When everything’s dark and you just can’t shake it, try this stargazing ritual to reconnect with your true nature: you’re not all light or all dark, but both. You’re the sky AND its stars. You’re not just what your eyes can see... you're so much more.
A couple notes:
- This ritual shouldn’t take the place of a skilled therapist or emergency services. Please, if your pain is too great, reach out to a professional who can help. Find more healing resources here.
- There are a couple of affiliate links in this post. If you click and buy something, I get a few .$$ to fill the tank. Thanks!
This is part meditation, part visualization and partly a simple exercise in mindfulness. Self-awareness has kept me afloat countless times, in the worst times. As you follow these steps, know that just your mindful breathing alone is a healing salve for your soul.
Things you’ll need:
- A blanket or three
- A safe place outside or a window with a view of the night sky
- Relaxing music
- Essential oils for diffusing/anointing, if using (recipes at the end of this post)
The only two things you really need: you and the night sky.
Simple is healing. Simple is your friend.
This stargazing ritual is different than the one I wrote for my book, Sleep Rituals, but it’s based off of it. For nightly support and hope, get yourself a copy of the book.
Get this Belonging guided meditation if you'd rather close your eyes and listen than read.
Until then, try this. Or send this ritual to a friend as a thoughtful “Hi, I love you.” Keep that heart open. Things do change.
A Stargazing Ritual for Depression
Set up your space:
- Select a favorite big blanket to wrap around you and another to sit or lie down on outside, unless you’d rather stay inside. Use more blankets or pillows for comfort, weight, and security.
- Play relaxing, nature-inspired or celestial music that’s ideal for meditation, sleep and stress relief. I suggest Liquid Mind and others in the “sedative music genre.”
- Diffuse essential oils of bergamot, Roman chamomile, orange, geranium, rose, lavender, frankincense, cedarwood, sandalwood, or ylang ylang. When you come back inside, the aroma will add to the experience. Recipes are at the bottom of this post.
- If you want, dab a drop of an essential oil mixed with a carrier oil (like jojoba, coconut, or olive) onto your wrists and behind your ears.
- Anything that’s comforting, bring that into your space: crystals, candles, lamps, pictures, a worry stone, hot tea, fairy lights, whatever helps.
- Go outside if you can, or look out a window at the night sky. Let this be a quiet, intimate moment: a felt experience; thoughts aside for a little while.
- Look up at the vastness embracing you, the darkness tinged with light, realizing that it, too, is an extension of you -- and you an extension of it. The sky doesn’t need to be bright with starlight for your eyes to take in the magnificence of the cosmos.
- Stay here and stargaze for as long as you want.
- Back inside or still outside, sit or lie down with your blankets. Be warm and comfortable. Feel the textures on your skin, surrounding you, holding you. Feel the earth beneath you, supporting you.
- Breathe easily and notice how your breathing gets slower and deeper as you rest here. If other thoughts come up, return to your simple observation of what you're seeing and feeling around you.
- Close your eyes for a simple visualization. Bring to mind tonight’s sky. Your imagery can be more magical than what you saw outside tonight. See the moon and stars, distant planets, constellations and shooting stars. Pick out all the details. You might see fireflies twinkling in the night around you.
- Now, ponder the ingredients you share with the sky above: you’re gazing at the same source of the weightier atoms in your body. Yes, there are fragments of stars in you. Breathe in that truth. Soak up that light you were born with.
- Think about this: you’re connected to everything you see, feel, and hear. You’re connected above and below to the infinite beauty and marvel of the universe. You’re held, sustained, safe to explore the luminous cosmic ocean around you.
- If a distracting thought comes up, picture it swirling like stardust upward into the sky, where it's remade into a shining new star.
- Keep gazing, listening, sensing yourself here in this moment. Somehow, but surely, you are one with the sky, with the rising moon and the budding stars, with the breeze and the trees around you, with the stillness underneath everything. You are in the infinite flow.
- When you’re ready to go back inside (in your mind’s eye or for real), invite small movement into your fingers, toes, arms and legs. Open your eyes. With your music still playing and your oils perfuming the air, prepare for a night of deep sleep and new energy.
Essential oil diffusing blends for depression:
Add water to fill line of your diffuser (I use this one) and then add drops (I get my oils from Mountain Rose Herbs or Thrive Market), following your diffuser’s instructions. Essential oils are potent, so a little goes a long way.
- 4 drops wild orange
- 4 drops frankincense
- 3 drops lavender or peppermint
- 4 drops bergamot
- 4 drops frankincense
- 4 drops lavender or Roman chamomile
- 3 drops clary sage
- 2 drops geranium
- 2 drops patchouli
- 2 drops sandalwood
- 5 drops rose
- 5 drops cedarwood
. . .
What helps you through the hardest times?
Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and what you share here could be exactly what someone else needs to read tonight.
Galaxies of love,