Pagan Paths

A blog by an eclectic, UPG-focused polytheist, with thoughts on "DIY religion" - building your own unique tradition for yourself.

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Personal Practice: Walking Mindfully

b2ap3_thumbnail_away-207525_640.jpgThis post is for Week 2 of The Pagan Experience, on Personal Practice: “Share your favorite spiritual/magickal practices."

On the Vanic side of my spiritual life, one of the most meaningful and nourishing things I do is also one of the most simple, something that may not look outwardly like a spiritual practice: going for walks.

Going for a walk, for me, is not just going for a walk.  It is mindfully engaging with the world around me.  I live in a fairly urban area, but there are parks, and even through the city streets there is still nature here. There is still trees, grass, birds.  There is still sky.  I still feel the air, the wind.  There is plenty to look at, to take in.  The land still sings, even if it is more quietly... you just have to slow down and really listen for it.

When I commune with the land, it takes me outside of my own headspace, and helps put things in perspective - there is a bigger world around me... a beautiful world.  There are little wonders if you look carefully, if you pay attention, if you notice, observe.  I am not just connecting with nature, but I am connecting with the force of life itself.  I am honoring the dance of life, the balance of the local ecosystem, the weather and seasons.  The world is alive, regardless of whatever else is happening elsewhere... life goes on.

When I walk, I feel alive.  And it is good to be alive.  The world may be in turmoil, and life may have its challenges and struggles, but there is beauty also.  And in that beauty, I think of Nerthus, Mother Earth.  I think of Frey, God of the World - he who gives the little blessings and joys of life.  I think of the Vanir as a people, their presence in the land, their vitality flowing so fully through the world that there is wildness even in "tamed" places.  I am grateful for the gift of life, for little moments of magic, everyday sacredness.  And that gratitude nourishes me - it inspires me to live in a way that expresses that gratitude and honors that gift, as best as I can.  If the presence and the magic of the Vanir can be found even in the streets, there is no part of my soul that is too barren for their love, and I will keep striving, like a flower through concrete.

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Sebastian Lokason (formerly known as Nornoriel) is an artisan, author, and diviner; he has been a pagan and occultist for over twenty years. He is in his mid-thirties and lives with his spirit-husband and their cat in New Haven, Connecticut. His official website can be found at with a list of forthcoming projects, events he’ll be attending, and so forth. His personal blog can be found at


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