Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crafting the Sacred out of the Mundane

One of my earliest Craft lessons was that there is no difference between the spiritual and the mundane. Any division therein is a boundary that we place upon existence by our own subjective criteria. For many the division is a useful tool for identifying specific practices which will create the measure by which an individual’s “progress” is measured. This is especially true in regards to someone learning the path. After all, unless someone knows what to do and how to do it, it is quite difficult to practice said art. It, however, can encourage continued pluralistic thinking beyond the stage of initial usefulness. The eventual trick is to have the same spiritual mindset regardless of whether one is getting ready to ritual or pay the bills—to see the sacred in all things, in every moment; to make all of our acts an act of the craft, of devotion, and to do all of this with a focus upon the now.

Everything is sacred (and simultaneously not*).  The experiential nature of the Craft will reveal this in due time. It will become a given truth as experience informs us. Additionally though, I have found it useful to randomly pick objects I encounter regularly and to mentally dissect the associated properties corresponding to it to see where it fits in my sacred schema.  

Let’s look at a couple of examples; related examples. A pen is a wand of communication that can create, manage, and condemn all in a stroke or two. It can do so both logically and creatively. ~~~ A phone… an old school only-for-talking-on phone, it too is a tool of communication. It is a conduit of speech and air via very earthly metals. It is communication that reaches beyond the normal boundaries of our limits of speech. ~~~ Both of these are about communication but in very different ways. The potential and the symbol of are slightly different.

This intellectual picking apart speaks directly to Talking Self, the analytical and logical part of us. Now to look and see and feel the pen not just with words and discourse of logic but as a symbol of such. How does the pen appear to Younger Self? Pick it up. What does the thought of the pen invoke? Now run with those feelings and how they relate to the before mentioned idea of the pen. This thing, it is holy and we share many of these qualities, they are simply manifested in different manners. The pen is unique, special, and yet the same with shared essences with the rest of all.

As I have mentioned the craft is an art or science whereby the individual shapes the core of their being. To use an alchemical metaphor, they turn their inner lead into gold. This craft is not only applicable as a spiritual path. The rest of our actions, outside of any Trad praxis, are also tools unto us for which we may shape our life. Do not think for a second that cooking dinner, taking the trash out, driving the car, eating too much and passing out in front of the tv, etc, don’t have effect upon the weight/worth/quality of our inner essence. For they do. It is all about the how. Is cooking dinner a sacred experience for us? How about taking the trash out? If they are, then these become spiritual practices for crafting our Self.

There are two ways in which I personally merge the spiritual with mundane acts and vice versa. These of course are not the only ones. What I do is either make the act itself one of devotion or I immerse myself into the moment.

Cooking dinner can easily be either of these. In the preparation of the evening meal it can become an act of devotion by recognizing that this act is one that nurtures and sustains life. Also in cooking for another it becomes an offering unto their inner divine, much like saying the prayer "Namaste**" but via a plate of food. This is but one example. How can you make the other actions mentioned into one of devotion?

I try to immerse my focus of each moment into the reality of that moment. Each moment becomes a meditation whereby the sacred is able to shine through in its manifestation. The action and now become the gateway for the sacred. When on a run, think about running. When sweeping the floor, think about sweeping the floor. When sipping wine, think about sipping wine. This practice is called mindfulness. The trick is to ask yourself: What am I doing? Then when the answer is arrived at, try and experience that and the sacred within it.

I am deleting a sentence I didn’t like, and explaining that it didn’t feel right. This thought is a bridge to others and for a moment was the axis around which my own thoughts and reality revolved, it was the axis mundi. I do so as an act of devotion, for that is what the blog has transformed itself into.

Go and transform your own mundane into the sacred and allow it sit at the center of your day.

Boidh Se!


“Lost in a thicket bare-foot upon a thorned path.”

*Nothing is also sacred, but that is for another day.

**That which is sacred in me recongizes that which is sacred within thou.

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