One of my Craft teachers-past once told me that one of the first things to get thrown out in magickal/spiritual practice was meditation. Although I advocate heavily in favor of a strong mediation practice, that’s not what I am on about in this blog though I will mention mediation in regards to my experience. When life gets hectic, busy, chaotic, or simply out of the norm, it is the basics of our routine practice that get neglected first.
Think about your own practice. Honestly, when was the last time you did a relaxation exercise or basic grounding exercise merely for the practice of that specific technique? Maybe my stone cast doesn’t hit you, which is great. But if you are like me, “when the going gets tough…” you put them off. You let that part of yourself that likes the comfortable and routine and easy talk you out of it. This is part of being human; overcoming it is also part of developing discipline in one’s practice.
I’ve spent the better part of the last month in some stage of moving roughly 1,800 miles (about 2,896 km) across the map. My altars are all in boxes, all my tools, and other than BoS*, which I don’t trust the movers with, so is my library. This is the time when the basics are the most beneficial, not when set in a routine of normalcy or within the general range of comfort, but when life steps out of the norm.
Yet, the basics went right out the window, most of them anyway. There are a small handful of daily practices that I’ve kept up but most of them flew the coup fairly quickly. Now that I’ve arrived and things are beginning to come out of boxes it is time to reestablish a whole host of practices. However, just as they were the first to go, the basics need to be the first to return. Not all at once either. Every few days to a week, after getting the previously added set back into routine, I’ll add another in until the whole corpus of my Craft is up and running in this new place.
This morning I sat** for the first time since before the move began and I plan to sit again later tonight. I have nothing else on my practice schedule at the moment other than sit twice a day until the habit has returned and then I’ll pick up something else. This doesn’t mean I won’t do things like set up my Temple space or go meet the local spiritual landscape, just that my focus on getting the basics back on track is first.
So if you have fallen off the proverbial basics horse, add them back in—gradually. Or if you’ve never really had a regular practice that includes the basics, it might be time to pick them up. There is a reason they are the foundational basics.
“Lost in a thicket, bare-foot upon a thorn path.”
*Book of Shadows
**It’s kinda code around my house for what in mediation circles is known as cushion time. If I say I’m gonna go “sit” in the Temple for a few, everyone knows I’m going to go meditate.