My religious and spiritual ideas tend much more to orthopraxy (practice) than orthodoxy (belief), and it's been that way no matter what religious path I've been on.
This doesn't mean that I'm
great with Daily Practice - just the opposite. I find it very
challenging to sustain an act until it becomes habit. I don't see that
challenge to be a bad thing - in my experience, making a conscious
choice to engage in some sort of daily practice and pushing through the
inclination to let it slide has all sorts of spiritual and mundane
benefits to it, whether that practice involves a prayer of some kind, a
ritual of some sort, a pause to meditate, a daily walk, a daily
divinatory reading, or whatever habit one might come up with that allows
one to ground, center and focus contemplatively on where they are in
connection with the universe, their gods, or the sacred in whatever form
it takes for them.
Since Yule, I've begun a daily practice of
centered around my "hearth" - a small shrine in the kitchen that holds a
statue depicting Frige (an Anglo-Saxon goddess who is the deity of my
hearth), a bell (it's a sleigh bell on a the end of a wand), an oil lamp
that acts as the hearth flame, an incense holder, and a leaf shaped
dish that holds offerings. Sometimes, there are additional offerings,
such as flowers, a libation, chocolates...
before the evening meal preparation begins, I chime the bell, then I
light a stick of incense, use it to light the oil lamp, while saying a
prayer of praise and thanksgiving to Frige.
A bit later, when I
am dishing up our meal, the first portion goes into the offering dish
and set on the altar with another prayer, asking that she accept her
portion as a 'gift for a gift'.
Lastly, after dinner, I pray a
third time, this time requesting her aid in protecting our home, and
blessing it with love, and kindness to one another, and that she stay
with us throughout the night - and then put out the lamp for the
evening. The offering is left on the shrine until bedtime, and then set
It took a good while not to feel self-conscious, or to
wonder if this was a good practice or something 'silly', but that's gone
away - it's my daily practice, it has become habit, and it is
meaningful to me. As I contemplate Frige's qualities - organizational
skills, domestic arts, managerial horsesense, being the "Keeper of the
Keys" - and of the peace, I am reminded daily to take my domestic tasks
seriously, reminded that I, too, can choose to act in a way that leads
to peace and harmony in the home rather than sowing discord. It reminds
me that the act of putting together a meal isn't jus a task to be got
through, but something deeply important that is at the heart of our
My commitment is to do this until next Yule - but I suspect
that by then the very idea of not doing it will be unthinkable to me.
Shared with Pagan Blog Project and cross-posted from The Auld Grey Mare.