Day 14: Do any major dictates of your religion feel wrong to you? What do you do about the one with which you disagree the most?
My religion is my own creation, so no dictates seem wrong, per se. But I have one rule I often “forget” or ignore; that is ritual observance every day. I have the opportunity — my altar is in front of me in my living room. My rituals are very simple. They consist of:
I sit quietly for three or four minutes, to clear my mind and quiet my thoughts. I bring a glass of water to my altar, water my plant, and set the glass on the altar. These actions fulfill my reverence for water and earth. Then I light my candle, and lift it and circle it around the altar, to represent fire and air.
I draw a card from my Four Agreements deck, read it, and contemplate its meaning as it applies to my life. I sometimes draw a card from a deck of the different faces of the goddess; these also have messages I need. I set the card(s) by my chair, so that I can read them through the day. I remind myself of the gifts of the gods and goddesses who join in my ritual. I won’t list them all, but they include Ganesh, the elephant-headed god who removes obstacles; Tara, the Buddhist and Hindu goddess of compassion; Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and well-being; Venus, the Roman goddess of love, (although I prefer to use her Greek name, Aphrodite;) and many others from more familiar spiritual belief systems. I ask all of them to shine their light on my day, and teach me the lessons I need to learn. I ask them as well to give these gifts to my family, friends, and the world.
I spend a few minutes holding and appreciating my crystals and my gold hippo, and I smile when I touch candles, and crystals, mists, and every gift I’ve received from people I love; this also includes my rock salt lamp, a gift from sister S., which releases negative ions into the air. These ions are also experienced in a storm, or at the ocean. These are feel-good ions which counteract positive ion energy; positive ions generally carry spiritual pollution.
I spend a final five minutes or so sitting quietly and considering the feelings my ritual has opened in me.
I describe this ritual to show that, in twenty minutes or so, I can awaken my heart, mind, and spirit, and make my day deeper and more open. Why don’t I do this every day? I may have stayed up late writing a post, or reading a book. I might have missed my alarm, or hit the snooze too many times, or I might simply skip the whole thing in favor of a long, hot shower, instead of the rushed one I usually have.
The dictates of every form of spirituality are, at least in part, general. The personal connection comes from how you believe and feel and think, and how you act within or without your religion when it asks of you something which is very difficult, sometimes, to do.