Day 366: Day of Silence

Congratulations on completing your year and a day of study, magic, ritual, and contemplation!  Your final day is symbolic of life’s journey, and it relates to this month’s contemplative question.  Your final magical act is a day of silence.  Be mindful of your actions, your breath, and your thoughts throughout the day.  When the day is complete, answer these questions:

  • How do I feel now that my year and a day is complete?
  • Am I considering taking the next step and becoming initiated as a Witch?  Why?
  • What stands out as the most important aspect of my training this year?
  • How have I changed or grown during the year?
  • What areas of magical study do I intend to study in depth?
  • How do I plan to maintain a spiritual practice beyond this 366th day?

How do I feel now that the Roderick project is *finally* complete?  Well, I’m not going to lie…I’m damn proud of myself for seeing something through to its finish.  It took a helluva lot longer than a calendar year–I’ve had this book since January 2007!–but I’ve thoroughly journaled my way through each entry in Roderick’s book from start to finish.  Despite how proud I am of finally putting this project away, I’m also a little sad.  I’ve really enjoyed blogging here at 366, and I think I’d like to continue.  It’s way easier to blog on a schedule, though, when I’ve got a larger project I’m working on instead of just the odds and ends that are interesting me at any given time.  Maybe I should find another text to work through?  After all, the cycle just continues anew.

I have considered and taken that step of becoming initiated as a Witch.  Although becoming a Gardnerian was something I’ve been drawn to ever since I learned about Wicca and its traditions, I don’t know if I would have had the gumption to find a group and become part of the community had it not been for what I experienced working methodically through Roderick’s book.  Gards, you know you’re a tough bunch to break into.  Even in Gard-only groups, the thirds are so cliqué-y that it’s hard to build any productive dialogue without somehow becoming a third yourself.  I had the perception that you really had to have some strong magical chops behind you to even look into working with a Gardnerian group, and working through this book made me feel like I’d gotten that background better than having read some Cunningham and Starhawk.

What stands out as some of the most valuable training from this year?  I think maybe all the work put into the Sabbats, and perhaps all the orthopraxy in general.  The dedication “year” I think is best spent learning the lingo of our religion and really getting into what each of our seasonal holidays is.  I know that in my own coven practice, it’s easy to make the holiday just a quick ritual to mark the passing of time.  Building the Sabbats up like this, however, gave me some great personal practice with the season.  Another great strength I found with this project was working with the elements and Elementals.  Again, something very appropriate for the dedication year in BTW.

How have I changed?  Well, over these past years, I’ve grown from a person consumed with ambition for ambition’s sake to being someone who is truly interested in making the world a better place.  I want to make connections with people in a way I definitely had little interest in before, and I want to make my life a happy, healthy, and whole place to be.  That’s a pretty profound shift.

What areas of magical study do I intent to focus on now?  Well, as a first-degree, part of my work is supposed to be spent strengthening my connection to the Goddess.  At the very least, I need to study and memorize the Charge, but I also want to build a relationship to Her…kind of like what my very Christian friends report to have with Christ.  This is something I struggle with, but something I also want very dearly.  I also want to be a better ceremonialist.  I’m not going to lie…my grasp on ceremonial magic is sloppy at best.  I understand that my focus on ritual here is something that some readers really enjoy, so I think I’m going to try to study up on that more, too.

How do I plan to maintain a spiritual practice from here on out?  Well, I really need to work on integrating my spirituality into my daily practice.  It’s almost scary how easy it is for me to forget to pray or to postpone the things that feed my spiritual soul, such as going on walks and meditating.  I think I need to develop a sort of ‘routine’ for myself, perhaps something like what nuns in the cloister do, what with having daily hours for prayer and silence and such.  It will be difficult to work that into my job, overtime, and my house obligations, but I can try at least.

In the immediate, though, I’m definitely taking a break from 366 as I put the capstone on this project by writing a review (finally!) about my thoughts on Roderick’s book.  Stay tuned!

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