moonvoice: (wildspeak - teczejazi)
[personal profile] moonvoice posting in [community profile] the_animist
I'm hoping to revive this community by offering a question once a week, and sometimes topics or articles of discussion. Also, the profile page has been revised and is more open and welcoming than it was. There is now only one rule, and that will only be changed at a time when this community becomes active enough to require it.

This week's question for discussion (feel free to answer here and on your own journal, if you like!)

How does your spirituality manifest these days?

Things change, after all. How different is it now compared to when you first realised you were an animist? Do you find your practices are more active than ever, or do you find, instead, that things have become dormant, or have you changed faiths, or changed the way you practice?

Is your spirituality helping you, or is it more of a dormant tool? Is it something you want to get back to, or do you sometimes feel you have too much of it! :)

*


Well, I realised this morning (and posted on Twitter about it), that I've been around some form of shamanism in a way that I've known about it and been involved in it for about 22 years now. That was a bit eye-opening!

These days, I'm looking for ways to instill some structure in my practice of Vilturj. To this end, I have actually joined OBOD (The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids). So far this has actually been working wonderfully well. Time spent on the OBOD studies is bringing me back to my practices of Vilturj and also making me think about how to reach out to the people around me - hence a 'housekeeping' of sorts over here too.

I still journey from time to time, but most of my spiritual Work is concerned with totem artwork, totem profiles (still have 100 to be coded into Wildspeak), and offering animal oracle readings. However, I still yearn to get back to a point where I am able to offer soul retrieval and extraction in as safe a manner to both myself and the client.

I miss this community, and I miss writing about spiritual matters as often. It can be hard to now, sometimes, how to revive my own practices in a way that's satisfying to me, because there aren't many practicioners of Vilturj out there, and most of them are within the family which makes things difficult (most of that family is not here in Australia, or no longer practice).

Hmm... I could keep on rambling, but instead, if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask.


Looking forward to your answers!

Date: 2012-09-10 02:15 am (UTC)
herlander_refugee: My tattoo'd back to the world (Default)
From: [personal profile] herlander_refugee
My spiritual practice is, surprisingly, moving further away from shamanistic/animistic life than ever this year.

I am finding myself immersed in more ceremonial practices and verging on theosophic practice in a way I've never done it aside from training exercises.

But my wolverine hangs guardian like above my bed. It always feels like a home to go to at works end....

Date: 2012-09-11 02:46 am (UTC)
herlander_refugee: My tattoo'd back to the world (Default)
From: [personal profile] herlander_refugee
It isn't that I found my shamanistically flavored practices unfullfilling. And those remain pretty much constant in and of themselves. I have thought of myself, primarily, for a long time now (since about 2002) as mostly a priestess for and to the dead of the current wars. In 2003 I built the Labyrinth of sandstone, and while I waited for the half ton of central stones to be delivered for the monument 'heart' of the Walk of the Fallen (write up from 2007), I walked my new creation to help settle stones for others who might come and be less certain of their footing. Standing at the empty center, one evening, I suddenly felt a gaping "openness" before me and it seemed I heard voices in song. I was shocked. I had thought I was obeying my Lord Gwynn ap Nudd to create a war memorial....but this was more than that. And so, my way opened before me.

That task remains unchanged. I walk with the names of the dead weekly at the very least, singing them inwards on the paths of the dead, taking them to a welcoming door.

But as I saw the misery, the stupidity, the lies that seem to be consuming my society; discontent and restlessness filled me. My sleep was disturbed. And one night, I woke at after midnight with a title ringing in my ears. Looking it up online at once, I found and ordered the book....one that details the "Magical Battle of Britain" by Dion Fortune and others of the occultists of her age.

And it occurred to me, since she says the astral temple she and her theosophist fellows created still stands waiting with the "key" on the doorstep, so to speak....that I should make the attempt to re-open that way. That while I take the dead of war one way, perhaps I should try to bring back something for the living, be a conduit to energies of change and hope.

I don't know what success I will have; I've done fewer than a half dozen short sessions of the work thus far. I am hopeful. I will continue, and winter is my best time to focus.....so the dark of the year is welcome here to me.

Date: 2012-09-13 01:20 am (UTC)
herlander_refugee: My tattoo'd back to the world (Default)
From: [personal profile] herlander_refugee
::blushes::: I admit, I feel a bit crazy even saying it; but hey, isn't that true enough to more shamanistic paths? If you don't feel a bit crazy, you aren't doing it quite right?

Date: 2012-09-10 03:16 am (UTC)
spider_fox: (Default)
From: [personal profile] spider_fox
My spirituality has become better grounded in my recon efforts and I'm now at a point where I feel comfortable exploring "magic" and similar things again, now that I have a base to work off of. I think I found a way to tie together my craft interests (as in, arts and crafts, not witchcraft, lol), my environmental degree, and the unsuccessfully-suppressed interest in "shamanism" into something I can do. We'll find out later I suppose, after I appeal to a particular deity.

Date: 2012-09-10 04:50 am (UTC)
azhure: (Art Green woman Froud)
From: [personal profile] azhure
Mine is absolutely more active these days.

I am (still) working on the OBOD Bardic course, and I've found that the work has permeated almost everything in my life. I have small rituals that take me through the day - simply taking a moment every morning to stand in the sun and breathe in the fresh morning air, small cleansing rituals around the house. When I walk, I frequently do so with one foot in the otherworlds, which happens almost without conscious thought.

I also have evidence of my spirituality scattered physically around the house. I have a small altar in the bedroom, as well as a shrine to Brigid in the centre of the house, and Green Men guarding both of the doors at the front of the house.

I have moved away from oracular work, of late, and I'm not certain why. I think more of my spirituality is going into my actual work (writing) as well.

Date: 2012-09-10 11:47 am (UTC)
paleo: Spotted Hyena as Totem (Spotted Hyena)
From: [personal profile] paleo
I've moved away from trying to fit in the role of "shaman" by thinking that I have to do all the stuff mentioned over and over again in books such as journeying, soul retrieving, and trance work. I'm still interested in those thing and open to learning if I'm nudged that way, but I don't feel like I *must* do them.

My animism has become *much* more grounded in my day-to-day life. I've started talking to spirits while cooking, cleaning, bathing. Just talking to who or whatever wants to talk and not filtering things due to the animal and plant centric nature of my path. Hearth-and-home spirits have become important to me lately.

I'm far more open to talking to so-called inanimate objects if they want. It's surprising what might speak up and how chatty they can get. Just an hour ago I used a new skillet for the first time and it voluntarily told me *exactly* the best way to cook breakfast on it (things went perfectly!). Because I consider my cooking utensils to be sacred tools and my kitchen sacred space, this wasn't odd to me at all.

Thanks for the conversation starter. :D

Date: 2012-09-12 01:22 am (UTC)
faolchu_rua: (discovery)
From: [personal profile] faolchu_rua
Hello to all of you; I guess I'm sort of introducing myself to the community with my response here.

I'm a bit of an odd duck with my present spirituality. After thoroughly turning my life around over the course of the past year and a half through an exploration of Kemetic practice, I have in the last month or so felt urges to try to reincorporate animistic practices and thoughts into my life. I've never completely lost touch with this -- since my highschool years when I was thoroughly involved with animistic thought and ritual, I've always paid mind to what plants and animals grab my attention in the day to day, taking note of feathers, insects, and the like that cross my path. I did not, however, actively do any sort of meditation or journeying throughout the bulk of my collegiate years and first year of graduate study.

This changed only within the last week, with both a midday, unexpected experience and a subsequent, deliberate meditative journey that firmly linked experiences from adolescent years -- the appearance of animal guides (many of them familiar to me from lessons learned seven, eight years ago) -- with my more recent workings with and worship of Kemetic deities. I'm still trying to sort out what it means to me that I could so readily experience both at the same time, when previously I had viewed them as separate forms of spirituality (with the exception of a connection between Bast and the black leopard who has been friend, guide, and guardian since I was 12 years old). I wouldn't say I'm surprised; my view of the "divine" is that it is made of the same energy, the same connected soul(s), as the rest of the Universe, living and no-longer-living included. I guess it just seemed such a different approach to connecting with that soul as to not necessarily "meld" with what I'd done before.

Despite this curious discovery of the possibility of blending my paths more thoroughly than I'd previously thought possible, I do keep two different shrines. One is for the gods of Kemet, the other largely dedicated to Great Horned Owl, my oldest animal-formed/spirited teacher. The first is a space for rituals associated with Kemetic Orthodoxy, honoring Netjer, and praying/making music/thinking "in shrine." The second serves more as a reminder to meditate on the lessons of those creatures and plants that crossed my paths that day, and a space to honor my guides past (and hopefully, soon-to-be present once again).

But yes, rambling though the explanation may have been, I think that essentially summarizes my current beliefs. ^_^;

I may be in a bit of a questioning phase at present but I'm enjoying the ride and very much looking forward to sorting out another fascinating, albeit complex, facet of my beliefs. Looking forward to discussing more with you all.

Date: 2012-09-17 12:44 am (UTC)
barbary: (Unzipped)
From: [personal profile] barbary
I am going to try very hard not to be long-winded in answering this; I may or may not succeed. :)

To answer, first: Yes, my spirituality is different now than it was some ten or eleven years ago when I first began exploring animism and paganism; I have changed faiths in a way (though it feels mostly like specializing, rather than going from A to B), and the way I practice - as well as how much and how often I practice - has been in constant flux. I do feel my spirituality helps me immensely; even the parts that lie latent still inform my worldview and are things I treasure in the world and in myself. I would definitely like to engage with it more consistently and frequently, though I have many areas/entities of focus and rationing everything in a tenable fashion is proving a challenge. :)

To expound a little: My current spirituality is largely tied up with Kemetic practices; much like [personal profile] faolchu_rua, I have an active shrine/altar area to the Netjeru of Egypt, where I both worship and work. (It keeps growing, too; I have added shelves...) It is as much visual celebration of my gods and all They represent as it is a place to sit and be in Their presence; it has hand-made jewelry, paintings, and sigils, as well as the more traditional statues/icons (and some less traditional ones, like a scorpion conch shell!). The vast majority of my practices right now revolve around five Netjeru and Their domains and animal theophanies, Scorpion (Leiurus quinquestriatus) being the most prevalent and powerful for me.

I haven't consciously engaged in totemism for a while, but it's still a layer of my spirituality, albeit dormant for the moment. Animism is fresher and closer to the surface, though still not something I take up with my hands and do things with, so to speak. Both comprise cornerstones of my worldview, even if I'm not actively manifesting them in my practices.
Edited Date: 2012-09-17 12:44 am (UTC)

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