Currently viewing the tag: "Spiritual Practice"

I experienced a kind of breakthrough this morning during my devotional. For the first time since I began this path of Our Druidry, I sang my liturgy.

It was a magnificent feeling.

I think the experience was so fresh, so powerful, because the sung liturgy the part of the Episcopal church service I cherished the most. As I mentioned before, I was an acolyte, and I loved the liturgy. Wholeheartedly. I knew the rises and falls of the melody, and was moved by them. I relished in them. I sang along beneath my breath. It never occurred to me before today that I could facilitate that sort of worship on my own.

I had just finished intoning the AWEN, and I was centered and still. I was listening, deeply. From the silence, I heard in my mind, “Sing to Arawn.”

(I’ve learned to follow these voices during worship, and not spend time inspecting them too closely. When you receive this sort of quiet direction, you take it.)

So I did, and the experience was, in so many ways, more natural for me than speaking the invocation has ever been.

The melodies were simple, and reminiscent of those sung back at church. To Arawn, my melody was deeper, fuller; something felt right in singing with a manly tone when calling him. To the Kindreds, I lifted the melody a few steps, and, being that I speak close to the same words for each of my three offerings, I did my best to use the same melody for each of the Three. To Brighid I sang with the most passionate tone, which was still simple in its form (the Priest is never to interject too much, as it is the simplicity and beauty of the voice paired with the meaning behind the words that creates the proper worship experience).

After making my offerings, I thrice intoned the AWEN, recalling “Amen” from church. However, while singing the word I remained conscious that the AWEN is a force, living and moving through me and the world – not simply a statement of closing (as one might use, “So Mote It Be”).

This integration of yet another tradition from the Christian experience of worship feels right to me. There are so many effective aspects to the Episcopal liturgy, and I see no reason why I shouldn’t integrate them into my Pagan experience. This mashup of religious expression is coming from a sincere place, and I believe sincerity to be the most important ingredient in one’s religious life.

So, as I am moved, I shall sing to the Kindreds. I shall lift up my voice in praise to the Gods and Goddesses, the Ancestors who have paved the way for me, and the Spirits that surround me in this great land. I shall make a beautiful noise in their honor, and they shall hear me.

My last post, Turning Over A Good Omen, received a thoughtful and sincere comment from Grey Wren, a blogger and new friend whose DP work I’ve enjoyed reading. (Pay her site a visit. She’s delightful.) Her words are on my mind this afternoon, and I’d like to share them with you.

She wrote:

I could use a little Princess of Wands blessing in my own creative work today. It’s one of *those* days. I’ve been so wrapped up in discussing my personal struggles with the Kindred that I’ve neglected my professional struggles.

I’m writing this post from work, which may have something to do with why her words are resonating for me!

But this theme has surfaced in other places, too. In a mailing list thread that’s been steadily growing over the past week, one ADF member, Karen, joined the dozen-ish other members in who responded to the question, “What were or are your hurdles with the Dedicant Program”.

She wrote:

I’m finding my biggest hurdle is remaining constant in my studies and practices through the ebbs and flows of my mundane life.

Karen and Grey Wren are not alone. I think many of us feel this way, whether we’re working our way through a structured program, like the Dedicant Path, or building a spiritual discipline from scratch.

I pose this question to my readers, regardless of your spiritual tradition and practice¬†(and there are a good 60 of you who are regulars to the site, so don’t be shy – speak up):

How do you integrate your spiritual practice into your ordinary life? What tips could you give someone who is struggling with this challenge?