Sunday, January 11, 2015

Spiritual what now?

This weeks' prompt over at The Pagan Experience asks us to describe our personal spiritual practices, favorites and daily.

Do I even have any daily practices?
After giving it considerable thought, I've decided that I do have some things I could call practices. I take care of my plants. I hang out with my pets. I go on hikes (not daily, but often). I keep living in a way that is increasingly good for my soul. ...I'm not really satisfied with that answer. It just feels incomplete, or maybe like I'm not answering the right question.

The other day, I read a piece by Jeffery Pierce over at Old Ways that described paganism as a way of life, as opposed to a specific religion. He says: "To me, you can’t start separating pagan from who we are or pull it out of any area of our lives. It’s our baseline as human beings." That's the nail on the head, for me.

When I think about what my daily spiritual practices are, first of all the question feels awkward, ill-fitted. And at first my conclusion was that I had none. I rephrased the question and asked myself what is it about my way of living that reflects my spirituality. That was easy: all of it. Even when I'm not doing very well at living, the effort is still a reflection of my spiritual path.

But that wasn't really the point of the original question. So I rephrased again: If I were outside looking in, what parts of my way of life would appear to be entirely spiritual? Well, maybe none. I do maintain shrines in my home, though, which might throw my visitors off if they realized what they were. Mostly, I think they just look decorative, but their meanings are clear to me. They serve as visual reminders of all the parts of my soul that I hold most dear - my ability to create; my connection to and safety in my home; the strong bond between me and my charges (my pets, my plants); and my best memories. These are the things that keep me trying on those hard days.

I can live with that answer. 

1 comment:

  1. I am totally with you on this one. I think if I need 'rituals' I'm not doing it right. :) I agree about the shrines too. People 'in the know' walk into my front room, stop, and sort of nod, or say 'ah' and don't take it any further. Other people seem to be oblivious, in spite of a number of Green Man plaques up my fireplace and moon gazing hares around the hearth. You'd think the foot-high figure of Pan would bother people wouldn't you? But somehow the 'unspiritual' don't seem to notice him.

    Paganism just 'is'. Sure, I mark the points on the wheel with a glass of something nice and maybe a slightly better than usual meal, depending on the season. (I go all-out for Yule, Imbolc is probably just a decent glass of beer) It's knowing that the world is out there, and I'm a part of it, and I owe it some sort of allegiance, to look after it, to treat people around me better than other folk do. To look up into the sky sometimes and realise just how big and beautiful a universe we live in. And to be happy for it. Blessed be!