How to do a Burning Ritual

Lola Pickett, Witchy Transformational Coach for Empaths & Introverts

There are a lot of tools in my spiritual toolbox when it comes to manifestation and working with energy…

…but one of my favorites, a – release/invocation burning ritual – is the one I want to share with you today!

The following burning ritual may seem simple (and it is), but if you practice with this technique regularly, you’ll be surprised at the possibilities that it inspires and unfolds.

Step 1: Set your sacred space or altar.

I love working outside, so I create an altar in our backyard. I bring various candles, stones, feathers… whatever calls to be part of the experience. There are no wrong answers here. I also trot out my trusty cast iron cauldron to use as a burning bowl. Don’t worry, no black magic happens here. But, since we’re burning paper and ink (graphite is a good alternative) ensure you have good ventilation.

how to do a burning ritual, step 1

Step 2: Intention setting and grounding.

This is the most important component of the ritual. You must be grounded and clear in your intent. If you’re just off work, a nasty fight or other energy destabilizing moment, take a meditative walk, shake it out, breathe and come back when ready… Good to go? Great!

To ground yourself, sit or firmly plant your feet on the ground. Take a few deep breaths, envisioning pulling life energy up from the ground with every inhale, and shooting roots through the soles of your feet and sacrum with every exhale.

Once you feel grounded and focused, it’s time to write your intentions. I always start with the feelings or circumstances that no longer serve me. I title this list “Things to Release” and put bullet points below. If a letter to the universe feels more you, then write out your list in prose (or poem!). Just be sure to be honest, open and sincere with what you’re releasing.

how to do a burning ritual - step 2

Step 3: Invocation.

On the same piece of paper (or a different one, no wrong way to do this), I list everything I want to invoke. This is usually titled “Things I Invoke” or “I Invoke” These are feelings and circumstances I welcome and want more of.

how to do a burning ritual - step 3

Step 4: Burning & Release.

Once I’ve listed everything I want to release and everything I want to invoke, it’s time to burn both lists. I start by burning the list of no-longer-welcomes. As I ignite the list or letter, I say something like this:

Dear Universe: I no longer need the lessons that these feelings, things, or circumstances would teach me. If I haven’t already, I vow to learn these lessons in a different way that feels better and opens my heart.

how to do a burning ritual - step 4

Then, I burn the list of everything I desire to have and feel. As I light this list, I say something like…

Dear Universe: I invite these emotions and circumstances into my life at this time to serve my highest and best good. I intend that these things will fuel me to be of better service, to be more present, and to keep open my heart.

how to do a burning ritual - step 5

I then take a few deep breaths and rub my hands together: effectively washing myself of attachment to anything I just released, both desired and undesired.

The key to this burning ritual is release.

You must be willing to let go of all attachment to both the bad AND the good. When you let go of expectations, then the universe is free to provide for you creatively.

I’ve used this simple ritual to clear my energy and manifest many things in my life, including my house, my peaceful divorce, successful navigation of difficult conversations, my emotions related to my son’s autism diagnosis… the list goes on and on. So, you can be as situationally-specific (or not) as you want to be.

And, if lists don’t feel like your style, writing a letter to the universe and then burning it is also a valid form of release. I’ve done all variations and encourage you to do so, too!

When should you do this ritual?

There is no wrong time, but new moons and full moons are excellent times when it seems to be more potent to work with intentions, ceremonies, invocations, and releases. I did this new moon burning ritual to specifically call in the feelings and circumstances I want to experience more of during this upcoming moon cycle.

Your supply list to create a similar burning ritual is:

  • Paper
  • Pencil or Pen
  • Lighter or other source of flame
  • Burning-friendly surface: Large metal/glass bowl or cauldron, a pan, a fireplace, dirt or stone clearing, etc.
  • Whatever else: essential oils, trinket, totem, sacred object & ritual tools or setting-wise—you want to include to support you in your work
I want to hear stories of how you feel after doing your ritual!

Do you feel lighter? Frightened? Overwhelmed? Overjoyed? Has the universe read your letter or list? Check back in with me and comment or email. I love hearing from you! =)

Burning rituals are just one of the many tools I use in my personal and professional life. If you’d like to learn more about any of the following, consider scheduling a consultation with me!
  • Wild (animal) messengers
  • Nervous system + trauma healing
  • Rituals
  • Meditation
  • Empathic communication
  • Soul-satisfying friendships, client relationships, and intimate partnership

Peace, love, and (not too many) sparks!


Lola - Creator of Wildly Amazing Things at

Through her courses and programs, Lola Pickett empowers empaths  to rewire their brains, behavior, and bodies so they can create sustainable success & happiness. She is the published author of the Wild Messengers Alchemical Tarot and founder of EMPATH*ology™—her outrageously popular 10-week online course.

Her offerings blend cutting-edge neuroscience with trauma healing AND playful adventure to create powerful and lasting results. When not facilitating transformational work, you’ll find Lola on a hike, wildcrafting medicines, and loving up on her husband and kids in the mountains north of San Diego, California.

Lola's a Communication Empath.
What kind of Empath are you? ==> Take the FREE quiz


  1. An Emotional Healer suggested this ritual to free myself of emotional memory caused by previous traumas. I am glad I came across your post because I had some other things to get rid of and invoke. Thank you so much for it. I just completed it the ritual in the park next to my work.
    Have a fantastic day!


    • Beautiful, Thomas!! I am so glad you found this post and that it helped you form a ritual that felt powerful and aligned. Sending you much love and light, friend!

    • Hello I just did the ritual and I feel as though a load has been lifted from me. I feel light. I feel happy. I feel encouraged. I’m a environmental empath, so the energy feels clean.
      Thank you for your guidance.

      • Hi Corey! I love hearing that the ritual helped you release some energy ???? It’s incredible how something so simple can be so potent and effective. I’m so glad you’re here in this space with me! May you find many resources here to support your journey as an empath.

  2. I had my first burning ritual the other night. For the past few months I’ve been feeling anxieties over a friend I have feelings for. I turned our uncomplicated relationship into something more complicated than it should be. I was consumed with my obsessive thoughts on wanting to be in a relationship with him and ended up really hurting myself in the end. I knew I had to let him go.

    I allowed to let all my emotions out on paper, professing every thought and detail that has consumed me, even confessing things I couldn’t even admit to myself and say out loud because it felt irrational, I finally wrote it down.

    For the things that I wanted to invoke, I wrote down the root of where my heartache was coming from – my inability to be vulnerable. I wished for myself to have the courage to finally tell him how I feel, and to let love in.

    Afterwards, I felt a strong sense of relief, and for the anxieties that’s been pent up in me for so long – I feel it starting to fade away.

    • This is so beautiful, Melanie!! How have you felt since the release?? I feel so honored to have received your confession here. Cheers to living a life that feels more free, more vulnerable and strong, and looooving. <3

  3. Just did my first release ritual and it was so cleansing. Emotional. 25 yrs off mentally abusive marraige and I HAD TO LET GO COMPLETELTLY.


    Emoting and so MEANINGFUL

    • This makes me soooo happy to read, Shannon!!! Fantastic work… this ritual is incredibly powerful in its simplicity. So glad you found it helpful and I wish you all the luck and love in the world as you MOVE ON!!! <3

  5. I am going to do my first release burning ritual tonight since it is the full moon i only hope it goes well and i prosper from it. Im so excited to do this cause i know i need it right now more than anything. Would it be best to do it alone or with a friend who is brand new to holistic magic or rituals.
    Blessed Be Friends!

    • Which i am new to this as well.

    • Hi Crystal! I am so glad you happened upon this post =) this ritual is plenty powerful if you were to do it on your own… AND I find that the energy and potency does tend to amplify when witnessed by/co-created with someone else who resonates with you. You can try it for yourself both ways! No experience (either yours or your friend’s) is required… Good luck and happy full moon!!

  6. Hi Foxy!

    I just came across this posting after doing a ritual burning release (having been recommended in a healing session) around some deep healing and transition in my life right now. I LOVE the piece about burning the what-you-want, too — in order to release expectation and to foster openness. That is awesome. I’d never read about that part of it before and I feel like I have a clearer picture. I think I’ll do it again for the full moon with these additional specifics. Thanks for this post!

    • Hi Jenn! I am so glad that this post gave you some additional depth/dimension for your own ritual work. I do find it to be hugely important to release what I’m seeking to create or manifest… it allows Spirit/the Universe/etc.. to be much more imaginative and creative than I could ever be in my own limited mind.

  7. Hello, I read your column and loved it. I wrote a letter of some major hurt and I burnt it I felt amazing and relived! I came back inside and I thought there was lies I have told which I shouldn’t have and I wrote them down and again burnt them. In the process of burning the second one I felt a huge lump in my throat came back inside and had a panick attack and now feel constant negative energy in my body, I feel so sick. Can anyone help me understand what this is?

    Many thanks


    • Hi Kate – it sounds like, with that second release, that you became aware of a block in the area of your throat chakra, and still have some emotions that want to be released… you can work with what feels like these negative energies… It feels like they are bits of shadow that want your love and attention – check my “shadow dancer” post for some hints on what that’s all about and how to engage with inner darkness. Moving your body can also be a huge help in releasing stuck emotional energy… you can go back to the place in memory that is getting triggered (where your panic attack thoughts are going), and from there, move your body (imitating a powerful wild animal can really help) to help yourself release what’s not feeling good. Imagine being a predator, like a lioness or leopard, and hunting down those emotions, pouncing on them, and shaking them to break them of their power over you. It may feel a little strange, silly, or weird, but can be HUGE! Let me know how that goes… and if you want to connect, I do offer Soul Retrieval sessions and we can work with this further.

      Much love!!!

  8. Hi Foxy, loved the post very well written and explained!!! I have a question…what about doing this indoor? I don’t have a place to do it outdoor 🙁 thanks

    Much love! Carolina

    • Hi Carolina! Such a great question =) For indoor burning rituals, you can use a large glass or metal mixing bowl… and burn just small bits of paper at a time. I’ve also heard of people doing this in their kitchen sinks or (empty) metal trash cans – but of course, you want to be careful that any curtains or anything like that is far out of the way! Safety first =)
      xo! Lola

  9. My fiance & I are actually planning to do something similar with our vows at our wedding this weekend. We hadn’t considered writing negative things to release as well, but now I’m thinking that might be a good idea.
    Thank you for sharing! <3

  10. I have let past demons creep in my head that have brought out hurtful words. Been single for 15 years started dating and two experiences with men that they pulled away after intimacy and those demons came out that I fought for years. Ready for a relationship moving forward with someone who can open up and not withdraw from me. I am attracting those type of men because I am so afraid to trust and believe in love again. I did my ritual today – full moon as follows; Sue: allowing the past to harbor doubts of my future and hurting others who do not deserve the pain by my words. Universe forgive me

    • So beautiful and powerful, Susan. Thank you for sharing your release with us here… Can you imagine the potency of each ritual that someone creates through this portal here? It feels that, with each one – the overall power for ALL gets amplified. May your intentions and desires bloom for the best and highest good of All. <3

  11. When I did the ritual the paper burnt instantly leaving a yellow greasy liquid in the bowl …. what does this signify?

    • Hmmm, interesting. As with any burning, ventilation is going to be important. Do you know what type of paper it was? I symbolically burn materials like photos if I can’t do it in a bonfire with adequate ventilation.

      The fact that you have ‘yellow grease’ is probably more related to the physical material burned rather than the intention behind it, or the content written…

      If I *were* to look at it metaphorically as a message, I’d ask yourself if there is a sense that your personal power may feel a little tough to hold onto for long periods of time… i.e. do you get a hint of it and then, it slips away? And if so – is that power slippage at all related to what you were trying to let go of? If so, perhaps there is still more work to do in that area.

      Hope that helps!! In all cases, burn safely 😉

  12. Hey, can you do this release ritual for someone else, with the intention for their highest good?

    • Hi there! I would say, that no matter how beautiful and well-meaning the intention, that it goes against the integrity of magic to use it for someone else without their knowing or permission. IF you have permission, then by all means go for it. But, it gets into the territory of sorcery when we start working on other people’s behalf… even if our heart is in the right place. (In this context – from what I’ve learned – sorcerers are those that work magic toward others without direct permission to do so.) So – I love that you want to do this for someone you care about… AND we need to TRUST that everyone has their own medicine in life. Even if we can SEE it’s not in their best interests… it’s not up to us to “fix” it… it becomes an energy leak for YOU when you do that, which doesn’t serve anyone… Best to respond to a request for assistance or do this work with permission… in my opinion 🙂 Big hugs to your obviously wonderful heart!

  13. My husband and I are doing a burning bowl ritual at our 10 year wedding renewal ceremony. I was feeling a little overwhelmed about how to make it flow. This information has helped me to plan out what to do. I really appreciate you sharing this.
    Light & Love

    • I am SO glad this guidance will help you create a powerful ritual for you and your husband. May you have a powerful experience for the best and highest good of all beings. Sending love and appreciation your way!

  14. I usually burn all old pieces of paper that no longer serve me instead of just throwing them away. I was cleaning up and gathered all the papers that I didn’t need and went out to burn them. I got a strong feeling that it was a ritualistic and definately habitual. We’re ritualistic/habitual beings, after that revelation I was brought here. Good information, I’ll try it soon. Whats the best way to use crystals/gemstones without mediatation or having in you auric field? I have a gold ruby necklace, lepidolite, black tourmaline, and earthy looking agate. Thank you, I wish the best for you and all on this page.

    • Thanks Blake – glad you found your way over to this article =) We are DEFINITELY ritualistic creatures and it feels SO good to remember these roots and honor them in various ways. There are so many different methods to work with gemstones… It sounds like many of the stones you have are grounding/calming in nature – you are probably drawn to them for how your energy/auric field feels with them. The simplest way to use gemstones is to connect with them physically… wear them, hold them… and begin to connect with them. They are energy beings, if not “alive” in the same way you and I are… and ALL beings want and need to be seen and noticed. This is how we open to having a relationship with them. It begins with us really SEEING and appreciating them. Then we can begin to have a reciprocal connection, where they begin to offer their gifts to us – such as helping us ground, relieving anxiety, protection, etc. Sending lots of love!

  15. I just did this. I feel like a great weight has been lifted off me but I also feel very heavy and emotional. I also have a headache from the burning and the smoke and ash. I planned to do this outside but the wind was blowing so every time I lit the match it would blow out. I had to move indoors into the kitchen sink and the bathroom sink. I would have preferred to do it outside as the house smells smoky right now, but what’s done is done.

    I do feel like I have released a lot which is good. I guess time will tell! I do feel heavy not in a depressed way more just like a very deep, emotional way if you know? Maybe it’s cos I’ve let things go and some energy is aligning itself, I don’t know.
    I invoked some things too. I feel like the universe would hear me better if I burned outside but I couldn’t do that. So would that still have worked? Thank you.

    • Ah, beautiful – yes, part of the releasing process can bring up heavy sensations and emotions… totally normal. It can be a little (or a lot) uncomfortable as our energy systems come into alignment. Of course, It’s preferable to burn outside, but when it isn’t possible, indoors will do just fine! Just try and ventilate the space as much as possible to avoid getting overloaded with smoke/ash. =)

      The universe and divine forces will hear you, no matter where you are. xoxo!

  16. Question: Can this be done in groups and should group share list? Situational? Could matter could not?

    • Hey Aaron =) This can ABSOLUTELY be done in groups… It’s up to the facilitator whether everyone reads aloud what they are releasing and invoking… I find it to be incredibly powerful to be witnessed and the voice helps to alchemize/magnetize transformation – so in my groups, usually everyone speaks theirs out loud. xo!

  17. What does it mean if my paper does not burn completely? I had to relight it a few times to completely burn. I’m wondering if it had to do with the content, and if I’m not truly ready to release what I wanted to…

    • Hi Star! How to interpret things like this is really up to each person – there’s no blanket statement that applies to all situations… If your intuition is leading you to feel that you might not have been fully ready to release what you’d written, then that may well be the case. It has been the case for clients of mine – and I *usually* interpret a quick and thorough burn as being one that was ready for completion… but that’s not *always* the case… So – if your gut says that there may be still some release work to be done – that’s what I’d focus on next… you can never do too many of these types of rituals – sometimes I will do a second one if the first one doesn’t feel like it “took” for whatever reason. <3 Sending you love!

  18. Hello!
    2015 and 2016 have been a rough 2 years. I have lost close friends, a true love and any self worth for myself. I have been reading about doing a burning rituals and how you can put these old, painful emotions to rest. I have been holding onto these emotions for years, I am finally ready to let go of this pain. I feel more grounded, at peace and excited about my future.
    I was talking to my cousin about doing a Burning Ritual for the new year. It made me so happy to know she is all for it! So this new year that is what we are doing at midnight for 2017.
    Can I make a letter/list for each “item”/”event” I would like to release?
    Again I never felt so excited to let go and start my future with love, happiness and being worthy. I will let you know how it goes!

    • I feel you, Katie! These have been some intense times… I, too, have lost a few good friends, a mentor… it’s been a time of major clearing, death, and gestation – NEVER comfy cozy when you’re deep in it. Yes, you can absolutely create a separate list/page for each item; you could write each thing and then detail out below it the aspects about it that you want to release. I am excited about the year to come too – it’s a chance to integrate these losses and step forward more powerfully. Happy for you!! Let me know how the ritual goes! Sending you wishes for love, peace and power. xo!

  19. I burned a letter I had written to a lover who left me. When I burned it for some reason his name was the only thing that didn’t burn. I thought it was crazy, superstition? Yup! Do you have any idea what that might mean? Thanks.

    • It’s impossible to interpret things like this and be 100% certain – the best approach is to inquire within… what might this represent? If this was a message from Spirit, what do you think it was trying to communicate? Perhaps that there are still attachments or energetic cords with this person that weren’t ready to be fully released? This is one possible interpretation but there are many. Look at your rituals as if they are vehicles for poetry. What stories are told through them?

      • Thank you for replying. He claimed he really liked me, he said it was really hard for him, he was even teary while he was telling me but he said he didn’t think we had enough to make it work. We didn’t have much in common or similar interest but when we were together we had so much fun and I felt like he was the one for me. He ended it because he wanted more than just an attraction. After 3 months I was crushed since I had grown feeling for him so quickly. I honestly tried to release him through the letter I wrote but I freaked out when his name didn’t burn. It just stopped at his name. My heart wants to think its a sign he still cares but I don’t really believe it…does that make sense? LOL anyway, thank you for your response, only time will tell what that really meant. 🙂

  20. Hi my name is Melissa, I want to say thank you!! I just finished with my Release/Invoke Burning Ritual, and I feel Amazing, Light, Unburdened, More Connected to the Earth, Universe, Spirit Guides, and Myself! I feel Free and can feel the positive Energy through out my entire body!

    • You are SO welcome, Melissa! I am so glad that you can feel the shift in your energy =) Isn’t incredible what a simple ritual can do? There is so much power in this work. Sending love!

  21. I just did this & I felt so cleansed of letting go my burdens. I’ve been looking into the Law of Attraction & I believe that the first step to manifesting positivity is to truly let it all go.
    When I did this, I wrote the negatives I didn’t want and what I wanted to receive on the same sheet of paper.
    The negatives burned quite quickly I almost burned myself holding it lol, but the positives I had to light quite a few times and it burned slow. What could this mean, if there is meaning at all? I do feel a good release and I feel comfort within this ritual.
    Thank you!

    • Isn’t it amazing!? Our cultural addiction (and often blindness) to the “facts” and what we can see and measure has denied us many of the energetic tools for calling in for support from Goddess/God/Universe/Source/etc. We have seen a profound shift in many of aspects of our lives through this ritual alone. But, when combined with prayer, gratitude, focus, ritual and intention, the impacts become even greater.

      Regarding the burning rate, yes, there very well could be no meaning (outside of those rational facts) as to why one burns faster/slower than the other. But, they did burn differently and you saw it. Energy was shifting in one form or another as it encountered your release.

      We’ve seen this difference in burn time when we ignite one sheet, of the same stack, using the same lighter. When something explodes or burns instantaneously, we take that to mean your release and detachment to outcomes for those expressions and witnessing will be smooth. When they burn slowly, there may be some deeper attachment to the outcomes of what you were invoking (or releasing). Either way, as long as you thoroughly burn the papers, and are sitting with a clear, loving intent and focus, the messages you’re communicating with higher spirit is going to be received.

      Thanks for diving in, testing the waters of release and detachment and using the element of fire to heal. xo!

  22. I started doing my burning ritual for something I wish to happen last night (the new moon). I started feeling myself getting tired so I put the flame out I still have the letter that I want to continue burning is it better to just continue burning it now or wait till tonight to continue burning it? Also how long does the new moon last for? Is it still a new moon till sundown?

    • Hello there! You can burn the letter anytime you feel it’s right, it doesn’t need to be timed exactly with the new moon or full moon… so, when you feel ready – send it up in smoke (safely)! The new moon is considered to last for at least a full 24 hours, though most consider the two days after the new moon to have similar energy… it’s not until the third night after the new moon that we see much more than the thinnest sliver of her.

      New Moon (or any moon phase) is not just at night, it’s also during the day when the moon is in that phase… Does that make sense?

    • i just did this in the shower and i deff feel like i took a double bath, thank you goddess you have helped my life i just lifteed a heavy load off me 🙂

  23. When you’re doing a burning ritual to invoke the return of someone you love or care for are they always successful? I just did mine and I asked that she would come back into my life. As the paper burned it was very smoky? What does this represent?

    • Great question! Burning rituals are both an invitation and request to Spirit to share what you desire and are working towards, AND also to help release attachment to those same desired outcomes. Contradictory, I know, but with attachment to anything comes suffering.

      We hear that you’re requesting a love to return to you and the burning process was smokey. While there’s no official handbook on smokey = X, there may have been an internal, gut feeling in you as you witnessed this smokey burn. Perhaps there is still some muddled emotions or attachments to this person. It could be that the request to Spirit that you’re making wasn’t 100% heartfelt/heart set. It could also be Spirit/Universe sending you a sign that perhaps this isn’t the time or person to re-invite into your life… Whatever the outcome, may it be for the highest and greatest good of all. Sending you light on your journey!

  24. I burned a pinkish red cans last night with the picture of me.and my ex i still love him but we are in court proceedings from restrsining orders criminal charges and small claims. We made a commitment to each other and it’s over I’ve cast love spells and candle magic never curses or hex and this is now documented in the court of law that I am a witch and I practice the arts of voodoo and black magic on a signed affidavit. Which is now on display in the court of law which will peobable go down in the law history books someday. Now I know some people who have cursed and put hexes on me and even broke us up but they are more powerful than me  mother and father are very powerful people I dont know them personally. However  I’ve binded this man to me for life and they are working hard to kill me. My angels and ancestors are protecting me and I’ve take some stops to go on a new spiritual journey and ridding myself of of negative and toxic people so my intent was for us to come to an mutual agreement with these court proceedings we both are facing jail time he is more than I . The candle was Smokey and burned black on top o still ha e the ashes bit the candle.went out shall I relight 

  25. Hi there. Should you only do this at night when it’s full moon? Or can it also be done during the day within the time frame of the full moon? Also, can I write my letters or lists beforehand and then read it out loud during the releasing ceremony or should it be part of the ceremony itself? I would appreciate your reply. Many thanks!

    • Hi Heidi! You can do this ritual any time of the day or night, and anytime throughout the month, though the full/new moon portals tend to be particularly strong times to do this type of work; it will “work” regardless of when you do it, as long as you do the ritual with intention, attention, and faith. 

      As far as your lists – I tend to write them as part of the ritual, but I don’t see it being any sort of issue if you write them ahead of time! <3

    • Hi Heidi,

      I’m also planning to do it this coming Monday – full moon with partial eclipse is particularly favorable for letting go of everything we don’t want anymore in our lives – but I don’t think you HAVE to do it at night, unless you want to. The energy of the moon will be in full swing, anyways. I started writing the letter, to make sure I do not forget anything. This will also give me time until Monday to eventually add things to my letter. Of course, if you feel like writing the letter during the ceremony, that’s also a possibility. 


  26. Hello I am new/want to perform a   wicca/witchcraft burning spell and I need to ask you some questions about a ritual I need to perform that is not at all clear. I didn’t know who to turn to and need help. I am not here to waste your time but is it possible I can speak to you using our private emails some my comments won’t show up on here for everyone to see? I also need to send you something.

  27. I just did this for the first time in my tiny apartment and the whole time I was so scared I would burn the place down… the flames rose quickly and burned fast till all that remained of the paper was a fine grey ash… I am writing this soon after completing and can say I was still shaking there after.. you mentioned to write if you felt afraid.. I wanted to know if that fear that I felt was the partical I could have burned everything down or what I true wish it was and what I want it to be is all that fear I have been carrying around is released and I no longer have to face it in my life … 

    • Hi Thom! It’s always important to be fire safe =) You definitely want to do any burning rituals in a metal or ceramic bowl so that you don’t risk your space’s safety.

      The fear you feel may come from a number of sources… and it depends on what resonates as truth in your system. It could be fear of the power that rituals like these carry… It could be some of the fears that the ritual helped to release that are making themselves known to you as they leave your system (for now). It could have been practical fear of the fire itself (which may also have deeper origins than what it appears to be on the surface).

      Either way, once we release fears like these in rituals and medicine work, it’s rare that the fear is permanently gone. It’s a layer of pattern and habit that gets released, but there are often many many layers of patterns related to our fears… So it requires continued work, excavation, self-examination, self-love, compassion, and courage to keep working with our fears and patterns. This is life-long work. One ritual won’t be enough to put an end to it, otherwise otherwise everyone would go around being fearless. It’s not supposed to be that easy.

      But, each ritual does matter… because we are able to dig deeper each time, to access more healing, to return to ever more wholeness. So keep going, friend. Keep going. (And use a metal bowl) =)

    • I just finished burning my list and I feel a loving energy radiating from the ground through my legs up my spine and into my head, extending above my head. I set my intentions to release feelings I have harbored from a frightening assault. I also set my intentions to accomplish the goals I have for this year. I am excited to see how this coming year goes 🙂

  28. Hello

    I’m a muslim boy. I am going to tell you a very big dark secret of my life cuz i think you can help me. I fell in love with my maternal aunt as if to marry her or have sex with her but its prohibited in my religion to have sex with maternal aunt. I became so obsessed that one day i collected all of her old photographs and i burned them. I have no idea why i did that but my obsession is still there.

    I need your help!

    • Hi, Waleed. What prompted you to burn the photographs? Are you attracted to the old, past version of your Aunt or still attracted to the present, now Aunt? Sometimes we can get attached to an idea or ideal from the past (which isn’t a truth as that person is no longer here).

      Sounds like you wish to redirect your passion to someone that aligns with your religion and family values. A good way to start this is to appreciate the gifts your Aunt’s appearance, character or whatever you are attracted to about her have stirred in you to awaken your sexuality. Thank her for being a catalyst for arriving to your adult masculinity, possibly even write a letter to her spirit thanking her. Then burn that letter along with the rest of the release/invocation that we suggest in this post.

      Wishing you strength in transmuting these urges towards another who is more in alignment with your culture’s values and norms.

    • Just a quick question..I have been trying to get pictures of me and my ex to burn for almost a month now and they will not burn all the way…. Do you know the meaning behind it

      • There could be many meanings, both rational and spiritual behind the incomplete burn.

        Sometimes, an incomplete burn can be as simple as the material didn’t get hot enough to ignite fully. Photograph paper isn’t the same as regular paper. Also, if you’re burning anything, try not to inhale the fumes, especially chemical-ladened material such as photo paper.

        The spiritual way we see incomplete burns is that it may be calling you to put forth more effort to seek out all those stragglers and burn them. This is a calling for you to complete the ritual and is perhaps the Universe asking you to fully commit to releasing this individual from your life (romantic or otherwise is up for you to decide).

        The flip side could also be that there may be some unresolved attachments to your former partner that may need clearing. This is where working with your intuition comes into play. We can help one on one with you. Feel free to reach out.

  29. Hi there,

    Whenever I do a burning ritual like this I always wonder what to do with the ash… should it be kept and buried or blown to the wind? Whats better for the spell work? Thanks!

    • Hi, Aidan! Great question! We have a cauldron (Lola’s first shamanic tool, off eBay no less!) where we keep all the ashes as they don’t seem to accumulate in large amounts since it’s only paper we burn in there. Ceremoniously burying it is our favorite process… Sometimes we’ll even dab small amounts and anoint ourselves it, too to complete the process (wait until it’s cool enough!). Scattering to the wind is also fine. Either way you do it, do it with gratitude, prayer and never down wind. 😉 Please share this post with your tribe if it resonates!

  30. I’m doing my first ritual tomorrow when there’s a full moon , I’m gonna write down things I need to change about myself … and to become more positive about things… I’m scared , I want this to work

    • how did the ritual feel? were things brought to light that here previously obscured?

  31. I wrote some wishes and problems  but now I want that one of those wishes should not be fulfilled. Is there any way to solve it 

    • You can always reverse magic, if you wish to ‘undo’ something that you’ve set into motion. In this case, it’s simple… Write on a piece of paper that you want to undo the wish you made and call it back to you. Then burn the paper and let it go.

      Of course, in life and magic there are no guarantees – sometimes we get what we want; other times, we get what we need (and that may or may not be the same thing)… but it’s still important to ask for what you want; even if it’s to take back something you requested.

    • I have done 2 burn rituals now from your suggestions. I absolutely love you for sharing. It has helped me so much. I cannot wait to see what my most recent ritual brings. 

      • You are so welcome, sister! I am grateful that this simple, powerful ritual has helped you <3 <3 Sending big hugs your way! xoxoxo

  32. I have just done this today.  I hope it works. I feel really calm. 

  33. 2 things happened to me. First, while walking at the park to go the place where to do the burning ritual, a piece of wood poke my sandal & to the sole of my feet. There was not too much blood coming out.  Second, when I finished I went bacm to my car I found that I left a piece of paper that contains a couple of prayers related to breaking ungodly soul ties that I used to pray a couple of days before I did the burning ritual. I went back & put it under the burning ashes of her pictures/clothes & the paper got burned without much fire.

    Now my question is: is that supposed to mean something that my feet get poked by a sharp piece of wood and also the prayer paper that was mistakenly left in my car?

    • It’s hard to say what meaning those two things have… they could be purely circumstantial, or there could be a deeper message for you… It sounds like the paper that you left behind may have been helping you be sure you were ready to release those ties – by making you revisit them and put them into the fire with even more awareness… As far as your foot injury – thank goodness you didn’t get badly hurt! I feel like that kind of thing happens when we need a reminder to slow down and pay attention to what we’re doing/where we’re going – a little “poke” from the universe to prompt more presence…

      May your ritual be fruitful and beneficial to you and all beings!

      • Thank you for your reply! Will the person I broke my soul ties with through burning rituals continue to love me? I just want myself to detach from that person and not the other way around.

        • You’re welcome! In the type of magic we teach, rituals can only have power over our own ties/thoughts/patterns. The free will of others isn’t touched. So that person’s feelings are up to them! The magic will have little to do with that… though of course, disconnection from your side will likely have “side effects” over time.

          • Thank you for your prompt response! Could you please name some of those side effects? I wasn’t aware there could have been any adverse reactions from breaking soul ties. By the way it’s good to know that the other person’s free will, feelings, and emotions aren’t touched.

  34. I didn’ make intention on the things to release paper and I only made a short intention on the I invoke paper. Does it still count? Or will it still work?

    • The ritual is about calling your attention to the things you wish to release and invoke. You are also asking Spirit/Universe/God or a power larger than ourselves to also be witness to these declarations, invocations, and release. It’s not a passive action, but one that helps you align to your desired integrity. Amount doesn’t matter as much as sincerity and trust/faith do.

  35. I immediately wanted to take part in releasing and invoking all things on this night in July (2018) of the blood moon. It has been very powerful!

    I went into my garden and brought out all the crystals that I have, a plain candle, some lavender oil to burn in with the candle, paper & pen. 

    I wrote everything that came to mind – which wasn’t much! I felt there was or should be more, but it was what it was.

    I tried to keep my mind focused. I felt like I was being pulled to distraction. It was strange.

    I tried to focus all my energy and thoughts and feelings into the moment. 

    I burned my ‘release’ paper first. It was fine. Powerful but went fine. Lots of deep breaths and determination. 

    When it came to my ‘I invoke’ would not light. My candle, which I was lighting the paper with, kept going out. The lighter then refused to work. I came into the house to find anything to light it. It was a challenge. But I did not give up. I’ve probably never had so much patience!

    Eventually, it did work. Thank heavens.

    It made it more emotional, but it was done and I felt accomplished. 

    Straight after I felt so so frightened – I still do. As if I’m vunerable, spiritually. I am trying to instill peace and calm. 

    It’s my first time doing anything like this. I won’t forget it and I will try to keep it as a reminder of what I truly want for myself. For my soul. 

    Thank you so much for having this guide online. It was exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. I hope to keep this power that I feel right now for as long as possible. The moon has been ..intense, tonight. I had no actual visual, but, my goodness could you feel it. Amazing. 

    I recommend this to anyone. I just need to figure out how to deal with my new found emotions.  It’s a very deep feeling. To my soul I guess you could say. Very full in my chest. 

    Thank you again ????

    • This is so lovely!! As you experienced, these rituals can move a LOT of energy… which can leave you feeling a little woozy, lightheaded, etc. Sometimes, we call it “spiritual flu”.

      The best remedy is time – closely followed by hydration and grounding practices! Get your barefeet on the earth, drink lots of water to help your body move energy through, and eat foods that help your system feel stable and solid. Root vegetables are always a really good option for this. We love a roasted beet salad this time of year.

      Thanks for doing the ritual and sharing your experience with us!! So glad you came across our little corner of the web.

  36. Hey i had a nightmare afterwards. I kept waking up. Immediately after the ritual tho i felt lighter, different, happy. But going to bed is when things got weird. I dreamt that the lights in my house were being turned on by themaelves.and i had another dream i was walking in this dark place in a wooded area.when i woke up the next am i had to walk to work due to car troubles and i did indeed have to walk in a heavily wooded area

    • Hello Bree! It sounds like, as you released what you let go of into the fire, you made space for some dreamwork and intuition to come online. That can be intense and a little frightening at first, but your dreams are a RICH place to understand what’s happening in your personal subconscious as well as in the collective.

      You might look at the house in your dream as a metaphor for your body or your Self; perhaps the lights coming on is a way to show you that YOUR inner light is coming back on. The body IS a self-healing genius, so – in effect – the “lights” WILL come on by themselves, if the conditions are right. Perhaps this ritual set the stage for some powerful inner work to take place.

      Dreams are also a place to receive pre-cognition, which can ALSO be super overwhelming… such as your vision of walking through the woods, and then indeed walking through them the next morning. You have a strong and powerful intuition, sister! It can be harnessed for incredible wisdom if you trust it!

  37. still feel depressed but it feels like it’s changing, not sure why it feels so uncomfortable and weird though.

    • Hi Kaiden – thank you for being here with us. In our experience, it’s almost ALWAYS weird and uncomfortable to let go of what we’ve been holding onto – even when it’s good for us to release it. We get used to being in our patterns and get attached to how those patterns define us… It’s a huge risk and highly confronting to our egos when we start to take back the reins and step into a new way of being. Much love as you navigate the discomfort… xo, Lola

  38. I just did my first ritual. I definitely feel different even if just a little bit already. I do have a question, I might have just missed this piece of info – how often do you suggest doing the rituals? I have never done anything like this before, but I’m glad I tried it and want to learn more.

    • Hi Stephanie – that’s so great that you can feel the impact this ritual has. =) You can do this as often as you’d like – but many people will do rituals like this with each full or new moon to keep in a regular rhythm of releasing and calling in.

  39. First, I would like to say I’m so ecstatic I found your site! I was told by a friend of mine a few years ago that I should do a burning ritual, but I was still new to spirituality and didn’t act on it. Years later, I own several crystals, books, and have grown so much in my life, and I thank it all to stepping out on faith and coming familiar with spirituality. I’ve had a rough week, and I figured it was time to use this, but I didn’t quite know how to do it. I just completed my first burning ritual thanks to your detailed post here and I’m feeling really good. I feel as if a weight is starting to lift off of my shoulders. Thank you so much for this helpful info! 🙂

    • Yay!! I am so happy you found my site and did the ritual – it’s so simple but sooooooo powerful. Amazing that something like this can offer such relief, right?! Glad to connect with you, and I hope we can get to know each other over time =)


  1. How I Found Shamanism on eBay ★ Wild Playground - […] I cleansed the cauldron, and as I did so, a vision appeared and I received clear instructions on exactly…

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