I had no plans to do any eclipse-related work this week until I read Austin Coppock’s weekly column yesterday. (If you haven’t read it yet, get over there now! It’s so good, and also the rest of this post will make better sense afterwards.) His evocative descriptions of this week’s space weather were resonant with several syncs I’d been having this week regarding digestion, the depths/the underworld, the unconscious, and bitter draughts which can be poison or medicine, depending on their dose.
Events of the last few days have plowed through my mind like a fishing trawler, dredging up ocean-bottom detritus that I thought I had laid to rest. Then the thematic elements of Austin’s column floated down, arranging themselves into a ritual shape of their own accord.
Prepare the Bodies for Burial
What old hurts or habits do you wish to lay to rest? Now is the time to bury them at a great depth, where they will slowly be transformed by what lives in the deep. I chose two issues, and wrote them out in watercolor pencil on watercolor paper. If you don’t have these materials, use water soluble ink so it will dissolve. I weighted the papers so they wouldn’t float. One paper is a money issue, so I used a coin. The other is regarding the past loss of a loved one, so I used a stone. Choose something heavy and disposable, not your favorite crystal.
Conjure the Sea
If you live near the ocean, you could just use seawater. I don’t, so I made a saturated brine. Fill a glass with warm water, pour in some salt, and stir. When it’s all dissolved, add more salt. Keep doing this until you have some salt that won’t dissolve. The water is now completely saturated with salt. This is far more salty than actual seawater, but I preferred the idea of full saturation. This is the deep sea in which you’ll lay your corpses to rest.
A Bitter, Empty Bowl
Make a paste of ashes with a little oil or water. Use this paste to coat the inside of a bowl. Here is your empty sky at the moment of eclipse.
Distill the Medicine
Fill a glass with drinking water. Put a few crystals in the bottom of the glass, chosen according to your needs. Whatever you are releasing, choose crystals that will be a healing tonic for that issue in your life. Gather a spoon, aromatic bitters, and rum, but don’t put anything else in the water yet.
A Sea Change
Light some sandalwood incense and begin with an opening prayer or song as you see fit. Invite the witnesses or helpers whose presence you desire. Lower your weighted packets into the salt water. While doing this I read Ariel’s song from The Tempest, as well as a prayer from the Anglican order for burial at sea. Sit for a moment, feeling the water dissolve the blockages within you. Take a spoonful from the glass of saltwater and pour it into your glass of fresh water. Add three drops of bitters and, if desired, a spoonful of rum. While doing this, say that from a bitter brew you have distilled a medicinal elixir. Drink the entire glass, saying that it will be a purgative for you. (You may want to write something fancier out beforehand. I didn’t.) When you are ready, take the glass bowl of ashes and invert it over the glass of saltwater. If possible, leave this setup on your altar for a few days before dumping the entire contents into a hole in the ground and burying it.
I repeated the mantra Om Ketave Namaha 108 times.