire pit or a big terracotta bowl and lighter

● “smells and bells”: incense, essential oils, sage and a chime or bell

● small items meaningful to you that invoke the power you wish to attain or the bullshit you wish to release for a temporary altar


1. Write a tender, thoughtful “break-up letter” on the paper and then seal it in the envelope. Set it aside. It should be a letter about what you want to let go of, a source of personal suffering, a recurring pattern in your life that you want to let go of or it could be addressed to who you want to forgive (living or dead or even to yourself if you judge yourself harshly).

2. Create your altar while keeping your intention clear—perhaps even reciting mantra to yourself internally. When you are finished with your altar, place the bowl in front of the altar.

3. Light the incense or essential oil infuser.

4. Sound the chime or bell 10 times. Then place your hands in prayer position close to your heart and close your eyes for a few minutes and breathe deeply while still focusing your intent. Now you are ready to release the bullshit.

5. Light a fire in the terracotta bowl or the fire pit. Take the letter and bring your hands back to your heart and close your eyes and take five breaths. Place the letter into the fire and chanting “Release the Bullshit” three times.

May you all have a happy and bullshit free New Year!

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo:  Norton Photographer/Flickr


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Sarah Alvarez-Tostado