Building a Daily Spiritual Practice

After studying Islam and observing some of the Islamic daily prayers for a few weeks, I have realized how meaningful devotionals are. When you start the day facing the Gods and with your goals and objectives borne out of your desire to help fulfill the Divine Will, things not only go more smoothly, but your every action is more satisfying. At least, this has been my experience! So after experiencing such benefits, my husband and I decided to write our own “morning prayers.” As a Scientologist and pantheist, his is largely focused on connecting with the Divine Intention, insuring he is acting responsibly and compassionately in his efforts towards fulfilling it, and coming closer and closer to achieving ultimate understanding — the words he wrote are not for me, but they are very beautiful! Mine are a mixture of ADF liturgy, the Solitary Druid Fellowship’s Morning Devotional written by Teo Bishop, and some words of my own.

Sunrise Devotional

Light the Fire.

“I kindle the Sacred Fire in wisdom, love, and power.
Sacred Fire, burn within me.”

Offer silver to the Well.

“In the deeps, flow the Waters of Wisdom.
Sacred Well, flow within me.”

Salt and sain the World Tree.

“From the depths to the heights spans the World Tree.
Sacred Tree, grow within me.

“Here I stand to greet the Sun
And welcome in the morning light.
I begin my day with my whole being
Turned in service towards the Triple Realms.
May my goals and objectives find greater and greater alignment
With the Divine Will.

“I seek clarity in how I may best approach the day.”

Draw tarot card(s). Educate yourself on the card, meditate on its meaning, and express your gratitude to the Universe and your Patrons for the wisdom.

“I honor this Fire,
The Fire of the Gods —
The Gods of my heart,
The Gods of this land.
May I come to know the mystery
Of the Divine in all its forms.

“I honor this Water,
The Water of the Ancestors —
Ancestors of blood,
Ancestors of spirit.
May I understand the knowledge
Of the wise and ancient ones.

“I honor this Tree,
This living body,
This sacred plant,
With roots and leaves.
May I feel the Spirits of Nature
And be one with all the Earth.”

Perform the Two Powers meditation. On at least two days a week, when the Two Powers meditation is complete, set a timer and perform meditation or trance, such as zazen, chanting, guided meditation, meditative coloring, knitting, or stitching, etc.

“I enter the day with humility, responsibility, and capability.”

Remove the silver from the Well and extinguish the Fire.
 

Today was the first morning I performed it, and it was excellent! My son and I were in a rush to get out of the house this morning, so it was just enough to make me feel grounded and ready to approach the day with the Kindreds and my place in the Universe foremost in my mind. Some days, I will also likely incorporate prayers and offerings to specific Gods, but generally I prefer doing so directly before performing a specific activity that falls within their domain — for example, I often pray and/or make offering to Brigid before tackling the kitchen cleaning (and keeping a tidy kitchen becomes an offering to her, as well), and it always flies by and becomes so much more meaningful because of it!

After getting my son down for an early bedtime, I closed the day with the same words I used above when lighting the Fire, offering to the Well, and cleansing the World Tree, then cleansed my altar and myself while chanting “By the might of the Water and the light of the Fire, this shrine is made whole and holy,” and followed this purification with the Two Powers meditation.

Both times I performed the Two Powers meditation today, it was very rewarding. I sensed the chill of the Underworld, heard the whispers of the Dead and tasted from their vast body of wisdom, and was refreshed by the Waters where they dwell. Then I turned my attention upwards, towards the warm, glowing light of the realm of the Gods, and found a tranquil silence there, and a calm awareness of the presence of the Gods. I became aware of how both realms feed and sustain me and this realm, the Land between Sea and Sky. I let much of the energy from both recede back the way they’d come, but I felt I needed to hold onto a little more of what I’d gained from the Ancestors — I am in particular need of wisdom, insight, and perspective at this time.

This, too, was the message the Tarot offered me this morning. My breath caught in my throat when I drew the Nine of Swords — I even said aloud, “That’s not good!” — and I grew even more uncomfortable realizing how many times I have drawn this card in the past year. However, I have never drawn it reversed before, so I read into the reversed meaning before I filled myself with too much concern. The Kawaii Tarot (the deck I read from today) booklet had this to say:

The Nine of Swords reversed can come up at a time when you are beating yourself up about something that happened in the past. It’s time to let go. This card reversed can also show up after you have sought help for the worrying you have been experiencing.

The DruidCraft Tarot makes these comments:

In numerology, the even numbers are associated with the concepts of stability, balance, and consolidation. The odd numbers, on the other hand, are all dynamic and initiatory, which means they can represent catalysts that move a situation on, or trigger change. For this reason, these numbers tend to be associated with magic and also with less stable, and sometimes challenging, situations. … You may have begun a deliberate exploration of your deepest fears, which will allow you the opportunity for real transformation.

(Unfortunately my Tarot books are currently lost in the horrible depths of our disorganized home office, so I can only consult deck accompaniment books at the moment!)

Both these statements are true. Recently I went through a dark place and came very, very close to my breaking point — but I held on and sought help and it paid off. Unfortunately I made some foolish and desperate choices before things turned around for me, and I have been beating myself up for them and trying to walk them back, but I need to forgive myself for them and admit that I am learning all the time, and not worry about the embarrassment of facing the people involved again — they will probably understand what I was going through, and if they refuse to and insist on judging me, there is no point in me having much of an acquaintanceship with them anyway.

It’s so simple, but sometimes you have to actively remind yourself that you can only move forward, accept life’s lessons for you, and apply what you’ve learned from them tomorrow.

I also made progress in developing a meditative practice. I purchased a beautiful coloring book of local wildlife from a local bookstore by a local artist (it doesn’t get much more “Portland” than that — except that it was after riding the streetcar and eating artisan pizza at an open-air pie-house where you can spend an extra $7 to buy the kitchen staff a six-pack) for meditative coloring, but I decided not to start it today and instead chose to sit in zazen meditation for ten minutes after doing the Two Powers meditation this evening. I was concerned I would struggle with doing so after not having maintained a regular zazen practice in years, but it was quite easy and the time flew by, leaving me with a sense of peace and relaxation that left a dreamy, goofy smile on my face.

All in all, I made some excellent spiritual progress today!

One comment

  1. […] August, I shared a morning devotional that worked well for me for a little over a month, but which was too ceremonial for me to maintain […]

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