Daily Devotional Practises
Author: Mr Araújo
For as long as I have been chatting online with other Pagans, I have been told stories of how life was somewhat sad without the presence of a religion with which a person can identify itself. I believe that this must be the case of nearly everybody here at The Witches’ Voice and it happens to be my case, of course. This is going to be an essay that explains my point of view on my own practices and how they came to be.
When one first decides to take the first step and enter the Craft, it is hard to avoid the temptation of jumping headfirst to the Initiation Ceremony. Although I have not discussed this with anyone else, I imagine that it might be quite true. After I decided that Wicca was a good Path for me, I immediately began searching online for its history and I was shocked – nearly all of the “founders” and their “heirs” belonged to covens and from what I could tell, their knowledge seemed so vast.
“How will I ever be as good as them?” I thought, worried that Gerald Gardner’s, Doreen Valiente’s, Raymond Buckland’s, Dayonis’ (amongst many others) legacy would be doomed in my hands. Whatever could I do not to venture off, far away from Wicca? And, most importantly, from the God and the Goddess?
First of all, I did a small Dedication ceremony – which was my very first ritual, in fact. I then began to focus very hard on my study of the Craft and I chose my sources very carefully. After I had read some of writings of the Founding Fathers and Mothers of Wicca, I decided to study earlier Pagan rituals.
Eventually my studies, beliefs and emotions led me to instituting my own set of devotional practices that filled in the blank left by the joy of the previous Sabbath and the yearning for the next one (I have never had the chance of safely celebrating an Esbat) . And so I began to wonder, yet again, if others did the same. But since I didn’t know of any other Pagan, let alone a Wiccan, I kept going. Today I know quite a few Pagans and most like to frequently keep in touch with the Gods, one way or another.
Yet, there are those – I have never met them, but I have been told that they are out there – who only celebrate the Sabbaths and Esbats and probably exclude any other contact with the divine. Forgive me for sounding too full of myself, but I don’t know how they do it. Perhaps it’s because they celebrate 20 or 21 rituals per year and that satisfies them – whilst I only have an average of 6 or 7, since I’ve never managed to celebrate Yule and I sometimes can’t celebrate Ostara or Mabon.
Personally, I feel a need, a thirst and a hunger to be in almost constant contact with the Gods! I’m not a religious fanatic, but ever since I discovered Wicca, I can’t have enough of the joy that is Their presence wherever I am.
So what are my daily rituals? To me, they aren’t very orthodox, since I am quite fond of my European background and heritage, but my research led me to the Ancient Egyptian practices. In case you’re familiar with them, yes, you’re right – I’ve adapted some of their rituals to my little “tradition”. Basically, I try to recognize the God and the Goddess in Their different aspects as the day goes by, and so I’ve adapted and made up small rituals for each aspect – devoid of almost all previous Egyptian symbolism.
When I wake up, I thank the Goddess for having protected me during my slumber. When I’m done with my morning routine, I go outside and greet the Sun Child and ask for His energy throughout the morning. If I happen to pass by my town’s river, I greet the Maiden; if I don’t, I do it in the bathroom (yes, that’s right) .
Once it’s time for lunch, I pray to the Sun Father for his strength, outside. If I have a patch of earth close to where I am, I drop by and give thanks to the Earth Mother for the meal I will enjoy in a few moments from then.
Finally, at dusk, I say my goodbye to the Elder God and give thanks for His gifts. At night, I greet the Goddess in whichever aspect She has taken, according to the Moon’s phase, of course – this can be considered a mini-Esbat, in fact. When I have the time, I actually gift the God and Goddess with offerings and I might use a Sacred Circle.
I know there are still other aspects of the Gods, but I doubt I could ever make up a ritual for each and every one of them and insert them into my daily routine. I also take some time to take care of my plants and to go to one of my town’s parks, where I enjoy the silent company of the trees.
I’ve never encountered anyone else who has such a need for daily devotions, or any website that details how they can be performed. That might be because they’re personal and intimate things that you simply don’t do if you’re not into them. Perhaps they can only be found after some research and introspection, but I bet most can find a personal little niche – be it praying, making offerings, meditating…
However I consider this to be an interesting subject, since Wicca has been evolving for many decades and its current diversity is overwhelming, even if we don’t take the unknown Traditions that have sprouted all over the world into consideration. Wicca began with just four Sabbaths and the Esbats; then, another four Sabbaths were added. Wiccaning, funeral, marriage and divorce rites followed.
Are daily devotions the next addition? Only time, the Wiccans, and the Gods will tell.
Merry meet and merry part, until we happily meet again!