It’s true I have only been a student of Traditional Craft for just over a year now, however a practising Pagan of some form or another I have been for many more years and one thing i have come to notice, even expect, is that this time of year brings a certain readjustment, self assessment and deep introspection.  The long dark nights and gloomy weather means that one can do nothing but slow down and ponder the years gone by and the years to come.  This to me seems perfectly natural…in fact, as my ‘Quote of the Day Calendar’ rightly points out “Adopt the pace of nature, for Her secret is Patience”

Yet what do we do when every detectable ounce of natural instinct is telling us to slow down, yet the commitments of 21st Century life just won’t allow it?

Me and my other half are currently renovating a new house for us to move into the end of this month and that’s on top of our regular 9-5 jobs.  I have also been a little inconsistent with my Trad Craft training, I’ve barely got out amongst nature and away from civilisation and I feel my soul suffer for it.  Net result is an overwhelming feeling of Guilt… guilt over neglecting my responsibilities to My Clan, guilt over neglecting my relationship with my Gods and the spirits of the land to which I pledged my practise and inversely when I am out strolling the down, taking a moment for quite reflection and communion I feel Guilty because I know I should be painting walls or spending time with friends and family that I’ve simply been too busy to make time for!

Now, I appreciate all this might sound melodramatic, but i suspect this is one of the dangers and drawbacks of trying to lead a ‘spiritual’ life in the modern age which affects all of us of any faith or any spiritual practise!

So what’s the remedy? How do we reach the utopia that is a perfectly balanced life where we can devote ourselves fully to all of our commitments, especially in the darker months (when all we really want to be doing is hibernating in a cosy bed with an endless font of tea, a purring cat and a good book!!!

So is the answer, perhaps glaringly obvious to some, to live our lives, fulfil all the demands of our mundane lives as fully as possible and to the best of our ability whilst incorporating the spiritual as often as we can? Even the Late Robert Cochrane, who I base much of my practise on these days, said in his letters “It is not enough to see The Lady, it is better to serve Her and Her will by being involved in Humanity…”

So maybe this is the challenge…to fully immerse oneself in ‘Life’..forget the segregation between work, social, spiritual, domestic and so on…stop pigeon holing who we are and what we do and embrace it all as one.

When i paint a wall..shall i paint on the protection of the spirits? When I sweep the floors (once they are laid) shall i sweep with the magical intent of removing negative energy? When I look out of my office window and see the cold North Winds blow through the bare Rowan trees should i be turning my thought to the Lord of the North whose greatest blessing (and curse) is time?

Those are certainly all worth a try 🙂

Here’s hoping anyone out there struggling to balance the scales reads this…and then realises is probably worth chucking them out!

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