Ritual for the Burning of the World

As I write these words, fires are ravaging Australia. It’s a bleak situation, ecologically and politically. The firest at this point are about the combined size of the entire state of West Virginia and are all through the entire continent, particularly along the coasts. Ecologically, this is a disaster with severe and long-ranging consequences for Australia and the world. While billions of lives have been consumed in the fires (animal, insect, bird, fish, reptile, amphibian, plant and fungi), the Guardian reports that it is likely that numerous species will go extinct from the fires because sites that house critically endangered species are all burning—in some cases, all of the protected habitats of these species are on fire. The situation in Australia is being made worse by current Australian leadership, who, rather taking a firm stance on climate change and human causes, instead are digging in their heels and pandering to the oil industry. Unfortunately, we are seeing much of the same pattern from world leadership (such as the recent fires in Brazil). Regardless of how many ecological crises we see, leadership is more concerned with pandering to money and greed than actually doing something.

 

Fires burning

Fires burning

 A Collective Responsibility

This isn’t the first time that we’ve seen wildfires, floods, or other weather-related phenomena beyond what is considered normal. While fire is an integral part of many ecosystems—grow larger and more furious because of climate change. Humanity is responsible for many of these cataclysms. Often, humans prevent areas from burning in ecosystems that have evolved to have natural burning, and thus, when fires rage, they are much worse than usual. (as we often see in the case of California). On the broader scale, every one of us humans has caused large-scale changes to our climate patterns and an increase in the overall global temperature. It doesn’t matter if you live near the fires or not—we are each responsible for our part in global carbon emissions and climate change. Thus, I believe it is our responsibility to respond as we are able to these kinds of situations. We have both an energetic responsibility as well as a physical responsibility to reduce our carbon emissions as much as possible. In this post, I’ll offer three techniques drawn from different traditions that can be done to help assist the situation in Australia or in any other fire-ravaged place. In next week’s post, I’ll share some techniques we can use to help psychopomp the loss of life and species in this case.

 

Rituals and Sigils for Rain and Protection

What a fire-ravaged place needs are gentle rains and cooling temperatures to stop the fires. This is particularly true of Australia as they are only beginning to enter their regular fire and hot season and otherwise, these fires could burn for months. I’m sharing three techniques here that can be used—individually or combined—to help bring rains and stop the wildfires and such loss of life. I will also note that some may also ask to pray for wisdom in leaders and protection for those fighting the fires–all of these are potentially good approaches. I’ve focused on the fires themselves and protection in these three approaches.

 

Rain Visualization. Visualization is a powerful tool used in many traditions to help bring forth change. For this first technique, begin with some deep breathing. You might choose to open up a sacred grove/space for yourself from your tradition if you so choose. Find yourself in a place of quiet, of grounding, of connection to the land and world around you. Feel that peace within you. Now, visualize the continent of Australia and see the fires burning there. As you visualize, imagine gentle rains coming to calm the fires, putting them out. Imagine the animals, insects, and all life returning to these ravaged places.  Send peace, calm, and healing to those lands.

 

Object Focus Work. You can combine the above visualization with a simple physical representation. Gather something you can use to represent the land in Australia—a stone, a leaf, a stick, a slice of wood, or even a piece of paper with the shape of the continent drawn on it.  Now, take some pure water (rainwater or snowmelt ideally, or spring water from a good source like a healing spring) and as you visualize, flick some drops of water onto the object. You can do this daily to help send that energy forth.

 

A Rain and Protective Sigil. Drawing from the folk traditions of the Pennsylvania Dutch (German), which is part of my own heritage, we can use hex signs as another way to raise and direct energy. Throughout Pennsylvania, farmers paint various hex signs on their barns so that they can protect their crops, call the rain, protect livestock, and bring abundance and fertility to the land. These hex signs are colorful, always circular, and have embedded layers of meaning. Thus, we have many different kinds of signs in the tradition, including symbols for protection and for rain. A rain sign is typically  raindrops swirling around each other. A simple protective sign is a pentacle or pentagram, orate or simple—both of these kinds of signs are commonly found on barns.

 

I’ve combined these to create a unique hex sign that aims at offering both protection and rain.  Protection to those who are struggling to survive the fires or fight the fires.  And rains to cool and soothe the fires. You could use a symbol for rain from any other tradition if you have one instead—this is just one that I’ve worked with and works for this purpose. I’ve used this symbol as a meditative focus for these kinds of fires for some time, and it has power.

A Hex Sign for Rain and Protection

I share all of this with a caveat:  be very, very careful in your wording and intention of this kind of work. Weather magic is notoriously challenging and fickle—inadvertent weather magic can cause floods, hail, and more, shifting the balance from one extreme to another. As an example, some years ago, when I was less wise than I am today, we were in a pretty severe drought situation in Michigan. We were experiencing weeks of 100+ degree weather and everything was wilting and dying. I decided to do some planetary sigil magic (working with one of the talismans of the moon I had created) to help bring rains. The first time I activated the talisman, within 30 minutes we had a horrific thunderstorm with wind and hail, damaging local crops, cars, greenhouses, and more. From Eastern PA and PA Dutch country, there is a story of a man who created a barn rain hex sign and prominently displayed it in his yard, upturned to the skies. For the next three weeks, rains came down so hard that it caused flooding and four million dollars in damage and flooding. Finally, his neighbors forced him to remove it. The point is that we are seeking balance with any kind of weather visualization, object work, or sigil work—we aren’t seeking to move to another extreme (like a monsoon).  What we are seeking is a balance between two extremes.

 

I would certainly welcome any other ideas and suggestions from readers on how we might help with this situation and others like it  More and more often, we are experiencing these kinds of situations globally, and they are having a global impact. It is useful to build a body of knowledge that we could use together to do what we can.

21 thoughts on “Ritual for the Burning of the World

  1. rpatrick

    Dana, thank you for these ritual workings for the fires in Australia. Our grove has dedicated itself in the coming year to focus specifically on support for the Earth in three different ways, and one of those is through ritual/magic. I will be sharing your post with the whole grove, and we will be using the ritual ideas.

    Reply
    1. Dana Post author

      Great. I would love to hear more about your grove’s focus and what you are planning on doing! I think this work should be being done by as many of us as possible as often as we can.

      Reply
  2. Heather Stanton

    Hi Dana, thank you for this article. I agree with our collective responsibility. I am part of a group that takes responsibility for an improved climate both by working with our local and state elected officials to take real action on climate change and by making personal changes in our own lives, whatever we are able, everything from subscribing to community solar, to buying solar panels, driving electric hybrid or electric cars, buttoning up our houses (e.g., better insulation), going vegetarian etc…there are lots of ideas for people to take part in. Also thank you for the visualization and object work ideas. I am too much of a beginning I think to do the sigil, but I look forward to those.

    Reply
    1. Dana Post author

      Thanks Heather! I think all of the above: political action, individual and community action, and magic are all necessary ways forward. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Pingback: Helping Australia | The Ditzy Druid

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  5. BushKangaroo

    As an Aussie I would like to thank you for your focus in this article. I will be printing this talisman out this weekend.

    Reply
  6. lolalwilcox

    Thank you for these excellent workings we can offer for a specific planetary area needing support to restore balance. Also, I’ve been working directly with our earth’s soul. I experience her as grieving, and, at times, fearful. It is, of course, a reciprocity, as I am one being in the earth from breath to bone, and she expresses herself in me (and you). First I give myself permission to experience the grief and to sit with it, as one would with any being grieving a death. The process is just that: sit, open, offer the grief a place to be, to be recognized, honored, cared for and about, and offering one’s own grief, sharing the loss. There is a parallel process for the feeling of fear, except for that experience I try to provide a heart of comfort and courage. After sitting with the fear I say aloud “You are resilient.” and/or “You’ve managed this kind of transformation before. You will manage this one also.” And I observe, as am her as she is me, my own fear, and speak to my own ability to transform.

    Reply
    1. Dana Post author

      Thank you for sharing your own work and the message from the earth. I agree about sitting with the grief–sometimes holding space is the absolute best thing that any of us can do in these difficult times!

      Reply

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