Teach Yourself How To Have A Mystical Practice

Just a few ideas to get you started.

Start training your brain to respond. If you smudge or burn juniper as a purification, do it every time, let your spirit learn that this is a cue; like the dog drools when Pavlov rings the bell, let the smoke teach your soul that this is a cleansing time. Use ritual baths or ritual clothing to train yourself to think of the divine in a ritual-appropriate way when you do that bathing, wear that outfit. Associate ways of doing your hair or pieces of jewelry with particular magical tasks or particular relationships to Powers, so that when you put it up or put it on you are already halfway to completing that alignment.

Steep yourself in symbolism like a good cup of tea. Know a hundred names for your gods so that you can call on the right path at the right time. Learn how to see runes in arrangements of fallen twigs. Stop looking up correspondences and live them: blue is heaven, gold is eternal, black is the fertile earth. Do things four times if you’re Kemetic and three times if you’re a Celt, and know why those numbers matter. Read relevant art books for the pictures. Learn the language of pose and gesture. Draw as a devotional practice (or sculpt, or dance, or…) and use what you know. Stop thinking about this stuff and know it.

Pray often. Add prayers to your cleansing, to your cooking, to your awareness of the world. Cultivate wonder. Yell at the gods when that’s what matters. Sit and sink roots deep into the earth, sometimes, and hold the stars with your hands. Use perfumes to cultivate particular states of mind. Collect music that reminds you of your gods, or which puts you in particular frames of mind, and use that music to go deeper into your knowledge. Meditate. Don’t fall into the trap where the only form of meditation you will accept or acknowledge is the no-mind stillness kind; learn to meditate when you’re washing the dishes. If you listen to Enya or something when you’re meditating, don’t play that when you’re driving, it’s not safe.

Get to know yourself. Figure out how long you can go between meals without turning into an asshole before you do a fasting ritual with company over. Figure out how long you can go between meals without making yourself sick before you do a fasting ritual at all. Learn what kinds of foods open you up and what kinds of foods snuggle you down, and eat appropriately for the work you want to do. Try having a glass of wine at dinner if you can safely and see what it does for how your mind works and your energy flows. If you can’t eat a pasta dish without becoming ravenously, crankily hungry an hour or two later, don’t eat pasta before a major ritual. Get enough sleep. Record your dreams in a notebook by the bed, or in private Livejournal entries, or somewhere. Get to know the recurring cast members of your personal inner drama and how many different faces each of them typically has. Find what brings you joy and get to know it better.

Cultivate a regular space for spirit. Burn incense for the dead. Give the first slice of bread to the domovoi. Give presents to your landwights. Pour milk on white stones. Light candles. Sing. Watch the children play, and smile. Make a quiet space when you take your evening medication and be sure to spend some time there every day. Build cairns out of fieldstone. Watch the stars. Dedicate your houseplants as shrines and make watering them a devotional. Paint your entire face with your eyeliner. Be creative.

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10 thoughts on “Teach Yourself How To Have A Mystical Practice

  1. Zenith says:

    This was beautiful and really inspiring. I’m trying to create a mystical practice for myself, not just rote religious offerings, so I’ll be referring back to this for inspiration as often as I need to. Thank you.

    • kiya_nicoll says:

      I’m so glad it was helpful! It was something I thought of while working on my presentations last night, so I figured I’d write it out while it was still fresh.

  2. […] Here is her excellent blog post about training yourself to have a mystical practice: Teach Yourself How to Have a Mystical Practice. […]

  3. jewelofaset says:

    This is a wonderful post! I linked to it from my blog.

    This was very helpful to me.

  4. Emerald says:

    I love this! I’ll be adding some of your ideas into my daily practice.

  5. Patch says:

    Reblogged this on Tending The Hearth of The Gods and commented:
    In lieu of the PBP I was writing for yesterday THAT THE STUPID INTERNET ATE >:(, I am re-blogging this.
    It’s a very inspirational entry that contains a lot of wisdom!

  6. Bastemhet says:

    Reblogged this on Per Bastemhet and commented:
    My practice is a non-practice. I’m supposed to do ritual and I don’t, for a couple of reasons: these are things that I know, that don’t need expression to be true- and I also frequently don’t have the spoons, since I’m having a very tough time with my marriage and family problems. This post gives me some good ideas on how to let that knowing become more a part of my daily life without having to step full into ritual land.

  7. Calamity Jane says:

    I loved this post, so I’m reblogging it. It really part of what I need to do on a daily base. Thank you!

  8. Ama says:

    Thank you. Sincerely. I stumbled upon this just when I needed it most. For me, it affirmations of what I, should, already know. But of which I sorely needed reminding. And some wonderfully simple and practical ideas. So. Thank you, again.

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