• Vanessa Rivero

Espiritu de Navidad- Burning Bowl Ritual

I remember the excitement of December 21st. It was a special day in my home and all members were required to participate in the ritual of El Espiritu de Navidad. I remember it as a cozy day where delicious food was made, candles were lighted, music was played, and the boxes with the Christmas decorations were being opened for the first time after a whole year.

We would gather around a circular table with paper for everybody, pencils, and a pot that was resistant to fire right in the middle of the circle. My mom would ask us to write 5 things we don’t like about ourselves and that we would like to change. Every year, she explained to my 6-year-old sister and my 12-years-old self that we do this ritual to release ourselves from the habits or attitudes we don’t like. She said it’s important to always self-reflect and see ourselves as beings with the potential of growth and improvement. I remember my list was always the longest. It’s funny how some people start judging themselves so harshly from such a young age.

Once we were happy with our list, we were asked to fold it and put an intention or ask God to help us release everything that was no longer serving us. After a minute or two, my mom would start the fire and we all burned our list one by one and watched it become ashes. I’ve always been fascinated by this part of the ritual because it was always a physical feeling of release that started in my heart and reached my soul. After burning everything, we would show our gratitude to God and the fire. My mother would then ask us to take another piece of paper and write our goals or the feelings we wanted to replace the negative stuff with. After that, we were meant to fold the paper and put it away in a safe space. Mom would tell us to remember our intentions with our hearts and to not look at our lists until next year where we would gather around again and look at the things we have accomplished.

For years, I thought this was a very common Christmas ritual that everybody did. Little did I know that my mom was actually practicing witchcraft. Not only that, we were practicing it during one of the most powerful and spiritual days of the year known as the Winter Solstice. This ritual is one of the easiest yet potent practices to release and let go and is commonly known as a fire bowl. It is used to release negative thinking, patterns, and habits as well as to move stagnant energy.

Even if you don’t practice any type of witchcraft, we all can benefit from it. In the ritual, you are asked to think about the habits, thoughts, or patterns that no longer serve you and write them down, then you meditate on them and think about the reasons behind releasing all of it. Then, you give it to the fire which is physically destroying those blocks and burning everything to ashes. Lastly, you set your intentions and fill the new space you created with positive things and feelings you want to manifest in your life. From a psychological perspective, this is very therapeutic and there’s actually a version of this ritual that doesn’t include the fire. From a spiritual point of view, this is a cleansing and beautiful practice we should all learn how to do.

So, whether you are a powerful witch, a beginner witch, or just someone looking to release something you don’t like, I recommend you give this a try.

Con Amor,