The Bury-the-Hatchet Forgiveness & Family Healing Spell


By Shaman Redwood

With Thanksgiving next week and Christmas around the corner, family & friend reunions may be stressful for many of us. As relatives gather from different parts of the country, their politics may clash as different points of view sit around the dinner table. In spite of the festivities, the holidays can be the most stressful time of the year since the darker months tend to be the season of anxiety and depression.

Families are often torn apart by petty disagreements, clashing personalities, or unexpected tragedy. Life is difficult enough without having strife within our home and amongst the people we love the most. And yet, that’s what happens in family after family. 

Eventually, it’s important to let go of the past’s wounds, to heal what’s been broken and to mend rifts. This simple spell to “bury the hatchet” will do just that. 

Ideally, the spell will be the most powerful if the aggrieved parties participate directly. If two or more people in your family have been fighting, you should all perform this ceremony together in order to vanquish the strife between you. But the work can be done alone as well. Most families want to stay together, and while rifts may appear, usually the people involved genuinely desire reconciliation, though they may not know what needs to be done.

The Bury-the-Hatchet Forgiveness & Family Healing Spell

First, you’ll need an old hatchet, preferably a dull, rusty one that’s not much use anymore. Then, gather up a few leather strips or ribbons or just scraps of brown paper, one for each member of the family who needs healing. Personalize the strips for each person by writing or carving names or initials on them, or by having each person wear them for a few days before the ritual. If everyone is participating with you, then ask each family member who is part of the conflict to give a single strand of hair.

Next, you’ll need to get a young sapling that’s ready to be planted. The type of the tree doesn’t matter, whatever suits the individuals involved will work fine. 

Perform the ritual on the Full Moon, a time of completion and achieving closure. Gather the family, and especially those people who are at the heart of the conflict if possible. Dig a hole big enough to plant the tree in.


Place the locks of hair in the hole. Tie the strips of leather or ribbon to the old, rusty hatchet and then place that in the hole, too. Then, the whole family should lift up the young sapling together so that each person’s hand is helping. Together, plant the tree in the dirt. If doing this on your own, then do these steps while imagining everyone getting along joyfully.

To complete the ceremony, have each family member—especially the individuals who are the most upset at one another—embrace in a hug. Look one another in the eye and at the same time, say the words of the Hawaiian healing prayer Ho’oponopono: “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you.” 

No more discussion of the conflict is necessary. By the New Moon, the hatchet will be buried between those who are in strife and healing can begin. If the main offenders in the conflict refuse to participate, you can still carry on without them, but their opposing will power may slow your spell down. But remember, as the young sapling grows big and mighty, your spell will equally increase in strength. Ultimately, the desire for peace—embodied by the growing tree—will overpower the desire for pain.

If your family has been torn apart by conflict that’s beyond discussion, try this simple but powerful ceremony for forgiveness and reconciliation and plant the seed of forgiveness and healing.