Cutting Cords Under the Full Moon

Under the last full moon I carved out time for myself and worked through a ritual I had been putting off (or quietly and slowly preparing for, depending on perspective). But the time to go through with the ritual was at hand, otherwise I thought I may never actually do the damn thing.

So on a quiet night, with the full moon shining (and partially eclipsed somewhere in the world), ripe with intentions of letting go and setting new courses, I set out to cut cords with someone, who, for quite a long and significant amount of time, was one of the most important people in my life.

That’s a hard thing to do. To intentionally cut energetic bonds build over almost two decades of support (turned sour). It was a slow spiral, and it’s taken me almost a year since the last time we spoke to face this ritual. But on the last full moon I knew it was time. So I gathered supplies, including the last note this person send me, cast a circle and got down to business.

The process hurt, but it was also incredibly cathartic and releasing. And the next day our household caught a stomach bug and I spent almost a week sick, as my body purged itself of everything. A nasty pimple also showed up on my chest, almost over my heart. In some ways, my body was just purging itself of toxins. all. at. once. yaaaaaay…..

I digress. Cutting cords is a deeply personal experience, and not something to be taken lightly. It can physically hurt. It can trigger the very person you are trying to cut cords with to get into contact with you again. It can be totally necessary to letting go and moving on. And it can be powerfully releasing. Just be sure-footed if you’re going to go through the act of cord cutting so you don’t stumble and fall.

Below is my ritual. Use it if you like, in it’s entirety or as inspiration. Or don’t. Up to you. Either way, I hope you find whatever ways you need to move on from relationships that aren’t supportive.


  • A black candle
  • Clear & Cut oil (Banishing oil will do, or even lemon essential oil)
  • Picture or memento from person whom you are cutting cords
  • 6” piece of black cord
  • Sharp knife or anthame
  • Fireproof bowl (I use a mini cast-iron cauldron)
  • Water in case you need to control flames

Supplies for my cord-cutting ritual, including a memento and my selenite wand.


Sit in a quiet space. During a waning moon, or even better, a lunar eclipse, to inspire letting go. Cast a circle, and call your deities, spirits, directions, elements, etc. if you wish.

Hold the length cord and meditate on the joy this person brought to you. Picture your favorite memory of them. Visualize the cord that was forged between the two of you through your actions and interactions. Sit with this for as long as you need.

When you feel ready, breathe deep and come back to the present. Anoint and light the candle.

Focusing on the candle and holding the cord in your hands meditate on the reason you want to cut all ties to this person. Think about the events that lead to this decision. Face any doubts head on, seeing them for what they are. Visualize yourself telling the other person this relationship is over. And visualize yourself walking away.

When you are ready, breathe deep and come back to the present.

Take the cord and cut it in half. In the fireproof container place half the cord and the memento or photo. Light them on fire.

As you watch these tokens burn say the following:

“I burn this cord to release all connections to ______. I let you go now. I allow myself to let you go. And I forgive myself for any wrongdoings I have done, or pain I have caused, conscious or unconscious”

(If you want to say all or part of the following sentence, it is, of course, your choice. Sometimes moving on without forgiveness is necessary.)

“I forgive you for any wrongdoings you have done, or pain you have caused, conscious or unconscious.”

As the token(s) start to burn down say the following:

“No longer do our steps move in time. I release ________ from all ties to me, and I am released. I allow wisdom and light to fill these empty spaces that are left within me as I let go.”

Sit and feel the ties unraveling (this can be quite painful) as the fire dies down. Feel the empty spaces filling with the light and wisdom of your own strength or the strength of that around you that you have invited in when casting the circle.

Sit for as long as you need.

When the fire is out and cool, close the circle, thanking and releasing anyone, element, etc. you called into your circle.

Dump the ashes in water flowing away from you (river, stream, a gutter with running water, etc). You can either keep your section of cord as a reminder of why you have cut these cords, or bury at the edge of your property (or even in a potted plant in your window or on your balcony if you live in an apartment) to create a protective barrier.

Polka Dots + Magic Socks


Last week I had the privilege of seeing Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors at the Seattle Art Museum. Magic comes in many forms. And art has always been, for me, a form in which I not only find magic, but also create magic. It is from that place that I fell in love with Kusama’s work years ago, and from that place that I focused on experiencing her work in person.

I come to Kusama’s work from this place because her work is so deeply rooted in her mental health/ dis-ease (a root devastatingly erased in the Infinity Mirrors exhibit).  She, herself, has said “By translating hallucinations and fear of hallucinations into painting, I have been trying to cure my disease.” As someone who navigates living with depression and anxiety, and as someone who uses art, magic, and art as magic to navigate that terrain, Kusama’s work means so very much, so very deeply.

I felt so much joy standing in her infinity rooms, especially in Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity + Dots Obsession–Love Transformed into Dots. And that is how magic works. It transforms our reality and us. I wanted to be reminded of this long after the exhibit was over. And I knew there was a spell in there somewhere.

As we left the exhibit I stopped by the gift shop, not intending to leave with anything. But then I saw a pair of polka dot socks (I am a huge sucker for socks) and treated myself. When I got home I wiggled small pieces of clear quartz (alternately, I could have taken out a little bit of the seam and sewed it back up once the quartz was in place) into the seams, so they rest behind my knee when the socks are on. Wearing them reminds me of the joy I can strive for and sometimes find. The clear quartz amplifies these intentions. It’s a simple standard spell,  sewing trinkets or herbs into the seams of clothing, but effective. So here’s to polka-dots + magic socks!

Faces in the Trees + Notes on Gratitude

The last 5 days have been busy…non-stop actually. Both good and bad. A planned lunch with friends where instead of being present I was double timing and working on last minute edits to a program for a show (but at least I was with the most awesome babes in the world). My mother-in-law taking the toddler for a few days because I’m solo parenting and trying to work as much as the summer festival at work as I can which means late nights (small team…all hands on deck). Actually getting to go to the Kusama exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum. Spellcrafting. Gifting tarot decks. The toddler and I crashing in the city because I had to work until midnight. Getting stuck in traffic on I-5 and literally seeing a car on fire. Like, completely engulfed in flames. And counting 5 fire trucks with the toddler as they tried to navigate their way to the fire. It was terrifying.

And today was pretty good, despite the few hours of restless sleep and getting kicked in the face by tiny feet. The toddler and I spent most of the day with Grammy, walking on the beach + going to a community barbecue + listening to small town bands playing hits from the 1960’s-70’s. But they didn’t get a nap and their routine has been completely off and by the time 5 hit we were both exhausted. Dinner ended up in the floor in a tantrum. Bedtime was interrupted by lack of boundaries (which led to a not-very-discussiony-discussion between my mother and me about continuing to navigate and learning how to live less than 100 feet from each other), and subsequently took more than three hours filled with tears (from both the toddler and me) and doors slamming (because they have figured out how to open doors and because they are a tiny version of The Hulk doors are always slammed, never closed), and a constant going to bed and almost settling and then running into the living room yelling for more playtime.

And in all that’s been going on, the time spent on witchy-ness has been close to none. Keeping my family going, whatever that means, comes first (as of course it should), and the rest waits. And after running all day on 3 hours of sleep exhaustion wins. It just does–it’s that simple, really. But the toddler eventually fell asleep. And the house was quiet. And I snuck outside.

And I can now stand outside, butt naked, no longer surrounded by neighbors security lights pointed in our back yard. I can stand outside, feet planted on the earth, and have the moonlight bathe me, while looking at the stars. And this washes the scurry away. And it is how I practice a little bit of daily gratitude for the life afforded to, and built, by me. And also, today I was just standing in the moonlight, breathing deep, and looking, deeply looking, at everything that surrounded me, and I saw the trees make a shape–an eye, and a mouth wide open (not yelling, I suppose, but asserting…) and another eye–half closed, or perhaps plucked. Pointed in my direction, as I bathed in the moonlight and asked Brigid for bravery. I dubbed it the Odin tree. Breathing out the bravery I ask for.

And I was simply reminded that even in chaos I could still find silence.

Gaiman’s Norse Mythology: A Witchy Summer Beach Book

NorseMythology_Hardback_1473940163The days are getting shorted here in the Pacific NorthWest, but it’s still summer and we’ve got at least another good 6 weeks of warm weather before the rain begins to fall. Which means a few more trips to the rocky beaches where I can prop myself up against a drifted log and read a book while my kid chases crabs along the tide-line. My perfect beach book consists of casual writing style and tone, an easy to digest story, relatable characters, and drama that isn’t tooooo close to home. And Gaiman’s Norse Mythology fits all of these categories, making it a near perfect beach read.

The stories aren’t new, of course, but Gaiman shows us these flawed deities through a his modern lens of tone and casual style, refreshing Norse mythologies and making them much more relatable than the 1200 BC prose from which they are derived. We are taken from creation to the end of the old gods and goddesses days in a choppy yet easy to follow flow. Gaiman shows the gods and goddesses in their fallible existence–their vanity, fierceness, selfishness, mortality, crassness, manipulation, and often indifference to the trails of humankind.

The book isn’t a comprehensive tome on Norse mythology by any means, and the stories lean masculine. But it is a little trail of breadcrumbs, a window lovingly cracked open inviting us in to explore. It’s a great witchy beach read, and perhaps as the season’s change, and we settle into a time for darker, richer stories, it acts as an arrow pointing us to a hearth-side reading of the Poetic or Prose Edda during the winter months.

Digital cleansing + cleaning spells

A few weeks ago I finished A Mystic Guide to Cleansing and Clearing, a lovely little book covering various cleansing and clearing magical practices. From physical space and body cleansing, to spiritual and energy clearing, this book is truly a little gem. I also read it while I was reading The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up (and there is something cathartic about reading both at the same time if you are thirsty for a massive cleaning binge of home and soul). But what about digital clutter? I can get rid of a ton of shit, tidy up things, grid my house with quartz, tourmaline and salt, align my chakra’s, etc. etc. etc. but I’m still going to have an anxiety attack when I log into my gmail and see the 300 unread and 1k+ emails hanging out that need to be filed or deleted.

And I think emoji spells (I am a big fan of pop-culture spell work…) are so totally perfect for digital cleaning, clearing, and cleansing! What could be more fitting? Here’s a few…


In order: To find the strength to plow through an inbox over 1K and organize it • To keep spam out of your inbox (ya know, in addition to unsubscribing from e-lists) • Protection from unwanted communication • To spend less time in the digital realm

Happy digital cleansing, babes!


Sparks Vs. Breath

I met a good friend today for a little bite to eat (delicious carrot hummus on toast with radishes and herbs and pretty purple edible flowers). She’s amazing, and recently published an incredibly beautiful and insightful tarot deck (Dark Days Tarot). We’ve made a point to meet every few weeks, or once a month, for the last year or so, but the past few months have been rich with change and transition and we hadn’t seen each other in months. Which was much too long.

We caught up about life in general and inevitably our conversation turned to witchiness, as it always inevitably does. We were discussing tarot (another usual topic for us) and the various veins of thought regarding wands as fire + swords as air vs. wands as air + swords as fire. Swords are forged in fire, and trees (which wands are made from) literally create air, so there are obvious associations with these elements. And yet in the RWS tradition (on which I have many thoughts and feels, but that’s another post) the associations are flipped. And this is where our discussion found itself.

I started studying the Tarot in the RWS tradition twenty years ago, and my perception and perspective of the cards (and tarot in general) has changed greatly. But the RWS assignment of wands as fire and swords as air makes a great deal of sense to me. Wands (to me) represent the raw energy and intention. It is through wands which we throw out our intention when we cast spells. It is through wands which we throw out our sparks into the universe–the way in which we light the fires to guide our way to an end point. Swords, on the other hand, are sharp and calculated. Large swords take strength and skill and training to wield. I explain it like this: if you are performing a ritual in which you are cutting cords, you are perhaps cutting energetic cords that flow from you with either your hand (in a chopping motion) or an actual blade, or perhaps you are literally cutting a woven cord. Both actions are an act of cutting the energetic ties that bind you to another person. Both styles of the ritual mentioned above require a great deal of reflection and commitment. And anyway you cut it, the ritual is an intentional and intellectual act. And both require the act of slicing through the air. And thus it’s incredibly intuitive to me for wands to be connected with fire, and swords to be connected with air.

What do you think?