I intend to banish that which no longer serves me during this waning moon. As a menstruating person, I take extra care to notice the way in which the moon’s phases mirror the monthly tides of my own system. Like the moon, I grow to full during ovulation, and wane back to darkness as I descend into my period. This month, the waning moon is going dark just as my monthly cycle draws to a close, signaling an end and also a new beginning.
Banishing work is necessary, negative work. It is destructive willpower. It is the dark part of the Yin/Yang symbol. Banishing means creating new balance. It is a conscious shedding. Consequently, the negative work of elimination makes way for new growth and new flow. I focus on accepting the work that I did over the past thirty days – the ups and downs, the lessons and successes that were all part of this past month. Chipped off and roughed down, there were parts that caused imbalances in my life, and now, during the waning moon, I consciously banish those things.
Banishment work is not glamorous, in my experience. As puking up bile or scrubbing grime off the bathtub, the waning moon is a time to get in awkward poses in order to do necessary work. It’s time to scrub in the corners of the room, releasing the grit.
I love how banishment work leaves me feeling lighter, more buoyant and more positive. I feel positively about acknowledging dead things, and choosing to turn them to compost.
I imagine myself a dark, deadly, destructive Queen during these times. I am Maleficent; I overlook the Kingdom and I fearlessly see that certain thought patterns are outworn, and I sentence them to death. Off with their heads!
There is a certain amount of PTSD that comes from living as a woman in a violently patriarchal society – a society that scorns women’s power and does much to annihilate the confidence and bravery that women need in order to act powerfully in our lives. That being said, I have feared my own power and the promise of punishment that comes from using said power in service purely of my cunt self, and no one else. But I am brave in the face of fear. I even inspire fear in those things that no longer serve me – I am capable of destruction and demolition. I am Hecate, Goddess of Death and the Crossroads.
I feel it is critical to do this banishment work in a just, and loving way. Love. I banish for love for myself, for the love of my needs and wants and visions, for the love of God and their lighted Way, for the love of humanity and love of spending a lifetime on this earth. Love. In love, I say goodbye to that which does not serve. Thus, I feel things leaving me peacefully to die; its lessons have been learned. I lay a part of me to rest. RIP.
I am alive to carry on without the past versions of myself – me, as I was. I say goodbye to that version of myself. She was warm, spirited, and she did the best she could to bring herself to happiness. She worried very often and lived in a state of constant fear. She coped with her pain through drugs and illusions of control. She avoided her true feelings. She feared being strong. She was loved by me and by God. She is gone now, because I lay her to rest.
Here are a few things that are of no use to me:
- I banish thoughts of what others think about me or feel about me. This month I had to make choices, and I did so with recovery from codependency in mind. I acknowledged that this life is my own, solely, and I gave my self permission to act based on my own wishes. I risked feeling like a “bad” person, and I risked upsetting people that I care about, but I did make choices based on my own visions of my life, regardless. I feel proud of my decisions and I feel thankful that things actually turned out fine – the sky did not fall. Other people were fully capable of managing their own feelings and lives, and I was indeed free to live my own life the way I wanted. With all this said, I consciously banish the old and familiar habit of constantly considering other people’s needs and wants. I banish the desire to control the feelings of others around me. Rather, I take control only of my own needs and give other people the dignity of taking care of theirs. The habit of thinking about other people’s thoughts has *never* served me, and I wasted much time living with that bad habit. Today I joyously release the habit of thinking about other people’s thoughts.
- I banish negative thoughts about other people. I recognize that I diminish my life experience when I allow other people, whom I cannot and could never and will never control, to have influence over my feelings. For example, I often feel irritated when people make loud movements in public spaces (like the library where I am sitting now). But I see that holding on to irritation and focusing on the feeling of annoyance is totally unhelpful – I cannot control how other people move their bodies, for goodness sake! The Serenity Prayer comes into play often: I ask for the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. I cannot change the fact that I do not control other people, and though my feelings of irritation are valid and real, I choose to banish thinking negatively about those around me. I take responsibility for my own feelings and behaviors, and I know that if I release negative thoughts about those around me who may or may not cause me to feel irritated, I improve my experience of day to day life.
- I banish the need to control the present moment. I allow things to just be. I allow moments to come and go in perfect timing. I release the compulsive need to control each moment. I realize that some moments are boring, some moments are funny, some moments are just moments that require no explanation or interpretation. In releasing the need to control each moment of my existence, I feel my body relaxing. Instead of feeling tense, I feel like I’m floating down a stream in an inner tube on a bright summer day. I release the need to control this moment, because I never was able to control it anyway, and clinging to the desire for control hinders my ability to relax and enjoy this beautiful, messy life.
Much will be abandoned, much will be left to non-existence. The next thirty days is full of untold stories and unfelt experiences. There will be much to learn and new information to process, which is why it is important to make room now. I separate the wheat from the chaff.
This process of banishment is not linear, and it will progress fully over the next days and month. I will tend to my ghosts. This time of waning moon and banishment work is worthy of time, attention, and respect. I take my time to say goodbye.