A Start and Welcome
I’m finding myself in a quandary of sorts regarding mine own spirituality. What else is new, yes? I’m only typing this up because I feel the need to articulate my thoughts into some other kind of medium than the resonant rattling inside my skull. Much of this is reiteration and musing from previous dilemmas, hopefully given new thought and form in such a way as to capitalize on any new outcome.
In short, I don’t know what to do. I recently purchased The Northern Tradition for the Solitary Practitioner in an effort to sort of breathe life back into the interests of my spirituality. Perhaps that isn’t right. My interests have not flagged. But I’ve long hit this impasse where I want more to happen in regards to it but I find myself unable to progress in such a way. I’m so heavily barred and tightly bottled up that any passage of energy, even down to the most minute of working, is difficult.
I’ve tried a handful of things to change this. The largest and most recent of which includes incorporating a greater amount of Devotional practice into my work in an attempt to see if I can build a rapport through prayer as opposed to more mysticism. I think I’ve come to the point where I accept, however, that a Devotional path isn’t for me. It never has been. I do not want to be the type of person to come across as the distinctly characteristic outsider, that individual who resides on the fringe shrouded and mired in occult practices and “spooky woo”, as it were.
Likewise, I am a Solitary Practitioner in every sense of the word. Though I network with others of like minds (or not), I conduct most every aspect of my spirituality in solitude and private. Let’s face it. I’ve never been one to enforce my beliefs on others, and I’m an immensely private person in regards to myself. Some people are very open about their spirituality with others and willingly share it with other people. I’m not. I don’t hide what I am, but I don’t like to go out of my way to broadcast it either. This isn’t something I’m ashamed of. Far from it. Beyond the most typical of embarrassments that accrue within the Heathen and Northern Tradition communities (being Folkishness and racism), I am not ashamed of my path. I just have no desire to speak of it outside a small, trustworthy group of friends and colleagues.
It is understood that a number of skills and abilities that I require in my work is built up through the nature of practice. Unfortunately I’ve never been one to do so. Throughout my life I’ve tended to drop things that I do not have innate aptitude for. The same is for this, and I’m desperately trying. Practices like meditation, focusing, and visualization that are so easy for others come with difficulty to me. I have too much trash inside myself that I have to wade through, to pick apart and dispose of to make it easy for me.
And so we must recognize this as the first valid starting point. How do I gather myself and train myself in such a way as to feel these things and be able to explore myself? How can I quiet a mind that has been trained since my days in secondary school to be able to multi-task in the extreme, to the point where I can devote portions of my internal monologue to performing a task and have a song playing beside it to keep me from growing bored? I find typical attempts using breathwork and heartbeat to calm myself inadequate; I have an irregular heartbeat with occasional acts of tachycardia and I find if I actually focus on my heart it can cause it to act up.
I have always been one to jump in five steps ahead of the beginning, either because I knew just enough to make it redundant or I thought I did. A big part of this is going to have to be reeducation and relearning of almost everything I have come to believe I knew. I like to build on what I know and learn new things. I do not like to have to go back to the beginning and relearn everything I thought I knew. Without clearer motivation it always seems to fail and I go back to jumping ahead of myself.
So, then. Where must I proceed from here? I am a more logical person than perhaps I even wish I was. I do not necessarily need an outline but I find that I need to have a bit of Order to my Chaos, some kind of substance to contain everything.
I have distinct views on eclecticism in a religious and spiritual sense. I detest the notion that most modern Neopagans have, where by they can just cherry-pick what they like from a culture and mash it into their own, grotesque form of spiritual practice. It spits in the eye of the honour that each culture has on its own and destroys contextual connections between mythology, faith, and entities.
That said, I think realistic and honorable eclecticism is not something that should be written off as offensive. I say realistic. I am not a strict adherent to any religious philosophy that advocates a banning or discrimination of individuals based on their racial or cultural makeup. I feel that people have an easier time making connections with aspects of their bloodline and cultural heritage if they feel so inclined. Cultures are not static, immutable things. Tribes meet, peoples exchange ideas, and religions adapt and grow. To state that a person cannot join a group or follow a religious and cultural path because of their racial background is just ridiculous foolishness.
I mean realistic as maintaining a certain amount of cultural integrity. It is finding a valid synthesis between oftentimes different entities. The aforementioned religious cherry-pickers, with their inflated sense of self-entitlement, often disregard any of the history and nuances from cultural interaction. A friend of mine once summed it up quite well by using as an example individuals who summon both Mars and the Morrigan into the same consecrated ritual space. These are two entities that had a history of brutal warfare between their peoples and are both war deities in their own right. This kind of blatant disregard for the history and culture, because of someone’s sense of entitlement, is what I’m talking about.
I had to make a long tirade based on that because I have eclectic interests outside of a typical Nordic/Anglo-Saxon background. I am drawn to continental Celtic deities on an individual basis, native (Non-Greek) Roman deities and practices, and certain aspects of Canaanite-Israelite culture. Throw in a connection to Christian Mysticism and I have to be careful about my own admissions about how I feel with generalized eclecticism.
So then, coming to the conclusion that I am a Anglo-Saxon and Nordic pagan that finds more identity with shamanic practice and mysticism who also has sprinklings of blood-related and spiritual-related eclecticism to other parts of Europe and the near world, how then do I proceed down my path?
This then is the truest nature of my dilemma, though it is a long and tedious work and dry explanation. I am utilizing this as my initial starting point of my blog that is powered through WordPress. It is a beginning, and in many ways I need to retrace my steps and start at some kind of beginning. Those who may have reached this far, who have persevered enough to reach the end of this discourse can expect more musing than actual experience. Musings and theory than fact. I am sorry to disappoint.
If I have not bored you to death or if you are reading here through some kind of honest interest in my own growth, perhaps as a mediator and guide or as a passenger, I welcome you.