Let this day unfold in harmony, love, and beauty
Guide me as an instrument of Your grace
Let me be of service
And receive the blessings of merit
For the most part, practitioners of all stripes can agree that our lives, come from the Divine. That this body, soul and spirit, the blessings we receive, the beauty in the world around us, comes from a source outside of us. While we may argue about the nature of that source, we generally agree there is one.
I have *always* suffered from believing that what to had to offer wasn’t enough. It stems from childhood, and growing up with an autistic brother. This often made me feel confused and helpless. I remember being unable to understand why, after all we’d done for him, he didn’t get better. Whether it was prayer, medicine, or help with his daily living, it never felt like my family did enough for him, because he wasn’t changing, wasn’t improving. I didn’t understand that his limitations were unlikely to improve, regardless of what we’d done.
Last night in a discussion with a friend, I said, “I feel like giving time to deity X is robbing deity Y.” I honestly wish I could run an International Temple and serve Spirits all day. After hearing myself say it, I realized that this is basically how I feel about everything all the time. I feel like I never have enough to give, whether that be attention, comfort, offerings, altar space, money, time, or anything else.
My friend, lovingly pointed out that my whole life, is basically, a devotion. She told me that I achieve that with a grace that she’s rarely seen. I am a generous person. I share everything, volunteer, donate, sign and circulate petitions. I pray for causes, loved ones, and strangers alike. I leave out birdseed and nuts for the local wildlife. I post a blessing each day usually for a stranger that’s touched me (Frida Kahlo, Henry Rollins, Rachel Carson…)on my Facebook page.
My issue is, not much of this happens in front of an altar, so it doesn’t *feel* like devotion.
Perhaps I need to encourage more mindfulness into my day. When I feed my special needs kitty, I can offer that to Freyja. When I leave out food for the wildlife, I can offer that to land spirits. When I work with special needs children I can offer that to Obatala. I even learned beekeeping as an offering to Oshun.
I try to live a life in alignment with my ideals. I’m not perfect, I have faults. I make mistakes, I curse more than I’d like, and I procrastinate like a champion. Some of my ideals aren’t attainable right now, like, I can’t always afford to buy everything organic, though I’d like to. When I am more prosperous, I will make that a priority.
Our whole life is all we have to offer. There is no more. I can’t (or haven’t been chosen to) live my life before an altar. I have been chosen to interact and mingle with the world and offer service. I suddenly see this as a calling, as a wonder. Wherever you go, you can be a blessing. You can be kind to the bank teller. You can remember to recycle. You can buy a cup of coffee for someone needy. You can spend the afternoon baking with your kids, decorating cookies, then you can donate them to their teachers.You can offer to help, in whatever way moves you, brings you joy.
If it brings joy to you, it probably brings joy to your deity. Remember making your parents proud? It’s like that. You’re an extension of your deity, their hands in the world. We use many of the same terms to describe who we are to our gods; “Daughters of Isis”, “Freyja’s Dottir” “Child of God”.
Live your life as if it were an offering to your Gods, because it is a gift from them.
For some of us, this means tithing, showing up at a volunteer gig, something concrete, something we can check off a “To do” list. For others,we can go about it more organically. We can start the day by aligning with our spirits, asking to be guided, to be shown the ways that we can be of service.
Since I began living this way, I find I cast a lot fewer spells. I live with a lot more ease, I have fewer relationships that don’t work for me. My life seems to flow better. I seek divination when I am conflicted or confused, but for the most part, I am led to where I belong, if I pay attention, stay open and am willing to be led.
This path can be scary, it can be uncomfortable. What if your spirits disapprove of the man you married? Your marriage may dissolve. If your job is harmful to you or the world at large, you may need to change positions. You will find that your life rearranges to put your needs first, to make you a secure base from which deity can act.
Do I have everything I want? No. I’d really like a piece of jewelry I admire, my own property to raise bees and a garden on, a job that pays me what I deserve and is fulfilling. I dream of heading my own non-profit and attending yoga teacher training, to develop a class that helps autistic people develop a sense of being in their bodies, a sense of where their bodies are in space.
I have always wanted these things, the difference is now, I know I will have them. I know that they are possible, and that there will be a moment of alignment, and the opportunities will arise, and I’ll be able to take advantage of them. I have faith.
What do I have? The love of my friends and family, a devoted fiance, two kitties I adore, a reliable Subaru, lovely orchids, and a bright future.
A person is truly free, even here in this embodied state,
if he knows that God is the true agent,
and he himself is powerless to do anything.
Here’s to yours.