A ritual for releasing anger Most forms of abuse result in powerful feelings of anger or rage, which must be expressed in a safe, positive fashion, if it is not, it either destroy you or others. I'd like to present an alternate method of dealing with the anger through a ritual--allowing you to purge the energy safely and then let it go. For this ritual, you will need some quiet time, a red candle, a black or a white candle, paper and writing implements, a container in which to burn paper, and matches. Any other symbols, magic gear, or accoutrements you wish to bring to the ritual are yours to choose; I'm just presenting the bare bones. Once you have gathered your stuff and set up your quiet space, you will want to call in a circle to protect yourself, and to protect others from the energies you plan to release. Face the east, and call upon the air to help you express your rage clearly, to help you focus mentally while you release your emotions safely within the circle. Face the south, and call upon fire to help your rage burn up and out of you, burning away the past and the trauma that has enraged you. Face the west, and call upon the water to help your emotions flow freely within the circle, cleansing your spirit and restoring yourself. Face the north, and call upon the earth to allow you to safely ground your rage, and to sustain and support your through the releasing process. As you call in the directions, visualize a circle of white light forming around your working space, shielding you and protecting you with the elements you've called in. (I have sometimes found that it also helps to call upon the archangels to further strengthen the circle--Raphael for east, Michael for south, Gabriel for west, and Uriel for north--if your beliefs trend that way.) Then when you feel the circle is secure, call upon the Higher Powers in whatever form you relate to them to work with you and shield you through the course of the ritual. Now, light the red candle. By its light, begin to write or draw what it is that is enraging you, whether it be some form of emotional abuse that trashed your worth as a person, sexual abuse that made you into an object, physical abuse that broke your body's connection with your mind, or whatever. Focus on making the issues clear to yourself and the Higher Powers that you've called in. Focus on how the actions made *you* feel, not on the other person's guilt or motivations, or on revenge on the other person. (You can do this part ahead of time, if you want. I wrote a long letter to my mother explaining exactly what I remembered and felt out of our abusive relationship, being careful to keep it in "I-statements" and not start blaming her. Blame may be necessary for some folks, but until you release the rage within, I feel that you cannot assess blame rationally and safely.) Next, hold the paper between your hands, focus your awareness on the red candle, and begin to chant, shout, scream, or make whatever sounds help you to feel the rage come up and leave you. Send the rage into the red candle. Focus your rage on the red candle, watching the flames burn brighter and hotter as the force of your anger fuels them. When you feel that you've released the red rage as much as you can, light the papers on which you've drawn or written your problem and drop them into the container so they can burn out. (Do remember to put something under the container to protect the surface it rests on--we did this ritual as a group a couple of years ago and caught the carpet on fire.) After the papers have begun to burn down, light the black or white candle. (The choice of color depends on how you wish to focus on restoring yourself--black represents the energy of transformation and white represents and energy of peace and purification.) Focus on what you'd like to replace the rage with--peace, self-esteem, happiness, or whatever. Let the energy of the new emotions fill you up. Write or draw on a new piece of paper those things that you want to find in yourself and your life now that you've released the poisonous rage that was holding you back. You could even take the ashes from the burnt paper and write the name of the emotion on a new piece of paper to help you focus. Feel the healing begin. When you are comfortably calm again, release the energy of the circle. Visualize it sinking back into the earth as you thank the elements at each direction for watching over you. Thank the Higher Powers for their insight and help. Let the candles burn completely out.