A cord cutting ritual is a powerful spell or ceremony that symbolically severs negative energetic connections binding us to relationships or attachments. This can be with a toxic relationship, family members, an unhealthy work environment, a physical location, etc.
Once the ritual or spell is complete, we can begin to find even deeper meaning within ourselves. This brings a sense of finality; helping us to let go, have closure, and reclaim our personal power. Basically, cord cutting rituals empower us to let go and move on so we can enjoy a journey of healing and personal transformation.
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What is a Cord Cutting Ritual?
A cord cutting ritual will help you destroy any spiritual or energetic connections you feel with a person, place, or thing. This ritual or spell is a form of energy work and should not be done lightly. It’s a physical representation of an ending.
Cutting the cord isn’t about putting up blinders or forgetting the connections we’ve made in our lives. Instead, we’re choosing to value ourselves and establish boundaries; allowing us to make the best decisions for ourselves and our life path. It’s a fresh start!
Cord cutting uses symbolism (like candles) to represent people, places, or things. By choosing objects that hold special or spiritual meaning to us, we can use them to represent our intentions during the ritual. It’s similar to the Psychology term called transference; a concept developed by Sigmund Freud in the 1890s.
Transference is a phenomenon in which one seems to direct feelings or desires related to an important figure in one’s life—such as a parent—toward someone who is not that person.Psychology Today – Transference (a fascinating read if you’re interested)
A cord cutting ritual will not help you process and work through serious trauma or abuse. There’s no shame in consulting a doctor or therapist for further help and healing!
Why Should I Do a Cord Cutting Ritual?
The best reason for doing a cord cutting ritual is to symbolically, spiritually, and/or mentally release emotional burdens. Some spiritual practitioners believe completing a cord-cutting ritual eliminates feelings or emotions, while others feel it destroys toxic bonds.
Here are a few reasons you may want to do a cord-cutting ritual:
- Forgive yourself for past failures or regrets and embrace your personal growth
- To let go of negative energy or influences from a particular person, place, or thing
- Release feelings of guilt, resentment, or anger towards someone or something
- To let go of limiting beliefs and self-doubt
- Remove emotional attachments to a toxic person or past relationship
- To help you establish healthy boundaries and regain your personal power
- Create space for new and positive experiences
- Release attachments to material possessions that no longer serve any purpose in your life
- To cut cords with addictive behaviors or harmful habits
- Detach from a negative work environment or toxic colleagues
- Sever energetic ties with a place holding negative memories or associations
- Release the influence of manipulative or controlling individuals
- To embark on a journey of self-discovery, self-love, and personal transformation
Let’s dig into the pros and cons of doing a cord cutting ritual. This will help you decide if you’d like to incorporate it into your spiritual practice.
Pros of a Cord Cutting Ritual
- Supports the development of self-love, self-compassion, and self-acceptance
- Releases past hurts, resentments, and traumas
- Fosters a sense of renewal, liberation, and freedom
- Promotes clarity of mind, decision-making, and focus
- Allows for the redirection of energy toward personal goals and aspirations
- Strengthens relationships by promoting healthier connections
- Opens up new opportunities for personal and spiritual development
Cons of a Cord Cutting Ritual
- It won’t physically keep a toxic individual out of your life (for example, maybe you’ll still see them at work).
- May require effort and time to let go of attachments completely. Be patient! Healing and transformation take time.
- Could trigger feelings of guilt or uncertainty about the decision to cut cords
- May bring about temporary feelings of vulnerability or emotional rawness
- Might challenge your current belief systems, values, or perspectives
- Could require adapting to changes in routines or social circles
Types of Cord Cutting Rituals
There can be various techniques for cutting cords, but here are the three most common types of rituals. Feel free to use whichever ones resonate with you most and your spiritual practice!
Cutting Cords Through Meditation
A simple way to cut cords without any tools is through visual meditation. (This is also a great option for beginner witches or those who are still in the broom closet). Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to do a Cord Cutting Visual Mediation.
- Find a calm and quiet space where you can fully immerse yourself in this meditation
- Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and center yourself
- Visualize the cords connecting you to the person, place, or thing you want to detach from. Imagine these cords as ethereal threads of energy flowing from your body and connecting to whomever or whatever you wish to separate yourself from. (I like to imagine the cord as a bright neon orange or green, but feel free to imagine a color of your choosing).
- Now see a shimmering golden pair of scissors, sword, knife, or another symbol that resonates with you. Feel your power, strength, and determination rise within you and cut the cord with a ferocious force.
- As the cord is cut, visualize a brilliant burst of light and energy exploding from the point of contact
- Watch as the cords slowly turn into smoky wisps that dissolve into the universe, freeing you from attachment. Allow any negative feeling you associate with this person, place, or thing to dissolve as well.
- Let feelings of relief, freedom, self-love, and compassion fill you up. Imagine breathing these feelings into your body. Be proud to know you’re reclaiming your own energy and power.
Remember, the process of cord-cutting through visual meditation is a deeply personal and spiritual practice. Trust your intuition as you navigate this journey. Allow yourself to feel any emotions that bubble to the surface.
Cutting a Cord with Scissors
Cutting cords with scissors is an excellent choice if you want a physical representation without the potential fire hazards of using candles. Holding scissors in your hand is an effective symbol of empowerment, helping you take control and assert your boundaries.
Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to do a cord cutting with scissors. You’ll need a pair of scissors and a cord of your choice. (String, hemp, twine, etc.)
- Trust your intuition while performing this ritual to truly experience its significance and transformation
- Find a quiet space where you can focus your attention on this ritual
- Hold the scissors in your hands, feeling their weight and power
- Take a moment to ground yourself and set your intention to release any negative influences from the person, place, or thing you want to detach yourself from
- Now grab your cord (I like to cleanse mine before the ritual), and imagine it as a physical representation of the connection you wish to sever
- As you take slow, deeps breaths, feel your inner strength and determination growing
- Once you’re ready, use your scissors to make a clean and intentional cut
- As you observe the physical cut, visualize the energetic cords being cut as well
- Feel the freedom of no longer being bound to the cords that once held you
Cord Cutting Ritual with Candles
The most popular type of cord cutting ritual is done using two candles. The power you’re harnessing in candle magic is energized by the element of fire and symbolizes change, new beginnings, and transformation. Additionally, by incorporating color magic into your spiritual practice with candles, you apply each color’s spiritual meaning to your intentions.
Scented candles, such as those infused with herbs or essential oils, can also help deepen the ritual’s impact. Keep reading for a step-by-step candle cord cutting ritual tutorial.
How To Do a Cord Cutting Ritual with Candles
With focus, intention, and visualization, a cord cutting ritual with candles will help you sever ethereal and energetic connections. Remember, you can do a cord cutting ritual anytime you like, but some spiritual practitioners love doing a cord cutting ritual during a full moon.
Remember, this guide is meant as a general overview. Feel free to personalize it according to your spiritual beliefs, practices, and intuition.
Gather Basic Supplies Needed
- Two Candles (the type is up to you, but taper or chimes candles are popular choices)
- Carving Tool (an awl is a popular choice, but I typically use my pottery tools or an Exacto knife)
- Piece of Paper (aka petition paper)
- Lighters or matches (I like to have two on hand so I can light my wicks at the same time)
- Fire-safe dish or bowl
- Cord of your choice (string, twine, hemp, etc.)
- Journal, notebook, or grimoire (optional)
Does it Matter What Candle Color I Use?
No, it doesn’t matter what candle color you use.
You’ll often see spiritual practitioners using one black candle and one white candle. This is because the color black is very effective in banishing and destructive magic, as well as letting go of past traumas, meaningless relationships, and grieving or mourning a loved one.
White candles are fantastic for sweeping out negative energy and welcoming in positive energy. The black candle is used to represent what you want to let go of, while the white candle is typically used to represent yourself or the positive outcome you’re seeking.
However, I heavily incorporate candle color meanings into my practice, so I’ve used a variety of colors. Feel free to use whatever color resonates with you. Remember to always use colors that symbolize your specific ritual or intention.
Note: Please refrain from using terms like black or white magic because there are clear and negative racial connotations with those terms. Instead, use the terms left-hand and right-hand paths. This is also sometimes referred to as destructive and constructive magick, respectively.
Can I Use Any Type of Cord?
Yes, feel free to use any type of cord that will burn safely during this ritual. Common cords used are string, twine, and hemp.
Some spiritual practitioners believe the stronger the negative influence, the beefier and thicker the cord should be. Feel free to use your intuition and personal judgment.
I’m often asked if the color of the cord matters. Personally, I like using natural twine or hemp, so I don’t worry about the color. However, feel free to use the candle color meanings I discussed in the section above to incorporate even more intention into your ritual.
Preparing For The Cord Cutting Ritual
- Find an uninterrupted area where you can create a sacred space, preferably a place where you burn a candle safely.
- Cleanse the space in the method of your choice (the article linked is specifically for crystals, but the methods used still apply)
- Play any music you feel drawn to (I typically like to wear headphones and listen to binaural tones or any music that I feel embodies my intention)
- Remember to open at least one window so any negative energy you remove has a place to leave.
- Find a place to sit comfortably in front of your candles, and allow yourself to enter a tranquil state of mind. Take several deep breaths to center your awareness and connect yourself
- At this point, I like to grab my petition paper and write a short sentence describing my intention or purpose. This will help make your purpose clear and add a bit of extra oomph to your ritual.
Use Your Carving Tool To Apply Symbols
Use your carving tool to apply symbols or words to your candles. The purpose here is to identify what each candle stands for and infuse it with your intentions. Some spiritual practitioners will carve the person’s first and last name as well as their birthday. If the person, place, or thing has any identifiable features (like a tattoo), you can carve that in as well.
Use this time to really focus on your emotions, and FEEL why you want to cut cords.
Continue customizing the candle until it truly represents whoever or whatever you’re severing energetic ties from. Include as much as you can about it/them as possible; how you feel around it/them, how they talk, what they look like, etc. Depending on your spiritual practice, you might also include their hair or fingernails.
Dress or Anoint Candles
Dressing or anointing your candles isn’t necessary (which is why I didn’t include these items in the supplies list above). Simply choosing a corresponding candle color will be fine.
However, I prefer to anoint my ritual candles because I believe it adds even more of my magic and spiritual intent into the candle.
For a complete step-by-step guide, read How To Dress or Anoint Your Candle
Herbs for Cord Cutting Ritual
Adding the magical properties of herbs is a great way to enhance the energy and intention of your spell or ritual. Here are a few ideas to help get you started!
- Lavender (cleansing, purification, happiness, luck, peace)
- Garden Sage (purifies and removes negative energy)
- Rosemary (known for its protective properties and ability to release negative attachments)
- Bay Leaves (helps with letting go and moving forward. Also work great for petition paper)
If you’re on a budget, remember, the Dollar store has an aisle full of seasoning and spices. As well as candles, twine, and supplies! They all work excellent for spells and rituals!
Begin the Cord Cutting Spell
- Place your fire-safe dish or bowl somewhere you can keep an eye on it; in an area that’s safe to burn a candle
- Create a ring of salt on your dish (feel free to add additional herbs as well)
- Melt the bottom of each candle slightly using your lighter. This will allow each candle to stand upright on your dish. (Note: some spiritual practitioners prefer to place their petition paper under the candle that represents what they’re severing ties with)
- Now comes the hard part, tie your cord in a loop and wrap it around both candles. Ha! Getting these to stay in place is easier said than done. I try to place mine about 2/3 of the way to the top of the candles.
- When you’re ready, use your lighters to light both candles at the same time to begin the ritual
- At this point, I prefer to release the intention of my petition paper in the flame of the candle that represents what I’m severing ties with
- Remember to write down any feelings or thoughts in your journal or grimoire that come to you during the ritual. (I like to record myself on my phone so I don’t get distracted during the ritual, but this is my personal preference).
Say Your Intention Out Loud
This is an optional choice, but I prefer to include this in my rituals. Once the candles are lit, sit with them while focusing on your intention. Repeat a phrase or sentence until you believe it’s infused with your spell as it burns.
If you’re feeling stuck on what to say, here are a few ideas to help get you started:
- I sever the energetic cords that bind me, freeing myself from the negative influences of ______
- As I cut these cords with _____, I embrace the freedom to create a new beginning
- I release all emotional attachments and connections to ______ and reclaim my personal power while setting healthy boundaries
- As these cords are severed, I release any remains of fear, doubt, and limiting beliefs. I honor the lessons learned from these connections, but now I set myself free.
- I choose my own path, detached from the expectations and judgments of others
- I embrace the power of forgiveness, freeing myself from resentment and bitterness
- I stand in my truth and embrace my authentic self, free from external influences
- I honor this sacred ritual and gracefully let go of ______ so I can embrace the infinite possibilities that await me
Observe Your Active Spell
It’s incredibly important to be present and observe the candles during this ritual for a few of reasons.
- Safety factors (please don’t let your ritual candles burn unattended)
- Allows you to observe any emotions, sensations, or insights that come up during the ritual. It will also help you to connect with the intention and energy of the ritual.
- The candle flames may go out, and if you aren’t there to re-light them, the ritual may not be successful
How to Dispose of A Cord-Cutting Ritual
When your cord cutting ritual is complete, it’s important to dispose of it in a trashcan outside your home once everything has cooled down. Since you’re trying to banish or remove a person, place, or thing, you must remove the spell remnants from your home or area.
Now that the cord cutting spell is done, you may feel or experience a range of emotions. This is because you’re releasing something, and letting it go may be difficult. However, you don’t want the energies you just cut to enter and spread back into your life again.
Immediately after my cord-cutting I typically run a ritual bath, but you can also prioritize self-care, deep reflection, an egg cleanse, or other mindfulness practices.
It’s important to surround yourself with positive and supportive individuals who will uplift and inspire you. Spend time with them doing things that bring you true joy and happiness. Maybe learn a new hobby, or start some new healthy routines.
Cord Cutting Ritual Interpretation
I think it’s important to say I’ve never done a cord cutting ritual interpretation, because to me, it’s all about the power of the cord cutting spell. It’s an intense removal of someone or something you no longer want to remain in your life. You wanted to be rid of them, so be done and move on. However, this is just what I do in my spiritual practice. Feel free to do whatever resonates with you.
If you’d still like to do a reading, remember, each person’s interpretation can be different, depending on their spiritual beliefs and experiences. That being said, I strongly believe it’s important to use your own intuition before anything else you read online!! There’s no one size fits all reading, and many people get upset when they see conflicting meanings online.
When you watch your candle burn, what stands out to you? Practice scrying in the candle flame, does anything appear to you? Read the notes you took during the ritual for clarification and details.
- What does the flame mean to you?
- How do you feel in your body when you see it?
- What emotions do you feel as the candle burns and the cords break?
- How does the candle look to you?
- Was there any remaining wax, and what does it look like?
How Do I Stop The Cords from Reattaching?
Once you’ve cut spiritual cords with a person, place, or thing, it’s important to physically remove yourself from their presence or influence as much as possible. This may also mean avoiding a place that holds negative energy or stopping bad habits by creating positive new ones. By creating space and distance, you prevent the energetic cords from reattaching.
If you still have to interact with a person, like at a job, limit your time around them as much as possible. Then do what you can to set new and healthy boundaries. Personally, the knowledge that I did a cord cutting on this individual gives me confidence and power. I begin to see them as sad or pitiful. That’s because I know they’re still living every day in that negative head space, and I’m free from it.
Lastly, look for fresh opportunities that will begin to present themselves to you. This could be a job relocation opportunity, unique experiences, new people, or other synchronicities that align with your personal growth. I like to surround myself with a few positive affirmations directly related to whatever I was trying to cut cords with. It helps to reinforce my self-worth and gives me a more positive mindset.
How Does Cord Cutting Affect The Other Person?
When you perform a cord cutting ritual, it really only affects you and not the other person involved. This is because you’ve cut the cord on your end, but not theirs, so it won’t directly change their behavior.
Sometimes people with a strong connection or attachment to you can sense a change after you cut the cord. They may even try reaching out to you after the ritual is complete.
Each person’s response is unique and may provoke a wide range of spiritual or emotional responses. They’ll eventually come to understand they no longer have you, an authentic and kind person, in their life. After the cord-cutting ritual is complete, remember to set healthy boundaries for yourself while also remembering how your choices may impact this individual.
Can I Do A Cord Cutting Ritual for Others?
It’s generally not recommended to do a cord cutting ritual for someone else without their knowledge and consent. Cord cutting is a personal process involving releasing attachments and letting go of negative energies. If someone isn’t willing to let go or is unaware of the ritual, the spell is unlikely to work effectively.
Even if you try to perform the spell for them, their unwillingness to release the cords will affect the ritual. It’s important to allow them to make their own decisions. They must be willing to let go and actively participate in the process for it to have the desired impact.
Different Types of Cord Cutting Rituals
The How to Do a Cord Cutting Ritual with Candles step-by-step guide I wrote above works as an excellent base to build your spell or ritual on.
Below, I’ll explore some of the most common reasons people do a cord-cutting ritual and some additional symbols and intentions you can add to each one. Remember these are only IDEAS to help get you started for your own ritual; feel free to customize this to your spell.
Remember, to include any God or Goddess you worship as well!
Cord Cutting Ritual for Family
Unfortunately, family relationships can sometimes become complicated with negative feelings and experiences. You may choose to do a cord cutting ritual after setting healthy boundaries and now you’re wanting to gain a sense of peace moving forward.
Alternatively, you may have decided to completely go no contact with a family member, and a cord-cutting spell will help begin the process of releasing past hurts and harmful attachments currently affecting your well-being.
No contact is a prohibition of direct or indirect contact of any kind – physically, verbally, or anything in writing – between yourself and another person or group.
This decision must be made with the belief that choosing to go through life without your family means you will not just be okay; you will be better than okay. Your definition of “okay” may be different from what you had hoped or initially envisioned, but I assure you, feeling healthy and happy is absolutely possible under these circumstances.Sherrie Campbell – Adult Survivors of Toxic Family Members
Here are a few intention ideas for a family cord cutting ritual:
- Moth Symbolism: A moth’s spiritual meaning represents transformation, vulnerability, shadows, symbolic death, and the search for light. Moths have always deeply resonated with me, and I think their symbolism is perfect to include in cord-cutting rituals.
- Norse Rune Othala – Othala respects and honors our connectedness to family. No matter how far we may roam, we are always linked to our family. I would use this symbol to represent the toxic family member, intentionally severing this connection.
- Hag Stone – place a hag stone next to your candle while the ritual is active for good luck and protection.
- Light Blue Candle – I’d use a light blue candle to represent myself in a ritual like this because it helps us to dive deep into our hearts, allowing us to understand and process our emotional wounds. Then we can understand and lovingly embrace who we truly are.
Cord Cutting Ritual Toxic Relationship
Cutting energetic cords with a toxic ex is one of the most common rituals. Here are a few intention and symbol ideas:
- Evil Eye – I would carve this symbol on the candle representing myself for strong protection and to send any negative energy away from me and back to the giver.
- Celtic Ogham Fearn – represents spiritual guidance, emotional security, and safeguarding yourself against harm. Helpful when feeling emotionally overwhelmed.
- Honey Calcite – amplifies knowledge, leadership, and confidence. Helping you overcome obstacles by enhancing your clarity and personal power. I’d place this close to or around the candle representing myself.
- Norse Rune Uruz – symbolic of the physical, emotional, and spiritual strength of the Wild Ox as well as untapped potential. It’s a reminder to have the strength to persist and keep going despite adversaries or roadblocks. I would carve this symbol on the candle representing myself.
Cord Cutting Ritual Twin Flame
A Twin Flame, also known as a “mirror soul,” is a deep soul connection with someone believed to be a person’s second half. It’s based on the belief that one soul can separate into two different bodies. Those trying to cut cords with their Twin Flame may find them difficult to cut.
I’ve personally never done a twin flame cord-cutting ritual. However, I’ve heard spiritual practitioners say if the melted wax from each candle touches, the ritual was unsuccessful. If the melted wax doesn’t touch, you’ve successfully broken the Twin Flame connection. Keep in mind you’d need to use a candle that drips wax.
Here are a few intention and symbol ideas:
- Theban Alphabet: Try carving words into your candles using the Theban Alphabet. This requires the witch or spiritual practitioner to intensely focus on the matter at hand since it’s not a language they’re fluent in. Some believe using the Theban Alphabet will increase the power of your intentions or spells.
- Life Path Number: A life path number is simply what your soul’s purpose is here on earth to do. It symbolizes your experiences, what you’ve chosen to learn, and how you’d like to develop throughout your life. I’d carve my life path number into my candle to represent how I’ll be prioritizing my own goals and needs before someone else. Feel free to include other Numerology meanings too!
- Sacred Geometry – I think the Fibonacci Spiral would be excellent because spirals symbolize spiritual growth, enlightenment, movement of energy, expansion, the development of the soul, and cyclical patterns (seasons, lunar cycles, etc.). Perfect to place on the candle representing yourself.
- Sigil Magic – A sigil is a symbol or design you create that works with your unconscious self to help bring your goals and dreams into reality. Creating your own sigil for each candle would be incredibly powerful!
I hope you found this article about cord cutting rituals helpful! Lots of love to you, and remember, as always…