Harry Potter, Adam, and the Speghetti Monster

Harry Potter, Adam, and the Speghetti Monster
"Sorry guys...you haven't seen a small metal ball with wings flapping around by chance, have you?""

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ode to Simplicity

There's something to be said for keeping it simple and quiet.

I find that the longer I practice, the more I am attracted to simple and subtle rituals or spells.

At the very beginning, when my practice was much more heavily influenced by Wicca than it is now, I made an effort to carry out rituals with full ceremonial flare: ritual bath, garb, any and every tool, circles, cone of power, cake and ale ceremony, etc. I was very excited by all of those features, enjoyed them and it no doubt helped me achieve a productive mental state.

However, it was just as certainly not without drawbacks. The first was time. Going through that entire process took around three hours, which I simply did not always have. Secondly, I was at some point uncomfortable thinking that I would be so dependent on a complex set of materials and tools because one never knows when they might not be available. This partially contributes to the third on the list of drawbacks--it seemed contradictory to me in many ways.

I mean, what better way to save the environment and shun the excessive materialism in my culture than to constantly buy all kind of expensive accoutrements?  What better way to get in touch with myself than to put on different clothes (or get a different name)? (By the way, this is only for me--I'm not criticizing anyone who finds that it works for them).

Don't get me wrong; I do have my supplies (i.e. herbs, candles) and I realize that this is often part of the practice.  It's even part of the practice that I enjoy a lot.  But there is also something to be said about making do with what you have.  I would even go so far as to say that this is one of the defining characteristics of witchcraft in comparison with other magical systems.

Many other systems, particularly of the ceremonial variety, depend on the correct performance of complex and elaborate rituals, often invoking all manner of higher spiritual beings.  Witchcraft, however, has always had as a primary (and sometimes exclusive) component the idea of dealing with everyday problems in simple ways---giving people common, local herbs for common every day illnesses, for example.  There is also the idea that is commonly known in NeoPagan communities  as "hiding secrets in plain sight".  As a natural introvert, I really like that idea.  You can do magic with the clothes you wear, what you have in your pockets, how you decorate your home...and no one has to be the wiser.   I'm even trying to streamline my altar. 

I could elaborate further, but the point was to keep it simple.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed...especially the part about "hiding secrets in plain sight." I too went through a phase when i was spending way too much time and money on witchcraft books and supplies. Now I am working to remove clutter from all aspects of my life. When it comes to my spiritual practice, it seems so much more natural to just be myself and to utilize/engage the elements in my own personal space.

    Thanks for sharing!