Witchy

Fall Equinox 2020: Balance

My lovely spouse Leora and I generated the list pictured here as part of our Fall Equinox ritual. The list begins:

  • Furnace check-up appointment
  • Window plastic 
  • Boots

It might not seem particularly witchy, but making it made me feel so profoundly connected to my spirituality.

Like it has for many folks, the current COVID-19 pandemic has me reexamining my relationship to my spiritual values and practices. I find myself stripping away, scaling down. Time outside, meditation, hand-crafting, acts of social justice and mutual aid have connected me to my values and to Mystery, while formal spells, rituals, and divination have felt like a veil dropped between me and them.

Just after Lammas, I started envisioning a year-long cycle of Sabbat and Esbat rituals that truly reflect my deepest held beliefs and values. Recentering the things that drew me to Paganism in the first place, rather than other people’s ritual and spiritual concepts that I’ve accumulated over almost two decades (!) of study and practice.

Leora and I spoke our intention and performed a pared-down grounding, centering, and acknowledging of sacred space. We ate a meal we cooked from local seasonal produce. We named areas of our lives that could use more balance and committed to one action we could take to shift that balance. We praised the areas where we’re proud of keeping balance. We made a list of actions we need to take to prepare for winter. Then we were done.

It was simple, and it was concrete. Apart from the conversation about balance, in which we used the balance of light and darkness to mirror balance in our lives, we were very literal. The harvest of the Earth, the pause to prepare for Winter. Very little metaphor to separate me from the All That Is. Maybe my fellow witches, even other naturalistic ones, would’ve found it boring. But it was exactly what I needed.

Leora has kindly agreed to show up for a whole year’s cycle of these simplified rituals. I have rough outlines for all eight of them (although they’re all open to adjustment; after this one I already know we need singing). I’ll try to revisit them all here. Who knows—maybe this kind of low-frills acknowledgement of the sacred is what you’re looking for, too.

8 thoughts on “Fall Equinox 2020: Balance”

  1. Thank you! I saw your post on the Naturalistic Paganism mailing list. I too have found myself questioning and re-examining my own spiritual practice and its place in my life. Your ritual feels grounded in reality and the here-and-now, which sounds perfect. It is good to know there are others out there with the same questions and examinations. Be well!

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    1. Thank you for the comment, Diana. I was treading carefully for a while, because I wasn’t sure how much I was experiencing a genuine spiritual shift and how much was depression-related anhedonia exacerbated by COVID and the uprisings. But then I realized that even if these end up being just “for now” changes, they ARE the right changes for now. How are your questions and re-examinings going?

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      1. Well, alright mostly. I find myself in the same place as you where it is difficult to differentiate true dissatisfaction with my spiritual practice, or a lack of being served by my practice, from the general depression that has been amplified by these times. I work in public health so that’s another exacerbating factor. 🙂 However, I found your post inspiring because the idea of making the everyday or “mundane” part of our spiritual practice is a great way of reminding us everything is just state of mind.

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  2. It makes me smile Eli: I’m sure the changes are very good. I think I smile because I appreciate your responsiveness. Things have certainly changed for me, partly to do with aging and everything takes longer, as well as a transforming world. I think the rituals do get more real and grounded with age, and as we respond to the changing circumstances. I love what you are doing. And it is nice to hear from you.

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    1. Hello, Glenys! How delightful to “see” you! I wasn’t sure at first about this change in direction (which is really more a change *back* to where I was before, I think), because sometimes it’s hard to tell a spiritual paradigm shift from a major depressive episode. :_D But even if it’s only the right direction for me to be moving in *for now,* it IS the right direction for now, and that feels important to me.

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  3. I am unable to see the past comments… I was coming to respond to your reply to mine. I sincerely hope they were not removed because someone succumbed to their base instincts and acted cruelly or thoughtlessly. Be well and bright days to you.

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    1. You know what? I think that was entirely user error. I thought I was deleting a bunch of comments from my Inbox, but I may have accidentally deleted them from the posts they were associated with. Lemme go see if I can get those back…

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