A Bruja’s Guide to Cord Cutting and Spiritually Cleansing From Exes

Getty / Sean Gladwell urfinguss AlxeyPnferov Photo Illustration: Ava Cruz

When we are intimately involved with another person, our auras intertwine and energy is exchanged. Some may describe this as having chemistry, and that’s because our bodies experience a chemical reaction in response to that other person, whether we’re with them physically, texting or talking to them on the phone, or even when we’re thinking about them. This chemistry can exist without a romantic connection, but often it’s associated with physical intimacy of a romantic nature. The energetic connections that are formed during intimacy can still exist way past the physical relationship. So, even if you ended a relationship six months or six years ago, the energetic connections between you and that other person may still be strong and can impact your future relationships in both positive and negative ways. If it’s the latter, then a cord-cutting ritual may just be the thing you need to do to truly end the physical, emotional, and energetic ties to your ex.

If your relationship ended in an amicable fashion, a cord-cutting ritual can serve as a gentle way to gain closure and move on with your life. If the relationship was toxic and caused you a lot of pain, a cord-cutting ritual to release negative energy would be recommended. Various spiritual beliefs indicate the presence of a lover’s energy can exist within our aura for years after intimacy and remain until we spiritually cleanse ourselves of the cords that were created.

What Is Cord Cutting?

Cord cutting is the severing of unhealthy energetic ties that exist between you and another person. This doesn’t only pertain to romantic or sexual relationships. Cord-cutting rituals can be used to detach energetic ties from an unhealthy relationship with a parent or even a friend.

What Is the History Behind Cord-Cutting Rituals?

Cord-cutting rituals have existed for centuries with African and Indigenous roots. The ceremonies may be performed differently depending on the spiritual traditions practiced, but it serves the same purpose – to release a person or persons from energetic ties to another. For example, the Lutu Pahko, or cord-cutting ceremony of the Yaqui Indians from Sonora, Mexico, is an all-night ritual that takes place one year after someone’s death in order to release the family and community from mourning.

In Shamanic cord-cutting rituals, a person is asked to connect with their spirit animal to support them in changing the energy of a current relationship. So, instead of severing the connection altogether, this ritual helps to shift the energy from unhealthy and unbalanced to healthy and enriching to a person’s life force.

What Does a Cord-Cutting Ritual Look Like?

Cord-cutting rituals can be done in many ways, but the goal of severing energetic ties remains the same. If you’re new to cord cutting, and your goal is to move on from an ex, one ritual you can do is to write down the name or names of past sexual partners, beginning with the first partner and moving forward. Light an orange candle to symbolize the sacral chakra (more on that in a second). Take the piece of paper with the name or names you wrote and safely and carefully burn it with the flame of the candle. As it burns, you can say words of release. For example, “I release the energy of _______ from my aura.”

Meditate by either staring into the flame or closing your eyes. Visualize physically cutting cords from that person. If visualization is a challenge for you, get some thread and cut it with a scissor. Then meditate, remembering the fire and smoke that transformed that piece of paper into ash. Imagine blowing that ash away as you release the cords once connecting you to that other person. Depending on the depth of your relationship, this ritual can be done more than once until you intuitively feel you have fully severed the ties needed to move forward healthier, happier, and balanced.

It is important to note that cord-cutting rituals can drum up negative emotions from the past. This may be necessary to truly let go. So, if heavy emotions come with the cord-cutting work, allow them to flow and honor them. They are just as much a part of you as your higher vibrational emotions like happiness, joy, peace, and tranquility, which is essentially what you’re trying to gain from the cord-cutting work.

How Can Cord Cutting Help You to Mentally, Emotionally, and Spiritually Let Go of An Ex, Exes, or People You’ve Been Casually Involved With?

When you complete your cord-cutting ritual, make note of how you feel. This is often not an overnight transition. So, journaling can help to further release and finalize the transformation you’re going through. Remember that cord-cutting ceremony the Yaqui Indians do to release ties from a loved one who has transitioned? They use the ceremony to release the grief of that person’s passing. Similarly, when doing cord cutting to separate yourself from the energy of an ex, you are essentially severing the ties to heal the grief from the relationship, so you can move forward in your life. By doing this, you can enter future relationships more balanced and at peace with your relationships from the past and the lessons learned from them. You transmute the pain from the relationship or the breakup and turn it into something beautiful that has helped you to grow, and become stronger, happier, and healthier in your pursuit of love.

How Can Previous Relationships Cause Trauma That Still Lingers in Our Systems?

As with any relationship that has caused trauma, it leaves an imprint in our auric field, and if we don’t release it, that energy can show up in our physical lives in various ways. Cord cutting and other spiritual practices aimed at cleansing our energy are great ways to ensure you can truly open your heart to a new love.

How Can This Trauma Impact Future Romantic Relationships or Our Dating Lives?

If you ended a traumatic romantic relationship and don’t take the time to heal and give extra loving care to yourself, you can potentially carry that trauma into the next relationship. This is apparent when you see patterns in your love life that typically end in heartache. For example, if your ex cheated and you don’t take the time needed to heal from that trauma, you will likely enter your next relationship with your guard up, which doesn’t allow for the new partner to fully get close to you.

Where Does Relationship Trauma, Heartbreak, and Rejection Tend to Live Energetically in Our Bodies?

Our chakras or energy centers throughout our bodies can store negative emotions like trauma, heartbreak, and rejection. The root chakra is the center of our security in life and how safe we feel. The sacral chakra is our center of sexuality and creation, and the solar plexus chakra represents our willpower, confidence, and strength in decision-making. All of these can be impacted greatly by relationship trauma and everything that comes with it. And of course, the heart chakra will need some special attention after heartbreak. But the good news is, that we are amazingly capable of healing.

What Do You Need For a Cord-Cutting Ritual?

For the ritual described above, you’ll need an orange candle, some palo santo or sage to cleanse your space, some string and a scissor if you need assistance visualizing the cord being cut, and an open mind and heart to receive what is needed and release what is not.

Cleansing or Sacred Prayer For Cord Cutting

Praying or reciting affirmations before, during, and after the ritual can amplify the magic you are creating. While prayer is very personal to your needs, if you need to cut cords from an ex, you may say something like, “Great Spirit, as I prepare this cord-cutting ritual, I pray to be free of any and all energy associated with my ex.” You can also say a prayer for that ex, so that they may lead a happy, peaceful life. This may be difficult to do if things ended badly, but there is so much healing in sending well wishes to another as you fully release them from your energy. But only do it if you truly feel aligned with doing so.

What to Do Following a Cord-Cutting Ritual?

Journal, meditate, or indulge in a spiritual baño or a nice body scrub in the shower to seal the newly cleansed space you’ve created for yourself energetically and physically.

What You Shouldn’t Do Following a Cord-Cutting Ritual?

As mentioned previously, cord cutting can bring back a lot of emotions. It’s like watching all the dye wash out of your hair until the water runs clear. Getting past the residue of the trauma helps to heal it. This could make you want to reach out to that ex, which is natural when memories and feelings are being worked through. But it’s probably best to put the phone down, not send that text or DM, and return to you. After all, the point of the cord cutting is to release yourself from an ex, and you can’t take steps forward by walking backward.

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