As I write this, the year’s first real snowfall is blanketing the land. It’s a time of rest and introspection. Spiritually, it’s a new year. As with our secular New Year, it’s custom to reflect on various aspects of our lives, how we’ve changed, and where we’re going. Recently, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about my path and why I blog about it. Some of this came about through discussions with Lady Althea via Twitter, specifically about how motherhood has changed our paths, and how our spirituality should be more about doing than keeping up with appearances. Some of my thoughts came through an interview I did with my friend Corinne for her upcoming podcast – Who’s Your Mama? The focus of the podcast is on mothers and how they find a balance between their mamahood and various life passions. Corinne is interviewing friends from around the country first to get into the groove, as it were, and thought my story about finding time to further my Druidic pursuits and found a protogrove, all while raising a little one, was inspiring. I felt that I rambled a bit, but she said it was great! I’ll be sure that share that when it comes out in January.
My religious practices haven’t changed much in the last year, but the way I engage with them has. The same time restricting forces that limit my blogging also limit the amount of time I have for involved ritual, magic, meditation, and trance. I’ve had to get creative in how I engage with my spirituality, and that’s only deepened my understanding of something I already knew to be true – magic and ritual is in everything. When we approach our daily tasks mindfully, aware of the interconnections, we are engaged with our spirit allies. I’ve also worked on my self-discipline. While accepting my limitations in time and energy at this point in time, I’ve managed to strike a balance. My trance studies are on hold for the time being, but I’ve worked hard to maintain the devotional practices I revitalized through ADF’s liturgical study program. I’m also working on my divination journal, focusing more on the practical work until I have a little extra time for the academic side of my Druidism. As a result, my understanding of the Druid Animal Oracle and ogham is improving.
One area that I’ve improved on in the past year is my hearth or kitchen magic. I’m working on incorporating more holistic approaches to cleaning and health; and I’ve continued to make mostly home-cooked meals, often utilizing local ingredients. This has helped me grow in my herbal knowledge and connection to the land. Sharing these processes with my youngster, and showing her how to put love and intention into all we do, only strengthens my own focus.
Including a toddler in seasonal and daily religious observances can be tricky, especially when they involve fire, but, in retrospect, I’m amazed at what I’ve been able to share with her. Bee is learning how to calm and focus her breathing. With my assistance, she uses a candle snuffer to assist in our symbolic smooring rite each evening. I explain to her what is a good task for her, and what is definitely a grownup job. She can snuff, but she cannot light the candle. These realities may be upsetting to her at first, but with repetition, she accepts them. This is teaching her respect for fire, that she has skills to grow into, and that there are times for quiet and action in ritual. Best of all, she’s learned to say “thank you” for abundance, inspiration, and beauty. It warms my heart when she reminds me that it’s time to do our “Brighid prayer” or when she randomly thanks the Earth Mother on our short walks outside.
So while I sometimes feel that I’m not doing enough, or sharing enough – in reality, I have a lot to celebrate about the last year! I hope you take some time to reflect on your own practice and growth over the year.