Consider all the negative things in your life that you want to discard, all the grudges you may be holding, all the grief still locked up within you. The fire ritual burns away the things that make you unhappy. You can simply write down all the things that aggravate, frustrate, and annoy you - all the things that happened during the past year that you really want to release yourself from, things that went wrong and experiences you don't want to repeat. The fire burns away all of your problems and unhappiness, so write these down and put them aside to be burned.
Next, buy some black mustard seeds and black sesame - these represent all the bad things and angry words that you said, and gossip that you passed on, which caused others to suffer. These will enable you to purify yourself of all the things you did during the year which offended or caused someone grief or unhappiness. Lay these aside to throw into the fire as well.
Finally, draw a small black scorpion, a small black snake, and a small black frog on a piece of paper. These represent all politicking, idle talk or gossip, and harmful or malicious intentions sent your way. Cut out the drawings and set them aside. These also are going to be consumed by the fire.
Now dig a hole on the corner of the garden that you have selected for the fire. The best time to do this fire puja is during the evening hours between 5 and 7 pm. Draw the infinity symbol on a piece of paper and place this flat on the ground in the hole. Stack some charcoal on top of the paper and start a fire. Then place some dried wood on top. Try to make the fire burn strongly in a small area. When you are satisfied that the fire is burning steadily, sit down in front of it and contemplate all the things you will be putting into the fire.
First put in your drawings of the scorpion, the snake, and the frog; as these burn, imagine that all the desecrations and harm to your spirit caused by others gossiping about and creating difficulties for you are dissolved, cleansed, and purified.
Throw in the paper on which you wrote about people, events, and things that offended, upset, and annoyed you. As you watch the fire consume the paper, let go of all those negative emotions and feelings and allow yourself to feel that you are completely liberated from them. If you feel afraid, think that the fire also consumes all of your fears. With this ritual, you can be as egocentric as you wish. Do not allow the fire to burn out until you have finished the ritual. Add fuel to it as required.
Now pick up the black sesame and mustard seeds. Imagine that they represent all of your bad thoughts, harmful actions, and evil intentions. As the seeds burn, think that these negative aspects of yourself and those around you are cleansed, dissolved, and purified. This is the most important part of the ritual, because it is really important to cleanse your environment of all your and others' negative thoughts and actions whether committed willingly or inadvertently.
As you feed the seeds into the fire, let yourself experience a sense of remorse and regret about having caused anyone harm or grief. Make sure you burn all of the seeds that you bought. Do not leave anything behind.
When you have finished, allow the fire to burn out and then close the hole. Think that the earth has consumed all negative things. The idea behind this ritual is to make you feel purified and that your surroundings are purified.
Extract taken from "Lillian Too's 168 Ways to Declutter Your Home" published by Cico Books Ltd. Available at MPH and major bookstores nationwide and all World Of Feng Shui boutiques.