A shifting daily practice

The idea of having a daily practice is widespread and popular. It’s an obvious difference between being a holidays and high days kind of Pagan, and a series full time Pagan. What does it mean to have a daily practice in the context of a nature based spirituality?

I admit it’s an idea I’ve struggled with. I’ve been consciously Pagan for something like twenty years now. I do something deliberately Pagan most days – some kind of spiritual expression. There are often stretches of doing the same thing daily for a while – that might be prayer, or meditation, it might be a daily divination session to tune in to the cosmos, or deep working with creativity, or walking to commune with some specific thing… But it seldom stays as the same daily practice for long.

The walking gives a case in point. I had a long stretch last year of going out at twilight to commune with the bats, and then the winter came and the bats hibernated. I had a few weeks this spring of going out to commune with young owls, but the owls became adults and went hunting by themselves in early summer. I go up onto the hills to commune with the orchids, but they aren’t there for most of the year. Where I might go and what I might do is inherently seasonal. The day length and temperatures change, and it just doesn’t make sense to do the same things always. Or if I do the same things the consequences will be different. I can’t get up at 7 and celebrate the dawn in the middle of winter.

There’s something in the idea of a fixed daily practice that appeals. It suggests discipline and dedication, and seriousness. In practice, it doesn’t work for me, and I like what I do a good deal better when it’s more responsive, and thus constantly shifting.


About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

10 responses to “A shifting daily practice

  • Christopher Blackwell

    Again,it is a question of what works for you. Thankfully, we have not gone for an orthodoxy yet.

  • Ryan C.

    I’m no good at doing fixed daily practice either, no matter how much I try. But, I greet the sun when it rises and the moon in the evenings, I try to spend at least some time outdoors as often as I can, I feed the garden birds. That’s “Druidic” enough for me at the moment.

  • Rick Finney

    I often start the day with an old Scottish prayer asking that “every ill haze” be cleared from my heart. Then, if there’s time, I’ll sit quietly for about ten to twenty minutes, paying light attention to my breath and gently letting go of thoughts as they arise. This doesn’t always have an immediate effect, but at some point during the day I often find that the clouds have parted and that I’m much more present and aware. This seems to be a good foundation for me for any other form of practice I’m attracted to on any given day.

  • TPWard

    What you describe sounds like it captures the discipline you seek while acknowledging the shifting nature of life.

  • lornasmithers

    I have a fixed practice of devotions to my deities every morning but aside from that I’m pretty fluid – some days are more for creativity and others for walking and communing with nature. And similalry with whom I commune shifts with the seasons. Going to see the Pink-Footed Geese then the Whooper Swans at WWT Martin Mere in winter is always a sacred occasion and this year I discovered the births of the baby terns at Riversway Dockland. There’s always something/somebody to revere and celebrate 🙂

  • Ziixxxitria

    If you’ll forgive me for making a general statement, I will disclaimer it with being my own limited observations/thoughts that don’t necessarily apply everyone if they don’t want them to.

    I think a daily practice that adapts to the seasons and daily changes is more aligned with druidry than something rigid that ignores life. Not just because the seasons themselves are a changing flow that we can tie in to, but also because druidry generally acknowledges the physical world and our bodies. It isn’t always healthy or practical to do something that takes a lot of time or needs to be outside (you can’t go beautifully skyclad in the snow to pray for an hour and expect to keep your toes!)

    I think if we adjust our daily practices to what’s happening that day, we can also learn more about ourselves and what is changing.

    However that isn’t to say you can’t have general patterns of themes-for example when you go out to commune with different things, it’s kind of the same but also kind of different, and that seems very appropriate to me!

    I think a good deal of the benefit of daily practice is just always tuning ourselves back in to what our spirituality means to us, and not letting it slip away from our minds so other things can dominate how we think and feel.

    • Nimue Brown

      Thank you for sharing. I think we’ve found something like a consensus here, that some kind of framework is good, but being open to what’s around us for what we do is also important. Thank you for articulating that.

  • Seasonal rituals and connecting with nature | Druid Life

    […] talked recently about having a shifting daily practice. For me that has a seasonal aspect, of necessity, but whatever form it takes, it’s about an […]

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