I came across this ritual through pure synchronicity. A month ago, I participated in a book swap online. Send a book to the name you are given, put your name at the top of the list and share it on Facebook. One of those chain friends' things that never work—except this time it did. I was pleasantly deluged with books, including one from a woman named Juliette A. She shared one of her favorites, Grandmother Time, written by Z. Budapest. It was autographed for Juliette by the author in 1993!
Thank you so much Juliette. I am sharing Ms. Budapest's A Birthday Celebration, because, as she so eloquently says in her preface, "A life without celebration is only half lived."
A Birthday Celebration
Invite the friends you really want to be with. Old friends, good friends and family.
Get everything together as usual—decorations, cake and candles—but don't follow the usual procedure, because in wishcraft, blowing out the candles on your cake is blowing away your good luck!
Instead, arrange as many candles as you have lived years in this life, but put them on a tray separate from your cake. Take the time to make candle holders of aluminum foil for each candle.
Then sit your guests down, sing "Happy Birthday," and serve the cake. But when you would ordinarily blow out the candles, light them instead.
As you light the first one, give thanks to your mom, who gave you the opportunity to come through the veil between life and death and become you. She is the origin of your universe. The second candle, and all the rest, you light one by one in honor of yourself. Tell a little story of your life, and let your guests react, laugh and cheer for you. Reveal about three good stories this party—save some for next time.
When you recall an event worthy of special attention, stop and offer a toast. In other words, celebrate during your story telling.
After you've finished lighting all the candles, let them burn down naturally. In the glow of your candle light, may you be awed by your own endurance and beauty!
Happy Birthday to all of my readers and friends. I hope you will treat yourself to this ritual on your own birthday. Thank you Juliette for the gift book. I will treasure it. And thank you Z. Budapest for sharing your life in writing it.