The Importance of a Spiritual Practice in a Crisis
by Sarah Gottesdiener·
I have found that investing in a spiritual practice to be invaluable in challenging times. It is an anchor that helps to keep me reminded of what is most important. It is a method of staying grounded during the many moments that I am stricken with grief, confused, feeling out of control, angry at the universe, or my body, and all of the other sometimes overwhelming emotions that reside within the universal experience of being a human.
A spiritual practice is anything that helps keep you connected to a greater collective, a larger why, a bigger picture. A spiritual practice is anything that brings you back to yourself. It is anything that acknowledges the sacredness of your soul. It is anything that acknowledges the sacredness of the others and the world around you.
We come back to our Self: our own source, our own vitality. We connect to an expression of our own unique sacredness. Then we also connect to spirit, to source, to the greater world, the anima mundi.
A spiritual practice is simultaneous. We go in to go out. We tap into greater energies in order to gain specifics.
We go within with focus and intention. Then we bring forth whatever insights or energies or reflections found there. We close the loop between inner and outer; we become a living, breathing, ever-changing infinity symbol.
A spiritual practice gets to be whatever you want. Spirituality is deeply personal; part of the fun is exploring what this means and looks like for you.
Some examples of this are: journaling, pulling Tarot cards, meditation, building altars, breathing, movement, chanting, praying, art-making, music-making, sky gazing, trance work, rituals, talking to plants and animals, walking meditations, channelling, and listening.
My spiritual practice usually integrates my magical practice. It is not lost on me that so much of witchcraft is having a relationship with plants, herbs, animals and the land. Witchcraft is about relationships and connection. So much of a witch's practice is staying healthy, protected, supported, and aligned with both self and the greater collective. Knowing and working with what herbs, or thoughts, or actions, or talismans, keep us healthy, supported, protected, and safe is practicing magic.
Herbs and plants like ginger, garlic, turmeric, elderflower, reishi mushrooms, lemon, ashwagandha, and many more support our immune system. Yarrow and rosemary protect us energetically.*
In times of crisis and upheaval, it is important to have a consistent spiritual and/or magical practice. Think of it as a refuge. It is normal to need extra support and guidance in times of confusion.
In the height of change or upheaval, part of your magical or spiritual practice might be identifying what actions, affirmations, or talismans help you feel safe, grounded, and protected. Practicing mindfulness is really important. Notice when you react, and why. Pause before acting, so that you are not acting solely from a reactionary space. Getting more rest is important too.
Tension releasing activities like stretching, laying on, or rolling tennis balls over tense parts of your body, laughing, and various forms of breath work is really important. Drinking tons of water—add some lemon and rosemary—is extra important in times of strife.
Practicing safety for the collective is care magic. Consider your consumption; make sure the news you are getting is accurate—neither anxiety producing OR overly casual. Do not hoard supplies. Give if you can.
Checking in on one another is magic.
Talking honestly about fears and then finding ways to get resourced is magic.
Asking for help is magic.
Supporting small businesses is magic.
In a crisis, so many of us wake up. So many of us join those of us who have been awaken for quite some time. Let us all help one another. Let us model care. Let us become compassion and love.
A spiritual practice and a magical path helps us to do the hard things. I encourage you all to double-down on your spiritual path in order to develop resilience and remain in your most aligned state.
So: make your potions, cast your spells, light your candles, meditate, call in your protectors. Take all the necessary precautions you need to. Remember what this is stirring in you; it is reminding you what you value most. It is reminding you that you are not alone.
If we all do what we can, we will get through. If we utilize the lessons we are learning now, the future will be a kinder place.
*obviously, please seek and use medical help and always consult with a trained herbalist and/or medical provider when taking any herbs, plants, or other medicine.