One of the biggest challenges to living a Pagan life is integrating our spirituality into our everyday lives. It’s so easy to put it off until the high days and occasionally light a candle when we feel desperate. Trust me – I know. I used to be like that when I first became a Pagan about 8 years ago. That’s fine if you only want a very shallow religious experience, but that’s not enough for most of us. However, if you’re like me, you have busy periods in which practicing becomes very difficult due to family obligations, high stress, lack of time, and a lack of energy. Here’s how I try to stay in touch with my spirituality when life gets hectic.
- Maintain simple daily or weekly rituals. Don’t feel like you can meditate for hours? Don’t have time for an hour-long ritual? Do your best to do short shrine devotionals – even if you’re only speaking words of thanks to the Kindreds in front of your altar before bed. I did my best to do devotionals at my shrine every day but it turned into an every other day event. I did, however, do my “necklace” ritual each morning. I put on my protective talisman and said a charm of thanksgiving to the Kindreds. That little bit helped me stay connected.
- Pray. Feel comfortable talking to the Gods, Ancestors, or Nature Spirits. Thank them for their blessings, especially as you work your way through stressful situations. Remember to thank the Earth Mother and/or Nature Spirits for food, shelter, and beauty. Little interactions like that will strengthen your connection to nature – a critical aspect of many Pagan spiritualities.
- Make time for nature. Piggy-backing on my last point, do your best to spend time in nature to maintain that connection. The photo above features some of my patio garden. While I felt too busy to get into the forest this past month, my garden helped me maintain a relationship to some Nature Spirits. I watered them, repotted them into roomier homes, sang to them, and spoke to them whenever I needed to harvest. Working in the garden comes with plenty of opportunities for magic. You can create simple chants or prayers whenever you care for your plants.
- Pamper yourself with magic! Approach your grooming as a magical act. It’s especially helpful if you use natural ingredients. Even better if you or someone you know made them! You have a better idea of the intent put into the soaps/lotions/cosmetics/etc.
- Kitchen magic! Most people have heard of kitchen magic, and I know I’ve blogged about it before. You don’t have to consider yourself a kitchen witch to do it. In fact, many religions have lore surrounding the preparation of food. Look into your culture of choice for inspiration. If you don’t feel that you have enough time to experiment with new recipes, try to put some intent into your cooking. Health is an easy goal to work towards when dealing with food, and it’s critical that you attempt to maintain a healthy diet when feeling stressed. You could also brew a relaxing pot of tea to calm your nerves at the end of the day. It seems like such a mundane task, but if you allow your mind to view it as healing magic, you suddenly feel the zest of life once more!
- Cleaning potions. My house suffered thanks to my hectic schedule, but I did my best to stay on top of things with homemade cleaning remedies. Simple cleaning recipes can become purification potions and applied with prayers or chanting.
- Surround yourself with reminders. I try to decorate my home in a “modern Druidic style.” My decor reflects my values and helps me feel “connected”. While it’s true that such things are simple possessions and not necessary to spiritual development, your decor becomes a symbol and is thus a powerful mental key. Pagan decorating is harder for people who live in diverse, shared homes, of course, but it doesn’t have to be. If you aren’t able to cover your walls with awens, triquetras, Brighid’s crosses, or cauldrons, go for more subtle symbols – oak leaves, the sun, the moon, rain, a spirit animal, etc…
- Don’t view yourself as a failure. This is very difficult – I know. I recently posted about coming to terms with this myself. To reiterate: ” I can’t do everything. As much as my spiritual development is important to me, I realized the value of spending time and doing quality work instead of rushing through exercises and trying to fit everything into a tiny time slot. That’s not how to learn and progress. It’s not fair to me or the spirits.” We all have to remember that we can’t be master priests and priestesses within a matter of years. It takes more time than that – which is why myths often portray wise people as older. Take your time and don’t rush. Be happy with what you can do.