Quarantine Has Changed Some Routines

As most of the states, if not all of them, are working through issues of opening back up – I thought it might be interesting to take a look at this from my own perspective. Both from a personal point of view, as well as the way this changes some of the approach to my daily Path. After all, its a bit apparent that the COVID-19 issue is going to be around for quite a bit of time longer.

A Touch of Background

Most folks who read this blog or know me in person are aware that I have some health issues that make me quite susceptible to the COVID virus. I am a Type-II diabetic, which compromises my immune system to a great degree. I was also stricken with Pneumonia a little over a year ago, which also brought on an aspect of kidney disease thanks to the drugs that I was administered during that illness. So, my respiratory system is still being built back up, but it will never be as strong as it was. Respiratory issues are another factor in being susceptible to the virus. My kidney failure issues add to the strain on my immune system, making that particular weakness even more glaring. And I’m not much of a spring chicken at the age of fifty-four either – though everything I have read, the virus is more susceptible to individuals about a decade older than I am. So all of this informs me to remain away from others as much as possible, as well as continue to take the precautions that were in place during Texas’ shelter-in-place mandate.

Changes in Personal Routines

I used to not give being in public a second thought. Granted, large crowds make me nervous beyond the Nine Hells, but I could traverse in public without a thought. Nowadays, I have to be a little more prepared when I go out into the public. I carry my inhaler with me wherever I go. Normally, I carried it with me when I was doing some sort of strenuous activity. Not anymore, I just cannot take the chance of being any distance beyond my physical person. I carry a mask with me wherever I am. I have a mask here on my desk, another in my truck, and two more that I have stashed in each of my to-go bags (read: backpacks). Inside the truck or the house, I do not wear the mask. However, once I step outside of the truck or even take a walk around the block – the mask goes on. I do realize that its not 100% effective at keeping droplets carrying the virus at-bay, but whatever percent it is – its certainly better than zero.

Because of my health conditions, I do try and work out as much as I can. It helps with my diabetes, and keeps my blood-flow at a somewhat healthy state. Plus, my fat ass could certainly use the sweat equity. I spend most of that time in the house – mainly in my office. I ride my Peloton bike as much as I can, and have even started incorporating some small weight-lifting into the daily regimen. I do get outside and walk around the block, and always wear a mask doing so. I don’t come into direct contact with anyone…but better to be cautious.

Changes in Spiritual Routines

I don’t keep an altar in the house. This is as close as it gets.

In the past, I used to spend time in the morning greeting the sun, by standing in the backyard. I still get up around sunrise, but rarely do I head outside. My typical greeting comes with me standing at my west-facing window and watching the growth of the morning shadow of the house – followed by the slow shrinking of the mid-day sun. Again, I try not to be out of the house for too much. My daily routine has always been to thank the Gods for Their guidance at mid-day, and I still carry this out. In the past, I did this at my stone circle in the backyard. Since the move, I have not had the chance to get outside and rebuild the stone circle. Perhaps that’s something I might need to take the opportunity to do so. Just not right now. Instead, at mid-day, I stand before the little icon of Gaia that you see in this picture, which has found its own spot on the same smaller bookshelf in my office. In the late night, I added a period of meditation since the quarantine period. It is this time where I seek the guidance of my Gods…Tricksters They may be, but I can always find some wisdom in what They provide to me. Even if I am the butt of Their jokes from time to time. I’ve gotten quite used to the sophomoric pranks. While its not as ideal as I want it to be, much of these changes to my practice have been necessary for me.

What About You?

Have you found yourself making alterations and changes to your own Spiritual practice? Perhaps, you’ve reached a blocked point where you are not sure how to proceed with making changes. I’ll provide a piece of advice – take it or leave it as you see fit. Making changes to your Spiritual practice is similar to making changes to your daily routine. Try it. Give it a chance and do it for a short bit. See if it works. If it doesn’t, go back to the way you did it before – if you can. If you can’t go back – try something different. The worst that can happen is that you need to change it again. If you need to, give it a shot…see if it helps.

–T /|\

Lather, Rinse, Repeat – When Daily Practice Becomes Dull Routine

From time to time, I find myself stagnating on my own daily Path. Let’s face it, the same old thing day-in and day-out can be a dull drag at times. Plus, I have run across folks who have this odd belief that when you work directly with a set of Gods, that life is full of excitement – like a Laura Croft adventure. The truth, its nothing like that. Sometimes, life, and even daily practice can fall into a rut of routine. The same offerings, the same prayers, the same tasks – lather, rinse, repeat. No ancient temples to explore, no epic tasks to complete which Bards will sing and regale the tales of. Just the same prayers, the same offerings, the same everything. Surely, a monastic life might offer a bit more, right?

But. I am not living a monastic life. I even have problems describing myself as a “Priest” at times (see earlier posts in this blog, if you’re interested in that). I am claimed by Crow. I do walk my Path frequently with Coyote at my side. And I still have coquettish flirtations with Flidais. These Three are in my life daily. But its not a glamorous thing. I do my devotions and prayers to each. I occasionally get my direct communications with each. Occasionally, I am given work to do. But I’m not becoming a wild activist trying to destroy oil pipelines or foresting equipment (though there is nothing wrong, in my eyes, with either of these things – particularly where Native peoples are brushed aside as if they were sub-human so that these activities can be done on their lands). I don’t lead a group; its not my calling, so I am essentially a Priest of one (which is where I think it should be, but that’s a blog post for another time). What I do, is continually explore who I am, what I am to be, and the connections between myself and the world around me. And all of that wrapped up with my devotionals to the Three that are in my Life.

And that routine does get dull. Like I said, not glamorous…nothing like people seem to bring about in their minds when they hear that you work with the Gods. Sometimes, that routine gets off-putting too. I have had thoughts during these long stretches of routine….

What the Nine Hells are you doing?  ::What I am called to do::

Do you really believe this stuff?  ::With all my heart and soul::

Wouldn’t it just be easier to go with the flow and worship a dead man on a tree like everyone else around you?  ::Sure, but I would be betraying what is in my heart and essentially living a lie, just for the sake of convenience::

…and there’s more. But these will provide the tip of the spear, so to speak. I do have a mind that will doubt what I am believing, and question what I am experiencing. And all of that is part of the doldrums of the constant routine. I do crave new experience. I do seek out adventure. I do want to feel the rush of being somewhere new, experiencing something I’ve not been through before….and to be bluntly honest, there are times where I seek to be a Gandalf the Grey – constantly in battle against the evil of the world. But that’s the TV shows, the movies, and the books. And I do have to remind myself of this from time to time.

Life is not an adventure to destroy the One Ring and free this existence from an unimaginable evil. If it were, I would have already cut Donald Trump’s finger from his hand, with wedding ring still on it, and found an active volcano to throw that digit and ring into. But life is not that way. Instead, I bide my time until Donnie comes up for a vote, and will actively campaign against his re-election – provided that the Democrats will provide a candidate worth my vote.

But all of that is just an example – not what the post is about. My daily devotionals and prayers are my focus that connect me with Crow, Coyote, and Flidais. This is a daily process that keeps me grounded in what I believe, and what I experience. Yes, the same thing over and over can get dull, and begin to feel quite routine – until I start to examine the process in a bit more detail. An offering of a small shot of whiskey to Flidais. A handful of birdseed left in honor of Crow. Five minutes of a late evening staring up at a large, bright full moon to remind me that Coyote and I see the same thing that evening. Each offering has its own meaning, and each prayer said over those offerings can be changed ever so slightly – to make it new, and refreshing. And sometimes, rather than a prayer – an offering of a song or a poem. All of that changes the moment, redirects the energy from a long programmed direction, and adds a feeling of newness – without changing too much of the process so that it becomes unrecognizable.

Much like this morning’s small rainfall (less than .01 of an inch) provided a change to the local environment from the past few days, making small changes to my prayers and offerings is a refreshing draught against an oppressive heat of routine. The change of the process brings me new focus, allows for a different feel in the energies I put into my devotionals. I like to believe that it provides a much needed change in the interaction between myself and my Three from Their end as well. Personally, I think its far better than the same old routine…turning my devotionals and prayers into something as programmed as washing my hair. Rinse, lather, repeat.