Should one have a spiritual study? That’s one thing.
Should one have a spiritual practice? That’s another.
Something basic, though, There’s a saying among pagans, “As above, so below.” It means there’s no separation between this world and another higher plane. No line of separation.
If there is a line of demarcation, it’s right here in these words, saying “no” to the idea of being apart. So, having a spiritual study, or practice, at it’s root sense, maybe shouldn’t be a separate thing, maybe it should be a life thing.
Should I meditate? Should I pray? Who to, if. What does “holy” or “sacred” mean?
A life thing.
That out there, then. What study? What practice?
There is an organization called The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. One of the things they teach is to look to your own ancestors ways of spirituality. If you are looking for a spiritual path, do that. I believe in the wisdom of the ancestors. For one reason, because it seems to be accumulative, so passing on wisdom is needed. Another is respect.
There’s a cold power out there that wants to rip apart everything we hold sacred, every story of our ancestors, every picture or statue of our gods, every fairy gate. This is where everything comes down to a mirror, a breath, the world spinning round. It’s reality. It’s the gods. If you believe that spirit, or the gods, are here now, then you have to believe that we are in “that” place, that we just need to open our eyes. It’s not them being separate from this place, it’s us being in, and part of, a spiritual realm. It’s here now.
Stories are wisdom, but here now is something more. Maybe sometimes it is the blade that parts our illusions, maybe simply a reminder to not go away.
When I was younger I walked away, not from God, but my idea of god. Because it was hurting me and others. Now, and decades later, I’m still committed to that spiritual side of life, but more trying to allow a framework.
The Grandmothers say to follow the path of your ancestors, that’s yours. That will be your spiritual path. Learn that. I say learn that first. Remember, they’re primarily talking to people who feel lost. They’re talking to colonials who feel a guilt in their blood, and may believe in a cool “otherness” of the indigens around them.
And they’re talking from a position of oppressed. They’re saying “stop”. And, in that, they are right. Stop taking. Stop seeing it as something outside yourself. But more importantly stop taking. There is a respect of culture that has to happen. It hasn’t. In turning that around, we can right ourselves. I can see all that.
But in my vision I also see the gods, and spirits of place in the here and now. What gods will follow us into space? There is no room for tribes on the International Space Station. We need to grow up.
I see a world where all spiritual paths exist and grow freely, not favored or mandated by a state, or popularity, or the latest correct thought. This would be a place where the paths who see themselves destroying all others are held in check. They have to be. That’s the only way to stop the bloodshed. Rightness needs to die. There is a pathology of spirit that drives “righteousness” and the destruction of the other. It’s the opposite of tolerance. It’s the opposite of love.
I can smell that world. It would be a place where people are free to be who they are. Where they can believe what they want.
And what that means to me, is that, you can choose. Yep, I don’t believe that your spiritual path is determined by birth. I don’t believe that anyone, or any one people, own the “right” gods, or path. And spiritual teachers, when they are called to explore, should be able to go where they are called. We as adherents, need to confidently be ourselves enough to follow, or not.
These are hard things, tough decisions to make, and questions to answer. More than anything why we need a study, a practice, in order to do these without hurting ourselves, or others.
We have the right to be who we are, separate from our ancestors, to move on. No, I believe we have the responsibility to do so. This battle we are moving into, it’s with ourselves.
We need to figure out how we can stop consuming the earth we are on to the point of destruction. We’re doing it. It’s not an outside kind of analysis. It’s us. Just like the spiritual realm isn’t “above”, with us “below”. It’s here now.
Where to start? Ask your grandmother. But you know what? If your grandmother isn’t around, or if you don’t have access to what your birth records say you belong to? That’s okay.
No one gets left behind.
Ask Grandmother, then follow your heart.