Thinking About: Self Examination of One’s Personal Spirituality

You can always tell when I’m trying to figure out a topic for the weekend…I wait until Sunday to write the post. LOL This week is not any different because here it is – Sunday – and I am trying to figure out what to write.

I had one person write me and ask if I would write a third post on my experiences with confusing Valkyrie with the Morrigan. Well, if my memory serves me correctly – I have already done that twice. The original post, and then a follow-up. Honestly, I have no desire to retrace those steps. I got a ton of snarky comments over how I couldn’t tell the difference between the two perspectives. In my defense, I don’t work with Gods from either perspective – Irish or Greek – so being able to readily identify either would be a tough thing for me. But this road has had enough feet on it as it is…time to let the dust settle. If you want to trod down that road, I have provided links above to each of the previous posts.

So, where else to go? Maybe discuss some aspect of what it was like being a Pagan on an all-Christian shift in the Air Force? And by all-Christian, I mean evangelical Christians who were not afraid to voice their opposition to my beliefs. Maybe, but not at this point. I will save that for Tuesday – mostly because I am not sure how to frame it at this time. Hmmm….let me drink some more covfefe and think about where to go with this post today….

Ok….I am going to take a topic from another blog – Witch, Indeed by Lisa Wagoner. Her most recent post works off of the need for personal ritual to provide stability and balance in this weird, troubled times. One of the things she notes is that this is the perfect time to take stock and inventory of your personal Spiritual practice. Look over the rituals that you used to do on a regular basis, and figure out the what and why of having set this off to the side. Look at your altar (if you have one, I don’t) and see what is still appropriate and meaningful to you there. Or what needs to be added or taken away. Find an aspect of gratitude in what you do in your personal practice. What gratitude do you have in your life? And what I consider to be one of the most difficult things to – look inward at yourself. Take a long, hard, critical look at you, your practice and how those dove-tail together.

In my mind, its that last part that really speaks to what you can do concerning your Spirituality. I have heard this process called “diving deep” and then taking a look at what the world looks like to you when you surface again. I have used this technique a few times to help find some clarity to difficult questions that I just could not seem to find appropriate answers for. But in this instance, its a critical examination of your own practice. The whole thing.

Being honest, daily ritual is a hard thing to accomplish for me during this quasi-quarantine. However, I do have daily routines that I never considered to be a rituals until a few years ago. Trying to rise before the sun and greet the sunrise was a wonderful routine that I developed quite easily during two years of unemployment (back during the Housing Recession nearly a decade ago). Over time, I have stepped further and further away from the sunrise aspect, but I do find time in the morning to step outside for a few moments and enjoy some of my morning coffee with the world around me. I am no longer up near the Texas/Oklahoma border. Now I’m a bit more centrally located in Texas near Hillsboro. Everything is different than it was in Gainesville, so I am trying to utilize my morning routine to also acclimate myself with the Spirits of Place that are here.

What about an altar? I don’t have one, so this is a fairly easy one for me to deal with. My altar is typically an outdoor thing. I have a set of stones, which cumulatively weigh around 100 pounds, that I use to put together a stone circle outside. I’ve not done that here for a whole host of reasons, but it will happen in the future at some point. Indoors, my small statue of Gaia, sitting on top of a short bookcase, is probably as close as I get to an altar.

Gratitude. I spend nearly every single day with moments of gratitude. I have a compromised immune system thanks to diabetes and a previous bout with pneumonia, so I am thankful every day that I have mechanisms to lower my contact with other people. I have Shadow in my life, and she has been a solid rock for me in so many ways. I am grateful that I can lean on her for so many things. I have extended family in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, Ár nDraíocht Féin, and many, many Witches, Wiccans and Pagans – as well as Christian friends and former co-workers. All of these people enrich my life with their perspectives and their points of view – many of which are very different from my own. I am quite grateful and humbled to have these people in my life. I thank my Gods each and every day for providing me an environment where I can have these people in my life to whatever degree my friends allow me to be.

Finally, the most difficult part of all, taking a critical look at my personal practice. This is not an easy part of the process, nor easy enough to enclose within a paragraph, blog post or even a series of blog posts. It is an intentional examination that will take plenty of effort, thought, and creativity on my part. One place I can start with is my Ovate studies. I have a lot to do, and have slowed down on quite a bit of the material. I think, today is an appropriate one to sit down, examine what I have done, where I am and what is left to do…and make any changes that might be necessary. This particular examination process is the meat of what I believe will happen.

Maybe you don’t feel the need to do something like this. That’s awesome. Maybe you feel an appropriate connection with your Spirituality. Again, uber awesome! Perhaps, you can add that into a point of daily gratitude? I; however, believe there is always a place for self-examination…that moment where you stop along your Path, and examine how things are going. I know that I can use this process now, and this self-quarantine time (or lock-down for others) may prove to be just the right place to do this.

Just a thought….

–T /|\

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