One of the words that we felt very drawn to when it came to dedicating our house was harmony. We want harmony to be a characteristic of our home where the people of our house "should have hearts knit in unity and love", and where our children will, "love one another, and serve one another." (Mosiah 18:21 and Mosiah 4:15).
Often when it comes to encouraging harmony, habits and pre-set patterns need to be overcome and its more of a matter of stopping certain behaviors than starting new behaviors. Due to this and the season of Lent (Mardi Gras is coming up this week), its very fitting that the ritual described in Circle, Coven, Grove would be a Banishing Ritual.
The way the author describes a banishing ritual is as follows:
"Sometimes there are things in our lives-- or in ourselves-- that get in the way of forward movement and our ability to achieve our goals. The new moon is the perfect time to get rid of some of those roadblocks by using a banishing spell.
Banishing spells are fairly simple, really. Instead of asking the gods to help you bring something into your life (prosperity, health, love and so on), you are asking them to help you to get rid of whatever it is that stands in your way. Decrease as opposed to increase, if you will.
The same principles apply, however. If you want to get rid of something (whether it is extra pounds, debt, loneliness, fear, or negative influences in your life), you first have to be specific and focused in your intent, and then you have to follow up with appropriate actions in your everyday life."
An example of a banishing ritual can be found at The Exponent. Kmillecam describes how she used a banishing ritual to the toxic behaviors and and beliefs she learned in her childhood.
Tonight for the New Moon, my family will perform a banishing ritual where each of us can choose something to banish that will help us as individuals and a family move forward and continuing growing in harmony and love. For my husband, it may be that he chooses to banish the lingering effects of pneumonia that had him hospitalized in January. For my son, he may choose to banish the sickness that has periodically been keeping him down this winter. For my mother, it may be to banish the temptations of unhealthy eating and inactivity that perpetuates her health problems. For my daughter, it may be that she banishes her destructive and hurtful reactions to negative situations. Though being under two, that may be what I want for her more than she wants for herself!
To be honest, I'm still thinking of what I will need to banish. I'll need to do that soon! Many things come to mind but I will need to decide on which is most applicable for this time. If anything the opportunity to reflect is going to be an important exercise to me.
Another way to look at the March New Moon is that we near the Equinox, the earth is banishing the long days of winter and is moving toward long days and welcoming in the warm of the sun. In the Pacific Northwest, we are anxiously looking forward to more sun and especially the planting season!