Are you a saver? You know, one who saves things. You save it for the right time. The best opportunity to utilize it. Saving for a special occasion. You aren’t a hoarder! Oh no. You fully expect to use the thing. One day. When you feel called. When it feels correct. You want to make sure you don’t waste it.
Are you waiting? You wait for the best alignment of the stars and planets to do a ritual, or when 13 of your closest friends are available on a Saturday night. You wait until you have it perfectly written, using shift-F7 countless times.
That’s me. That’s so freaking me! Do you have any idea how much incense I have squirreled away? Candles? Gods, save me from my tealight addiction!
Shall we talk about crafts? I’m totally going to craft myself a scrying mirror. And a silver branch. And a torque. And sew some bags to hold odds & ends. I’m absolutely going to do all those things!
Lest we leave out undone rituals and magickal intentions…
Realistically, grumpy cat is right. I save things with every intention of utilizing them, but never do! I know many of you do the same. I want to change that habit. Do you want to change yours with me?
We could start by lighting a candle every day. Or some incense. Or both! It doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering ritual to end all rituals. Gentle daily practice is important too! In lighting that flame, closing your eyes, and taking a moment to breathe as you connect with Source, you’re strengthening your Practice in a sustainable way. You can even re-use the same candle each day until it has burned out – there is no reason why you must let that chime candle burn to a stub all in one sitting. I don’t have that kind of time, personally. (Please don’t ever leave a candle burning unattended!!)
You know what else is a lovely daily practice that I keep meaning to do, but don’t? Cards! Pull a card from your Tarot or Oracle decks each morning to get a handle on where you should focus for the day. Do you have a new deck you’ve been meaning to get to know? Pull a new card each day, sit with it a moment, write your impression, and then set the discard pile separate until you’ve gone through each card. In a couple months you’ll have a little journal of your own meanings and impressions for each card, which ultimately makes all of your readings more powerful. They’re doing you no good sitting on the shelf, in bags, in boxes, in bins, squirreled away, for the best time to do a full Tree of Life spread.
How about we sit down once a month and do a craft? Just for an hour. Even a half hour. Work on it a little bit at a time. Small, incremental motions until the project is complete. Let’s do some Agile Project Management 😉 I bet it wouldn’t take more than a month or two to finish the first one you pick up! I’m going to commit to the scrying mirror, first. I just have to gather up some newspaper to protect the deck. What are you going to do first?
Who else feels like a bad pagan, not doing a full-on ritual for basically anything? You have some great ideas of things to manifest, or release, or deities to honor, but you haven’t had time to write it all up properly and practice it and invite people and make it a thing. So, you just don’t. I’m really guilty of this, too. I want it to be perfect, as if my offerings aren’t worthy unless they are. But here’s the thing – humans aren’t perfect. I think Source knows that. So we should embrace the messy, because it’s so authentic when it comes from the heart like that. Stand on your deck and speak it quietly to yourself or scream it to the world! Burn your releasings in a firepit or on a candle or in a ceramic bowl. Send out a biodegradable floating lantern!
And you know what? You’re probably practicing your spirituality every day already anyway! Honor that! Your social justice warriorship could be called by Herself or be done in Her name. Do you work in hospice? You’re assisting people in their end-of-life journeys – how freaking magickal is that? Whenever you make a choice in the lunch line to avoid the plastic straw, or recycle the take-out container, or bring your own silverware for washing later you have chosen the Earth that supports us over convenience and that is meaningful beyond words.
Now, a lot of my reluctance to do some of this is my anxiety. Anxiety it won’t be correct, that it won’t matter, that I’m not worthy of Source’s time, that I’ll fuck it up… Those little mind-squirrels really do a number on me some days. Right now, I’m in a high point. I feel like I could do anything and be well received. That isn’t always the case. So what are my strategies to stick with this plan on the days when I’m overwhelmed? What are yours?
I have found Thought Records to be incredibly helpful when triggered, which is a tool used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Sometimes, when I finish one, I can do or say the thing I couldn’t before. Sometimes, I can’t. Deep breaths help, sometimes, too. Remembering a conversation with a loved one and clinging to their words about their love for me and my value in the world. If I can head the anxiety off early, often that’s enough.
Working out and yoga have been helpful in keeping anxiety in check, but the sheer amount of time I must spend each week to keep it at bay is incredible. I added it up today, and when my anxiety was best in check was 5 days a week of small-group circuit training classes on top of 4+ yoga classes. I basically had no hobbies during that period of time, as all of my time after work was taken up with anxiety management activities. It’s always a trade-off, but with that level of commitment I definitely didn’t have time to even light a candle each morning because I was physically exhausted.
The biggest tool, I think, is self-forgiveness. If you simply cannot today, or tomorrow, or even the next day on top of that – know that you will again, probably sooner than you think, and that it is absolutely OK to prioritize self-care first! And when you’re ready, pick it back up with a candle and a self-love mantra each morning and build on that. <3