Most of us would agree that there is more to being a Witch than celebrating the Sabbats or casting a spell under the full moon. That being said, many modern Pagans struggle to find ways to integrate their spiritual beliefs with their busy and often stressful mundane lives. Work, family, significant others, and all the responsibilities that come with everyday survival can make it difficult to carve out time and space to focus on the spiritual.
But our spiritual core is what nurtures and supports our daily life, and it is vital to our physical, mental, and psychic well-being. So what's a busy Witch to do?
In my book, The Goddess is in the Details: Wisdom for the Everyday Witch, I talk a lot about how to integrate the spiritual with the mundane. Here are five easy suggestions for ways to "walk your talk" every day, without spending a lot of time, energy, or money that you don't have to spare.
- Live Healthy, Stay Healthy
As Pagans, we believe that each of us holds the essence of deity; each Witch has a piece of god and goddess within. That lends a whole new meaning to the phrase "my body is a temple." By being mindful of how you treat your body, you can add a spiritual element to your daily existence.
Think about it this way: if you are aware of what you are putting into your body, you will not only eat healthier (and therefore stay in better shape), but you will also be connecting with nature at every meal. Saying "thank you" for the fruits of the field or for the animal that gave its life so you could eat is like a prayer to the gods. Eating anything that comes from nature (and yes, even potato chips count…but as not much as an apple!) is a form of communion with the gods, and if done with awareness, can increase your spiritual connection with deity, with nature, and with all those who had a part in creating the food for your table.
Exercise is good for the soul as well, especially if you can take a walk outside and focus on the beauty of the natural world as you reconnect with nature and your own physical body. If you need even more of a boost, try saying a prayer or an affirmation as you walk.
- Spiritual Housecleaning
Most people don't associate cleaning the house with any kind of spiritual practice, but as with eating, if you do it mindfully and integrate a few magickal tools, you can have your spiritual cake and a clean house, too. Spiritual housecleaning differs from the mundane sort by changing your focus a bit. As you clean, put some of your awareness into the task of clearing away negative emotions and energy at the same time—and maybe add some protective work if you feel it is needed.
You can do this by visualizing white light as you dust, mop, or vacuum, or you can add a few drops of magickal oil to your mop water or the tip of your broom (the cleaning kind, not the Witchy kind, of course). Most citrus oils, like lemon or orange, have magickal cleansing qualities as well as more mundane antibacterial abilities. You can use pre-made magickal oil for this purpose, or make your own (which gives it an added boost of power).
If you need an extra powerful cleansing (in the spring, for instance, or after a fight with your Honey), you can also go through the house with a sage smudge stick or salt and water.
- Add a Daily Practice to Your Routine
I got this idea from a wonderful book by Dianne Sylvan, called The Circle Within: Creating a Wiccan Spiritual Tradition. Don't be misled by the subtitle; this book applies to all Witches, whether or not they call themselves Wiccan, and is one of the best books I have ever read on the subject.
Dianne suggests that all Witches should have some form of daily spiritual practice, and I agree wholeheartedly. But it doesn't have to be anything long or complicated; you don't even have to stand in front of an altar to do it. My daily practice is quite simple, in fact. Every morning before I get out of bed, I talk to the gods. I greet them politely, ask for things like prosperity and health, and ask them to watch over me and those that I love. At night, after I have put out the lights, I talk to them again: this time I say, "thank you" for the gifts of the day and again, ask them to watch over me and mine.
Saying, "thank you" is particularly important, because it makes me focus on at least a few of the good things that happened to me during the day, and helps me to stay positive and grateful.
Your daily practice can be anything that suits your life and your needs. You can light a candle once a day and speak to the gods at your altar, or you can take the time to spend five minutes outside communing with nature (or even looking out the window at the stars or the birds). You can meditate or drum or sing a goddess chant in the shower. What matters is that you set aside a few minutes every day to connect with your own spiritual self. Aren't you worth five minutes?
- Treat Others with Kindness and Tolerance
Just as there is a piece of god and goddess in each of us, so each of us is a little piece of goddess and god. We have a lot of power for good, but can also cause harm with a careless word or a thoughtless gesture.
No one is expecting you to be Gandhi, of course, or to be a perfect human being all the time. But it is as easy to be kind as it is to be hateful, and as Witches we know the importance of words and intentions. Why not start each day with the intention to be your best self in your interactions with others? Not only will you be channeling the gods with every good deed and kind word, but you will also be presenting the world in general with a positive example of the modern Witch.
And as Witches, most of us know what it is like to face intolerance and prejudice from others. That makes it even more important that we not treat others in a manner we would not like to be treated in ourselves. As we take our god/dess selves out into our everyday lives, the way we interact with those around us can become a part of our spiritual practice as well.
- Create Sacred Space Wherever You Go
Don't worry; I'm not suggesting you traipse around town putting up altars. After all, for a Witch, sacred space is less about where you are than it is about who you are, and how you view the world.
So as you walk through your mundane life, try to remember that the sacred is all around you. The gods are present in the blowing breeze, the laugh of a child, and the smile of the stranger you pass on the street. They are in you, as you walk your path through the world, creating sacred space with every step you take.
Being a Witch is not just about celebrating a harvest festival or standing outside under a glowing moon. Being a Witch is about walking your talk, all day every day, and bringing your best Witchy self to everything you do. For us, there is in truth no separation between the sacred and the mundane. Every moment of every day is a part of our spiritual life, and everywhere we go is sacred space, filled with the light and love of the gods we believe in.
So mote it be.