Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Simple Evening Devotional

Sometimes the simplest rituals can be the best. They're easy to do each day, and that can keep you linked to your spirituality. I often see people upset because they feel cut off from their practice, and they just don't know what to do. I'm a firm believer that daily devotion, of some sort, is the answer to a lot of those types of problems.

When creating this daily devotional I knew I'd have to keep it very simple. There are a lot of days where I deal with health/fatigue issues, and it really rules out a lot of things for me. In the past I've written about a daily ritual at my hearth shrine during dinner, but there are now many days where I either might not be the one cooking, or I might be with my grandparents, away from my own kitchen, and it's shrine.

So I came up with a very simple solution. I keep a clay olive oil lamp on the window sill near my computer, right in my view so I remember to use it. It has four wicks, one for each of the deities I primarily honor. The first wick lit is always the one for Hestia, and when lighting it I say something along the lines of "I light this flame in honor of Hestia, heart of my home, who brings peace and stability." It varies a bit, sometimes I use a different title, or have something more specific I am thankful for, or even something I might be requesting from her.

I light the other flames for Artemis, Demeter, and Hekate, all with the same style of short prayer. Then I take a few minutes to simply relax, clear my mind a bit, take a deep breath or two. Then I will leave the lamp burning for a while as I go about my business - be it work, writing, or just playing games. The lamp will go out on it's own when it runs out of oil, and some nights I simply let it go out when it will. However, on most nights, I extinguish the flames with a final thank you to the deity.

Now, what about those nights I'm away from home? I don't bring the lamp with me, I just take a few minutes to myself and, well, basically imagine lighting the lamp, with the same prayers. Since I do it often enough physically, it's easy to picture in my mind. In some ways I enjoy this symbolism even more than the physical ritual, carrying the flames of these deities within me, always.

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