Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Evaluating my Path Fall 2009
The figure you see above is one that I found at the beginning of the summer at a thrift store. Despite her 90's new age feel she compelled me to bring her home. Clean lines, serene, seated cross-legged with her hands open. After a fresh coat of paint I planned for her to be a focus for my altar. I wanted to create an altar in the one spot in our home that no one else went to, the corner of the balcony off our bedroom. I wanted to get a small table and set it up with a carpet/blanket in front for me to sit on and just have this little place of my own. I could meditate, do rituals etc. and most of all have an area to focus that energy to. Well, here it is September and is there an altar out there? No. Why didn't this happen? There are many reasons. Money, time, lack of dedication, lack of making this wish a priority for myself.
When I find an hour to myself it is hard to prioritize what I'd like to do most. Read, sleep, work,
blog, sew... the list is endless for me. I never have problems with boredom since my to-do list is always so long.
But where does this leave my personal practice and are the ways I see my paganism changing?
I consider the development of my personal practice to be a series of baby steps. I have tried to set goals each year for my practice and this year has seen some of them realized and some not so much. But my main intention is to work my spirituality into my everyday life. What that means to me is changing though. One of the great aspects of participating in the pagan online community is that I'm learning in a more community based way than I did previously. 10 years ago when I found this path I relied on books and the experiences of other peers who were exploring similar ideas. In its next phase my journey joined with that of other women and we worked together on shared goals. I have yet to feel the need to seek out "a teacher", I may never feel that need. Instead I see my sense of spirit evolving with my life in an interconnected way. For instance my cooking skills are not separate from my witchy tendencies. Each time I make bread or try a new recipe something inside is putting intention into my work. If I'm not careful, if my day is not going well, my intention can affect my food. This has happened to me several times in the last two weeks because I've been "off". Just not focusing, not being present in the moment when I'm cooking. Being mindful of the present moment is a primary focus of my practice.
Another development for me in terms of my interaction with the pagan community online is that I am learning incredible amounts of valuable information. There are several sources for this. One being the many podcasts I listen to. Hearing about the pagan community at large, from writers, musicians, and pagans practicing their paths their way is so enriching. I find myself evaluating my views on issues raised and keeping abreast of current news and concerns has really changed the way I see my place in the community. I feel compelled to participate, use my voice, and present that voice as authentically as possible.
Sarah Lawless at The Witch of Forest Grove has opened a can of worms inside me as well. She is doing a series of posts on the history of different pagan traditions. These posts are so interesting. I have flirted with terms like green witch, hedge witch, domestic/kitchen witch but Sarah defines them and provides resources for further research. There is a wealth of info on the web about paganism but there is also misinformation out there. I feel very confident with Sarah's research. Terms are more for the reference of others than myself because I don't feel the need for self-definition. But I also don't want to call myself anything specific without understanding the meaning of the term. Witch has been a word that I've identified with for the last 10 years. Not in the Wiccan sense, not even in the witchcraft sense (although I do often consider my work witchcraft) but the word resonated with me. Pagan, witch, and now I say solitary witch. Witch means many things to me: magic worker, gardener, artist, weaver of energy. It's meaning is changing for me though. The more I understand about the specific Witch paths the less I am able to identify where I fit into their spectrum. I don't expect to resolve this issue in one post or even any time soon. I think I just have to keep working, learning and listening to my inner voice and guides and all will be revealed in time. This post has been a bit all over the place so please forgive my ramblings...but they definitely reflect my inner voice these days. Inspired, tired and open to change.