I had been a Pagan actively practicing in a community for well over a year before anyone even suggested to me “hey, this would make a good daily practice.” My passion for daily practice started before then, but as a new Pagan who wasn’t engaged in a formal training program, I didn’t have a teacher or tradition to give me a daily practice or the tools to make my own.
Since then, I’ve had formal training in two traditions and have established a strong practice that is one of the most important and fulfilling parts of my life. I’ve also tried a lot of things that didn’t work, fallen off the wagon with my practice and then returned to it, and phoned it in more times than I’d like to count. While the work of figuring out how to practice has been fruitful for me, it has also contained plenty of wrong turns and dead ends. So when I began teaching, I focused on filling in this gap in the material that was available to me by talking about practice: what, when, how, and why.
For me, the core purpose of a daily practice is connection. Like many Pagans, I believe that whatever is sacred or divine in this universe is in everything: you, me, trees, stars, and the keyboard I am typing on. This connection is our birthright, and it is the mystery in the title of this blog. The great pain of modern culture, from my point of view, is about disconnection and forgetting that we are all in this together. We disconnect from ourselves, from each other, and from this marvelous world we share, and then we feel dispirited, lonely, and empty. Practice seeks to re-establish those ties — or perhaps, more simply, to draw attention to the fact that they were never gone. Through practice, we turn towards mystery.
My hope is that this blog will be of use to those of you seeking to establish or deepen a practice of your own. From identifying the kinds of practices that work well to solving the most common question about practice (“how do I find the time?”), we’ll look together at what makes for a strong practice and how we can each establish, deepen, and choose to re-engage with our own practices.
I would also love to hear from you, whether you have a practice or a tradition or not. What appeals to you about practice? What resistance does the idea or fact of practice awaken in you? What in your practice (or lack of practice) deserves a closer look?
I look forward to exploring and practicing with you!