Sunday, November 23, 2008

How To Behave In A Crisis

Byron Ballard has a brilliant article up at Witchvox about what to do in extremis:

Go outside and activate the spirits of the land on which you live. This can happen in a backyard, in a woodland temple, on the balcony of your high-rise apartment. Feed them (I give mine milk, corn liquor, cheap bright candy) and honor them and talk to them. And it’s best to do this when you aren’t in a crisis, so that they know you. It is always a good idea to build a relationship before you go asking for favors, don‘t you think? Ask the spirit of that maple tree, or that rock or that hill to be with you in your hour of need. Ask them to guide and inspire you, to support you and to be your friend on the other plane.

Then come inside and clean off your home altar, the primary one. Dust the table, put on a clean cloth, make an effort to set up this beautiful focal point, , this place between the worlds where you will petition the gods. Burn some incense, add some flowers, whatever you do to make it fresh. My advice is to work directly with your own gods, the ones you honor all the time. If you are dedicated to Artemis, ask her to stand with you, to show you what you need to see. You don’t need to go to Brigid for healing if you don’t have a relationship with her. Go first to your matrons, tell them the story, ask for help, ask for blessings.

Next, set up an Ancestor altar and actively engage your Ancestors. Your actual Ancestors--your mom or great-uncle or your older sister who died when you were ten. Feed them, honor them and be very clear about how important they are to you and how much you need their help.

Now look at your life--what do you need? To banish something? To call something to you? Do you need to stand under a full moon and say the most important prayer--“thank you”? If you need to create a ritual of thanksgiving, then do it. Make it pure and simple. Get a babysitter, if you need to. Fling yourself before your altar, if that feels right.

Does your need require a spell? Then do one. Don’t spend days researching the books of spells or Google-ing your request. Just do it. Make it up as you go along. Check the phase of the moon, and out of your need and your love, create a spell and do it. Raise a circle of pure energy and do it.

Do all these things and do them all again, if need be. Clarify your need and request for yourself and for your helpers both seen and unseen. And if nothing changes, consult an astrologer, get a tarot or rune reading, and try to figure out why this is happening to you now. Why again? Is there a lesson you need to be heeding? Are you facing the same challenges again and again? Why? What lesson are you not learning? And why not?

Many books have been written about daily spiritual practice, most of it from the Christian traditions. When tragedy--or merely drama--strikes, they have recourse to heavy-duty praying, just as we do. But if they--and we--have cultivated a clear series of steps to get grounded and feel our connection to the Divines, it can make those scary times a little less stressful..

Start the morning by grounding yourself and finish your day by looking at the moon and saying your prayers. There is comfort there and connection.


Libby Spencer said...

You are wise Hecate and give good advice.

Anne Johnson said...

What a wonderful essay! Hearty "Gods Are Bored" approval!