Updated: May 26
Start the New Year with a Burning Bowl Ceremony
We invite you to let go of anything that no longer serves you through the powerful and symbolic release of the burning bowl ritual.
Break free from what holds you back and set your heart ablaze with zeal and the promise of a beautiful year ahead!
Supplies You’ll Need For the Burning Ceremony
You will need:
Matches or a lighter
A safe, burn-friendly surface, bowl, pot, fireplace, etc.
What Is a Burning Bowl Ceremony?
The burning bowl ceremony is a fire ceremony that helps us release old, unwanted conditions or events in our lives. We name and let go of the old that no longer serves us—and make way for new beginnings. When it’s time to clear out unwanted memories and conditions from our lives, a burning bowl ritual offers a sacred and powerful way to release negativity. The burning bowl makes space for new beginnings. It can be done at any time. Unity offers a Burning Bowl Ceremony at the close of each year, before intentions are set for the new year.
Letting Go Gives Us Freedom
For centuries, indigenous groups used smoke to symbolize their thoughts and prayers rising to the Great Spirit. Engaged couples have also released the past in a burning bowl before taking their vows. Whatever the circumstances, the purpose of the ceremony is to shift consciousness. It’s about becoming still, naming what you want to release, and letting it go. When we let go and let God, we experience freedom. Letting go opens us to the power of inspiration, insight, wisdom, and love.
Write Down What No Longer Serves You
On a piece of paper, write what you want to release. Know that letting go begins the moment you put pen to paper. Your conscious awareness activates the release of problems, thoughts, and things from your life.
Describe the events as much or as little as you want. It can be as simple as a name or word or more in-depth. Let your heart open to the flow as it releases old wounds, negativity, or unhealthy thought patterns. If you get stuck, keep asking yourself, “what no longer serves me?”
Visualize the Smoke Taking Your Thoughts
Light a fire in a pot or bowl, or gather around a fireplace or fire pit in a safe place. Then drop your paper into the fire. As you watch the paper burn, visualize your unwanted thoughts rising in the smoke, being released from you. a safe place, light a fire in a pot or bowl, or gather around a fireplace or fire pit. Then drop your paper into the fire. As you watch the paper burn, visualize your unwanted thoughts rising up in the smoke, being released from you.
Allow yourself to experience whatever you are feeling: fear, anxiety, sadness, loss, gratitude. Let the feelings lift as the fire consumes your paper.
Offer a Message of Release
As the smoke travels up, say an affirmation of letting go:
Today I release what I don’t want. I let go and let God (source, universe) do the work in this sacred experience. In this, I am healed and renewed. I open my heart to love, and I am blessed with peace, joy, and harmony.
Once the paper has burnt and cooled, you may choose to scatter or blow the ashes into the wind or pour them into a body of water, away from you and your property..
Celebrate the end of the burning ceremony with the acknowledgment that you have closed the door on the part of your life that brought you sorrow and negativity.
Make a List for Tomorrow
After completing the ritual, take a moment to turn toward the future. Visualize what you want to experience in life and how you want it to take shape.
Write your intentions on a piece of paper or create a vision board. Put it in a safe place. Take it out the following year to see how your vision has taken shape.