So recently I’ve been attending a Christian church on Sundays, and noticed they seem to be stuck in a place right now that most dogmatic religious folk are but few seem to ever want to confront; the questioning of what their spiritual beliefs are versus what their religious mind sets tell them to be. And I have found myself standing there too, though not really too much in recent years. But listening to their dilemma, it forced time to reflect on myself. What can I claim to be without lying to others and myself? My personal spiritual beliefs have undergone a major overhaul within the past couple of years, and I feel like I’ve done pretty good at not fighting against it. But now is the time to reflect back on those changes and what they have done to me. Three years ago, I readily identified as a Celtic Recon, albeit a pretty linguistically challenged one. Now I wonder if it would just be hollow to refer to myself as such, primarily with my switch from polytheism to monotheism. And as someone who was working through The Dedicant’s Path put out by Ar nDraiocht Fein, how do I reconcile the more religious/structured practices (such as setting up altars, structured rites, chants, etc…) with the personal spirituality that I hold to be the highest form of worship? And how am I to fit my prior hedgecraft practices into my new system? And where does culture, both past and present, fit into the religion-spiritual mix?
So it really is spring time, since we just picked up our first batch of chicks (aka McNuggets). I’m so blessed to have married into a family that is in to homesteading, since we are stuck in a rental that we can do nothing with outside. The landlord already had a fit about my makeshift raised planter, he said it looked trashy, because it was just full of dirt. Well, no wonder, it was November, and all the plants are done by then. So it went away. But that’s ok, because my in-laws live about 5 minutes up the road, and we garden out there. And. Now we have peeps! Brought 17 home yesterday, and are planning on getting at least 12 more within the next few weeks. These guys are Buckeyes, which are a heritage breed created to be hardy in this weird Ohio weather, and still be a dual purpose bird. We think this batch will probably be kept as layers, but the goal is to raise some meat birds. All the chickens out at the in-laws are free range, and live a pretty sweet life.
But what does this have to do with paganism, since the this is a pagan blog? You hear people from all religions and spiritualities talking about living their beliefs; well, this is part of how I live mine. If I want to talk about loving the earth and following a natural cycle, then I need to put it into practice. Homesteading, to me, puts you in a position to deal with nature on its terms, and you develope an appreciation for it that you otherwise wouldn’t have. More on that later though…
So I realize Thanksgiving was, what, three weeks ago, and I never posted anything about it. But that’s okay, because even though it’s wonderful to set aside a day to give thanks for all that we have and the people we share our lives with, we should be celebrating and honoring all those things and people EVERYDAY. And right now, while we’re right around the half-way point between America’s two largest holidays, let’s take a moment to be thankful for the people we love, and take joy in celebrating our lives with them. I love this time of year; it seems like joy is infectious. But after the New Year is done, we all seem to come down from the Christmas/Thanksgiving high, and go back to being cantankerous old farts. This is one of the reasons I feel personal spiritual practices are so important; when we make time for our own beliefs, we make time to really focus on the things most important to us. Feeling obligated to participate in the same weekly ritual established by someone else doesn’t really force you to reflect on your beliefs, or to grow as a spiritual person. It’s just a mindless droning, which we need sometimes, but it’s stagnant, it lingers, it doesn’t compel us to do mighty things in our lives. But personal spiritual practices are first hard to establish, and then hard to stick too. I’m as bad as anyone when it comes to that, I “let life get in the way”. But life shouldn’t get in the way, our spirituality should get in the way of our lives. We should set out to live our beliefs every day in the things we do, and the way we interact with the world. And when we can do this, when we learn to walk thankfully through each and every day, then we will know bliss.
Happy Holidays, anyone who actually reads this. Whatever holiday you celebrate (we do a secular Christmas, and I am planning for a minor Yuletide).
So today is Election Day in the USA! And that means people are nastier than usual when you disagree with their way of thinking. The great thing about voting is that the decisions you make in the poll booth are completely private and no one can force you to vote a certain way. But so many people have viewed this election with disgust for both of the major party candidates. Yet we seem to forget about the third parties. The Democrats and Republicans are not the original parties, and we the people have the power to change which parties are in control. So instead of complaining about voting for the lesser of two evils, vote for the person who you agree with and be the start of change.
Found this awesome trellis design on one of the most epic blogs ever, The Homestead Survival. Even though winter is fast approaching, that doesn’t mean we should neglect our gardens and food plots. With much of the dead and dry(ish) flora, we have a wealth of composting material to collect, along with great over-winter mulches. So instead of raking those leaves to the curb, rake them to the garden or compost heap. And start planning for your garden next year, or even get down some late fall plantings! Gardening is a year-round endeavor everywhere.
Wow, been off for awhile. So much has been going on within the past 18 months; a birth, a wedding, a new job, it’s been hard to find even a spare moment to catch my breathe. But things seem to be settling back down into a normal-hectic routine, and it’s time to revive my sad little blog that never really got a chance before. So have a couple articles in the works, some sweet art, and just general life musings. Moments over, time to get back to the grind.
I’ve been meaning to write a book on my spirituality for a while now; it’s appeared on my New Year’s resolutions list since 2008 at least. But I never anticipated how hard it would be to pull all my studies, practices, and knowledge together to create a practical manual/personal memoir. So to facilitate this endeavor, I’ve decided to re-read the first pagan book I ever bought, The Only Wiccan Spellbook You’ll Ever Need. Looking at it now, I see some of the hilarity of the text, but at the time when I first read it, it was a powerful tome, opening up to me a whole new realm of spirituality that I never before imagined. I was all of 13 or 14 years then. While my studies within Wicca were relatively short-lived, and I find the premise of this book and so many others to be highly questionable, there is no doubt in my mind that it holds a special place in my heart and was the literary beginning of my search for a personal spirituality. Hopefully, re-reading and drawing inspiration from this book will help me to better understand where to start and where to go with my own.