Ritual: Play Date with the Inner Child
A new moon in the ethereal water sign of Pisces darkens our skies on the evening of Wednesday, March 6, shifting attention to the complexity of our inner worlds. As the sign that marks the end of the astrological year, Pisces carries the wisdom of all the signs that come before it, helping us integrate lessons to transform our current realities. The sun, a recently retrograde Mercury, and Neptune will join the new moon in Pisces, magnifying our ability to tune into messages from the unconscious and beyond.
The language of our unconscious is strikingly similar to that of a child. Just like the subconscious, children communicate best through play, imagination, creativity, and abstract ideas. It is when they are engaging in these activities that they show the most confidence and problem-solving abilities, but rarely as adults do we allow ourselves to return to that free-spiritedness. Instead we hang our necks over a variety of screens, hoping that their artificial illumination will somehow transfer into our being.
Our childhood also represents a time when many of our behavior patterns, beliefs, and emotional responses are established. It is not always pleasant to mentally venture back and dissect the circumstances that helped form our present persona, but it is only through understanding and empathizing with our inner child that we can learn to discern which of their qualities to call upon and which ones need to be let go.
For this new moon, I invite you to step away from the rat race and take your inner child out on a playdate. Not only will this seemingly frivolous activity add some levity to your day, but you might find yourself surprised at the insights that come through. Children lack filters and getting in touch with your smaller self might help you get real about where you’re going and why.
Time commitment: 2 hours
Pen or pencil
Crystal of your choice
Note: If you do not have two free hours to plan a playdate with yourself, I encourage you to put a spin on this ritual and think of it as “Bring Your Inner Child to Work Day.” Within reason, let your inner child call the shots for a few hours. This might mean something silly like having dessert for breakfast or adding extra sugar to your morning coffee, but it can also be a good exercise for infusing a little more fun into your work day. Your inner child might approach work in a way that allows for more energy throughout the day or perhaps their resistance to working overtime will help you realize when you’ve reached a personal boundary.
It’s important to recognize that not everyone experienced a happy childhood or understands what “typical” childlike behavior looks like. For some, returning to childhood is to return to a time rife with abuse and fear. Many were forced to grow up too soon and struggle to inhabit a space of play and wonder. If this applies to you, I encourage you to begin this ritual in the toy aisle of a dollar store. Notice which items you naturally gravitate to and settle on one that you can spend an hour or two playing with -- puzzles, etch-a-sketches, and coloring books are all great options. If this still feels unnatural, try to think of an activity that provided comfort or calm during your childhood. You might realize that unexpected chores such as doing dishes or folding laundry provide relief.
Other great play date ideas include museums, arcades, wildlife sanctuaries, and hikes. There’s no need to get extravagant and a playdate can be as simple as your favorite Disney movie accompanied by a Happy Meal. You can even get friends involved by organizing an afternoon at an indoor trampoline park or hosting a game of Simon Says to get in touch with your silly side. The point of this ritual is to let your inner child take the steering wheel of your life for a couple of hours. Try to be in the moment and let your regular adult concerns fade to the background.
There’s always the chance that, regardless of how light-hearted and fun your play date may be, intense and complicated feels could sneak their way in. After all, it is Pisces season and one of the markers of a child is their unpredictable mood swings that are often triggered by the smallest shifts in their external or internal environments. Trust that you are capable of managing any emotions that come up and be patient as you seek to understand their source.
Here are a few journal prompts for after your play date ends:
What did it feel like to play? How did it feel to let go of adult concerns and worries?
If you did the “take your inner child to work day” exercise, how did this change your work day? What attitude shifts did you experience?
What is a quality or trait of your inner child that you can invite into your adult life?
What is a quality or trait of your inner child that needs to be healed and/or transformed?
What did your inner child teach you during your playdate?
After you’ve completed the journal prompts, choose a crystal to infuse with an intention from your inner child. If you’re having trouble settling on an intention, look to your journal prompt answers for hints.
Hold the crystal in both hands. Imagine that your inner child’s hands are covering yours and that you are affirming your intention together. You might find it helpful to tell the crystal what type of assistance you are seeking. It might sound something like, “I am infusing my intention into you. When I touch, look at, or carry this stone, I will be reminded of my commitment to connect with my inner child through creative acts. I am grateful for this and all other guidance that is available to me at all times. And so it is.”
Place your crystal in a window or outside where it can soak up the opportunistic energy of the new moon in Pisces. Carry the crystal with you, keep it on your altar, and meditate with it throughout the moon cycle to be reminded of your intention.
Art by Danielle Dee Winter