Yesterday I started a topic over at the Crooked Cauldron forums about what people think as the essentials to their practice. This is in response to the idea that Paganism (and notably Wicca) as a “religion of stuff.” I was interested in what people would consider the bare bones of their practice.
I also have to admit that I had a hidden reason to doing this that I did not mention on the forum.
Later this month, I will be taking a trip to Portland, OR for the 2013 Sigma Tau Delta convention. (Sigma Tau Delta is the International English Honor Society, not a sorority or fraternity as most people assume.) As I’ve been wondering what to pack and bring with me, I realized that I was severely uncomfortable with not bringing anything to represent my belief, faith, religion, or what have you. I wanted to bring something with me to work with while I was in Portland for a few days and I decided to make a small shrine or altar for Anubis to bring with me so I could have something in the hotel room. As I always do, I began looking at what others had done with this idea, knowing that travel shrines are very common for Pagans and polytheists, especially those who either travel a lot (go figure) or do not have a permanent home to set up a larger, permanent altar. Once I’d looked at all the pretty pictures (and there are a lot), I began to think of what I wanted to put in my own little shrine. I have some ideas, but I also realized that there wasn’t a whole lot that I wanted in there. I’ve always been a fan of very simple, clean altars.
And thinking about that, I wondered something to myself: Why do I have so much stuff?
Granted, I don’t have a ton of stuff for my altars and witchcraft, and much of it is books; however, I do still have a lot. Incense, candles, spare items for seasonal stuff, etc. And I just sat there wondering why. What did I need with all this stuff, especially since I don’t use a lot of it all the time – if ever?
So I started the thread to find out what others had to say. It became rather popular with one user who agreed to start a blogging project about our experiences “bare bones-ing” our religion.
And that’s what I’ll be doing these next few weeks. I think it’ll be beneficial to strip down and look at things more objectively yet intimately, especially with the interest I have in starting shadow work as well. While shadow work will take more than a month, possibly years, starting both at the same time will, I think, help me work with both.
So tomorrow I will start this 30 Day challenge. Tonight is my opening thoughts and some background on why I wanted to approach this challenge. More posts to come.
Spiritual Essentials Archive
March 4, 2013 to April 3, 2013
March 3, 2013: 30 Day Spiritual Essentials Challenge
March 4, 2013: My Essentials
March 6, 2013: The Goal of Spirituality
March 7, 2013: But What About the Altars, George?
March 12, 2013: Prayer
April 4, 2013: Spiritual Essentials In Review