Descent into Darkness
November 3, 2018
This is a very dark ritual. It involves walking down into the darkness and shedding our peripheral selves as we go. The descent into the underworld is a common myth from different cultures. It is a hero story. All those heroes found that they could not take baggage with them. I set up gateways and at each gateway, we relinquished another external aspect of self. With that we removed a token of that aspect. We put on those tokens before the ritual - crowns and scarves or carried them, like books and crystal hearts. There were boxes, washcloths and sleep masks on the altar.
At the first gate, we took off our jewelry as a token of surrendering our wealth. At the second, we removed our crowns as a symbol of giving up our status in life. We removed our scarves at the third gateway to indicate that we were going naked into the darkness. Next, we gave up our beliefs and put down the books we had taken into the ritual. At the fifth gateway, we set aside our relationships as our definitions of ourselves and put down the crystal heart we were carrying. Now, we hand over our physical selves by washing our faces. A the final gate, we must leave our personal selves. We put on sleep masks and meditate on the darkness.
After the meditation, we lighted candles and the light shaped like the moon to bring us out of the darkness. We sipped water. We had a new appreciation of what was important in our lives and what our real treasures were.