In a previous post, I wrote about the why of my spiritual practice. Today I’d like to write about the how and what I do day to day to keep my mind focused on the Goddess and on my personal role within the Wyrd.
When I first started out in Paganism, I tried to have a strict routine. I made up schedules for rituals and meditation and I spoke long and convoluted sentences at the altar. But it all felt forced and empty. I blamed myself, thinking maybe my devotion wasn’t enough. Eventually, I realised that it wasn’t my love for the Divine that was lacking but that I hadn’t yet found a way to express this love in a manner that came naturally. So, I gave up rituals for a while and then just went with what came of itself.
That is a point I would very much like to make clear: Spiritual practice is best when it flows naturally from one’s devotion. What that ends up looking like isn’t nearly as important. A ritual might look strange or even nonsensical to someone watching from the outside but what matters is the understanding between you and the Being you are worshipping or honoring.
Another point I’d like to make is that spiritual practice is not for the sake of connecting with the Divine. You don’t need to connect with something which is already there. You just need to focus your awareness on it.
So, what do I do personally to remember and serve the Divine? Mainly three things:
Usually the first thing I do in the morning and one of the last things I do in the evening. My altar doesn’t have a lot on it yet but it is well used. The offerings are mostly drink or food, usually a share of whatever I’m having for breakfast or dinner. It is a way for me to show Freya I remember Her and that I am grateful for all the things the Earth gives.
Since I don’t believe in throwing away food, I only offer things I can give to another human or to one of my animals.
I got into meditation during what I call my lost years – the time between leaving Christianity and finding religion again – and at first it was solely for the sake of stress and anxiety management. It helped a great deal but my meditation practice did not reach its true depth until I found the Divine again.
I first got into Sanatana Dharma (in the West it is usually called Hinduism) and started doing mantra meditation beside the silent meditation I was already doing. This practice has given me probably more than any other and has helped me through some of my darkest times.
My devotion is now turned towards a Norse Goddess but I still use repeated phrases in meditation; or sometimes I’ll repeat one of Freya’s names. What it is depends on what sort of help or inspiration I am seeking from Her. For example: If I am seeking the courage to do something I need to do but dread having to, then I might say the prayer (silently or out loud): ”Valfreya, Warrior Woman, give me strength”.
When doing mantra meditation I will usually either count on my fingers or use prayer beads. I don’t have any fixed schedule but I will often meditate early in the morning, after leaving work and before bed.
The weaving book
On Freya’s altar, I also keep a journal I call Vävarboken (English: The weaving book). In it I keep a daily record of my ”Wyrd work”, that is things I do that are related to my duty within the Wyrd. It can be family and work related stuff or updates about my writing. I also write down things I’m grateful for, upset or worried about. The weaving book is part diary, part to-do list. My notes are usually short but contain the most important things that happened or that I did that day. When I write in it, I will usually sit beneath the altar and I will say a short prayer once I close it.
So, that’s my personal spiritual practice. It’s not the only way to do things, just the one that works for me.