I was talking to an Alexandrian friend of mine today about daily practice, and what it means to him in his tradition and how I relate it to Feri. As I’ve said before, Feri places great emphasis on the development of the Witch’s soul over time, rather than seasonal celebration, but this is only achieved with a dedicated, disciplined spiritual practice. Nevertheless, we are all human, and sometimes our daily practice can slip. One morning you will get up late. Then, the next morning, you have something more pressing to do. The before you know it, the weekend has arrived and you say “I’ll start again on Monday”.
This has happened to me often. And although I don’t feel extreme guilt, I feel disappointment in myself. I feel that if I were truly dedicated to the Feri path then I would do my daily practice regardless. I feel less of a Witch, less of a practitioner, and even less connected when I haven’t done my practice. Those days when I manage to get out of bed I thoroughly enjoy it and try to remember that for the next day.
What my main point is, however, is how BNP’s (Big Name Pagan’s, not the British National Party…) project the image that a proper Witch does the work daily, without fail. However, what some people may fail to realise is that these people have been training in their respective traditions for many years before writing their books and so have (hopefully!) gone through the period of wavering practice. The expectations that they seem to put across are perhaps a bit too unrealistic, at least while we’re starting out. When it comes to a spiritual practice, I don’t think being thrown in at the deep end is a good thing.
Furthermore (and apologies if this is getting rant-y), most BNP’s tend to make a living from either artistic endeavours or their religious pursuits, and can therefore take more time when it comes to their individual practices. I have to get up at 6:15 for work, and leave the house just after 7, so the thought of doing my daily practice before then is slightly unappealing. On the other hand, when I get in from work I’m often too tired to do my practice.
Catch-22, maybe, but one that will have to be resolved eventually. Sigh...