What might a somewhat typical Pagan’s life look like? I can’t tell you about everyone’s, but here’s a sample day (and month) in my life.
In a day:
I wake up. If I remember my dreams (I almost never do), the first thing I do is write them down. As I wander from my bedroom to the bathroom, I pass my shrine, which has symbols and images of things of religious importance to me (along with jewelry I wear regularly and some perfume bottles for part of my regular practice.) If I have an ongoing magical working, it’d be there, but I don’t right now.
I spend some time catching up on online forums and lists that talk about religious topics I’m interested in, while I wake up. During this time, I take whatever morning medications and vitamins might be needed, and I often have a mug of water or tea handy. (I also read through some professional lists and other topics of general interest.)
Often, I’ll turn on music, usually picking a playlist that helps me focus on an ongoing magical goal, the current ritual season, or another particular focus. (About half the music in my iTunes is by Pagan or Pagan-friendly musicians. There’s also a lot of British folk and folk-rock, and a good smattering of medieval, renaissance, and classical music.)
I then go about my day, doing whatever it is needs doing. Some work, some time with friends (which for me right now is often online), some household chores. If it’s a work day, I go into work, and I’m reminded by the passwords I choose and the desktop image on my computer of current spiritual goals and focus. While I’m doing the chores, I might light a candle to the spirits of the house, treating the chores as a way to honor my space and home, or I might put on a podcast that interests me.
My cooking varies between the “I need to eat something for this meal soon” and much more complex – my more complex meals are usually seasonal or done with some ritual intention (but I usually do those only once or twice a week.)
I usually eat dinner (ok, and every other meal) sitting in front of my computer doing more stuff online, but that’s because I live alone. I enjoy trying to help people seeking online connect with good resources – plus people ask great questions that get me thinking about a better way to explain something. Other nights, I might focus on writing, making art, or playing my folk harp, or I might spend some time in ritual practice, meditation, or working on a magical craft. I might watch a movie while knitting, or I might spend a chunk of time working on a collaborative project.
I’ll then have a bath, focusing on washing all the dirt of the day – both physical and energetic – off me. I love a nice long bath, and generally can be found with a book in my hand, lounging for a bit. I pick soaps, bath powders and salts that suit my mood and intention for the day.
I finish my evening by curling up in bed with my cat and a good book. I read a lot of fiction, but I also read a lot of general non-fiction (because the more I know about how the world fits together, the more effective I am as a witch), and a lot of Pagan books (because they help me become a better priestess, witch, and teacher, if only by getting me to articulate something I don’t agree with.) These days, most things I read (except for the bathtub) I’m reading digitally, so when I’m ready to go to sleep, it’s a simple matter of turning off the phone and going to bed.
In a month:
My monthly practice has changed a great deal for me since I first wrote this page. When I was doing group work regularly, my group practice included:
- Writing – here, on my blog, on other projects.
- Ritual for the full moon. This includes the ritual (a couple of hours) but also planning the ritual, cleaning up before and after, and so on.
- Ritual for the Sabbats (8 times a year): often somewhat longer rituals, and they can take more planning.
- Teaching and other planning work related to it.
These days – between health and location – my formal ritual work is a lot less, well, formal. I still do a lot of small daily things (like you see above) but only once or twice a month will I do something that’s a bit more deliberately intentional for a season. Sometimes that’s a formal ritual, but more often these days it’s deciding to cook a special meal, or spending some time in a seasonal project. I miss the formal ritual parts, but I often don’t have the energy for all the prep and planning alongside other necessary things (like work!) right now.
Other reading: If you liked this, you might also find the following pages useful:
[substantially edited April 24, 2014]