I've already stated that, ideally, religion permeates all aspects of life. Even when we're not lighting candles and casting circles, it's best to live in a Wiccan manner. Life itself can be seen as a ritual to the Goddess and God.
Many, however, have difficulty in finding the spiritual nature of their everyday lives. We can become mesmerized by the smoke and mirrors of society's trappings and diversions; equally, our home life, employment, bills and other mundane factors can weigh us down until we begin to question whether we ever spiritually felt a thing.
The solution isn't more ritual; it consists of subtly shifting our focus from solely physical forces and objects to the inherently spiritual nature of everything. Washing dishes can become an exploration of the powers of the element of Water. Working is an opportunity to feel the energy of other people. Cleaning up the yard teaches us important lessons regarding the seasons. Even attending school is an exercise in utilizing (and, hopefully, expanding) our consciousness, and viewing the lessons from a spiritual standpoint can be quite enlightening.
Indeed, a Wiccan viewpoint can get us through hard times, just as can adherence to any other religion. To be able to tap this source of peace, however, we must first realize that Wicca isn't limited to ritual, prayer and magic. Wicca is a way of life as much as it's a religion.
Applying Wicca's principles to our world is one of the simplest methods of bringing Wicca into our daily lives. The following discussions are suggestions. You may have different interpretations.
Harm none. Think about this when someone cuts you off on the road; steals 'your' parking space; is rude to you, or when you're facing all manner of trouble with mates, family, neighbors, friends or co-workers. Remembering this code allows us to rise above anger, jealousy and hatred, and may even transform such potentially destructive emotions into positive energies. It also presents the opportunity to care for ourselves by reducing stress. (I'll be the first to admit that this is far from easy.)
Reincarnation reminds us that we have more than one chance at life. This concept negates suicide as a solution to problems, or as an easy way out, since we'll be back sooner or later to confront those same issues that we believed were too difficult to face in this life. Additionally, thoughts of reincarnation can help us through periods of mourning. It can also free us of fear of death.
Karma. This concept states that right action is returned with positive energy, and negative action is returned with negativity. It's allied with 'harm none' and is again a quick reminder to act in a positive fashion. Additionally, we can see how good (positive; beneficial) actions are in themselves acts of spirituality.
Some Wiccans express a slightly different concept known as the law of three or the threefold law. This states that anything we do returns to us in triple strength. Thus, a small act of caring may be returned to us as a great act of caring by someone else. A petty act of revenge may result in great harm against us. The law of three is simply a different understanding ofkarma.
Magic reminds us that we do, indeed, have control over our lives. If we don't like them, we can change them through positive ritual. However, magic also teaches us patience: a cauldron placed on an open fire never immediately comes to a boil, and magic doesn't immediately manifest. We may also be able to see little bits of magic at work in our everyday lives— and this can be comforting.
Thought teaches us that thoughts are things; that is, thoughts generate and release energy and, if repeated with intent, can be powerful sources of energy. Thus, as we control negative thoughts, we improve our lives. Simply refusing to recognize a negative thought and changing our focus from the negative ("1 have no money") to the positive ("I've got enough food to eat") can produce dramatic effects. And so, because we can improve our lives and harm none by positive thinking, even our throughts can be expressions of spirituality.
Earth stewardship (caring for our planet) is another of Wicca's most important concepts. There's nothing particularly spiritual about filling a garbage can or chopping down a tree— two actions that are in violation of Wiccan principles.
However, rinsing and reusing bottles; recycling paper, aluminum cans, plastic and glass is an act of spirituality, for we're caring for our planet. Similarly, planting a tree; tending gardens; giving gifts of plants to others; refusing to use artificial pesticides; donating to ecological causes; writing letters in support of preserving endangered animals and their environments (forests, wetlands and other environmentally sensitive areas) are all further expressions of Wicca's concern and love for our planet. Even political involvement, when it truly leads to better Earth stewardship, can have its rewarding spiritual aspects.
The continuous presence of the Goddess and God is another important Wiccan teaching. If we're on the Earth, we're with the Goddess and God. No part of us or our lives is divorced from Them, unless we deem that this is true. In the heart of roaring cities; in the quiet of a country valley; in a mobile home roasting in the desert, the Goddess and God are there. In our office, school, neighborhood and favorite store, the Goddess and God are there. In rush-hour traffic; in long lines at the bank; in the flowers and plants on our window sills, the Goddess and God are there.
The omnipresence of our deities isn't some exalted spiritual sentiment; it's true. The Earth isn't represented by the Goddess; it is a part of Her. She is everywhere. Similarly, She is also within us, as is the God. Thus, whatever we do, wherever we go, from a convenience store to a concert in the park, They are present. Remembering this fact may, once again, reveal the inherent spirituality in many situations.
OTHER METHODS OF ENHANCING EVERYDAY SPIRITUALITY
Make an offering to the Goddess and God each day (see Chapter 10: offerings, prayers, etc.).
Set aside at least five minutes a day as "sacred time". During this five minutes you can simply think about your place in life and Wicca's role, or you can perform other activities directly or indirectly related to Wicca. (Once again, reading can't be considered as sacred time.) Here are some examples of what you might do:
Morning and evening meditations
Working arts or crafts with a Wiccan theme
Listening to classical or contemporary Pagan, music
Tending or planting plants
Journalizing (writing) about your Wiccan involvement Corresponding with other Wiccans
Meditating (or psychically attuning) with stones Writing new rituals
Experimenting with new methods of divination Collecting magical herbs Visiting gardens or parks Listening and communicating with animals Reading Pagan fairy tales (there really isn't any other kind) to your children
This list can be greatly extended. Indeed, once we begin to think of how Wicca has influenced our lives, a wide range of activities can be performed during such sacred time.
This chapter has been a short introduction to some methods of strengthening the Wiccan nature of your life. In this pursuit, action is as important as thought. Blessed Be.
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