Release to transform and a hella sacred New Moon

I have an ancestors altar

I keep it all year long, and add to it every year.

I add to it when one of my beloveds passes. A couple of years ago, I added my father to this altar, and now I’m the oldest person in my family. A powerful and grave shift to make, and one for which I wasn’t really prepared. There’s even a term for that, it’s called moving into the Terminal Generation. I experienced a huge release and acceptance at this turn of events in my life. Ownership of all I’ve learned. Reverence for all the lessons and love (however mistaught and misguided) received from those who made and cared for me. Releasing and transforming some of my attachment to youth, especially this persistent idea: that I would be rescued and carried by others. Another big one: I was able to finally know, understand, accept and act on what I have learned I am here to do. To claim my sovereignty. To be of sacred service.


I also add to my altar because it’s part of my birthday ritual. Today, Day of the Dead, is my birthday, and every year I make a pilgrimage to Corazon del Pueblo in East Oakland and treat myself to another piece for my altar, and I also buy a tin heart for my collection. This year, since it’s a Saturday I will also get to walk the Fruitvale Dia De Los Muertos Festival—look at the altars and join the raucous and reverent celebration.

This New Moon is all about release and transformation

Let’s see, where are we? Oh yeah! We are in it! This is a major transformation time.

  • Samhain was Thursday, the veils between the worlds are thinnest right now
  • The New Moon Solar Eclipse is tomorrow (at 11º16’ Scorpio at 4:50am Pacific time)
  • Mercury is still retrograde until 11/10 (and they thought to launch the Affordable Care Act website during a Merc Rx, and expected it to work?)

This New Moon / total Solar Eclipse happens in Samhain season, when the Sun is in Scorpio, the sign of death and rebirth. The veils are thin, and the flow of past, present and future may feel less like separate states to you than usual. Everything we got from our beloved dead is in us — their bones, their blood, their tears, their joys, their stories, their tragedies, their mistakes, their victories. This is a perfect time to release what you are still carrying around as pain, injustice and resentment and transform it to forgiveness, gratitude, and respect.

Yes, you can choose to change the way you think about past slights. Choosing forgiveness, gratitude and respect is a triple-powerful way to heal and let go of old wounds. It lands you powerfully in acceptance. When you let go of your yearning for what should have been, and deeply surrender to what was, and is, you are set free. 

Suggestions for your New Moon working: Release to transform

When you release something, especially old pain and hurt, you create an opening for new energy, you get unstuck.

Write down what you are ready to release. Let it go one of these ways:

  • Fold the paper up small and tuck it into a venerable tree’s branches—give it to the tree. Be with the tree, connect to it. See its leaves—where is your tree in its own season of release?
  • Burn your paper, and watch the smoke dissipate, knowing that it carries away what no longer serves you.
  • Ritually release it (on biodegradable paper, of course) into the water.

Pay slow attention to the process. Be gentle with yourself as you release these deep emotions.Is there regret? A tightness? Sorrow? Or simply relief? Let the event teach you something about yourself.

End your ritual when you are back in your sacred space at home. Light candles in a dark room, give deep thanks to your beloved dead, and for the gifts of this moment of transformation, for all that you have received through grief, death, loss, release and transformation.

How is this Samhain / Scorpio / New Moon Eclipse time landing for you, beloved? I love to hear from you. Please, talk to me in the comments!

And always, always, there’s gratitude

  • I am deeply grateful for the birthday love that is pouring in
  • I am grateful for my family and beloved friends — if all goes as planned, I will see my daughter tomorrow and that makes me so happy
  • I am grateful for deep acceptance of my changed health, and for the knowing that it will continue to change (and for surrendering to the humbling understanding that I don’t get to know how or when!)
  • I am grateful to be alive and present to this dance of life, even so so much older than I ever planned to be!
  • I am grateful for the foundation this gratitude practice gives me.

I love to hear what you’re grateful for today, right now, in this breath. Jump into the comments and let me know. Blessings!


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I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. I’m thankful for this post.  It came right in time.  The past few days have been challenging and Merc retro has been making its influence known.  However, there is still love and joy.  I am thankful I have a beautiful sensitive 8 year old boy who said in a dark moment yesterday, “Mom, come here I know what will make it better” and proceeded to give me a long tight hug. And he was right.  I felt instantly better

    • Sandy, may your challenge ease, and transform into wisdom and blessing. Yay for hugs from our kids!

      Love and light,

  2. I release old attitudes of stinginess, in regards to both my tendency to hoard money and my careful doling out affection based on outdated, unrealistic criteria. And Happy Birthday, Sue! You are a beacon of love and light!

  3. Happy Birthday Sue, wishing you your best year yet, full of dreams come true <3

    Excellent post, love that you keep me up to date with the moon and star cycle.. am about to throw off the old and welcome the new, thank you, love & blessings

  4. Sue, this is such an awesome post!!! Packed full of knowledge. I will be rereading as I prepare for my ceremony tonight, and happy belated birthday Dear one.

    • Jamie, thanks so much for saying so. May you be blessed in the Dark Moon’s embrace, release what you need to and transform the rest into what’s needed now.

      Blessings and love,

  5. I love this, Sue!

    Both the idea of an ancestor altar and the act of embracing the role of ‘Terminal Generation’ gave me (good) chills. The power in letting go of all the extras we carry around is amazing.

    Thanks for the beautiful reminder.

    • Jenny, hi.

      Yeah, that thing about moving into being the oldest in your family, that’s a big deal and a huge shift in life. A big letting go and a big transformation.

      Love and light,

  6. Hi Sue!

    I hope you had a very happy birthday! I love your birthday ritual. And I also love your altar to honor your ancesters. Thanks for the tips for releasing anything that we no longer want with this new moon. I’m going to give this some thought and see what comes up. 

    Big hug to you!

    By the way – I just saw my name on the sidebar. Thank you! That’s so sweet of you, and I’m so grateful for our connection. XO

  7. What a gorgeous altar. I love it so much. And I loved reading about your rituals from this time of year. I think I’m definitely feeling the effects of these energies. But, as you’ve ended your post, there is always much to be grateful for. Sending you blessings, Raquel

    • Hi Raquel, yup, it’s always best to end with gratitude. For me keeps everything focused in the direction I want to go.


  8. Hi Sue,

     what an inspiring post. I did a new moon releasing last night with a candle in my garden, releasing everything that no longer serves me and I am going to be making November decluttering month

    Love your ancestors altar ♡

    • Suzie, so glad you are opening to release. It’s such a powerful thing! I love creating openings and decluttering is one of the best ways you can do that.

      Love to you!

  9. Forgiveness, gratitude and respect 🙂 That’s just so beautiful.  I definitely need/want to do all three of these for this new moon, I love that the perfect article for any given situation just appears when I need it most 🙂 Thank you so much xx

  10. Hi Sue

    Hope you had a nice birthday and thank you for sharing your ritual. I did something similar with my group of Druid friends and also had a live training about how we can learn from our past through meeting our ancestors. If you’d be interested in it I have a replay up on my website this week at

    Happy New year to you.

  11. Beautiful post, Sue.  And I’ve just realised as I was reading it that I’m now the oldest person in my direct family too.

    I still have uncles, aunts and cousins, so it doesn’t feel quite as… alone… as it might otherwise be; but I’m the oldest of my siblings, and all of my direct family are gone now.

    That’s a… sobering realisation.





    • Tanja, yup. Sobering and grounding and empowering, all at once, I’ve found.

      And we have each other.

      How lovely, we don’t do this stuff alone!


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