A spell for boundaries

I’ve been thinking about how to set boundaries for awhile. As a full moon baby and someone who works at a non-profit, I need clear boundaries around work. Boundaries are easily blurred–my personal values are also my work  values, my co-workers are also my friends, my office is also my creative studio (i.e. my house)! 

Intellectually, I don’t believe my success in life is measured by my career. Even so, it has been difficult on a somatic and an unconscious level for me to disentangle self worth from how I feel about work (“I’m doing well!” or “I fucked up!”). I’ve found my stress increasing, my thoughts wandering back to work even though it’s 9 at night, and a general feeling of malaise. This combined with my horoscope in Scorpio season (a season known for it’s intense energy)… I knew I needed a shift either in my job or my perspective. 

A challenge [...] could be over-investment and over-giving, which lead to depletion and resentment. Boundaries are especially important for those born under a full moon.

Sarah Faith Gottesdiener, The Moon Book

I decided on a change in perspective and created a spell for myself to hold healthy boundaries around work. I’m not going to dive into my beliefs or practices around “magic” but I will say, I believe that what you pay attention to grows. I want to pay attention to joy and compassion; greeting every dog I see, building climbing callouses on my hands, the feeling of contented emptiness when meditating or walking in a forest, the sense of connection and fulfillment after a conversation.

How I put together this spell

I work with the moon cycles…well, sometimes, infrequently and imperfectly. Anyhow, the new moon is Monday November 13th. The significance? New moons are a time for new beginnings, starting, for setting intentions. The general idea is that you set intentions with the new moon, commit to practicing or doing those intentions to the full moon, reflect on how that’s felt and continue practicing or doing until the next new moon. Most advice is to practice the same intentions or work the same spell for several moon cycles because it takes repetition to form new habits.

With the new moon in mind, I set to writing down what I wanted to release and what I wanted to cultivate in my work life. For example, I want to release thinking about work outside of work hours. I want to cultivate noticing when something feels hard or stressful (& then I have a list of what I’ll do with that noticing depending on the situation or context).

I wrote down everything I wanted to release on one piece of paper, and everything I wanted to cultivate in my dot journal (so I could refer back to it).

Casting the spell

On the new moon–you can do this whenever you want, this just happens to be what I felt like doing–I gathered some candles, matches, salt, a little fire proof cauldron I use to burn stuff in, smoky quartz, dalmatian stone, and a small bracelet I made to serve as a talisman (i.e. something I’ll wear everyday after I cast this spell as a reminder that I’ve committed to these new boundaries for myself).  Pick and choose what you have or feel you want to work with.

To start, focus your energy. Or set your protective circle, if that is part of your practice. For me, I light a candle and invite my guides, ancestors, good vibes only kinda thing. As I light the candle, I’ll say something like “I light this candle to invite those who love me beyond reason, my plant guides, and my ancestors. With this candle and salt, I set a protective circle around me, those I love, and this spell.”

Let’s burn some shit! Next, place your release list in a fire proof container. You can read your list aloud and then set it on fire. As I burn the list, I say my intention aloud “With this fire, I release all energy, thought patterns, and habits that no longer serve me. I thank them for keeping me safe and bringing me to this point. I release you.” Also, don’t leave your fire unattended, douse with water or ensure it’s fully out.

Time to cultivate new boundaries. Pick up your stones, talisman, or simply focus your energy on what you want to cultivate. For me, I put my intention into a talisman and said aloud “With this talisman, I cultivate and invite in these new ways of noticing.” Then I read aloud my list of what I want to cultivate.

Close your circle. Lastly, I thank my guides and close my circle. I’ll blow out the candle and say something like “Hail and farewell” which let’s my guides know I thank them and the may go.

Now what?

Okay–you wrote and cast your spell, yay! Now the hard part of forming new habits starts. This is why I put my intention into a wearable talisman because I will see it daily, interact with it likely adjusting it on my wrist, etc. and all of that will remind me of the commitment to shifting my perspective and practicing the boundaries I set for myself. There are many ways you can work your spell after you’ve cast it. Let me know what you do!

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