Dangerous Compassions

breakup ritual

Ritual is a helpful way to tell truths to myself.  I wrote this breakup ritual to help my body let go of a friend.  I was storing the love in my body, so it’s important to loosen it and let the love-energy flow on to do other things.

Getting my mind, body, and spirit all doing the same thing can be difficult, but I need to be a unified person.  I don’t want to neglect any one part of me.  This ritual is written for my unique situation, but I hope you can adapt it for yourself, if you ever need to let go of someone.

I like the way this breakup ritual includes talking to my body, while touching different parts of it.  Singing is important to me–I like how it’s breath work that’s also pleasing to the ear, includes language, and puts beautiful vibrations of sound into the world, as an offering.  I like writing the postcards afterwards also, doing something important with the post-ritual energy.


breakup ritual

green candle of growth and new life, anointed with rose oil

plant sprig–creosote

bracelets I like to wear–bi and the one I made on Imbolc

material to write on, pen

songs to sing

water, snack


breakup ritual for letting go of loved friend

Light the candle.  Sing a reaching out to Mother God song.  State your intention of letting go of the loved friend.  Thank cherished elements, directions, Mother Earth, the sky, ancestors, spouse, and whoever is supporting you.

Explain the situation to Mother God, and ask her for help letting go of your loved friend.  Tell her your deepest truth.  Cry, if needed.

Touch your body parts, from crown to feet, explaining the situation to each body part, and asking them to let go of your loved friend.  Don’t forget your eyes, skin, lungs, stomach, uterus, kidneys, and liver.

Write on the paper a list of things about your friend that hurt you, and separately, a list of things you loved and needed about your friend.

Say aloud, “I recognize that the things about my friend that hurt me, I no longer need.  And the things about my friend I loved, are also inside of me.  I can still find those things, in the world and in myself.”


Then briefly address your friend, explaining you need to let him go.  Face the direction he lives.  Bless him, and say goodbye with a body motion that feels appropriate.  Bow, wave, flip off, smile, push away, dance?

Tear the paper in half, separating the hurtful things, from things you love, and release your friend as you tear the paper.  Let him go.  Take a few deep breaths, and feel how your body feels without him.

Sing a releasing song.  Thank everyone who was helping you.  Finally, extinguish the candle.

Drink some water, and eat a snack.  Feel yourself return to the more regular world, if you were elsewhere, and breathe some big breaths.

Hug your spouse.  Go outside, if you were inside, or inside, if you were outside.  Write postcards to friends about how you broke up with your friend, and ask for support living without him.


Afterward, keep the list of things you love in your pocket, pouch, or wallet, for a while, or with ritual stuff.

Take the list of things that hurt you, and bury it in your garden, burn it, obliterate the words and use it in art, or some other creative way to return its energy to the chaos.

Repeat this ritual as needed!  New moon, full moon, sunrise, sunset, around lunchtime, on a holiday or anniversary, or any time you need it.


Setting boundaries is a way to keep yourself doing what’s best for you and the world.  I love being intentional about my choices, not just going along with what happens to me.

Losing someone can be the best way to love them.  If you’re not helping each other, or too much harm is mixed in, letting them go can be what’s best for everyone.  You can get out of the way, for them, so they can find other supports that make more sense for them.  And you can free up your own energy, to do what makes more sense in your own life.

When a tree falls in the forest, that can feel like an incredible loss.  But sunlight might reach a place that had been shaded for years, and maybe a new plant can grow you never would have expected.  The forest might be more diverse and healthy, with that space.  Change can hurt and be scary, but it can also be exciting.

letting go

If you have trouble letting go, a breakup ritual can help different parts of you understand that letting go is what you really want.  At least for the time of the ritual, all the parts of you can agree.

Maybe the next day, things will shift, and part of you might not agree this is what’s best, missing the loved friend, and wanting him again.  There are many ways to re-align yourself, like embodied healing with ecstatic dance, walking in nature, prayer, ecstatic trike riding, singing, grounding practices, sex, dream work, energy work.

Asking friends for help is a good way to inter-depend and build community.  Giving to community is important, but asking for help is too, to strengthen the bonds.  And some people really want to help, so inviting them gives them a powerful way to step into the circle.

Journaling, writing poetry, making zines or blog posts, list making, and planning are good for figuring stuff out with my head.  But I also need whole-body work, especially when the futures I had hoped for and desires about my friend were stored in my body.

Letting go of longed-for futures is one of the hardest parts.  So I try to love my body really well, in many ways, so the longed-for futures don’t get stuck there.  There are everyday rituals, like taking a shower, cutting my nails, making and eating a delicious meal, and talking to the sky.  But purposeful, planned out ritual is another way to manifest intentions with kindness.


By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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