As my kids have gotten older, it’s gotten more difficult to have a regularly scheduled personal practice. I used to have a very solid devotion/prayer schedule: daily devotion (often at dawn), twice weekly trance work, weekly solitary rite, full moon rite, new moon rite, Druid moon rite, and high day rite. These days I’m lucky if I manage a devotion once a week, trance work really only happens about once a month, and I’m down to just the grove Druid moons and high days. I’ll admit: I was feeling pretty guilty and inferior about it.
I consistently tell others that there is no right way to pray, and that you need to find a schedule that works for you, rather than trying to emulate someone who prays everyday and then some. Apparently I’ve had a hard time taking my own advice (for those who know me, this will come as no surprise 😅). Over the past few years I’ve been trying to get back to that regular practice I once had, and willfully ignoring the fact that my life has simply changed in that time, and that I have changed and grown too. In that time I’ve gotten a career and quit a career, I’ve gotten married, I’ve had two kids, I’m now a stay at home parent, I’ve gone through this pandemic, I’ve started building a new career. It’s just all very different.
What I hadn’t realized, or at least not fully, was that my devotional practice has in fact changed with me all this time. It just didn’t look the way it used to, or the way I thought it “should.” My practice has gotten more organic. It started with kiddo number 1, when my devotion practice adapted to the quiet moments in the morning when I was washing bottles and making coffee. Now even that has gotten complicated with more beautiful chaos filling my life, and yet my practice has adapted again.
I realized this morning that as I’ve slowly been building our little suburban homestead, my devotional practice has been baked into that. Now I start each day with my homestead chores: on hot days I water all the plants; I feed and water the rabbits, and if the day is nice I put some out in their run to graze; I plant and harvest and weed and prune. Thought and care has gone into planning every garden bed and addition to the orchard. Delicate daily tending of seeds fills my early spring days. Planning future improvements fills my autumn and winter. It’s a calm and fulfilling way to start the morning. Watering, weeding, and harvesting fills my summer. All of this feeds and fulfills me in the same way my previous prayer style did. It honors the Earth in a very real and visceral way. It engages all my senses with the world and the Kindreds, and it allows me to honor them with my work.
So, I’ve been building and nourishing these relationships the whole time, I was just looking at it from the wrong angle. I’ve always honored Hestia with household work, so this is not a new experience in that regard. But this work with the Earth Mother, and with Teutates, this is more depth than I’ve had before. And it is wonderful.
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