Working in a witch shop (aka “metaphysical book store” as I name it for the fearful ones), I meet so many curious people. They come into the store, if they are not familiar with it, a bit overwhelmed, because they are a bit nervous, a bit thrilled, and enter with a whole lot of questions.
My job, I feel, is to reassure them. It’s not the tactic some people take, and I respect that, but my whole life, I have seen the thread of commonality throughout all spirituality and religions. How can that be? You may gasp at this concept, but take a look. We all hunger for:
Community: My favorite word. No matter how busy, introverted, frenetic we get, there is a hunger for belonging. For feeling we are not alone. To know that we’re not alone. Community can be online, in groups or rituals, or even walking into a shop. We are all in this together.
Nature: There is always a call to nature, even in the midst of the urban jungle. Who doesn’t marvel at a beautiful tree or flower? Don’t we feel a call to see the ocean, walk in a forest, or gaze at a mountain? The miracle of nature itself gives you pause. Think of the many plant and animal species and marvel at how we all co-exist on this planet. Not well, I’m afraid, but always with appreciation.
Candles: Love me some candles, At the shop we have a whole candle wall. People have lit candles for me and my family in Italy and Ireland, all over the world. And that little light warms my heart. A candle reminds us that there is more than darkness, and it brings us warmth and light. We light them to remember, to bring forth what we desire, to brighten a dark space.
Food: Hospitality is part of most spiritual rituals. I lived in a place where Moravians held Candle Tea, which always made me laugh, because while there are plenty of candles, there is no tea. Just delicious warm coffee in a mug, and a piece of sugar cake. I’m not Moravian, but that simple act warmed my heart, my hands, and made me feel part of the group I was with, and it’s a tradition that transcends all our individual beliefs (see: Community)
Language: So mote it be. Peace be with you, And also with you. Blessed Be. Shalom. Sound similar? They are. We wish our fellow humans well, even as they get on our last nerves. Isn’t peaceful a better state than agitated? Another subject about which we could wax eloquently.
Music: We all have music in our spiritual practices. Meant to celebrate, soothe, rejoice, calm and comfort. We turn to music as our background noise, or to note an event.
Books: Ooooh, we have books. Aren’t books comforting? Endless variety, subjects, and discourses. All of us have books on our practice, rituals, ideas, and more. We take comfort in them.
Some of you may be reading this, slightly infuriated that your way or your practice is special, and I may be simplifying the complexities. Indeed all our practices are, is, but do take a moment to realize how much we have in common. As humans, I think we have an innate need to define our beliefs and take comfort in them, or use them to guide our lives. Even if you are an atheist, you partake in all of the above in some form. I love learning about other people’s practices, but I am also defined by my own. I am a huge believer in celebrating our differences, but always with respect. From that foundation, may we all gain a better understanding of each other.