by Courtney E. Morgan
TW: sexual assault
- One stone, obsidian1
- One black candle (in glass container, seven-day preferred)
- One swatch of black cloth
- One piece of paper + pen (black ink is ideal)
- Salt (optional)
- Bundled or loose herbs: sage, juniper, pine, mugwort or another cleansing plant2
- Essential oil of your choice
- 2000+ years of oppressive patriarchy
- One sexual assault victim, woman (meek + polite + woman-like/feminine + attractive3 + white is best for credibility, but it won’t matter anyway, so any victim will do in a pinch)
- One raging, privileged, wealthy white man accused of assault (white is imperative, or the ritual may not work)—withhold consequences for 53 years prior, so the entitlement is extra tenderized and juicy
- 11 male Republican congressmen charged with determining the validity and veracity of the accusations of sexual assault—fold in behind token female speakerpiece
- Your own wounds and memories of assault, intimidation, objectification and victimization
Steps to Follow:
- Light the herbs and move the smoke around your home and yourself for cleansing + purifying + protection.
- Gather all your materials (hold the victim and perpetrator in your mind, as you cannot gather them into the circle [the man is untouchable, after all]).
- Make a ritual container with a circle of salt around you. If you don’t want to use salt, envision a bright circle of light encapsulating you and your ritual space. Set the intention for it to be a circle of protection and safety, for the highest good of everyone.
- Light your black candle. Set the obsidian before it.
- Take your paper and pen and write an intention to: Harness the anger and rage, and release the pain and wounding you have been experiencing (since the Kavanaugh trial, since the election, since you were born), and to channel the pain and wounding caused by the white heteropatriarchy into productive change on an individual and social level, to create a more just and equal society and world, for the greatest good of everyone.
- Read your intention aloud.
- Recall the recent trials where a man accused (by a “credible” accuser) of sexual assault was appointed to the highest court in the land. Recall that a man accused of sexual assault and caught on film joking about it was elected to the highest office in our nation.
- Be gentle and kind to any feelings that coil up inside you. These will likely include (but are not limited to): fear, anger, rage, pain, depression, sadness, hopelessness, unworthiness, a feeling of being devalued/lesser/nonhuman, sorrow, grief, memories or sensations of your own abuse, or your family member’s, or a good friend’s, or any combination thereof.
- If you are feeling overwhelmed or overly triggered, stop, call a friend or therapist or counselor or hotline.4
- Remember that feeling of being trapped, remember him following you, remember his hands, remember the grayness of him, remember the pressure against your neck, remember the color, remember the sound of lights buzzing, remember all the hims, that have followed all the years, remember the threat, hovering ghost-like, in every corner, remember, remember, remember, pour it into rock, pour it into stone.
- Imagine all the emotion and pain gathering into the obsidian stone, as if it were a magnet, or a vacuum cleaner. Let the stone fill with all of these feelings, memories, sensations. Let it swallow the dark roiling storm of threat and harm.
- Cry, scream, shout, moan, howl—flavor with whatever sounds you want, or feel right, or emerge unbidden from your body.
- Visualize all the dark energy + emotion draining from you and every woman/femme/trans/queer/nonbinary person into the stone. Rage and anger are powerful and important emotions, that can also become corrosive and debilitating when we carry them alone for too long. We can release the parts that are causing us harm, and utilize and transform the power and agency into action.
- Obsidian is a powerful stone. Thank it for its work.
- Wrap the stone in black cloth.
- Take the stone to a graveyard, or an empty lot, or other uninhabited piece of earth. When you leave your ritual space, envision a golden circle of light traveling with you, holding you in its embrace of love + protection.5
- Bury the stone.
- Visualize the earth swallowing the stone and everything it carries. Transforming and composting its dank and putrid darkness into fertile ground for new growth, for a new world.
- Repeat your intention to transform the pain + wounds and harness the rage + anger for productive change for the highest good of all. Say, It is so.
- Remember how powerful the Earth is. Remember how powerful you are.
- Dust off your limbs, torso and head.
- Turn and leave the burial place. Do not look back.
- When you return home, clean the salt and close your ritual container.
- Cleanse yourself and your home again with herbs.
- Take a hot bath with Epsom salts and your favorite oil.
- Give yourself a hug.
- Let your candle burn until it burns out. When it burns all the way out, dispose of the container and any remaining wax.
- Utilize the energy you’ve released into something healing or productive or transformative. Perhaps to volunteer with an organization working with women/femme victims of abuse or rape or poverty, or a social justice movement, or an election campaign that you believe in. Perhaps do something more personal, like call a woman/femme friend and tell them you love them, get or give a massage, or turn up your stereo and dance your ass off.
- Show the universe and your own subconscious that your intention is coming true. It is so.
1 Obsidian is a deeply cleansing and protective stone—a psychic and emotional vacuum cleaner of sorts. It is also highly grounding and stabilizing, and healing in particular to the First Chakra and wounds stored there.
2 EDIT: I updated this article after reading about native cultural appropriation and language, and wanting to do better. These are some of the herbs traditionally used in Europe and other parts of the world for cleaning and cleansing; feel free to use purifying herbs from your own ancestry and heritage.
4 Some resources to call: Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) online.rainn.org; National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, (800) 273-TALK (8255), suicidepreventionlifeline.org; Crisis Text Line, Text DBSA to 741741.
5 Practice fire safety. If your candle is in a fire safe container, you may leave it burning in a sink or bathtub. Otherwise snuff it out and relight it when you return.
Courtney E. Morgan is the founder and managing editor at The Thought Erotic. Her collection of stories, The Seven Autopsies of Nora Hanneman, was a semi-finalist for the FC2 Ronald Sukenick Prize in Innovative Fiction and released from FC2 in 2017. She has also published work in Pleiades, Lunch Ticket, American Book Review and others. Find her at CourtneyEMorgan.com.