On tonight’s Full Egg Moon, I was privileged to participate in a global moon maiden ritual, preparing a Burlá Ghuí for Birth, Death and Rebirth under the auspices of The Morrigan, the Celtic Goddess associated with this triple cycle of life (similar to the Valkyries or Kali). Some of us came together in Circle, and others worked solitary in their own Sacred Space and time zone.
What is a Burlá Ghuí (a Celtic phrase, pronounced bur-la gwee)? You may know it as a prayer bundle made with natural organic elements, much like a mandala, mesa or despacho. After the Burlá Ghuí ritual is made and its ritual complete, it is either burned (returned to the Light) or buried (gifted to the Earth). Some choose to hang it from a tree first.
This ritual can be performed any time during the three days of the Full Moon.
- a fresh egg for the Egg Cleansing/Release Ritual
- a token of remembrance to represent any loved ones who have transitioned
- one to three sheets of non-toxic biodegradable paper on which to place your Burlá Ghuí; use Spring colours such as yellow or green, or black for ending/death.
- organic honey or natural syrup (agave, etc)
- organic twine, cotton cord or raffia for wrapping the bundle
- elements of Nature to represent Birth (such as a bud, fresh leaf, flower), Death (such as dried out flowers or leaves, bark) and Rebirth (nuts, seeds, tubers)
- ashes or loose incense
- candles, cauldron, matches
- Optional: music of your choice for playing during your ritual
Personal Preparation / Begin the Ritual
This ritual can be done alone or in Sacred Circle with others.
Create your Sacred Space by calling in the Directions, your guides, ancestors and allies, Grandmother Moon, Mother Earth, The Morrigan, and Spirit.
Facing the Full Moon, take a moment to reflect on the cycle of Birth, Death, and Rebirth.
There are many such cycles in our life including our own personal journey through Maiden, Mother, and Crone.
You may choose to consider other aspects of your life that may be experiencing birth/beginning, death/ending or rebirth/renewal such as: ideas, beliefs, relationships with others, with one’s Self, agreements, marriage, health, partnerships, phases in one’s life, projects, artwork, job, career, business, artwork, birth of a child, the loss/transition of a Loved One and so on.
Reflect on those cycles and what they mean to you, and journal your thoughts. Decide on which of these will be represented in your Burlá Ghuí.
Perform the Egg Cleansing Ritual (full details here, posted April 21, 2016)
Make your Burlá Ghuí
This ritual can be performed indoors or outside under the light of the Full Moon. If you wish to use music, now is the time to start playing it.
Tune into the energy of The Morrigan, her triple aspect of Birth, Death and Rebirth, and the elements in your life that are working through those cycles.
- place your sheets of paper flat on the table, or ground
- squeeze/pour out the honey onto the paper in a spiral, circle or heart shape pattern
- place your Birth Nature item/s on the paper in whatever design feels right. State your intention as you place it (e.g. “I honour and celebrate the ______)
- place your Death Nature item/s on the honey, releasing the ending/death of _________ in a way that is your own (singing, praying, crying, asking for forgiveness if required). Sprinkle with your ashes, or loose incense to represent the ashes.
- place your Rebirth Nature item/s on, bringing joy and laughter into this part of the ritual
Before you wrap your bundle, take a picture as a remembrance and keepsake. Then
- fold the four corners in and wrap the Burlá Ghuí envelope-style
- tie with your organic raffia or twine.
Fire / Release Ceremony
Based on your earlier reflections, on small pieces of paper note
- that which needs to be released / die, that which no longer serves you.
- that which you are ready to invite into your life, for birth or renewal
Light each piece individually with a match or candle and place in your cauldron or fireproof vessel. Note how the first piece burns. If it burns quickly, you are ready to release. If it burns slowly, you may need support in clearing this from your life.
Do the same with the second piece of paper, and once again observe how quickly it burns, reflecting your readiness to accept change and transformation in your life.
Finish your ritual with Gratitude
Reflect on how the ritual worked for you – what other insights did you gain throughout? What was easy? What was difficult or challenging?
Look to Grandmother Moon and connect with her shining light. She is at her peak, as are you. In the following two weeks, you both enter the waning period and will be able to fully internalize this release.
Burn your Burlá Ghuí in a safe container, or save it for the light of the morning when you can bury it in the light.
Before you end the ritual, thank all those you invited to support you at the beginning of the ritual – the Directions, your guides, ancestors and allies, Grandmother Moon, Mother Earth, The Morrigan, and Spirit.
Observe your dreams and intuitions during the Waning Moon, and any synchronicity related to your Birth / Death / Rebirth Burlá Ghuí.
Think about how you can use a Burlá Ghuí / prayer bundle in other ceremonies. If you are a Pinterest member, look for other examples of mesas, despachos, and prayer bundles for inspiration. The Burlá Ghuí pictured at the top of the page included oats, seashells, honey, leaves, daffodils, some sweet treats, and more , representing different aspects of life for the participants (for instance, the sweet treats were for the sweetness of life).