“You like to write, so that is how you will do your recapitulation. Today you will see and write the creation, the story of how this whole thing began and how it changed. You will write the story to be burned, and in so doing the powers will return to their proper places. Doña Celestina and I will do the same task according to our tradition, and at twilight we will meet here again to recount and to burn it all.”
As soon as I read it, I remembered what we wrote at Third Body: Union – the gathering which Filiz Telek called us to, and me and my husband joined at. After asking for permission from Onur, my husband, and getting it, I took out of the closet what both of us wrote. Then I decided to burn my life story summary that I wrote during the therapy sessions last year. And also what I wrote two years ago, wanted to share a lot but couldn’t share… I prepared everything I would burn and slept. The next day I asked for support from some of my friends: At this hour, I will go to the seaside, make a fire and do a ritual myself. Can you support me by lighting a candle or doing whatever suits you, singing or praying me? They supported and I made it. I couldn’t complete it by the sea. When I returned home, I burned incense and a few more things at the balcony, and completed the ritual by sitting, inhaling the smoke and meditating.
Thanks again to all who inspires and supports, to the fire, to the water, to the earth, to the air, to the life.
Write down the entire event or situation from which you wish to withdraw your energy, reexamining it moment by moment, including every detail. Concentrate on one event, person, or situation at a time, focusing on the most problematic and critical areas of your life first.
When you have completed the writing, create a ceremonial fire and burn the entire work. Breathe the warmth of the fire in through your nostrils and down into an expanded abdomen. This warmth and glow is your energy, being freed and released by the flames in order to come back to you cleansed.
When the fire is just smoldering ashes, breathe in the last of the glow and exhale forcefully through the nostrils, pushing the abdomen in on the exhale and sweeping the head to the right. This exhale releases all attachments to the experience and scatters the ashes of it to be further cleansed and recycled by the Earth.
Once the fire is completely out, collect the remaining cooled ashes and either bury them or scatter them over a body of water, saying a prayer of forgiveness and release.
The artwork created by Emily at Matraville Sports High School for the Koori Art Expressions exhibition at the Australian Museum, 2010. Image: Jane Stanley