On The Path Of Transformation, Old Programming Must Be Resolved
I am a person on the path of personal transformation. I seek a sense of balance between myself and my world, a clear understanding of my purpose and my power. And to do this, I must deal with certain “truths” that my culture and my childhood training have instilled in me – particularly those truths that pertain to being a woman.
Old Programming For Women Is Disempowering
As a biological female within this society I have had a lifetime of disempowering programming thrown at me. Religious, financial, governmental and even family institutions often viewed me as second to men in all things of importance. Major influences on collective consciousness such as the advertising industry bombard all of us with the quintessential definition of feminine loveliness – which fewer than 10% of real women actually meet. According to all this old programming, to be feminine is to be soft, weak, non-assertive, compliant, primarily concerned with outward appearance, in need of support – monetarily, emotionally and physically, and so on. The world is changing, but also remains much the same.
Cultural Stereotypes Reflect Old Programming And Can Be Used To Resolve It
So I did work to identify my internalized and self-limiting programming and banish it from my internal landscape. One way I did this was to identify cultural stereotypes that reflected the programming I wanted to eliminate. And one such stereotype was Barbie (the doll).
Barbie Dolls Are Cultural Stereotypes That Reflect Disempowering Programming
Little girls play with dolls, and Barbie, as the Queen of dolls, is representative of all those characteristics to which we were programmed to aspire – fantastic figure, beautiful features, long blonde hair, long shapely legs, and empty headed. (Remember how long those earrings were? There couldn’t have been anything in there or we would have been developing sadistic tendencies at the same time!).
Dolls represent basic archetypes. Children treat them as if they were real; they live their lives vicariously through such dolls. As small children, they treat baby dolls as they themselves were treated; and, as older children beginning to seek definition of their own sexuality, they are given Barbie dolls as role models. No wonder most women don’t like the way they look! How many of us really look like Barbie anyway?
Clear Out Old Programming By Burning Barbie!
Barbie must be removed from our mental image of ourselves as the way we ought to look, as the way we ought to be. This first icon of our evolving Selves must be banished from our psyches. Burn Barbie! This may seem like a joke, but I’m not kidding. I am proposing that an actual, formal ritual be performed.
Creating A Burn Barbie Ritual
[In the original article, I proposed burning an actual Barbie doll. Given the toxic fumes that burning plastic emits, the ritual that follows has been amended to recommend burning a paper effigy of Barbie. However, if you are a purist and feel that burning the actual doll is what you need to make this work for you, please make sure you do this outdoors. Stay upwind of the flames to avoid toxic fumes. Practice good fire safety techniques. And make sure to safely dispose of any unburned (but probably very melted) remains.]
Locate Any Old Barbie Paraphernalia Hanging Around
If you are like I was and still hanging on to those old definitions somewhere deep in your subconscious, you will have an old Barbie somewhere around the house. Find her and set her aside, along with any Barbie accessories or other Barbie paraphernalia you locate.
Purchase And Charge A Paper Effigy Of Barbie
Now create or purchase a paper effigy of Barbie (Barbie paper dolls are available on the Internet) and spend some time with it prior to the ritual. Try to remember how you felt about playing with your Barbie doll as a child. Focus all these thoughts and feelings into the paper doll, so that it represents the doll of your childhood – the one you aspired to be like (after all, she had the best of everything!). This may take several sessions of quiet, uninterrupted time in your sacred space. Work with the paper doll until you feel it is adequately charged for the purpose of this ritual.
Gather Your Materials
Practical considerations will require that you locate some kind of fire-proof container, large enough to allow you to burn the paper doll safely. You will need material for a fire – maybe a few small pieces of wood or tinder, a box of matches, or a butane lighter.
Identify When And Where
Locate a quiet place outdoors where you will not be disturbed and set a date and time for your performance of this ritual. I recommend doing this during a new moon – to represent both the aspect of your new Self being born and to take advantage of the waxing moon in order to grow and support your newly redefined sense of femininity.
Prepare Yourself And Your Space
Dress yourself suitably and bring any of your magickal tools you feel to be appropriate to this process. Be sure to bring the fire making materials, your paper doll effigy of Barbie, and your actual Barbie doll with all her accessories (if you have them). A large garbage bag may also be useful. Prepare the space for the ritual and then create your sacred space using whatever process works for you. Call in your familiars, guides, angels, and all those who love you unconditionally to witness and support your actions.
Tell Barbie Your Truth And Realize That Barbie Is A Freak!
Now interact with your Barbie. Talk to her. Tell her of your pain at never feeling beautiful or perfect enough. Speak to her of the importance of other standards of beauty. Focus inward and reveal to her the loveliness that is your true Self. Look at her with newly opened eyes and realize that she represents an external, distorted embodiment of what someone else thought was beautiful. Someone with very strange ideas of beauty – like incredibly tiny, misshapen feet so that she can’t even stand without high heels and a separate source of support, disproportionately long legs, an impossibly small waist, and large breasts that defy the laws of gravity. Realize that Barbie is a freak!
Light Her Up! And Let Her Go!
Then, place your paper doll effigy of Barbie into the fire-proof container and light her up! Watch the fire until it has burned up the entirety of the paper doll, so that nothing but ashes are left. After the fire dies out, douse the remains with an abundance of water to ensure there are no lingering embers. Place your actual Barbie and her accessories (if you still have them) into the garbage bag. And when the ritual is over, remember to put the entire mess at the curb for disposal. After all, you have no more need of these. And you don’t want to inflict them on anyone else.
Affirm A New Image Of Yourself As An Archetype Of Beauty And Close Your Space
Having burned Barbie and all she represents, you are now free to choose a new archetype to represent all that is beautiful in the feminine sense – namely yourself. Spend a few moments more in your sacred space, affirming this new image of yourself within your internal world. Then close down your sacred space and make your way home.
Be Kind To This New And Beautiful You
Be kind to yourself – this new and beautiful you. Find ways to nurture yourself. Enjoy sensual experiences. Get a massage. Wear clothes that make you feel good. Love your body – as it is – because this is real beauty.
Do You Feel Beautiful?
Do you wish you were taller, thinner, blonder, bustier, or had better legs? I learned this past week (not when this article was published but literally last week) that images of blonde women on the Internet have the highest click through rate over and above any other image. How sad is that? What are you doing to feel beautiful and be kind to yourself?
This post was taken from a longer discussion originally published in Mezlim magazine. It is published here with permission of the author, Kathy Scheiern.
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