To Be a Witch… A Life of Ritual and Devotion

It’s a common thing to hear that there’s a difference between our magical lives and our mundane lives. In reality, we have the ability to step into ritual and devotion each and every day.

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Daily Practice - Doing that one thing over and over again

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Right as the clock struck midnight and 2015 was upon us, people started talking about their daily practices. I suppose it's a natural enough time to review what we do or don't do every day. Mostly it becomes a bit of a wish list for how we'd like our lives to be less mundane and more spiritual and as we have the clean slate of the new calendar year to help us, why not give it a bash.

Here's the not so good news - Daily practices, for the most part, are mundane. It's about doing the same thing, the same way each and every day (or as many days as you can). Whether you are communing with gods, or tending to an altar, or sipping a cup of tea or sitting in silence it's about doing that thing when you say you are going to do it. But mostly it's about doing that thing over and over again, recommitting to a practice without the expectation of reward. Occasionally I've had that "aha!" moment but more often than not, I do my thing, my day stops for a few minutes and I then move on.

Here's the super sucky news - We'll all probably screw it up at some point and quit doing it or want to change it up. We'll wonder if sitting under that tree on a pillow is really getting us anywhere and we'll want to do something else instead. We might even think, "I know, if I add jumping jacks or pulling a tarot card every day, this practice will get easier or more interesting or the goddess will chat with me more often. Hey maybe I could just do this every third day, yeah, that will be okay." I think that's a pretty natural reaction to daily practice. After all, it is called a daily practice and not a daily perfection. I know my own journey to a daily practice has had many twists and turns and the more complicated and expansive I made it, the harder it became to actually do anything. Doing that simple thing, whatever that simple thing may be, is often the best practice. Did I mention that you have to do it over and over again?

Here's the good news - Each day when we awaken, we have the chance to start our daily practices for the first time all over again. As I've practiced, I've noticed my ability to sit for longer periods of time. Grounding, centering, and finding myself present for the moment at hand, especially moments of chaos and stress (mine or other people's) has become easier as my daily practice has become, well, an actual daily practice.

These first two weeks of 2015 have been incredibly challenging for me personally. I've had a minor health scare and found myself unexpectedly jetting off to New Zealand to sit vigil as my father lay dying. Through all of this though, I was able to keep some semblance of my daily practice going. Each morning, I'd wake up at six (ish), make a cup of tea and sit outside. I would just sit. Sit and breathe. Sit and listen. Sit and let the thousands of swirling thoughts arise and fall without paying too much attention to the stories in my head. Sit and notice my presence or lack of it in that moment. Sit and talk with my ancestors or the gods or the trees or the chirping birds or whomever was on my mind in that moment. And then just sit some more.

Sit. Breathe. Listen. Sip. Sit. Breathe. Listen. Sip. Sit. Breathe. Listen. Sip.

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My daily practice is about sitting and breathing and listening. I know folks that have much more rigorous and active daily practices. What is your daily practice and how did you come to it?

 

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I've been a practicing witch and ritualist within the Reclaiming Tradition since 2003. I love being in service with this community of witches and world changers.   My own practice, my own way of changing the world is through devotional practice. It's my belief that we can re-enchant our lives by re-framing the so-called "mundane" as sacred and divine. By imbuing the familiar with a sense of wonder and infusing daily life with acts of magic, we choose to consciously make all of life devotion. Whether we engage in large, public rituals or sink sumptuously into the pure ecstasy of eating a delicious meal by ourselves or meditating at sunrise, our daily rituals can draw us back into harmony with the world and each other.  

Comments

  • Mark Green
    Mark Green Sunday, 08 February 2015

    I like this piece (and I'm sorry for your loss). In our ADD world, it IS hard to keep doing that one thing, every day.

    For mine, I've developed an Atheopagan "rosary". https://atheopaganism.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/an-atheopagan-rosary/

  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven Monday, 09 February 2015

    Hello Mark,

    Thank you for the comments. I took a peek at your link. I like the concept of your "rosary", even if the name gives me the chills! :)

  • Editor B
    Editor B Thursday, 12 February 2015

    Hey Gwion. Mark Green shared this link and got me here. I like the perspective you articulate. It's particularly useful as I'm organizing two workshops around the idea of regular personal practice this spring.

    As for me, I meditate daily, and I do find the simplicity of breath-based mindfulness meditation to have many virtues. However, lately I've been trying to throw in some yoga...

  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven Thursday, 12 February 2015

    Thank you for your comment Editor B.

    You know, I added Yoga into my daily schedule about a year ago. It didn't stick, not because I didn't enjoy it or find it helpful, but because my lovely teacher moved to a different area. She was more of a lifestyle yoga teacher rather than an athletic yoga teacher, if you get my drift. And of course. yoga was traditionally the activity one did before meditating, so they do go hand in hand.

    I'd love to hear more about your workshops -

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