Ritual Poetica: An Obsidian Poetry Ritual for Releasing Darkness

We live our lives both in the light of day, and in the shadows of evening; over and over this cycle continues. By day we move and think and share, and by night we retreat, curling into our shells, our tides rising to late hours and dreamlands, lapping dark and silently. At times, however, those evening feelings stay. A nightmare hovers. Painful memories and late-night worries and obsessions linger—as an albatross. Our hearts end up carrying those toxic energies, as do our bodies.

This poetic obsidian ritual is intended for those who want to move past—but also acknowledge—the ghosts that haunt our lives. It is to be done by the light of the moon (especially the waning or new moon, the lunar phases for examining and releasing darkness).

Black obsidian is our protector stone; it takes into itself our negativities and helps us negotiate a way through our pain; use this poetic ritual when you want to honor your pain and also relieve yourself of its burden. Sometimes, staring into the abyss is the only way to conquer it.

Friend, if you feel frightened, lean into that—all change and all growth is fear-inducing. Black obsidian will be there with you, rooting itself into your body (it is the stone of the root chakra), burrowing its strength and stability into the garden of your heart. With its generosity and reliability, you will feel your soul sing and your palms open to the light of goodness and freedom.

This poetic ritual is, at first glance, a ritual of darkness—especially as it is done by moonlight. You will find, though, as you move through it, that it is actually a ritual of light: that the moon shines by the light of the sun. That you are illuminated in and by your bravery.

For this ritual, you’ll need:

  • black obsidian Chakrub of your choice
  • Nighttime, and a darkened room during the waning or new moon
  • A single candle or other source of illumination
  • A piece of paper, a pen, and a small sachet bag or other bag
  • The poem included
  • A large bowl of cool water

Optional: An open window to see the moon, music or white noise (to fill the space and help you focus), comforting incense or essential oils.

  • Create a sacred and cleansed space for yourself, one that feels both grounded and secure, and sacred enough for you to emotionally swim in. Let it be filled of things that comfort you: a blanket, a glowing salt lamp or candle, crystals or stones that you work with; a tarot card or image an archetype that encourages your strength or resiliency. You might have wine or tea on hand, a drink that is both soothing and familiar to you. The goal is to root yourself in comfort so that you can venture into the darkness safely.
  • Close your eyes and hold the Chakrub over your root chakra, which is at the base of your spine. You can also hold it over your lower belly, your throat, and over your heart–wherever you need it. Imagine it, in its sturdiness, extracting your negativity, pulling the toxicity and tension from your body and heart. Keep the chakrub where it feels the most needed: What part of you is ailing? What light are you seeking? Does your chest feel tight with worry? Is your head full of memories like a beast coming toward you? Does the stress make your stomach hurt? Let the Chakrub guide you here; dance with it. Breath in and out as you move the chakrub over your body, envisioning the weighty, dark matter of hurt escaping you.
  • Say, as you look into the light (your candle or lamp), “I am safe. I am trusting. I am releasing negative energies.” Repeat this until you sing it, until you feel it in your blood and in your bones. Let that candle be your lighthouse; come back to it when you need it.
  • Once you feel safe, rooted, and ready to explore the darkness, take out your piece of paper and write, “I release” at the top. Begin to say goodbye. What is it that no longer serves you? What is something you’d like to change? Which ghost is no longer welcome? Which pain has stayed too for too long? What darkness can no longer affect you? Take as much time as you need here; ground yourself in this heaviness. Feel the truth escape your body through your hands. Use the Chakrub when you need to excavate the dark flower of pain; hold it in your hands or place it against your chest when you need to lean into or confront something buried away. Trust it.
  • Acknowledge the moon outside your window: It is a creature of night and yet it is always luminous; it is there as a representation of cyclical change. Pain can change; fear can evolve. Let the light of the moon, and her cycles, soothe you in this knowledge.
  • Once you feel ready, hold the Chakrub to your body and speak this poetic incantation aloud. Feel free to amend or adjust the words to ones that more closely fit your needs, but make sure you speak slowly and deliberately:

I am the keeper of the dark,

hands woven through & woven of

the blood and the bleakness of nightsong.

I am a beach of dark roses,

memory of sin & sorrow,

house of heavy breath.

But now I am the seeker of light.

Of wave and crest, of sunlit drenched and coastal,

bodies of grace & change, outstretched

space balanced and bare and colored-in.

There was once a trough of nameless things,

once a well of wound. And there there was a dream,

a conjuring,

of seedling.

And a garden of light, of light, of light.

I am the light, and I am the dream.

I come from night into day,

and I am my emergence.

  • Next, close your eyes and imagine sparkling, white light washing over your entire body: from your fingertips to your elbows to your hands. From your feet up your legs to your torso to your spine. Let the light soak your hair and face and chest. Imagine the light lifting darkness from your core, turning that darkness into a glittering, floating out and away from your body.
  • Inhabit trust; acknowledge the change taking place. Feel your body warm and able, free and clear. Feel your heart beating. Feel your blood regenerating. Imagine the great moon outside the window pouring its light down onto your skin. Breath out. Breath out the list of “release items” out. You may speak them again and let them go or you may simply breath it all away. Let it go. Let it all go.
  • Repeat, as you hold the Chakrub to your body: “I come from night into day, and I am my emergence.”
  • When you are ready, get up, stretch, cut the list you wrote into shreds and bury it, burn it or throw it away. Feel its truth and sadness and hurt escape you, but acknowledge the lessons and the resiliency it gave you. When you think next on these feelings, replace the hurt with self-love and honor: that you were brave enough to venture into the dark, that you were bright enough to snuff its shadow, that you were wise enough to know that all pain leads to evolution. Without the dark, there can be no light.
  • Wash your Chakrub in the bowl; envision it releasing all of what it took in. Thank it, thank yourself.

Lisa Marie Basile is a poet, editor of Luna Luna Magazine, and author of LIGHT MAGIC FOR DARK TIMES. Visit her at instagram.com/lisamariebasile 

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