The purpose of the ceremony is to identify and symbolically release old hurts, grudges, resentments, regrets, sufferings, mistakes… to release the past letting go of any thoughts, feelings or behaviors that might be holding you back for the new year ahead.
Across religious traditions, fire is a powerful symbol of wisdom, knowledge, passion, purification, transformation, divinity and light. Fire inflames, consumes, warms, illuminates, inspires and serves as a catalyst for change.
By briefly writing down on a small piece of paper what you are choosing to be free of, the actual act of writing what you want gone from your life is a key element of the letting go process.
The paper is then folded and carefully placed in a “burning bowl,” (a large, safe and unburnable bowl/container holding a small lit candle to safely enable quick burning).
Spend a moment or two in quiet prayer or meditation honoring your personal surrender and commitment to change. Acknowledge what is holding you back and release that as well. Now light your piece of paper and quickly drop it into the burning bowl.
This ritual focuses on what needs to be released from the past to prepare the present moment for our creation of a new year. It’s a simple outward sign of our awareness of what needs to change in our lives as we go forward. As we change, others see our changes and might be invited to change as well.
Namaste! Happy New Year!