I have always battled with depression. The shadows are always close at hand, hovering just behind my eyes, ready to cloud my vision. I have consistently fallen into a deep depression when major projects have ended. And this spring, after moving to a new city, finishing some huge work projects, and finishing my masters, it’s been a doozy.
That’s why I’ve been so quiet lately. Depression doesn’t speak well. I’m constantly second guessing myself and my place, afraid to use my voice in case I will do more damage than good. I analyze every move I make, I lay awake at night thinking about every single one of the day’s interactions. Did I say what I meant? Was I true to my values? Am I working hard enough? Do people think I’m horrible at what I do?
The truth is: It shouldn’t matter this much.
A dear friend told me recently that I need to do the things that bring me joy – STAT. And I don’t want to sound dramatic, but that can be a matter of life and death for people. That’s certainly how it feels for me now. But I’ve been struggling to lift the veil of depression long enough to even remember what brings me joy.
I’m not alone – I know many other people who suffer from depression and anxiety. And I also know that when fighting this battle, I need to use all the tools in my toolbox. I started seeing a new therapist this week, I’m spending time with family (both blood and chosen), and I’ve checked in with my medication levels. Which leaves one tool left: Magic.
This week is the week of Midsummer, Litha, the week that the Sun moves into Cancer season, and the week of the New Moon. This is a powerful week for some spellcraft.
Spellwork is a powerful tool that a lot of people are afraid to use. It’s really about making your intentions manifest and asking for help from a higher power. It is a conversation between you and your Gods. It is a request, it is an affirmation, it is a prayer. There is a whole branch of magic for healing – this week, I’m adapting what I know of healing spellwork and writing a spell to lift the clouds of my depression. I’m sharing it with you because I hope it helps you too!
A Ritual to Bring Light to Depression
Citrine stone (extra points if it’s a citrine sphere)
Items to represent the Sun – candles, discs, bright yellow red and orange colors, jewelry, art that depicts the sun, etc.
You can even pull the Sun card out of your favorite/ceremonial tarot deck
Anything that would represent a god or goddess of the Sun, healing, and/or love
Supplies for the Spell:
Three Candles: One red, two yellow
Lemon essential oil
Citrine from the altar
1 part Cinnamon to increase power
1 part Rosemary for health
2 parts St. John’s Wort to increase courage and banish negative spirits
Blank paper and charcoal
If possible, do this spell outside, near water. Moving water, if possible. This will be extremely powerful in bright daylight, such as noon on Midsummer/Litha, but it can also be done during the New Moon or Full Moon for a fresh start.
Prepare the mixture of herbs. Anoint all three candles with the lemon essential oil. Dress all three candles with the herbal mixture. Wait to light the candles until the spell is underway. Take time with each of your altar items, connecting with their energy and expressing gratitude for their presence.
Ground and center.
Call a circle, if this is a part of your practice. This means you will cleanse the space, charge the space, and call the elements.
I call upon Air in the East, to help me maintain a cool head and find mental clarity.
I call upon Fire in the South, to bring me the courage to face my demons.
I call upon Water in the West, to wash away my fear and doubt.
I call upon Earth in the North, to hold me steady and solid in the journey.
I call upon Spirit, to bring these elements together in balance and to join my inner light.
Once the circle is cast, sit down and meditate. Go deep into your inner unconscious. Imagine the light that sits at your center, your inner self. There is darkness surrounding it. What does it look like? Is it a cloud, ink, is it oily, is it tar-like? Imagine yourself interacting with this darkness. What does this feel like?
As you’re meditating, if some depressive thoughts come to the surface, write them down with the charcoal on your paper. You’ll know them when they come to you. It’s those thoughts that torment you at night, that stop you from getting up in the morning. Allow them to surface, greet them, and place them on the paper.
Once you have spent time engaging with the darkness, once you have captured all of your most common negative thoughts on your piece of paper, take up the charcoal again. Draw that inner darkness. It may look like a monster, like a black lagoon, like oil consuming the paper. Visually represent your darkness. Imagine that as you create the darkness on the paper, it flows out of you. You are draining your depression onto the paper.
Now, turn to the candles. Light the red candle. Say: “I light this candle to burn away my demons.”
Take your paper, and light it on fire. Imagine the flames consuming your depression, your mental demons.
Take up your citrine stone. Imagine that it feels light, like hardened stardust. Smile at it. Kiss the stone. Sing to it. Anything to awaken the internal energy of the stone itself. Hold the stone close to your heart – imagine its light touching your inner soul.
Light the yellow candles. Say: “I light these candles to welcome joy back into my heart. Where once was sadness, let there be joy. Where once was self-hatred, let there be self-love. Where once was darkness, let there be light!”
Now: Raise that energy! Take your citrine in one hand, and allow the joyful energy of the stone to seep into you. Get up and dance with your stone – shake, sing, laugh, dance in a circle around your altar. Ring bells, dance, sing sing sing. Raise that energy to carry you forward into your life.
If you called a circle, open the circle.
Keep the candles burning as long as you can. They will continue to work their magic for you. Allow them to burn all the way down to the wick.
Every day for the next week, wake up and meditate on your stone. Make friends with citrine. Every night before bed, tell the stone 3 things that made you joyful that day.
Other Mental Health Resources
Spellwork, ritual, and meditation are all very important tools for combating mental illness. But you shouldn’t only rely on these things. I would feel remiss if I didn’t include other resources you can reach out to for help when you really need it. Mental health crises can be a life or death situation – seek all the help you can get!
NAMI has a TON of great resources on their website. Check em out.
24/7 call center that can help talk you down in a moment of suicidal crisis.
I’ll keep adding more to this list – if you have a resource that has been helpful/you think should be on this list, please leave it in the comments!