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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Is Covid 19 interrupting your spiritual experience?

I saw a little discussion about how there is a lack of flow due to quarantining. There are no gatherings, people have to do cyber offerings which don't seem to have the same impact, drinking, partying, and the social component of our religious experience as Pagans or as magicians is something from which we are cut off. As a result people feel cut off from the gods and spirits with whom they normally enjoy communion. 

I don't really get this. 

To me, Paganism is definitively social. Pagan means the local religion, so it is the community's relationship with itself and through that relationship between its members its shared relationship with the gods. My primary practice tends to focus on magic and animism and Christianity because I can engage those are part of personal spirituality. Being Pagan means I need a community which I don't have. Not having a community doesn't mean I can't have a relationship with the gods. 

I think there are some things which work a lot better when we have people. I can't host a bacchanal right now. I can still have a relationship with Dionysos that is meaningful and connected and impacts me. I have to adjust it, because part of my Dionysian Charism is sharing drunkeness and revelry with others. I'm looking at some other projects for doing that. The universe is throwing copious drink making recipes and articles at me at record pace. The influence doesn't disappear. 

I think there is also a tendency for people to need the awe inspiring flashiness of some physically obvious touch point. Only seeing the beauty of nature in a strikingly ancient looking tree and not seeing it in the intrepid weed breaking through the concrete of a city sidewalk is too easy of a trap to fall into. Christians and Catholics thinking they have been cut off from their religion because they can't go to church services instead of reaping the joy of a rich and personal devotional prayer practice at home is a similarly easy trap. Pagans lost without the light of a community bonfire forgetting that they can be warmed by living well and making sacrifices to household gods and spirits as much as they can from the conflagration at the great gathering is the same trap. 

It's a trap which is natural for humans. It's a trap we're designed to fall into. We have a great capacity to enjoy and be moved by the epic. It's a wonderful part of who and what we are. 

We also have a great capacity to be moved by the small beauty we find in personal and silent moments. These moments are harder to find, but when we find them their beauty and power can be staggering. 

Losing the physical community of our religious activity is truly a loss we should recognize and experience. It can be unsettling and lead us into feeling cut off. But it's a reminder of the wonder that we can seek, and find, and immerse ourselves within all around us. 

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If you’re curious about starting conjuration pick up my new book – Luminarium: A Grimoire of Cunning Conjuration

If you want some help exploring the vast world of spirits check out my first book – Living Spirits: A Guide to Magic in a World of Spirits

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