After my father died my mom and I had a rare conversation about religion that has stuck with me. She said that she wished she had the faith others had because she thought, in troubled times, you could take great solace in your spiritual connection. My thoughts turned to this conversation as I spoke with friends and my students this week. We were all reeling from the impact of grief, the after-effects of the pandemic, and some significant changes, and the one thing they said they had lost focus with was their spiritual practices. My immediate response was “That is all right, you are dealing with a lot, don’t worry, it will come back.” Then, as I drove home my mother’s words came back to me. It had me considering: Do I take solace and refuge in my spiritual practice when things are hard?
The simple answer is: yes, I do. As I examine and unpack it more I notice that my spiritual practice adapts to the holistic circumstances, both internal and external, of my life. I ask myself, “What do I need from my spiritual practice today, this month, this year?” Sometimes my answer is hard core practices when I need a spiritual kick in the tush, initiatory transformative experiences, or just a desire to dive deeper. As I unpack this, these extreme practices are not my go-to when I need solace or refuge. It all depends on whether diving deep into them brings the clarity and focus I need to get through what is going on. I find that strangely I get more “done” when I am in the flow of deeper practice.
When the answer to my question of what I need is solace and refuge, I turn to the simple daily practices or practices that respond to my circumstances. My simplest practice is my altar devotion, which is just lighting my altar candle and saying an invocation of the infinite divine to protect and guide me in my thoughts, words, and deeds to my true will, deepest love, and greatest wisdom. It is the one constant practice for me and I take refuge in its simplicity.
The practices that work with what I need shift with the circumstance. Need guidance, a divination; need peace or alignment, a short meditation; need healing, some reiki or charging water; need protection, anointing with protection potion; need a jolt of energy, make an elixir with my planetary spygerics; need to finish an assignment from a class, do that. In grief, I take a moment to talk out loud to the deceased and offer them some light or a glass of water. Sometimes the practice is just to get on with my day for that is what is needed.
It is up to you to ask yourself these questions and find your own answers. If you need solace and refuge think about why that is? What will offer you the opportunity for that now? Be open to your answers and take action on them, even when the action is inaction.
Adam Sartwell works as a certified Consulting Hypnotist with the National guild of Hypnotists and ICBCH, and professional Tarot reader. He is a co-founder of the Temple of Witchcraft. Award-wining Author of Twenty-one days of Reiki and The Blessing Cord, he has been published in anthologies such as Green Lovers, Ancestors of the Craft, and Foundations of the Temple. For more information on his work as a hypnotist and online courses, go to hypnointuitive.com. To see more about his work as an author, psychic reader, and teacher go to his website adamsartwell.com