The last week or so has been quite eventful in the Pagan community. Without rehashing specifics, I reference these posts which speak to the second and third order effects of speech and the power of words:
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One of the questions I get asked the most about practising Druidry - or Paganism generally - is how to merge that spiritual practice with daily life. I've been pondering this today, as I get on with my chores on a rainy October day.
This morning, I went to the shop for food. I walked the dogs in the rain, chatted to neighbours at the bus stop. I've sorted laundry and washed up pots, made breakfast and rested for a minute with a cup of tea.
All very mundane. Then come the 'Druid-y' bits, you might say.
My next job is to write several articles (including this one), so wracking my brains to ponder what might be interesting, then how to word things appropriately, get over the usual author-angst about the final product not being good enough... ;)
I'm undertaking several Tarot readings for folk today, as well as sorting work for my students. I'm preparing for a Samhain ritual tomorrow as part of my Prison Chaplaincy role, then a Handfasting on Saturday, and of course my household's own private ritual that evening.
I've been feeling weird about getting so sick right at the New Year. This time was "supposed" to be my time to fully celebrate my transition into working full-time for myself. I keep fighting the idea that, as I'm recovering, I should be doing more - "Yeah, I'm no longer contagious, running a fever every day, lost in a pile of tissues - I should definitely be up and running around, Doing My Work!" In truth, I'm still very congested, still rocking an intense phlegmy chest cough that would make a Grandpa proud, and rocking a sweet sinus headache. It is no wonder that I am exhausted by doing small things.
Right now, today, my Work is resting until I am fully well. I keep reminding myself of the Fourth Agreement, Always Do Your Best - and my best right now is to take my medications, and do some laundry, and knit a bit, and nap a bit, and watch a movie here and there. As Danielle LaPorte says, "The journey has to feel the way you want the destination to feel."...
This is part 1 of a 2 part series about theory and practice in magic. I've started with theory, because in my opinion the word theory is not accurately used by the majority of people including it in their writing. The word theory is one that has become conflated with a variety of meanings and associations. I'd argue that how theory is often used, in Paganism and in general, isn't really in line with the meaning of the word as it applies to the scientific method. In other words, a person chooses to use the word theory but how s/he uses it has less to do with the scientific method and more to do with cultivating a certain image associated with the word. If theory is used in context to the scientific method then the theory is a 'proven' hypothesis which has been tested and replicated by multiple people, all who have gotten the same results. The theory is valid as long as the same result is replicated each time, but becomes disproven if the result isn't replicated. In that context, theory is actually a part of practice and is used to demonstrate what a person understands about practice, but also is used to test that practice.
How the word theory seems to be applied, when people use it, is more along the lines of providing a generalizing statement about a topic. Said statement is speculative and nothing is really proven. The word theory becomes a kind of paper shield. It looks impressive so we use it to make what we discuss seem impressive. Used in this way the word theory seems to be used in the classic Aristotelian sense of the word, where no doing, no practice occurs beyond the formulation and expression of the theory. In contrast there is practice (which I'll cover in my next post), which involves doing, an essential activity to really experiencing anything life....