Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tools Helpful to Connecting With Deity

Being a practicing pagan means that I apply my beliefs in my life with intent. I don’t only sit around discussing with other pagans the grand ideas of our shared spiritual path but instead I do what I say and say what I do. I live my spirituality each and every day whether it is through casual conversations with deity or a more formal esbat ritual. A simple illustration of this idea is that of the Kitchen Witch who considers herself a practicing pagan. She prepares the meals for the family herself, as apposed to handing each of them a cereal bar for breakfast, McDonald’s for lunch and Chinese Take-Out for dinner. This, in my belief, makes her a practicing Kitchen Witch. This is what I strive to attain for myself and my family as it feels right and true for me.

I believe that each of us live differently – we travel a path forged uniquely by us for us and each path is good and each is right for the individual traveling it. It is because of this that each of us practice our particular flavor of paganism differently. I think it would be difficult to pin point exactly what is needed for each pagan to possess in order to connect to deity in a mutually satisfying manner however, I do believe that there are things that we all could benefit from.

While it is true that none of us need a vast array of items such as; numerous pieces of jewelry, an athame, wand, pentacle, chalice, cauldron, books or even an altar; it is my belief that we do need tools – at least in the beginning and I feel that even as an advance practitioner tools are helpful to keep us focused on the task at hand; be that a spell, meditation or ritual.

I believe that there are just two non-physical necessities: intent and will. Intent being the firmly fixed concentration on connecting to something and will being the desire to achieve this task. If there is the absence of either or both then there will be no connection with deity attained ever.

Some other tools that I feel are helpful for the practicing pagan:

Physical journal, Book of Shadows or online journal – With a journal you are able to track what it is you intend and how you plan to achieve it. You are able to record ingredients needed in spells, the steps in a planned ritual, dreams you remember and insights on experiences and situations as well as your ideas about your spirituality.

Music – Sound is a powerful tool whether it is experienced by your own voice, the voice of others, a musical instrument or your own hands or feet. Sound is energy that is composed of frequencies which can align us with divine energy. When you manipulate sound in a harmonious way you create music. What better way to align yourself with deity?

Language – To communicate with others as well as deity, requires some form of language be it sound, gestures, signs or marks. Once you give something a name or label you have empowered it. Language aids will in fulfilling intent. Personally, I am comfortable with words so this is the medium I choose to utilize. Words hold power.

Focal point – In order to remain focused on your intent it is helpful to have something to drawn your eyes to or gaze at when you are actively communicating with deity. This is especially true if you are challenged by the idea of visualization.
Your focal point can be anything that you feel reminds you of your chosen deity; a statue, a candle or an item of nature.

Sacred space – Created through intention and will sacred space is a place of peace and tranquility, a place between the worlds, beyond the bounds of time. It is an environment filled with energies that support and raise your inner and outer self to benefit your highest good, a place where all are one. This space can be a permanent area such as a cleansed and consecrated temple or an outside Circle that has been temporarily cleansed and consecrated for magickal workings. I am of the opinion that it is also a state of Being which can be accessed by donning a robe or other ritual garb allowing you to shift your consciousness to it. However it is you access your sacred space it is necessary in opening the channel of communication between deity and yourself.

Personal interaction with others – Though this is written for the Solitary Pagan the emphasis on personal interaction with others should not be overlooked. We all hold within ourselves the sacred being that is connected to the Divine; to ignore that would be to ignore a piece of ourselves. This interaction need not be lengthy but it should be done in person. The availability of information on the internet has aided Solitary Pagans in becoming just that – isolated and alone. Public rituals, classes, meetings, study Circles or social gatherings are all acceptable venues to achieve the purpose of connecting to other sacred beings.

These are the tools that I deem helpful to the Solitary Pagan but they are not the end all be all. Individuals may find there are other tools or items that they cannot do without when connecting to deity and, I would not argue otherwise. This does not mean that I do not find jewelry, athames, wands, pentacles, chalices, cauldrons, books or even altars without purpose. In fact, I have each of these items and they enhance and enrich my pagan practice however, if tomorrow they disappeared from existence, I would still possess the tools that I recognize as necessary for me to practice my own brand of paganism.

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