On the first night, light two pink candles (pink is the colour of Venus in her gentle aspect), one for yourself and the other for the person from whom you are estranged.
Set the candles apart at opposite ends of the table and into the one you designate for the absent person, speak the words you would like to say if he or she were present, whether regrets or forgiveness or both.
Then, into your own candle, recall aloud the good qualities of the other person.
Blow out your own candle, sending a message of love to wherever the other person is.
Blow out his or her candle, absorbing positive feelings from all the good times you shared.
On the second night, set the candles so that each has moved a quarter of the way across the table towards the other.
Again light the candles in turn, this time speaking into the other person’s candle thanks for the kindnesses shown to you in the past; into your own candle, express what you miss most about the relationship and would like to rekindle.
As you blow out your candle, send positive wishes for the other person’s happiness and absorb the light from his or her candle as healing of unfair or harsh words spoken in anger.
Into the second candle, make promises to try to be more tolerant and understanding in future, even if you think the disagreement or estrangement was not your fault.
This time, leave the candles to burn down and sit in the candlelight, looking at old photographs, reading poetry or listening to music you both enjoyed.
When the candles have burned down, plan a simple non-confrontational gesture of friendship – sending a postcard of a place you both visited, an e-mail recounting mutually pleasurable news about
A joint friend or family member, or a small bunch of favourite flowers. Even if the gesture of reconciliation is refused, you have freed yourself of bitterness, though you may need to repeat the ritual several times if the hurt is deep.