A Hearth-Centred Practice

For about a year, I have been developing a hearth-centred practice. Inspiration comes and goes, as it does, and every time I think that I am nearing the end, I realise that there are always more changes to be made. This supposed practice of mine, on paper, has always varied in complexity, from the utterly simple to the seemingly ridiculous, but the common theme in all of its variations is, I hardly ever maintained it.

Some recent changes in my life are forcing me to examine this issue in a different way. Now that a mundane daily routine for myself has been established (albeit a very busy one), this combined with a new living situation will better allow for the implementation of a more structured spiritual routine.

I have decided to examine this from the beginning, keeping in mind some things I worked on previously, but for the most part, starting the process again. I am doing this as an exercise in developing liturgy for myself, but also so I can write about the process here, while it happens.

There are only two of us in the household, and we are both adults. If there were children – and hopefully there will be in the future – rituals surrounding the hearth would have to adapt to include them. In our household, I look after most of the spiritual work. We feel it works out better for us if much of the household worship is performed by me on behalf of both of us. That being said, we still want to have a ritual performed by both of us on a fairly regular basis, ideally weekly. At times, our schedules conflict and we do not see each other very often. Tentatively, I would propose that having a household ritual once per week is feasible. I would also like to include a meal blessing, to be said by either of us when we eat at home together or individually.

So far I’ve identified three things in our proposed hearth-centred practice:

–         daily worship, performed by myself on behalf of the household
–         other regular worship, perhaps weekly, performed by both of us
–         meal blessing, said by either of us when we eat at home

This, of course, does not preclude any additional personal worship that might take place at the household altar at any time.

It might seem to some that cultivating a personal spirituality is something innate and simple, though I would say that those involved in a larger community can sometimes let their own spirituality slip away from them, and become overwhelmed with its practice. I felt it was time to take a step backwards and concentrate on my own hearth, from the very beginning, to become reacquainted with things that I have let slip away from me.

Though I’ve outlined three items above, it will take time before all three are written and used, and even I am unsure what forms they will take. Over the next few posts, I will examine each item singularly, along with touching on some topics related to them, before diving into the creation of prayers.

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