A long, long time ago, when this blog was just a baby, I wrote a post called A Hearth-Centred Practice, in which I explored what I want our home religious life to be. In that post, I posited that this practice would include:
– 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
We only achieved one of the three on a near-daily basis, the meal prayer. Go us!
You see, it’s a lot easier to be pious in your head and on paper than it is to physically do the work each and every day. I tried, most definitely, but as we all know, life has challenges that sometimes get the best of us, and as a person who struggles with depression, sometimes life getting the best of me happens more than I would like.
Since 2009, when that post was first shared, the idea of what a hearth-centred practice looks like hasn’t changed all that much. Each of those three things named is still important to what our home practice looks like, though the “other regular worship” I would say should now be Full Moon rites, held as feasts, as opposed to a weekly household rite. There should also be seasonal celebrations held at home in addition to at the Grove, for hearth worship should be the focus of our spiritual lives.
For a time, I thought that Grove and group worship was the most important aspect of my spirituality, but I was wrong. It is our personal and home worship which should remain the most steadfast and supportive – for me at least. Your experience may differ, of course, but for me, the reliance on others to provide what I need spiritually is an error. For you, and for others, attendance at group worship may be all you need, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
So with that realization, I turn back towards the hearth to find comfort in its warming glow. Our meal prayer has remained consistent for years, and even if I do not perform any other devotions that day, the meal prayer remains a pause in time to reconnect with the Earth Mother and the cycle of things.
Now, if I were to outline our hearth-centred practice, I would say that it would contain
- daily devotions, performed on behalf of the household by myself;
- daily meal prayers, to give thanks to the Earth;
- regular seasonal and lunar worship feasts;
- seasonal activities, not necessarily religious, but important for immersion;
- attendance at a Grove to connect with the wider community.
Over time, I will share some of this with you, my readers. It is my goal to live a devoted life, as best I can, as a wife, mother, and Priest. Please come along with me.