Thinking Aloud on Personal Spiritual Practice…

“Don’t you have to be into the Celts to be into Druidry?”

I hear this question a lot – particularly after I note that I utilize OBOD‘s framework along with First Nations pantheons for my own personal practice.  I don’t find it necessary to utilize a Celtic framework for my own personal work.  Within the OBOD lessons themselves – yes, there’s a definite need to understand the Celtic aspect, but the framework that you learn can easily be adapted into usage with other systems with a minimal amount of tinkering.

I have always been of the mind that spiritual belief, practice and ritual is something that needs to “call” to the adherent.  Most of my rituals are free-form in nature – and to some folks, don’t even look like rituals.  But they work for me and call to my heart.  In the end, that’s more important than anything else, in my opinion.  Each morning, when I walk out to the bird-bath, clean it out, and replace the water – that is my ritual to greet the morning.  Yeah, it looks mundane, doesn’t it?  But its really not.  Each moment is one made with purpose.  And truly, I believe my entire day is made of moments of ritual and purpose.

I don’t need some set of colorful robes to wear during a ritual.  Jeans, a t-shirt, and a pair of shoes or boots work just great for me.  Sometimes, I’ll burn some incense in the house – but that’s typically to prepare my frame of mind for a specific type of meditation.  I normally don’t need to burn anything or make the area into any type of scent.  I just need to ground, center, and begin a meditative state.  I can do that standing, walking, driving in a car (though I choose not to do that very often for obvious reasons), sitting on the couch in the living room, laying on the bed, taking a shower, swimming, cooking…literally any activity.

It looks simple.  And it is.  I have no desire to wave about and chant.  I might sing (and you WILL clap your hands over your ears and tell me to stop torturing you).  To be honest, life is hard enough to get through.  There’s plenty of other rituals that I have to pay attention to for my job.  The keystrokes I have to make to logon to the system to enter my classroom.  The passwords I have to remember – and there’s plenty of those.  Which campus I need to be on and when.  The names of students that I will only see during the sixteen weeks they are in my class (well, for the most part).  Calling roll.  What lesson we will undertake.  The information that needs to be imparted.  With all of that (and more), I don’t need to have complicated rituals, chanting and the such in an activity where I am focusing on the beauty of the world around me, and my own very small place within it.  Thus the reason that most of my personal rituals are done off-the-cuff.

I’ve heard it many times before – and will likely hear it many more times into the future.  That’s not what “Paganism” is about.  You need to know the referential materials that are correspondent to each God/Goddess.  You need to know which movement in the Circle provides which frame of reference for this or that.  My response?  “If that works for you, who am I to say its wrong for you?”

I’m a strong believer in the idea/concept that each of the Gods are unique.  Some share similar traits…but they are unique, separate from one another.  I’m also a firm believer that the Gods and Goddesses aren’t worried about whether we went around the edge of the ritual space a certain number of times to the left or right – or if we burned this type of incense while we chanted Kumbaya at precisely midnight on the first Thursday following a new moon.  I believe that the Gods and Goddesses are pleased when we remember them in our rituals or when we do certain deeds as a tribute to them.

“Doesn’t that make the entire concept of spirituality rather chaotic?”  Perhaps.  I can’t really say how all of that speaks to anyone else.  Each person has to figure that out for themselves.  I know how things work for me.  I can speak to that.  Do I think everyone should do as I do?  Bullshit.  Do what works for you…be who you are.  I believe that’s what the Gods and Goddesses truly want…for us to be ourselves, even when we’re different…

 

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