Saturday, January 29, 2011

Daily Practice (aka Adventures in Ancient Paganism)

Oh, the adventures I have had, just sitting here at the computer, trying to pick from the myriad of posts I've started! I've been pondering the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii, the Roman Hand of Power and dress of the Flamen Dialis, both of which were adopted by the Catholic Popes. This led me to muse about Pope Joan, and yet somehow this led me back around to... well, I could wind the labyrinth for ages.

This blog is part of a daily devotion. Not my only devotional act, but my public one. The form of my practice changes with the seasons, but there are daily, weekly and monthly devotions and rituals no matter the season. I'm in a sharing mood, so here we go:

In the past I have made a daily offering of fire and lit a candle while meditating on my Patrons and their nature. This was an incredible help and I felt more connected. That's really what it's about: connection to the Divine. I've made offerings of water in the past too. I tend to shy away from incense as a daily offering. I don't have the time to let incense burn every day, so that has become more of a weekly devotion. My earthly offerings have been food in the winter and tending to my garden in the spring and summer and autumn. Can't wait to talk Magickal gardening in the spring!

One of my earth based devotions is creating a permanent labyrinth on my property. I laid out the bricks and started digging it before the ground froze. It's currently under several feet of snow. It's a Minoan labyrinth. Even without having put it in the ground, I could walk it just with the marker stones. It's a wonderful meditation which I hope to make a daily one, if not weekly.

I celebrate the full moon and the dark moon as well. I use the same ritual every time. There is something to be said about the familiar rites. Once it's internalized, and not just memorized, you connect more with The Work. Same with the holidays. It seems like many groups feel the need to do something new every time. Not me. That's not how it's done in my Family, for the same reason I gave about the moons: The familiar ceremony helps you to go further than before. If you're trying to read off of a cheat sheet or regurgitate what you recently memorized it just doesn't have the same feeling or impact.

My devotions are a combination of ritual and extempore. The most meaningful devotions are the spontaneous ones. They are the most heart felt and not done out of mere obligation, but out of joy.

Speaking of spontaneous devotions, I am feeling moved tonight. Because I am weary of the snow, I offer this Hymn to Boreas, the North Wind, courtesy of Orpheus.

(Light frankincense)

"BOREAS, whose wint'ry blasts, terrific, tear
The bosom of the deep surrounding air;
Cold icy pow'r, approach, and fav'ring blow,
And Thrace a while desert expos'd to snow:
The misty station of the air dissolve, 5
With pregnant clouds, whose frames in show'rs resolve:
Serenely temper all within the sky,
And wipe from moisture, Æther's beauteous eye."


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