TPE: Rituals

I seem to have an aversion to Monday’s, hence this week’s “Monday Musing” is on Wednesday!

This week’s musing is about rituals: What is your definition of the word “ritual”? What are your rituals- mundane and spiritual? How do they inform each other? Is ritual a necessary component to spiritual practice?

As someone who has mild OCD many mundane tasks can become ritualistic. My morning routine of sorting my pets, my partner, chores around the house before rushing off to work is somewhat ritualistic. I offer protection blessings for my partner and my pets every day.

I have a special ritual invocation if I see road-kill and that has become so ingrained that I can’t not do it any more.

When I am overwhelmed, my OCD kicks in to reduce the anxiety and suddenly certain items need to be moved, floors swept, clothes hung just so. These rituals become a form of focus, of control that help to balance out my anxiety levels.

For more spiritual matters, the ritualistic side is more pronounced. If I do any blessings, spells or rituals I walk the space, cleanse the space, remove my tools from the chest in a specific order – they are laid out on the altar in a specific order. All this is important as this routine allows me to keep my focus and draws my attention.

Rituals whether spiritual or mundane keeps us focused, keeps us grounded and they allow a smoother motion through our lives. I think they are necessary but not just in spirituality.

Advertisements

Gaia’s Blood

I’ve been a while since I wrote for The Pagan Experience, stuff got in the way again. I do sometimes feel I need to stand around, broom in hand beating all this random “stuff” that dares to creep in and steal my time, my energy and my focus.

This week’s topic is Water.

Element - Water

Being both a Pisces and a HSP I feel I am heavily connected to Water. It is my element, it is the representation of emotion and change. Like emotion it can both comfort and overwhelm.

Water is the shape shifter, it moulds to the vessel to which it is poured. Heated it rises as vapour, chilled it hardens to ice. It falls gently as snow and hits hard as hail.

Water is abundant and yet also rare. Over 70% of the Earth’s surface is water and yet it is a finite source. Most of our body is water, most of our brain is water. Too little and we suffer and perish, too much and we suffer and perish.

Water is precious and so should be honoured, cherished. It should be used with care not reckless abandon. All life needs water and all life should have access to water.

It should be conserved, kept clean, protected.

As a conversationalist, I am careful what I put into water using non-toxic substances that do not pollute water. I collect rainwater for my garden for when the summer comes.

I feel at my most cleansed when standing outside in a rainstorm. Soaked through to the bone and shaking from a mix of heat from within and cold from without.

It is the element that melds with all others. It rises in the air to fall as rain. It cuts a path through the earth to run as rivers. It is warmed by fire but can smother, dampen and extinguish.

Water is Gaia’s blood.

Monday Musings – Humanity

“Humanity” has several meanings, however for me the word usually invokes the concept of compassion, of empathy and understanding and respecting others.

So when I read that this week’s Monday Musings topic was (paraphrasing) ‘What does humanity mean to you?’ I guess my first instinct is the above.

We say people have “lost their humanity” when they do something cruel or horrific, whether it’s to other people or even to animals.

When we see or hear of someone doing something compassionate, generous, loving, selfless (especially for a stranger) we think of that as being their “humanity” showing through.

My next line read “with so much negativity in the world…” then I stopped and deleted that. Really, how much negativity is there? After all we are bombarded by news on TV, radio, billboards, magazines, newspapers, the internet…and bad news sells better than good news. Heck when we have a bad experience in a shop we tell everyone. Forget the 100s of good experience we have had, it is almost more noteworthy to discuss the bad ones.

Maybe… just maybe that’s because they are actually not as common as the good. Maybe we see all the negativity but part of us (I hope) realises that actually there is far more good, far more “humanity” in the world and not to let the horror stories drag us down.

There was recently a news article here in Britain stating that a disabled pensioner had been mugged in his home and was injured in the mugging. He was terrified to go back to his home. A horrible story! Yet, within a day or so another story took control – a young woman had been moved by his story and started a donation page. Within a short time the amount raised was £250,000.00. All the comments from this story were positive, sending their wellwishes to the gentleman and stating how kind-hearted this woman was.

We don’t always here these tales of humanity, yet the term “Faith in Humanity” has become more common and people are starting to share these stories where faith in humanity is restored.

These are the stories we should be sharing, we should always look to the best and not get trapped with the worst.

This is important to me in my spiritual path, because when we see how strong humanity can be, how brave, kind, selfless, generous and heroic people can be, gives me hope.

Enjoy this video, I hope it makes you smile 🙂

Monday Musings – personal practice

This week’s Monday Musings is:

Personal Practice- Share your favorite spiritual/magickal practices. What tools are incorporated into your daily practice? What feeds you and replenishes you?

My daily practice starts with tending the Birds and Beasts

My day begins with letting in the sunlight (except for when it’s too dark, then I guess I let in the darkness) 🙂  I open my home to this and take moments while I look out over my garden. I usually watch the birds.

I tend my indoor plants, talking to them gently and checking their progress.

I then tend my animals, four rescue cats, a rescued dwarf hamster and an adopted budgie. They are given attention and care.

Solace & Serenity

Before the scream of the day, my partner and I spend some time sitting at our table, enjoying the calm serenity of our home before we are exposed to the press and noise and artificial light. This time is spent cherishing the sanctuary we are lucky to have.

Before I leave the house, I send a blessing out.

Ride the Broom

When I return home, I usually need to sweep the floor. I sweep any negativity that I have brought home (usually from work), out of the house.

 

These are my rituals, my routines, my practices. They are what centre me, calm me and connect me.

Monday Musings – Resolutions

So, I joined The Pagan Experience were they have Monday Musings. Since the Pagan Blog Project ended in 2014, this was a great find. Big thanks to DarksLyric who contacted me after seeing my last post and informed me of The Pagan Experience.

The prompt for this week was Resolutions. This is were we resolve to do things, keep promises, stick to goals. To make strong resolutions, it is best to avoid the vague and include “how” you plan to do it.

So here are my resolutions for 2015

1 – Write More – I truly cannot call myself a writer if I do not write. So I plan to write more, and write regularly (6pm every night) for at least 15mins and in the same location (my craft room). All these will (hopefully) help to cement the habit of writing and I will have less “staring at a blank screen” and more actual novel scenes, poems, blog posts, letters etc.

2 – Spend more time with nature – Last year got the better of me and I got dragged into the screaming dervish of life, family and oodles of stress. Which meant I sacrificed, one being my time outside. A Pagan who spends no time with nature feels that separation keenly and I was no exception. My garden was mostly neglected (though the birds were always fed!) but I did not tend my flowers, I did not spend time just out amid that quiet place or even in any of the woods or parks nearby. So this year I will drag out my plans for the garden, I will organise what I want to do each month and I will do it on the last weekend of every month.

3 – Increase my fitness – I know, I know, fitness ones are always doomed right? Well I don’t plan to stupidly give myself goals of running a marathon. In I will start with the smallest amount, the most basics. I will reduce my wheat intake (especially since I am sure I have an intolerance and when I originally cut it down the difference was incredible!) I will spend 2 mins (I know that’s small, but I need to build my strength slowly) on the stepper. I will walk to the post office when I am posting parcels (after all, there really is no rush!).

4 – To cleanse my living space – Those who read the Big Shake Up post about the book I read and the craziness that has come from that will know what I am talking about. I am blitzing the house and everything in it. Yes EVERYTHING. Already furniture has been sold, 12 bin bags of clothes, towels and bedding have been donated and we started on the books. My partner and I have a very detailed plan regarding this purge. Already I have felt a deep freeing sense. I have always felt guilty if someone gives me something that I don’t want, or I’ve ended up with “sentimental” items that don’t really bring me joy. These things have clogged up my home and made living there difficult. Now, as I purge each area I am amazed at the feeling of freedom, energy and peace. The rule is Purge first, purge by category (rather than location) hold everything, touch everything and decide does it REALLY bring you joy? Will you truly use it? I love it!

5 – Reconnect with Friends – I have found that with all these social media sites, we have actually got less connection with people. Everything is in small bites of information, usually just about ourselves, we are the centre of our own universe and treat others like the audience. We don’t connect, we don’t reach out, we don’t listen anymore. I have always tried to push past that, stay connected with snail mail to friends (even virtual friends) or long emails, phone calls rather than just tweets and texts. It’s not easy and many people are resistant to giving you their time when they can instead text 20 people about what they ate! But I will continue to hope that some of us can reconnect properly.