I've been thinking about journaling, self care, and the arts as spiritual practices. Want to get in contact with your spirit guides? Write them a letter. In the broom closet but want to celebrate the spring equinox? Use herbs and oils associated with the holiday in your bath or hair oil or food today. No money for altar tools? Doodle, draw or paint and altar in your sketchbook. Go to an observatory on the night of the full moon to celebrate and be closer to the Goddess or a short hike through the woods to connect with the God. Things of this nature.
One of my favorite ways to celebrate Imbolc is to sing Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles. I light a candle and sing this song while waiting the last few minutes as the sun rises. This is literally all I do. Music is huge in my life so I started adding it to my spiritual practice. I feel more and more that my personal practice is not about setting up an altar with things to celebrate the holidays and the gods. Though I may still do if the mood strikes me. But seeing them in the world around me and in using my actions, hobbies, loves, and work to express why this day is important to me. I plan to explore that more and share it with you all.
What's sacred about painting or drawing? What's sacred about music and dance? What's sacred about writing, planning and journaling? What's sacred about bathing and self care? What's sacred about traveling? What is sacred about cleaning? What is sacred about making and ingesting food and drink? What elements do these things correspond with? What colors? What crystals? How can creation honor other beings, spirits?
What are some unconventional or nontraditional ways of honoring the gods? Maybe looking to polytheistic practices for inspiration, not copying, would help. Thinking of the above examples as offerings to the gods on sabbats and esbats is one way. Using the arts to symbolize a more traditional rite or ritual is another. In their creation we expend energy and that energy we can harness and send to the gods as well. Anything really that says I thought of you that day would be good in my opinion.
My first attempt at this is shown above. I have been interested in art journaling for years. I started looking into it (and finding out it had a name) two years ago. In undergrad I had plenty of art classes but they never explained how to art journal. Anyway, now my purpose for doing so has changed. I wanted to combine spiritual journaling with art journaling. So, after a few months experimenting, I did.
This is a very basic New Moon in Taurus spread. I put down some red wine on the pages like paint, as my offering. It also had the affect of darkening them which you can't really see here. Then drew the moon and new growth at the bottom. There's a bit of grey washi tape pasted in peices to one side and bits of green. Things are not perfect and won't go as planned and there will be dark times but growth will happen.
Then I wrote. I wrote about this moon phase and the sign its in, Taurus. Then spoke about the new things I wanted to plant in this season. The new ideas I want to see grow. I feel that writing things down puts energy into these ideas. It will help them grow.
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