Mornings always bring a new perspective on the Path for me. When the sun rises up over the horizon and starts that slow climb into the day-time sky, I can typically be found with a cup of coffee in my hand – watching. Its a morning ritual that has served me well. During the time of sunrise, I clear my head of the cobwebs from my sleep during the night. I can put my mind into gear and start to prioritize my day in my head. But there is a lot more to my morning start….
I spend a few minutes doing my first centering and grounding exercise of the day. Next to my large backyard tree, I can visualize myself growing roots through my legs and feet, reaching deep down into the ground. I can feel the strong comfort of the earth embracing me, holding me upright. At this point, I usually set my coffee cup down, and reach my hands towards the sky. I can feel my arms and hands embracing the warmth of the sun’s rays, and the air gently moving around me. After a few moments of embracing the world around me, I move internally and find my center – my grove of the heart.
This is my internal sanctuary. The place where I find solitude and comfort. This is typically where I meet my Dream Crows. Even five minutes in this place will remind me of how I need to approach the world around. My worries, stress, and anger are not necessary. I remember that each moment, each breath, each action is a celebration of Life. I entwine myself in that thought, took another deep breath, and come back to this moment. And I begin my day.
Rituals do not need to be complicated motions and incantations – rote statements and actions. That works for other people, and I applaud them for finding something that works for them. My approach is much more simple. This is the style of ritual that holds deep meaning for me, it is a deep reservoir that I can access at any time and place. Most importantly, it works for me.
No, it has not escaped my notice that my perspective of ritual comes from a singular perspective. My ritual style will not translate well to any aspect of group dynamics. But this, I have come to understand is why I am a Solitary Pagan on a Path of Druidry. My rituals are in my Grove of the Heart. I cannot translate accurately what that Grove looks like. I cannot translate correctly the emotions that are tied to every experience.
I do the best that I can with the writing I do in my journals, but those words splayed on the pages hold more meaning for me than for anyone that may forage through them. Each statement made there is charged with attached meaning and understanding for me. I wrote those words, and the memories and emotions attached to it are my own. Thus, I am able to translate what I have written there in a manner far more meaningful than anyone else. Much like we all attach feelings, emotions and memories to the songs we hear on the radio, the words I place on a page will have a different meaning to me than to someone else.
In contemplating the idea that I am a Solitaire by choice, I realized that the word itself implies loneliness. The lone individual traveling through a Spiritual Life, alone. No friends, no one to discuss those experiences with, no one to celebrate the turning of the Wheel with. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a Solitary Pagan by choice, but I do spend a lot of time talking with other Pagans. Occasionally, I will attend events and group celebrations to touch base with those same friends and to encounter new friends. A Solitary Path is not a lonely one. Yet there is the implication that it is. In my manner of thinking, this is from a deeply ingrained perspective that is brought about by our modern society. For instance, lonely people are thought to be deeply depressed, deeply resentful of others around them, and that eventually they will snap in a violent manner and strike out at that connected, communal world around them. I am quite sure that there is some aspect of psychology that can be set forth to “prove” my point to be “wrong”. That’s all right though – I still stand by this point. No, I am not lonely. Not by any stretch of the imagination. But I am a Solitary Pagan by choice.
This is only the first in a series of posts that I will be making on all of this. I am exploring the perspective of why I have chosen to be a Solitaire. I am not questioning whether I should remain a Solitary Pagan. I am trying to explore a bit more of who I am, and why I am. My first look here has been at this from a perspective of ritual. There will be more to come…