There were days,
and there were days,
and there were days between
– Robert Hunter
Another Beltane celebration passes as the wheel of the year continues to turn. I love reading about traditions old and new associated with each Sabbat, learning how people near and far celebrate each holiday, and creating and sharing what’s in my heart as ritual. I try to immerse myself in a wealth of knowledge, in books and online, for each Sabbat. But the harder part for me has been learning how to celebrate the time after the holidays, or more appropriately, since we have eight sacred Sabbats in each ever-turning year, the time between the holidays. As pagans we see the sacredness in the every day- in the budding flower, the falling leaf, the rise of the sun and the moon. How to foster a practice of mindfulness of the magic in everyday life?
In recent months I have been slowly building what works for me as daily practice:
- Keeping an altar and visiting it daily. Even if I do just one small thing at the altar each day, such as lighting a candle or incense, it helps me to attune my energy to the sacred around me.
- Gardening. Gardening seems like a grand word for our caretaking of two varieties of little indoor herb seedlings, but watching their daily progress is truly a joy and helps me to feel connected to the God and Goddess.
- Journaling. I follow the daily journaling exercise from Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way- writing daily morning pages. This helps me not only to clear my mind for my creative projects, but also to start my day mindfully and I believe genuinely make me a nicer person when I am writing the pages regularly. (Check out more about morning pages here if interested.)
- Meditating/soul alignment. I think meditating- clearing the mind of its chatter- is probably the most important spiritual practice anyone can have. A lot of these activities (gardening, journaling etc) can be meditative. Recently I’ve been practicing a soul alignment exercise which was shared with us as part of the Firefly Wicca tradition classes. A version of the exercise with background can be found here.
- Moving. Movement practice helps me to be present in body and mind. My favorite is yoga (movement + breath) and I try to do some every day.
- Just saying hello to the sun, the moon, the trees, and anything else that gives me joy!
These are the things I’m currently working on, and though I don’t always manage to do all of these practices every single day (especially weeks like this when work is especially hectic for me), I find that I am happiest and continue to grow spiritually when I am cultivating these as regular practices.
I also have the book The Wheel of the Year: Leading the Magical Life by Pauline Campenelli. She goes through various practices that can be done throughout the year in tune with the seasons, organized by month. It’s a very nice book to pick up early in each month for some reflections.
Having said all this about building a daily practice and not just focusing on Sabbats…I can already feel the magic of Litha, the Summer Solstice, in the air! The sun is strong, the days are long and warm. Summer is my favorite time of year! What are your daily spiritual practices, or what helps you to see the sacred in the day to day?