By: Rev. Selene Lilitu
Answer me a question: How much a part of your life is your spirituality? Before you answer, let me explain why I ask. We are Pagans, many of us proud and open about our religion. Some of us are a little more fearful of being open about our Spiritual beliefs, and of course this is a personal choice. The possibility of persecution for being something other than “mainstream” in our jobs and in society is very real.
Of course I pray for this to change. However I don’t believe we should waste our time trying to convince anyone of our right to practice our chosen religion in peace. But this is a real problem that almost cripples so many. I have a friend, bless him, who wants so very much to practice his calling to Druidry. He wants to feel it, to live it. But the pressure from his very close-minded Christian family and the messy concerns of life in general has had him bouncing between self-doubt and despondency where his religion is concerned, and herein lies my inspiration for this column.
It is a problem for most of the Wiccans I’ve been blessed to be in contact with throughout my seven years as a practitioner. How many times have you said “I’d love to practice more, to feel more connection to the Goddess, but I’m just so very busy, I can’t find the time to do devotions or ritual, I’m so tired at the end of the day,” and so on? The major issue that is centuries in the making, but never more so than in the last century, is the separation of Spirituality and Religion from everyday life.
For our Pagan ancestors, Religion as such wasn’t even a consideration; Spirituality and daily Life enjoyed a true symbiosis. When you go far back enough, you come to realize that actions as simple as waking up and preparing breakfast were rituals, deeply steeped in spiritual and religious belief. The harvest, the preparation of food, craft, and even recreation were all performed with well-aged traditions that were based on the Beliefs of their tribes, passed down by their ancestors. Because they already lived their lives so intertwined with their Spirituality, they could transcend the physical easily during religious gatherings or devotional practices. It was that much easier for them to enter trances and attain complete alignment with their Gods because they lived that much closer to their Gods in everyday life.
A perfect modern-day example of this that can help you understand what I mean is the daily life of the fictional Navi people in the movie Avatar. When they kill their prey, it is done with a prayer to their Goddess, Eywa. But more than just a prayer by rote, as the character Neytiri explains to the newcomer Jake. It is an indicator of the deep respect that the Navi hold for life. They truly, with every fiber of their subconscious and conscious beings, believe that these animals are sacrificing their lives for the Navi to survive, and they are truly grateful for such a gift.
I don’t mean to go off on a tangent, but I want to help you understand what I mean. The challenge that Wiccans face in today’s secular world is making our beliefs such an integral part of the way we view everything in our world that not having time for daily devotions won’t even be a consideration. As both a Correllian Priestess and as a busy mom working hard to make ends meet, I completely understand the frustration of not being able to take as much time as I’d like for Religious practice. I’m on a journey of melding my Spiritual Life with my everyday life, and I want to share with you beautiful people the small ways I find every day to achieve that integration.
I’ll share one special ritual I’ve created for myself and for my daughter, who I am raising Wiccan. She’s only two, and loves me to sing lullabies to her. While I’m snuggling her and singing to her, I use that time to connect to Goddess while singing the Pagan songs and chants we would generally use in rituals. The chant “From the Goddess” is one of my daughter’s favourites, and when I sing it to her, I feel closer to both her and to Mother. It is something that is not just habit now, but is a vitally important ritual in both our lives. It ends the day for her on a wonderful note, and it offers me five minutes for connection and devotion.
It seems like something small, but that’s where everything starts: Baby Steps. Please feel free share with me ways that you find everyday to link your Spirituality and your Life. I’m so very excited to embark on this journey with all of you!