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The seasons are a great example of this cycle of transformation, as are the phases of the moon. These are things that we, as pagans, can more easily relate to. Since so much of our work is done with an awareness of the natural cycles, I think that pagans have an easier time with this whole concept then some other folks.
No matter what our background, pagan or otherwise, we can get hung up on the words and the connotation behind them. Very often we will have strong emotional responses to one or the other end of a set of dichotomies (such as create and destroy). Perhaps we have pain or criticism about our creativity because we created something as a child that looked great to us but wasn't appreciated by the adults around us. I know for myself I created a "beautiful" picture of trees and houses that I was really proud of. However my paint brushes had been the flowers in the neighbors garden and my canvas was their freshly painted white house! Needless to say I didn't get the appreciation I thought I deserved!
Perhaps, somewhere along the line, you decided that what you created had to be perfect in order to have value, or that is wasn't as good as someone else's work, maybe a sibling or classmate, because they were older or more talented in some way. What sorts of experiences do you have in your memory that may be hindering the flow of your creativity? These ideas can influence us on the physical plane as well as in our magickal and spiritual work.
So we have touched on creativity, how about the concept of destruction? That can be an incredibly loaded word for some people. Have you learned that destruction was bad or even evil? Did you see people in your life that destroyed unconsciously or randomly and it created a fearful situation for you? Or perhaps there was a belief that if you destroyed something there would never be anything to replace it, or that there was something wrong with you if you wanted to end something and move on. Perhaps you even stayed in work or relationship situations much longer than was really healthy simply because you didn't have permission to destroy/let go/change.
Destruction in and of itself is not (in my opinion) a bad thing. Without it there can be no change, no transformation. I am certainly happy when I destroy the odd mold growing in the forgotten container in my fridge (me?? Forget to clean out my vegetable crisper never!). If you find you have a lot of trouble with the idea of destruction as a valuable aspect of life, perhaps considering the deciduous trees might help give a more neutral example of this cycle.
In spring the new growth happens and the little leaves pop out and then grow larger and spread out in the summer. Autumn comes and the leaves turn beautiful colors and then drop off, fall to the earth and decay, making new soil. The plant then goes dormant and the whole cycle starts again. If the tree had only one set of leaves and never let them go it wouldn't grow larger, it would stagnate and eventually die. How silly we would look if during the fall we spent our time collecting the fallen leaves and tried to tape them back on the branches! How uncomfortable we would be if we were still trying to wear the same size clothing we wore when we were 3 years old.
In order to change one must be willing to let go. This letting go is a destruction of the old pattern of things. You cannot create without destroying and you cannot destroy without creating. When you destroy you create a space for new things to appear, just like the old leaves makes room for the new ones to burst forth in the spring. What sorts of experiences do you have in your memory that may be limiting your ability to destroy and make changes in your life? These ideas as well can effect us in our magickal and spiritual work.
I have been talking thus far about creating and destroying mostly from a physical perspective. Since the actual purpose of this article is to present a technique that you can use to exercise your ability to create and destroy as spirit, I will move on to talk about that. As spiritual beings we have an innate ability to learn, grow, make change and heal. In other words we have an inherent ability to create and destroy. We do this in magick quite a bit. When we create an intention for some outcome and then we raise energy and release it out into the universe so that it will return to us, that is a form of creating and destroying as spirit. When we change our minds about something or open them to include a new idea or concept that is also the same process.
When we focus on doing this consciously we begin to take back our power as spirit. We begin to exercise our inner divinity and strength. The tool I use to exercise this ability is called creating and destroying roses. This is a very simple and powerful way to work as spirit to create change - and transform energy. I will include a meditation at the end, but, for now, let's try it out just to get a sense of what it's about. Take a minute to ground and center, then close your eyes (after you read this of course!) and create a mental image picture of a rose six to eight inches in front of your forehead. Notice it, admire it, breathe and validate your creativity (note: it is not essential that you "see" it, just that you have an awareness of it). Now destroy the rose; blow it up, let it dissolve or pop it like a bubble. Notice how you feel. Breathe and validate your ability to destroy and make change. Become aware of the space you created.
You have just consciously created and destroyed as spirit. Congratulate yourself! This may seem like an extremely simple way to work, and it is, but it is also extremely powerful. I assure you that you can create incredible changes working this way. Every time you create and destroy a rose you change your energy. You automatically begin to release what no longer serves you and fill it with what does. It happens over time of course but it will happen none the less. I personally have used this technique daily in my meditations for over 15 years. I am also using it as I write this article so I can put my ideas down on paper as clearly as I am able.
I suggest adding the technique of creating and destroying roses to the other meditation techniques that I have already presented in the previous articles. This is part of a strong foundation of energy work that you can use in many different areas of your life. You can use the technique, as you are grounding and centering, to get your energy moving and begin the process of self-transformation and healing.
You can also use C&D roses to clear specific energy. You can do this in one of two ways (both of which work fine but people seem to like one or the other better). During your meditation be aware of some thing that you would like to release. This could be tension, or discomfort, or random thoughts or distractions. Or perhaps a situation that is on your mind that you have a lot of energy tied up in. Create and destroy a rose (or several roses) that represents the thing that you want to release. This will release and neutralize the energy from your space. The other way to do this is to be aware of the thing you want to release. Create a rose out in front of you and let the energy of this unwanted thing flow out into the rose, then destroy the rose. Repeat this until you start to feel a change.
You can clear most any kind of energy in this manner. One of the great things about this is that when you C&D a rose for something or someone, you are getting your own power and energy back in a neutral form as well as returning the other person's energy back to them in a neutral form. I mention this because I get asked a lot if putting someone's energy into a rose and destroying the rose harms them in any way. The act of working in this way isn't harmful and in fact actually gives them more of their energy back so that they can have access to it. You can use this for people/situations that are pleasant as well as unpleasant. It unbinds you from the unpleasant ones and creates more room for appreciation in the ones that you do enjoy.
The explanation of why I use the rose in this spiritual practice is an entire article in itself. However I will say that some of reasons that I teach and use the rose as a symbol are that;
With your eyes closed go through the following exercise. Don't worry if things aren't as clear as you think they should be, simply let yourself have the concept that you are doing the practice and have patience. The awareness will increase with time.
Sit comfortably in a straight back chair or on the couch (as long as you don't tend to nod off to sleep) have your hands and feet apart and feet flat on the floor. Start by grounding (the following section is from my article on grounding)
Relax as you breathe, noticing how you feel, how your body feels.
Allow your grounding cord to connect securely into the center of the planet. Be aware of your grounding cord being securely connected also to your first chakra.
Breathe and relax and experience your grounding, your spiritual connection to this beautiful planet.
Notice how your body responds to you grounding and becoming more present in it. Release tension and discomfort down your grounding, allow it to simply drain away.
Now that you are grounded you can take the next step and center yourself. The following section is from my article on centering