17 May 2013

Practice for Practice's Sake

I've been very fortunate during my time as a witch.  I have a deep connection with my deity and have traditionally always felt a pull to do the things that my deity wants me to do.  I've come to depend on that tug at the back of my brain, the feeling at the base of my spine, to let me know when I need to do something and what.  It could be to go to a particular place and meditate, to do a particular ritual, to learn a particular skill, etc.  When I was a beginner that type of direction was imperative; I just didn't know what I needed to do on my own.

These days it's a little different.  Things are a little less urgent than they once were.  I used to need to do certain rituals on a regular basis because I'd come under attack if I didn't.  That's no longer the case; your everyday boggles just don't come anywhere near me.  I used to need to do formal devotions to retain my connection to deity, that's not really an issue any more.  These day I kinda of live and breathe my practice.  On the one hand it's great - I don't lose anything if I skip certain practices and make substitutions for others.  On the other hand, because nothing is as urgent as it once was it just doesn't feel the same. 

I find myself in that odd place where any formal practice I do is solely for my own benefit.  My rituals are formal reminders and elaborate focusing exercises.  Sure, they give me an opportunity to feel my connection to deity without distraction, but that connection is always there.  All I had to do is close my eyes for a few moments on the bus to sense its presence - if that.  Spells and rituals are less about creating power and connections at this point than they are big pointers at what's already there.  Most of my spells these days are accomplished with a thought and a flick of power as I go about my life.

I really don't have to do any kind of formal practice, but sometimes I do it for its own sake.  Sometimes it's good to go back through the practices that gave me the foundation for what I do now.  Sometimes doing a formal ritual, even when I really don't have to, is a wonderful reminder of just how solid magickal practice can be.  When everything I do is almost instinctual it's easier to write it off, forget just how much impact it can have.  It's a lot harder to doubt what I do when I watch flames dance when there's no wind and feel the temperature drop when the circle is opened.  It's good to be reminded of the wonder I felt when I first started practicing.  So these days go out of my way a bit to bring some of the formal practices that I've dropped over the years back into my routine.  We can all use a little more wonder these days.

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