I’ve been reflecting a lot on my spiritual journey of late. Not in the sense of wondering if it’s really what I want, but rather in the sense of wondering if I’m moving the way I’m meant to move, at the best possible speed.

It would be unfair to say I’m stagnating, but not everything I’m doing feels rewarding, or like it’s moving me forward. And, sure, that’s part of the learning process, but it’s not the most rewarding part.

So, just to help me get a bit more centered on the issue, here are some of the Pros of where I am now:

  • I like the ADF cosmology. It’s probably wrong to say I think about it often, but I do think about it from time to time, and it feels natural and gives me a sense of place.
  • I like the focus on ancestors and nature spirits. If it weren’t for the need for a Gatekeeper, I think I might do without a pantheon altogether. In fact, I’ve resolved to keep my focus on ancestors and nature spirits. (Not always easy. See the cons.)
  • Using Tarot as a system to get omens makes sense to me, gives me the chance to feel a bit of two-way-ness in my communication with the ancestors, and has given me a lot to think about.
  • I’m very comfortable with the concept of the Earth Mother, ans feel a natural affection for her. Strangely, though I’m aware that it’s not a flattering comparison, I’ve found a sense of place in the idea of thinking of myself as a single gut bacteria on the planet.

Summarized, I’m really comfortable and happy with the framework of Druidry which I’ve found. But, that of course brings us to a list of cons:

  • All of the above is hard for me to translate into a day-to-day habit of spirituality. The idea of cleansing myself before prayer has me wondering if I can pray during the day when I have a moment or two, and getting up at 5:30 means that I’m really not in the frame of mind to do morning devotions.
  • Similarly, I’m confinced of the benefits of meditation, but I’m struggling to find a practice. I know that it’s a big change and will take time, but there are long stretches of literally no change which are basically wasted time. And that irks me.
  • My experience of online pagonism is slowing moving from “what a welcoming group of people!” to “These are people just like any other, perhaps a bit more arrogant.” None of this is based on interactions I’ve had, but just the tone of conversations I’ve seen between pagans. And, this is not a condemnation, but I see myself as one of the people who are interested in paganism not because I want a new field of accademic study, but because I want a spirituality that fits my needs. The same way I go running because I enjoy it and regularly feel how its good for me, not because I want to win marathons. All of this has me thinking that, aside from the monthly meetups I go to, I might remain a solitary practitioner. But, maybe not.
  • Though what I wrote in the last bullet point may make it sound as though I only want a ‘casual paganism,’ one of the things that is under my skin is just how littly my life has changed. My consumption is about what it was before (I do bike, and even in less than optimal weather. But I still wimp out in bad weather), and many of my behaviors are the same. I’m not saying I wanted a burning bush moment, I’m saying I want to know for myself that ‘being a druid’ means being somehow different from the ‘vaguely atheistic’ guy I was before.
  • I’ve been feeling as though my spiritual life is a long, slow process of nagging myself to change and to develop habits, punctuated by moments of frenzied preparation for one of the High Days. It’s not what I want it to be.
  • Lastly, I’m frustrated with myself for constantly abandoning my stated focus on the ancestors and nature spirits. I’m feeling drawn to the Roman Hearth (though I certainly think that updating Ancient Rome for an American living in Germany could easily mean anything) and the wealth of information on Ancient Rome is at once a blessing and a mighty distraction.

What does it all boil down to? There’s not an easy answer, except to say that I need to continue to grow if I’m to stay on this path. I certainly haven’t hit a rest stop yet.

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4 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of my Spiritual Journey

  1. On the casual paganism, I think it’s more about finding your balance point and your niche. Some people are naturally inclined to change lifestyle habits more than others, of course. Added to that, some of us have very specific interests that, when discovered, allow us to enrich our spiritual path AND make life changes – like discovering you love to swim and then becoming focused on water issues, conservation, pollution, and water-related spiritual tidbits.

    I guess what I’m saying is this… Maybe you just haven’t run across a spark yet, so your coals smolder calmly. They still produce (spiritual) warmth, though. I totally empathize with the feeling of not-quite-changed-ness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get that, but I want to change. Or, I want to feel like I’m a single, coherent unit. That I’m ‘internally consistent’ and I don’t feel that yet, but I also am a dad of three young kids and don’t think I can make wild lifestyle changes without first being sure I won’t un-make them. I feel a certain obligation to let them know that I’m still exploring, while maintaining a sense of stability.

      Does that make sense?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It makes complete sense, especially with children in your life. I don’t have any myself, and I still find it hard to make lifestyle changes for just myself sometimes. There’s always something (work, health, etc.) getting in the way, and I’m not quite committed enough to any of the changes I’ve considered to just DO IT and ignore the potential problems I see coming from them.

        Smaller steps help. I had to think and pray and question for a long time before figuring out if I was a hard polytheist or one of those pagans who see all gods and goddesses as faces of the same divinity, but finding out what I believed was transformative in its own way (even though I didn’t DO anything with it right away). It’s like having a map and a few points plotted along the path, even if I’m not sure what the destination will be.

        Like

      2. It’s probably always hard to make changes. And, I think you have to be a teenager to say ‘screw the consequences.’

        The bit about having a map with a few milestones plotted really appeals to me. I don’t know exactly where I want to go, and I certainly don’t want to find out. I just want to know that I’m going in the right direction.

        Liked by 1 person

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