I struggle with a personal practice.
It’s not something that I have a lot of experience with in my life. Even when I was young, my family tended to live secular lives in the home and observed a minimum of spiritual practice at a local synagogue. For a while, we kept a kosher household and held Friday night Sabbath services, but when we moved from one house to another in 1990, that part of life fell by the wayside.
As a result, I’m not really conditioned to perform a daily spiritual practice. Instead, I tend to do a small ceremony as the spirit moves me. Sometimes, it’s enhanced with offerings to specific gods, but more often it’s a very general way to start my day perhaps roughly three days out of seven.
And it goes a little something like this:
Part 1: An Offering to the Gods
To the gods of my path,
both known and unknown,
I offer the thoughts of my mind,
the breath of my body, and
the actions of my heart.
May this smoke bring them to you.
It’s short, simple, and it works well for me right now. Particularly because I don’t feel called to any one specific god or goddess, though I’ve personally chosen a few based more on intellect and interpretation as opposed to some sort of personal gnosis, I find this short offering to be very comfortable. Even better: it can be done without necessarily needing much more than some incense (I tend toward stick or cone incense since it’s easier to light and handle) and a few moments of peace during the morning.
Part 2: An Offering to Local Spirits
To the spirits of this place
I offer you light and heat and my thanks
for your hospitality.
I’m less enthusiastic about this part, but I keep it because, at the moment, I haven’t come up with something better. I added it last year while I was taking the Witchcraft I course from the Temple of Witchcraft. Like the first part, it’s a short, easy offering requiring nothing more than a few more moments of peace and a candle. I like to use a seven-day candle which, because I tend to only light it for four to eight hours, lasts quite a bit longer than a week.
Part 3: ?
Sometimes there’s a little bit more to all of this. Today, for example, as the Blizzard of 2015 approached, I made offerings to Juno–the storm bears her name–and to Columbia specifically. I would also like to begin to approach some ancestor work in light of my grandmother’s recent death and an experience I had when speaking with a Christian woman who was very moved by the reverence toward ancestors of blood and spirit that I included in a personal version of the Jewish Shehecheyanu prayer.