If you've never collected sacred items from nature well, you're in for a real treat. Walk to the park near your house and carry in your heart the intention of finding your object for the ritual. When an object catches your attention ask it if it's willing to work with you and wait for the answer. Mostly you get yeses, but it's important to ask. Just because you see an item you want doesn't mean that you can grab it without asking its permission first. We want to cultivate consensual and reciprocal relationships with our Nature friends around us. Once you get a yes from an item, make an offering to it and give thanks. The offering could be tobacco or a piece of your hair. Basically you're saying to Nature, as well as to your inner self, that you realize this item is making a sacrifice for you and you are willing to make a sacrifice for it. This small recognition makes your rituals more powerful. If it's raining out you may need to dry your item for a few days.
The process of a fire ritual involves imbuing an item from nature with what you'd like to let go of emotionally, spiritually, physically, or mentally. We'll do the part of this in class that involves actually putting what's to be released into the object but it's helpful to write out specifically what you want to release into the fire.
As preparation, you might start out writing down all the things you'd like to let die so that new things can be born. For instance, you might write that you want to let go of your job because you hate it. But as you write you may discover that your boss said something hurtful to you one day but you actually love your job. So then what? Well, this is the deeper prep work of this process: you need to sort out what it is in your relationship with your boss that needs changing. What might you need to let go of? What didn't you say that you need to? And then from this place what are you needing to release at this time? And, what conversations then need to happen so that you can be fully in the job you just discovered you love?
If you can't quite put your finger on what it is you need to let go of you may pick something more general. Like the general yet powerful, "I release what no longer serves my highest purpose." Last year in my Solstice ritual I let burn the illusion of separation from the divine. These rituals are powerful steps in a process though and I've worked with this release throughtout the year in various ways and continue to work with and integrate this.
You can also ask your power animal or other helping spirit for help if you know who they are. Depending on your relationship with them they will provide you with the truth of your moment without blame or judgement, even if it sounds harsh or not like what you want to hear. Good, true, and beautiful helping spirits will tell it like it is; this is one of the reasons it's beneficial to build our relationship with our helping spirits.
We are in the process of becoming so any step along the path is a good place to start. Remember, you can't f*ck it up!
I'm very much looking forward to this with you. Please let me know if you have any questions.