Four Steps to Starting or Strengthening a Pagan Practice

Four Steps to Starting or
Strengthening a Pagan Practice

 

1. Make a choice.

When it comes to religion, the only thing we can be certain about is that there is no such thing as certainty. If you insist on certainty you’ll either be waiting till you’re dead or you’ll latch onto some fundamentalist who claims to have certainty when in fact he has no such thing. It’s not all the same – different religions and different traditions have different beliefs, practices, and foundational stories, and different ideas about the core questions that religion should address. So choose something.

What does your heart and your brain tell you is true? What whispers that there’s more? What calls to you? Who calls to you? Here’s a hint – you’re reading a Pagan blog. Something brought you here, and whether that something is internal or external, perhaps you should pay attention to it.

If you’ve been wanting to explore Paganism, or if you’ve been exploring and now it’s time to get serious, then make a choice to start now. Or if this isn’t for you, then make a choice to be a Buddhist or a liberal Christian or whatever seems like a good fit. But make a choice and commit to something.

2. Build your foundation.

We live in a society that is nominally Christian but that is thoroughly materialist at heart. Nature is valued only for how its “resources” can enrich humans. The only God anyone knows is the God of Abraham… or perhaps all Gods are made up. Magic is fantasy for children. These assumptions – and that’s all they are, unproven assumptions – are embedded in our wider society and in our lives. Mainstream Western society has made us blind and deaf to mystery, to the Gods and spirits, and to everything else that doesn’t involve buying and selling.

We need to build a foundation for our Pagan practices based on our experiences of Gods and of Nature, and on the results of our dedicated spiritual practice. We need to read: the stories of our ancient ancestors, the great works of Pagan philosophy, and the wisdom and experience of contemporary Pagans and polytheists. Paganism is as reasonable as any other religion or no religion at all. But we have to get past the unstated assumptions of the mainstream society.

3. Begin a devotional practice.

If there is a God or Goddess who is making Their presence known in your life, then begin a devotional practice to Them. If not, then what deity seems like a good match for you? Whose myths always struck you as more than stories? Relationships can be initiated by either party – pursuing the Gods is a good thing!

Read Their stories and read the scholarly work about the cultures in which They were originally worshipped. Talk to Their priests and see how They’re being worshipped today. Tell Their stories and invoke Them in ritual. Speak to Them in prayer and listen for Them in meditation. Build a shrine. Make offerings. Do Their work in this world. Pick one or two things to get started, then add others as you go.

It’s always good to honor the Gods.

4. Keep it up.

Don’t be the Pagan equivalent of the January gym goers! Commit to practice every day between now and Imbolc – it’s only four weeks. The best way to insure that you do is to start small. Start with once-daily prayers and once-weekly offerings. Or once-daily meditations and twice-weekly study sessions. This will require some discipline and may require some tricks – schedule your practice time on your phone, or set an offering bowl on your kitchen table.

Do the easy stuff first – whatever is easy for you. You’ll get into the habit of practicing every day, and that will make it easier to keep it up when you start to add practices that are harder and less fun, but still necessary.

The holidays are over and the new year is here. The season of Imbolc calls us to deeper practice. Something is in the air, or in the æther.

What will you make of this opportunity?

Source:  4 Steps to a Deeper Pagan Practice (Patheos, Under the Ancient Oaks)

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

4 Ways to Make Everyday Magickal

For some, magick isn’t something to be contained into back room rituals and secretive assemblies in the dark depths of the forest, it’s something to be celebrated daily and integrated into the most mundane aspects of our lives.

Magick, intention, energy can be harnessed and used to make your life better, keep yourself grounded and provide spiritual enlightenment and growth.  Performing small acts of magick daily increases your power and knowledge.

Here are four small ways to make simple daily tasks and actions magickal:

  1. The power of herbs, roots and minerals for consumption similar to using potions. When you cook, be conscious of the magickal properties of the ingredients you’re using, use them with proper intent and focus your magickal intention to get results.

chicken-soup

  1. Walking and chanting, similar to saying spells, creates kinetic energy which powers your magick. Repeating a phrase or mantra or spell when walking, especially in a natural, forest or rural setting, can ground you, focus your energy and multiply your magickal intention.

forest-walk

  1. Music is another example of everyday magick. Songs, words, instrumentals all offer power and energy both through the music itself and in the movement of your body.  As you dance and connect with the message of music, you amplify your emotions and magickal intention.

moving-music

  1. Cleansing, purifying and grounding magickal tools and yourself is an important part of any ritual. Focusing in on the elements of cleansing; washing away negative energy, renewal and purity; when you clean your home or in the shower can bring magick to everyday life and take that small piece of ritual and normalize it to make everyday life more magickal and connected to supernatural energy and power.

shower

 

 

Integrating small acts of magick into daily life preserves your power, energy and intention and creates a lifestyle promoting your paganism and spirituality.

Source: 4 Ways to Make Everyday Magickal

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New Beginnings

Back in August 1998, I was initiated into a Gardnerian coven. While the details of who and what fade away, I do have fond memories of esbats and Sabbats I attended throughout the years. Then life spiraled out of control for me, I became a solitary with no particular path.

For the last ten years of my life, my spiritual practices of Witchcraft was at a minimum. For me, as a recovering addict, my priority in life was my sobriety. However, at the same time I knew my Higher Power, the Goddesses and Gods I believed in, were always there. I did what I could, when I could but it was never a real commitment.

Now that my ten year anniversary is around the corner, I feel a definite change in the wind. I have moved to my own home in a very small rural town in Upstate New York, where no one will know nor bother me. I’m in a much better place mentally and spiritually. Thus, when I moved in July 2017, I dedicated to start all over.

For the last couple of months its been hard. As I continue to receive information from old newsgroups and new groups I have joined, there is so much I want to learn and do, yet I have not found a solid footing as of yet. Therefore, I have made a promise to myself and the Gods.

As Samhain 2017 approaches, things in my life are slowly falling in place. I can feel a great change coming within myself. I look forward to whatever the Lady and Lords have in store for me in the new coming year.

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

Four Stages of Spiritual Awakening [repost]

Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment