STYX: Using Tactile Objects to Make a Clean Break!
Life is filled with interactions. Sometimes it is necessary to be aware of how the patterns in one's relationships may not necessarily be as "clean" as one would like. Like the human body, things accrue over time. In any relationship, there may be a need for renewal, or we could say, "letting go" of what was there before to allow for something new to take its place.
In order to allow for this "newness" and "growth", I often use a technique I learned from one of my shaman friends. There is no name for this ritual - at least none that I am aware of - so let's just call it STYX to allow for a nice 80's flashback amidst this New Age talk.
My shaman friend once explained that the branches a person finds in nature can often be associated with a relationship. He told me that if I am having something unhealthy happening within my life, that I could find a branch within nature to represent this relationship. He then said that I could take this branch and set it upon an altar or "special spot" within my living space. My intention - the thought I would hold as I placed the obect down - would be to break the branch and its associated unhealthiness the following morning, leaving only that which is "true, good, and beautiful". Then, when morning arrived, the physical act of breaking the branch would commence after the following prayer:
"May only that which is true, good, and beautiful remain in my relationship with __________."
I have since used this tactic from time to time in my life. Sometimes this has been to let go of the past for myself, and at other times it was to create something new with my non-personal relationsips i.e. "A branch that represented my relationship with "money", "a novel", or even "my body." "
Although the shaman did not say to go outside personal relationships, I have found that the majority of my issues are not with other people, but myself, so that is why I often break branches, not to signify a "split" or "severing" from a relationship, but rather an acknowledgement that I am done thinking in a set pattern about a particular avenue within my life.
For example, right now I have a series of branches on my table (see above). Some of these represent relationships with people in my life, and others represent my relationship with the functional work in my life i.e. "artistry", "job", and so on. The individuals/non-indivuduals are not things/people I am having particular difficulty with (in some cases), but they are representative of continuous interaction, and we could then say they hold "patterned" or "old" ways of thinking that have accrued over time. Therefore, the breaking of these branches, does not necessarily have to be when things are "bad" or "unhealthy", but simply when an individual needs to say "goodbye", or when they want to "let go" of how a relationship was to how it is.
All this being said and done, this ritual is not really necessary for everyone. Some people might find meditation to be more useful, as it allows for one to simply "drop a thought." Others might find the work of Byron Katie to be just what the doctor ordered. And there are others still, who may use the dismantling of a poem, or a "non-artistic" act i.e."living outside one's comfort zone" to create a similar break.
Personally, for myself, I like to incorporate magic in my daily life. This is not the magic of Harry Potter or Houdini, but simply my word and feeling for spiritual creativity, or we could simply say, creativity, as I see no difference between the two.
If you find this activity of interest and would like to know more about it, please comment below. I would be happy to discuss it in further detail. Just remember it doesn't really matter at all, and it is not necessary in the least. It is simply a helpful tool for us to bring our thought patterns to a moment of tactile awareness, as the mind can often register a physical act much easier than it can acknowledge one that it is simply another thought within a thought.