5 Rituals for Letting Go

Woman with yellow dress reaching up into the sky in a letting go ritual

If you’re feeling weighed down by the past, you tend to hold on to things that no longer serve you, and just can’t seem to move forward with your life., then it’s likely time to let GO.

A really powerful way to do this is through rituals for letting go. These rituals can help you release negative energy and emotions, and create the space you crave, for new and positive experiences in your life.

Human beings have been using rituals for thousands of years to mark important events and transitions in life. Letting go rituals can be a powerful tool to help you release negative energies, emotions, and experiences, and move forward with a fresh perspective.

Whether you’re letting go of a past relationship, a job, or a negative mindset, these rituals can help you find closure and move on.

Hand releasing butterflies

Why do we practice letting go?

“Letting go” is a process of releasing negative energy, difficult memories, unhealthy beliefs, and emotions that no longer serve you. It is a way to free yourself from the past and move forward in life. Holding onto the past can not only cause stress, but it prevent you from living in the present moment.

Letting go doesn’t mean forgetting your past or ignoring your feelings. It means acknowledging your feelings and accepting them as a part of your life. It is about recognizing that you cannot change the past, but you can choose how you respond to it.

Limiting beliefs can also hold you back from living your best life. These beliefs may have served you in the past, but they may no longer be relevant or helpful. It is important to challenge these beliefs and replace them with positive affirmations.

Letting go can be a difficult process, but it is necessary for personal growth and well-being. This is why it’s SO important to be patient with yourself and trust the process. Remember that letting go is a journey, and it moves in cycles, just like the phases of the Moon.

Why are rituals so effective?

Here are 5 reasons rituals can be effective in letting things go:

Closure and release. Performing a ritual provides a sense of closure around past experiences, emotions, or behaviors that you want to release. It helps mark an ending and transition to something new.

Symbolism. Rituals use symbolic actions, words, or objects to represent what you want to let go of on a deeper level. Symbols speak to the unconscious mind, allowing the gentle letting to occur on the deepest layers of our being, without any need to “understand” cognitively.

Ceremony and mindfulness. Rituals involve planned ceremonial actions that require focus and presence of mind. This mindfulness helps you fully experience and acknowledge what you’re releasing.

Externalization. Rituals allow you to externalize or project what you want to release out into the world in a very tangible way. This helps detach you from the past experience on an emotional level.

Community. Some rituals are performed with others who can provide social support. This communal experience of release and transition can make the process more powerful and help with reintegration into present life.

The main significance of rituals lies in their ability to help us create a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives. By performing a ritual, we are taking an intentional and purposeful action toward a specific goal. This can help us feel more in control of our lives and more connected to the people and places around us.

Moon rituals for letting go

The Moon is a wonderful ally when it comes to any ritual for letting go. This is because the lunar cycle offers a natural blueprint of ebbing and flowing energy that we can not only follow, but harness in our ritual work.

The New Moon phase is generally a time for fresh starts, and sowing seeds for dreams, prayers, plans, and creations to manifest.

The Full Moon is when the cycle reaches its peak, and from this phase, the energy of the Moon begins to wane. This makes the full Moon an ideal time to perform rituals for letting go, as the disseminating light and energy of the Moon will help you to release what is no longer serving you.

What do you release during a full moon?

During a full Moon ritual for letting go, you can release things like unwanted habits, negative emotions, or attachments to the past. We do this in order to make space for new opportunities, as the Moon cycles into its new Moon phase. Here are some examples of what you could let go of:


  • Negative emotions like anger, sadness, or fear

  • Unhealthy relationship patterns

  • Self-limiting beliefs

  • Past regrets or mistakes

  • Habits they want to break

  • Attachments to certain outcomes

  • Grudges held against others

  • Physical items tied to old memories

  • Energy/influence from toxic people

  • Ideas about who they “used to be”

  • Stress, anxiety, or worries

  • Trauma or painful memories

  • Resentments toward themselves or others

  • Desires for validation or approval

  • Attachments to old aspects of your identity

  • Ideas about limitations or ceilings

  • Negative thought patterns or mindsets

  • Blame, guilt or shame from the past

  • Physical or emotional pain no longer serving them

  • The need to people please

Burning pages of a book in a full Moon releasing ritual

5 rituals for letting go

  1. Full Moon burning ritual
  2. Burying (and planting) ritual
  3. Full Moon bathing ritual
  4. Ceremonial goodbye
  5. Cord cutting ritual

The key is choosing a ritual that feels symbolic and meaningful for your specific situation. Performing it mindfully can help with the emotional release.

1. Full Moon burning ritual

At its simplest, the burning ritual involves writing down what you want to release on a piece of paper and burning it in a flame.

Take a few deep breaths and tune into your heart. Ask yourself what needs to be released, and write it down. As you watch the paper burn, and the smoke rise, visualize and know that what you are releasing is no longer a part of your life. After the ritual, offer the ash into nature, asking that it be transmuted into something new.

Also read: How to Craft an AMAZING Full Moon Release Ritual (step-by-step)

2. Burying (and planting) ritual

Find a secluded spot somewhere outside. Write down what you are seeking to let go of on a piece of paper, and bury it in the soil outside. This is a beautiful way to physically release it from your life.

For extra transformative power, plant a seed or sapling at the same time, to harness the creative power of nature, and Mother Earth who will literally compost it into something new.

This makes a wonderful waning gibbous Moon ritual, as lunar energy is still potent, yet there is a ‘drawing down’ caused by her ebbing light.

3. Full Moon bathing ritual

Moon bathing is one of the most ubiquitous full Moon rituals, and for good reason! On the night of the full Moon, begin by drawing yourself a beautiful warm bath, adding essential oils and herbs to the bath water. As you bathe, allow your whole body to be cleansed of any heaviness, density, and sticky energy.

Also read: Sacred Art of the Moon Bath

4. Ceremonial goodbye

The ceremonial goodbye is one of the most simple rituals allowing you to formally say farewell to something or someone no longer serving you. This is a beautiful ritual to perform at the full Moon because it uses the power of gratitude, which is naturally amplified during this phase. Yet it will also work well under any Moon.

Light a candle and take a few deep breaths to center yourself.

Speak the name of the person, place, or experience you are releasing, out loud.

Share some brief words about what the relationship has meant to you and any feelings you associate with it. For example, you could say “Thank you for the time we shared, but it’s time for us to go our separate ways now.”

Once you’ve expressed yourself, feel a sense of completion and intentionally blow out the candle to complete the ritual, feeling a sense of release as you do.

5. Cord-cutting ritual

This ritual is intended to energetically sever unseen cords that may still be attached between you and another person, and works well when performed at the waning gibbous Moon phase.

Light a white candle take a moment to center and ground yourself into your body.

Close your eyes and visualize an energetic cord extending out from your heart. In your mind’s eye, follow it with the intention of finding out where it connects to someone or something else. When you find its root, return to your own heart and imagine and feel the cord releasing from your heart completely.

As you see it letting go, like tendrils letting go, say “I completely and fully release you from my life, on all dimensions of reality”.

Some people like to energetically “cut” the cord somewhere in the middle, but I don’t think this fully releases the attachment, as it’s still anchored into your heart, so will be seeking to connect to something else.

How do you embrace new beginnings after your ritual for letting go?

Letting go of something that no longer serves you can be a challenging process, but it is an essential part of creating space for new beginnings in your life. Whether it’s a relationship, a job, or a habit, performing your ritual is an important first step.

… But it’s just the beginning!

The energies of the full Moon and the subsequent waning Moon phases are there to support your intentions, but not to do the work for you. So it’s important to take the time to reflect on what you will do in your life moving forward.

  • What will you do to replace the attachment you had, to the thing you have released?
  • What will you do when a difficult emotion arises?
  • What will you do when a boundary is overstepped?

This is an opportunity to focus your mind and think about what you want to achieve, and what you want your life experience to be in the future. This part requires courage and a willingness to step out of your comfort zone.

Take small steps and trust that the Moon will support you along the way. Keep an open mind and be willing to explore new opportunities and experiences.

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