Druidry and everyday practice

There are a lot of advocates out there for having an everyday practice. There are people who will tell you that if you can’t meditate for ten minutes a day, you should do it for an hour. I don’t know that this is helpful.

Some people do really well with routines and predictability. If that’s you, excellent and you likely already have a fair idea of what you need and how best to do it. Much of our daily behaviour tends to be habit based, so if you’re the sort of person who runs on autopilot, then setting up good routines and good habits is a really excellent idea that will serve you well.

But what if it doesn’t? What if routines chafe you and stifle your creativity? What if doing the same thing every day makes you miserable?

Druidry teaches us to honour nature. How nature manifests in you needs to be part of that. How your mind works is part of how nature manifests in you, and we’re not all the same. I think we’re too often persuaded to think of our minds as a special human thing that makes us separate from nature. Your brain is squishy tissue, chemicals, evolution and experience, it is a hot mess of mammal reality and is just as much a part of your animal self as any other bit of your body.

Some creatures like routines; they wake at the same point in each day in relation to the light, seek food in the same places and are reasonably predictable. Some creatures do not have predictable cycles – they don’t breed at the same time each year, they don’t come past the same sites each night, you never know where they might be or what they might be doing. Otters are like this.  Some creatures are seasonal, with habits for certain parts of the year that change at other times. There are lots of different ways of being a mammal.

It’s ok not to have a routine. It’s ok not to have a daily Pagan practice if having one makes you unhappy. It’s ok to make things up as you go along, doing what feels right whenever the mood is upon you. It’s no less valid. We live in a culture that praises and values discipline and predictability, but these are things that work well for industrial life and current workforces. It’s not the only way to be. In Europe, we also have a long history in which Christian monastic life has shaped our cultural ideas about what a good and substantial spiritual practice looks like. It’s not a universal truth that spiritual people work within deliberate structures to focus their dedication.

Structure can be a way of not paying attention, thinking or truly engaging with your spirituality. Being spontaneous can be an excuse for being careless and not really investing much time or energy. There are pitfalls and opportunities either way.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. 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

9 responses to “Druidry and everyday practice

  • angharadlois

    There are parts of this that I absolutely agree with. For years I felt my spiritual life as yet another item on a never-ending to-do list, a test I was constantly failing. Putting undue pressure on yourself do to something ‘properly’ undermines so much of the nourishment that spiritual practice can provide. That sense of everything being part of a never-ending to-do list comes with a very secular, capitalist, linear concept of time as a (scarce) resource to be maximised at every possible opportunity. To counter it, I have found a lot of inspiration in medieval (inevitably Christian) approaches to time as an ever-renewing cycle, and regular ritual is a good way into experiencing time this way. But I absolutely agree that the physical realities of our bodies are something we bring with us to this dance of time and cycles.

  • LaDonna Remy

    I appreciate this insight and agree that our practice needs to work for us.

  • Sheila Murrey

    Certainly both of these aspects have been true for me in my life, “Structure (for me that was church for 1/2 of my life) can be a way of not paying attention, thinking or truly engaging with your spirituality. Being spontaneous (now, I do a daily morning Gratitude practice) can be an excuse for being careless and not really investing much time or energy.”
    I use qigong and yoga to integrate my spirit into my body and soul, and sometimes dance! ❤️🦋🌀🙏☯️

  • potiapitchford

    And even if you do like routines to your practices you might also find they need to grow organically sometimes becoming more detailed, sometimes becoming simpler. Your practice needs to be what works for you, not what anyone else says “should” work.

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