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Author Topic: Moving rituals  (Read 8806 times)

Jenett

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Moving rituals
« on: July 04, 2011, 02:36:35 pm »
So, I am moving at the end of the month, across the country, and I am curious about what moving related rituals and traditions people have, think are cool, etc. (I certainly have some plans of my own, but I'm also open to new ideas.)

In my case, I'm interested both in saying farewell to a place I've lived for 12 years (I'll certainly be back to visit, but it's not the same...) and then putting down roots somewhere new. I'm also looking forward to the opportunity to start fresh, and build a life that better fits where I am now, in one tidy swoop, and making the most of that opportunity in as many dimensions as I can.

(I plan to discard lots of physical stuff, to help with that - and while I certainly plan to continue within my tradition, and within the Pagan community, one of the things I'm looking at is whether I want to refocus or rebalance where my time and energy goes, and if so, how. )
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Re: Moving rituals
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2011, 05:11:19 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;765
So, I am moving at the end of the month, across the country, and I am curious about what moving related rituals and traditions people have, think are cool, etc. (I certainly have some plans of my own, but I'm also open to new ideas.)

In my case, I'm interested both in saying farewell to a place I've lived for 12 years (I'll certainly be back to visit, but it's not the same...) and then putting down roots somewhere new. I'm also looking forward to the opportunity to start fresh, and build a life that better fits where I am now, in one tidy swoop, and making the most of that opportunity in as many dimensions as I can.

(I plan to discard lots of physical stuff, to help with that - and while I certainly plan to continue within my tradition, and within the Pagan community, one of the things I'm looking at is whether I want to refocus or rebalance where my time and energy goes, and if so, how. )

 
Funny you should say this.  I'm moving at the end of the month, too.  Although I've only been in this place two years, not twelve.

I hadn't really though of any ritual to do for moving out, but now that you mention it, I think doing a bit of a magical cleaning would be nice.  A bit of closure, really.  And to sweep out my personal energy, rather than having it lingering when the next tenant arrives.  If I do anything, it'll have to be done a day or two before moving day because on the day I move out, I'll have no time for rituals amongst packing all my worldly possessions into cars.  Too many people around, too, who won't let me alone long enough for even a small ritual, or would ask awkward questions I don't want to answer.

I'm definitely hoping to do more for moving into my new place.  I want to give it a good magical cleaning when I arrive, and have an idea to make some little bundles of ribbon (and maybe crystals, or herbs, but likely not, because I don't know enough about them yet), coloured to represent each of the Elements, and place them around my new apartment to act as wards (with some kind of warding ritual as well, obviously).  Partly for protection, but also to mark the space enclosed by them as mine.

I don't really have any kind of ritual practice now, and I'm hoping that with a move into a new place, I can start incorporating ritual into my life more.  My new apartment has some little shelves built into the wall, and I want to make one of them into a shrine, or altar, and I'm hoping having it set up like that will remind me to take some time to appreciate the Divine, give thanks, pray, all things I don't do nearly enough now.

I haven't actually looked into whether any path has formal moving rituals, or traditions, and I'd be curious to know if any do.

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Re: Moving rituals
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2011, 09:10:10 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;765
In my case, I'm interested both in saying farewell to a place I've lived for 12 years (I'll certainly be back to visit, but it's not the same...) and then putting down roots somewhere new.

 
I've moved enough that's become a routine event for me.  I don't have a single moving ritual/tradition, but several small ones to take care of different aspects of the process.  Some are really silly and informal, others are a little more serious.  I'll try to  break them down in as organized manner as I can manage.

"Keep Calm and Carry On"

One of the first things that I do when I'm faced with a move is start a "Keep Calm and Carry On" box/bag/tote. This container serves a dual purpose: 1). it acts as a single repository for all the vital moving stuff and 2). it holds things that will help to keep me going- physically, emotionally, and mentally- throughout the move.

As soon as I've picked the container I'm going to use, it gets a quick blessing and a protection spell cast over it (with a very adamant "don't let me lose anything that goes in here!" clause).  The container stays within easy access through the whole process - typically on the kitchen counter or table at the old house, in the car with me during the move, and promptly on the kitchen counter of the new place.  

The 'vital moving stuff' is fairly straight-forward:  keys to all vehicles, dwellings, storage units, luggage/trunks; any and all documentation pertaining to the move - lease agreements, moving company contracts, contacts for utilities, landlords, etc.; maps and guides to the new location, if moving out of town; emergency contact list with every possible person, company, or organization that I might need to get in touch with during the process (i.e., my personal address book and another list of anyone involved in the move that's not already in that book).

The non-vital list varies with the move. It's been as little as a hat, a pack of gum, and sunscreen for a quick cross-town move.  Longer moves require a bit more, since my goal is to keep together things that are going to keep me healthy, happy, and grounded.  During the last out-of-state move, I had everything from chamomile tea to a medicated inhaler to an Altoid box containing tiny ritual items. The whole goal was to have, at my fingertips, things that would help to get through the stress of the moving process.


Sorting It Out - Material Items

One of the biggest challenges during a move is deciding what to keep and what to leave behind.  I make a ritual out of the sorting process and try to be very conscious and present during the process. I'll throw rosemary, lavender, and peppermint oils into the burner to evoke a calm clarity.  

I use the sorting/packing process as a time to begin severing ties with objects that I am not going to need in my new home. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, just a simple acknowledgement of release will usually do it. If I've been strongly tied to an item that I'm leaving behind I will also smudge the item to sever my energy from it.  

This probably won't make sense to anyone who isn't an animist, but I also make a point of thanking the objects that I am leaving behind.  Not an elaborate ceremony, but a fairly simple "Thank you for being a part of my journey. May you be blessed in yours."  This is often done en masse - usually just before departing for Goodwill.


Feeding Friendships

Moving inevitably means leaving behind people and coming into contact with new ones.  I do this small ritual to remind myself that I am always surrounded by friends, even if they're miles away or still unknown to me.  It's a two-parter.

Before moving, invite over the people that you'll be leaving behind but what to stay in contact with.  Make a food dish for them that you enjoy making.  Comfort foods are great for this.  As you prepare it, reflect back on positive memories of the people you've invited.  Serve the food to those friends with a statement that you will not forget them, wherever you may roam (phrasing is flexible here, you get the idea).  

After you've arrived at your destination and have begun to meet people, invite over a few potential friends. Prepare the same dish that you made for your previous gathering and add one new ingredient. As you do so, bless the dish by saying "May new friendships be as satisfying as old. May new additions add flavor to my life." Serve the dish to your guests with a blessing for new friendships.  Whenever you make this dish, let it be a touchstone to both old and new friends.

Side note: I've developed a tasty vegetable lasagna as a result of doing this ritual several times over the years.  What started as a basic cheese lasagna, has become this extravagant affair of veggies, herbs, sauce and cheese. If I move many more times, it's going to include the kitchen sink.


Leaving the Old

After everything is out of the old house, there are a couple of things that I do before handing in the keys.  The first is to dig up one last plant from my garden to come with me (usually I'll do any transplanting to pots a few days before, but I'll intentionally leave one to the last minute -the rose plant that likes to give thorn kisses at every opportunity).  While I dig, I say farewell to any land/local spirits that may be there.

After I've finished literally pulling out my last tie to the place by the roots, I do a ritual cleaning and cleansing of the house, sweeping out any personal energy that remains, and generally just leaving the place a blank but pleasant slate for the next occupant.  I also thank the house for providing safe shelter.

Lastly, I take down all the wards that I've placed outside and thank the land for allowing me to dwell on it and for providing a home to my plants.


The Actual Move - Singing the Journey

The morning of the move, I'll send up prayers and petitions for a safe and successful process.  

If I'm traveling to the new place by myself (or with just the felines in the car), I will 'sing' my journey.  I start with songs that are linked to my old life and transition into songs that are about new beginnings, success, or happiness.  Twofold purpose - first, to keep myself entertained during the drive, and second, to transition myself emotionally away from where I was to where I'm going. I have a decent affinity for songspells, but unfortunately can't carry a tune very well.  So these get done in private. :o

The New Place

Before anything moves in, I'll smudge the new place with dragon's blood.  I know sage is the standard for smudging, but I hate the smell of the stuff when it burns and don't want that funk inside my house.  I'll also ward the property around the perimeter.  House and land blessings are said as all this is being done.  I also take a minute to say hello to any spirits that might be in the house and to get a feel for their temperaments.  If necessary, I'll do a full blown banishing ritual if there's anything overly negative in the new place.

Last step before moving into the new home is to put down roots... literally.  The last plant that I dug up at the old place goes into the ground first at the new place. With it, I say a prayer/blessing that both it and I thrive in the new soil in which we've been planted.  Usually this is accompanied by an unintentional blood offering, as the result of yet another kiss from the rose thorns.  I know I'm 'home' the minute I'm pulling out the first aid kit and trying to tweeze out pieces of thorn out of my fingers.  

(And before someone else suggests it, I do wear gloves when handling that particular plant, thick leather ones. It doesn't help.  It wouldn't if matter if I wore a suit of armor, that rose is a spiteful little plant that 'bites' any time I get near it.)

Once everything is moved in and put away, I decommission the 'Carry On' box.  It gets emptied, everything gets put away, and the box gets a quick cleansing before being put away.

I'll stop there.  Jenett, I think your lengthy posts are catching. This may be the longest post I've ever written on TC. :)
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Jenett

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Re: Moving rituals
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2011, 05:08:17 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;1061
I've moved enough that's become a routine event for me.  I don't have a single moving ritual/tradition, but several small ones to take care of different aspects of the process.


Aisling, these are totally awesome! Thank you! A few more comments below, but this is exactly what I was hoping for. (For the record: I've been in my current place for 4 years, and before that did 3 moves in 18 months, so yeah, familiar with the "moving, argh" problem.)

Quote
Feeding Friendships
Side note: I've developed a tasty vegetable lasagna as a result of doing this ritual several times over the years.  What started as a basic cheese lasagna, has become this extravagant affair of veggies, herbs, sauce and cheese. If I move many more times, it's going to include the kitchen sink.


This is really awesome, and I'm contemplating what I can do for it. (Lasagna would be lovely, if it weren't for the part where I'm moving at the end of July, and the thought of turning the oven on is ... ugh.)

Pasta salad, maybe. Or bread with a couple of herbs (which could expand to more herbs, cheese, ham, etc. down the road.)

Quote

Lastly, I take down all the wards that I've placed outside and thank the land for allowing me to dwell on it and for providing a home to my plants.


This is a 2.5 day move, so I'm not moving plants, but my wards are linked to my harp, which is usually one of the last things packed, and one of the first things moved in (though not necessarily set up - for example, this trip, because there are some climate shifts, I'll let her acclimate in her case for a day or two first.)


Quote
The Actual Move - Singing the Journey
If I'm traveling to the new place by myself (or with just the felines in the car), I will 'sing' my journey.  I start with songs that are linked to my old life and transition into songs that are about new beginnings, success, or happiness.  Twofold purpose - first, to keep myself entertained during the drive, and second, to transition myself emotionally away from where I was to where I'm going. I have a decent affinity for songspells, but unfortunately can't carry a tune very well.  So these get done in private. :o


*grin*

I'm travelling with a friend who does not share my religious beliefs (but who is amiable about them): I do think that a specific playlist for the first half hour or so, and the last hour into the new town are a smart move, and I may well sing along in there. (or she might...)

Quote
I'll stop there.  Jenett, I think your lengthy posts are catching. This may be the longest post I've ever written on TC. :)

 
*laugh* Well, it was awesome, so please do more again. (And see, when I write long, it's often because I'm being specific about examples, as you were here. But I think it makes for much richer information.)
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Re: Moving rituals
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 05:19:38 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;1557
Aisling, these are totally awesome! Thank you!


You're welcome!  And thank you, the compliment means a lot. :o

Quote from: Jenett;1557
This is really awesome, and I'm contemplating what I can do for it. (Lasagna would be lovely, if it weren't for the part where I'm moving at the end of July, and the thought of turning the oven on is ... ugh.)

Pasta salad, maybe. Or bread with a couple of herbs (which could expand to more herbs, cheese, ham, etc. down the road.)


Salads and breads lend themselves very, very well to this particular working.  It's always easy to add a dash of another herb or a different vegetable.
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Re: Moving rituals
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2011, 02:43:42 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;765
So, I am moving at the end of the month, across the country, and I am curious about what moving related rituals and traditions people have, think are cool, etc.

 
My ritual wouldn't be very involved...I'd say goodbye to the landvaettir and leave them parting gifts.  I'd also take some soil from my yard where I have had blots and other interactions with the gods.. The idea in heathenry is that we make the land sacred through a history of worship. When they first went to Iceland, the people carried their idols and some of the soil with them.    In this way, you don't have to rebuild the sanctity of the land or a history of veneration, the Luck is taken with you.
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Re: Moving rituals
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2011, 09:49:02 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;765
So, I am moving at the end of the month, across the country, and I am curious about what moving related rituals and traditions people have, think are cool, etc. (I certainly have some plans of my own, but I'm also open to new ideas.)

 
So, now that my plans have had a little time to settle. (Though, Universe, I could do with working out where I'm actually living any time soon.) So, I thought I'd add some of the things that are in my plans.

Pack with intention
I have 3 weeks before I need to leave, and not a very big house. This gives me tons of time to pack thoughtfully. (Though I hope to have the bulk of it done by a week from Sunday, leaving just the 'it is easier to clean this stuff out when everything else is packed' and the 'taking lots of books to used bookstores' parts of the equation - and then a few final things in the last couple of days, that I need up until the move.

Time with friends
I am also spending time with various friends out here, as I can between the packing. (And the fact my current car does not have AC, so longer drives are really not so much fun.)

We have two parties planned, which is awesome, both in the last week I'll be here. (One more general, and one with some people I'd like to see, but where everyone involved would probably be happier if various parties didn't have to be social in a smallish group setting at the first gathering. People are complicated.)

I'm planning to build Aisling's excellent idea in, probably in bread (which I can do via a slow rise, and bake early in the morning, before it gets hot), to both. And some various other things that might as well get used up before I move. t

Music to travel by
Investigation of the new locality phone options made it clear that an iPhone was a sensible choice. I got it now, both because of today's planned change in data plans for Verizon, and because having it to drive cross country seems more sensible.

I also got an iTrip, so that I can listen to it in the current car, and in the car I'm getting there (which does not, I think, have an MP3 jack). This means that playlists are going to happen - that's most a last week of being here plan, unless I desperately need a day of downtime.

I have plans for a first hour driving out playlist, and one for the last hour we're driving, give or take, and then plan to do a bunch of others. At least one friend is planning to do a driving mix for me (and the friend I'm driving with: we turn out to have surprisingly similar musical tastes) which is awesome.

House wards and related things
My wards are anchored into my harp, who will be making the trip directly with me, so that's easy: simply moving her into a new space sets some of them going, and I'll do a more general warding and anchoring my first full day in the new place (which is the 2nd.)

(I'm actually particularly excited that I'm leaving on the new moon, and arriving on Lammas Eve. Nicely propitious, really.)

Other stuff
Along with the harp (magical stuff!) I plan to pack a small basket of immediate good fortune and welcome home things - salt, a candle, some appropriate herbs in sachets, and I plan to stop and pick up a loaf of bread and some local honey when we reach the area. A few other things, maybe, depending on what makes sense.

And then first rituals:
I'm not planning on anything huge for Lammas/First Harvest, but I do plan to

a) cook a meal in my new kitchen of some kind (even if it's really simple).
b) do the formal cleansing/warding/etc. work. Including an appropriate bath or shower.
c) put on some great music, some appropriate essential oils in a burner, etc. and relaxing after several days of driving (on top of the actual drive out there, I will have to drive 3 hours on the 2nd, to return the rental car and meet my mother to get my new car - her old one.)

And then I'll have a couple of days of running around and doing errands and exploring the local resources, and start work the following Monday.
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Re: Moving rituals
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 06:44:20 am »
Quote from: Aisling;1061
I've moved enough that's become a routine event for me.  I don't have a single moving ritual/tradition, but several small ones to take care of different aspects of the process.  Some are really silly and informal, others are a little more serious.  I'll try to  break them down in as organized manner as I can manage.

 
Omigoodness, that was amazing - lots of stuff that's both magically sound and highly practical.  Since I'll have a transcontinental move of my own to make in a few months, I've bookmarked this thread in my browser (the first for this incarnation of TC in my "Cauldron Archive Keepers" file!) so I can gank ideas for constructing my own set of moving traditions.

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Re: Moving rituals
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 08:44:24 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;2892
Omigoodness, that was amazing - lots of stuff that's both magically sound and highly practical.  


I am nothing if not magically sound and highly practical! :D  

Speaking of practical, I really should put a copy of that post up on my blog, since I don't have it written anywhere else.  You'd think by now, I'd be better at recording this stuff somewhere.  *rolls eyes at self in disgust*
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Re: Moving rituals
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2011, 01:58:23 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;1061


 
Wow, thanks so much for this Aisling! I'm also bookmarking this thread for my upcoming (around the corner to an apartment) move.



Speaking of which, I wanted to ask if there were any special considerations anyone has for renters and apartment dwellers? Any ideas on how to encourage setting down and pulling up "roots"?

As a matter of fact, how many people set down roots in an apartment?

In my first apartment in Philadelphia, I pretty much limited my "magical" stuff to blessing the doors, windows, and thresholds with a flame and reciting a small prayer to Brighid. I sprinkled salt water around every time I did a big deep clean, but that was it. No roots there.
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Re: Moving rituals
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2011, 04:03:50 pm »
Quote from: Finn;5733
Speaking of which, I wanted to ask if there were any special considerations anyone has for renters and apartment dwellers? Any ideas on how to encourage setting down and pulling up "roots"?

As a matter of fact, how many people set down roots in an apartment?


In my case, home is where the harp is.

All my wards and a bunch of other work anchor through her, and she basically provides the roots. (I've rented everywhere I lived as an adult: the current place is a separate small building, but I'll be back with other people sharing walls next apartment, which was cut out of a former farmhouse.)

I expect to put down roots anywhere I'm planning on being more than very temporarily: for example, a brief summer housing option or something like that. (Say, more than 6 weeks?)

For places where I share the walls with other people, I extend my warding to the edges of my space, but I am very clear that that is *my* space, and my home, and all of that. I'm planning to do some simple protective work with salt water at the windows and doors. There will likely be some other protection charms, but since I'm moving to this place sight unseen, I want to get a feel for the place before I make specific plans.
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Re: Moving rituals
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2011, 04:57:43 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;5752
For places where I share the walls with other people, I extend my warding to the edges of my space, but I am very clear that that is *my* space, and my home, and all of that. I'm planning to do some simple protective work with salt water at the windows and doors. There will likely be some other protection charms, but since I'm moving to this place sight unseen, I want to get a feel for the place before I make specific plans.

 
*nod*

Yeah, that sounds like basically what I'm going to do. And I like that home is where the harp is. :)

I think my home is in my books, really. When I moved to Philly I had to leave all but the most essential, "homey" ones behind. I brought even less books to Seattle, so they were even more essential.

But I don't know how I would feel trying to put anything like a ward on them. I've read too much Pratchett and know that magical books en masse can do funny things to the world. ;) They work enough magic on their own; I don't think I could ask them to protect my home too.

One thing I know I can do is put up my Brighid's bhrats over the main door. Home is where the mantle is? :D:
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Re: Moving rituals
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2011, 11:33:38 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;765
So, I am moving at the end of the month, across the country, and I am curious about what moving related rituals and traditions people have, think are cool, etc. (I certainly have some plans of my own, but I'm also open to new ideas.)


More lighthearted, I listen to Higitus Figitus from Sword in the Stone while packing.

There is no inherent meaning to life.  Stop looking and give your life meaning.
------------------------------------------
Chapter 91 of The Order War by L.E.Modesitt jr.  If I could quote the entire thing I would.

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