Wednesday, October 10, 2012

College Pagan Tips

For those of you who are in college, it can be tough juggling your school work, your job, your family, and your spiritual life. Whether you are a recent high school graduate or just going back to college after years in the workforce, college is a stressful time and nothing to snuff at. Grades you make now will haunt you forever, and we aren't even talking about the possible flak you will get from family if you snub them in favor of better grades. There seems like there is never time for your own spiritual growth, or any of the things you previously were doing. Astral projection, meditation, rituals, Esbats. Maybe you still squeeeeeeze in time for the Sabbats, but soon that won't be enough.

How do you do it? Nothing is simple, and there will never be an easy answer. If you find one or are given one, immediate doubt should be cast upon it. So, here are a few suggestions that might help anyway.
(source, which happens to be a very interesting article.)

First, sit down at some point and make your weekly schedule. If you are stable enough to plan a whole month, or even three months, ahead, do it. Make an hourly breakdown of your activities. Include study time, homework hours, chores, physical exercise of your choice, class times, work times, sleeping (8 hours or more) and naps if you can, and anything else that may eat your time up. Don't include any spiritual time yet. Study time should be as long as, or twice as long as, your class runs. If you have a one hour class, expect to study for two hours. Time management is a MUST.

(Side track here -- don't think you are going to study for that whole two hours. You must take breaks or your retention of the information will decrease steadily.  Study for 30 mins at a time, and then take a complete 10 min break. Trust me, you will get way more out of your studying if you do so. Also, do NOT procrastinate and wait to get things done on the day something is due. You will burn yourself out very quickly. This is coming from a lifelong procrastinator, so I know what I am talking about.)

Once you have your "available" times, you can either plug them with much needed down time, or start filling the gaps with spiritual time (or both!). I would suggest carving out 30 mins each day to sit outside and just soak up what you can. You can sit in the morning or night and drink some warm tea, stay silent and listen to the sounds that you hear. Touch the bare ground, if you can, with your feet, hands, or whole body. If you want to spend some time with the Elements, make a day where you make efforts to connect with that Element alone. You can also have a day for the God and one for the Goddess, and one more for all of them. I suggest making the last one on a day where you can do a ritual. Here is a general outline you can do:

Sunday: Sun's day. Make an effort to greet the Sun as He rises in the morning. Before you grab your tea or coffee, try a quick Sun Salutation. While you are preforming the salutation, you are welcome to think about the role of the God, where He is in His stage of life or death, and how it applies to your own life. Afterwards, you can go get your drink and bask in the Sun until you are done or have to leave.

Monday: Moon's day. Go outside at night when you have some quiet time and commune with the Goddess. Drink some non-caffeinated tea (but not coffee, because it will keep you awake) and bask in the rays of the Moon. When you are done with your tea, you can preform Shavasana, which will help with sleep. While you do this meditation, you can either keep your mind clear or you can think about the Goddess, Her role and what stage of Her life She is at, and how it applies to your life.

Tuesday: Fire's day. Fire is the warmth in our homes, the flame that cooks our food, and the spark that is our spirit. With Fire, anything can be transformed. Paper turns to ash, water turns to steam, and metal turns into a sword. Fire is connected to sex, light, and the soul. Fire lights the way to the Otherworld, is the spark in ourselves that attract spiritual beings, and burns away darkness. A great devotion for fire is flame meditations. Since I can't find the one I want, I will just write it here.
Light a candle and get comfortable. Sit where you can still see every bit of the flame, but your eyes will also naturally fall on the flame when you relax. Notice that the very outside of the flame is red, which represents your outer body or your skin. There isn't very much red, but when you go past that you see orange. This is your outer projection, what you put out into the world and what other people see. It is a facade to your overall being. Moving past this sliver, you find the bulk of your being, the white. This is your ego, your conscious mind that voice all your thoughts. As you wade through this part, you come to the yellow, which is the preconscious part of you which bridges your conscious and unconscious mind. Past this door is the blue of your unconscious mind, your soul, the inner most part of your being. This is the heart of who you are, and where your thoughts and dreams originate. Slowly expand the blue into the yellow, and then into the white, into the orange, and finally into the red. Your soul touches each part of your body and is not separated from it. Feel the power and energy that is you. Stay there for a moment before withdrawing the blue from the red, leaving just a little bit behind. Withdraw from the orange, the white, and the yellow, all the while leaving just a little bit of the blue behind. Finally, the blue is back and it is time to withdraw your conscious past the yellow, past the white, past the orange, and finally the red. Ground, and you will be done! 
Yoga pose: Warrior III and Humble Warrior.  

Wednesday: Air's day. Air surrounds us very second of the day. It keeps us alive by driving many energy cycles within our bodies and every other being on this planet -- animal and plant alike. Air is connected to thought, knowledge, and our breath. Singing, dancing, laughter, and being aware of your breathing are great devotions. Go outside and throw your soul into the wind. Feel the wind pass through your body and sweep up your spirit. Air is almost never serious, and will take you up and play around. It will make you want to laugh and feel light-hearted. REMEMBER, keep a spiritual tether between your body and your spirit, because Air is similar to the Fae in that it will lead you astray and can get you lost. Don't worry, though, keep your head on and you will be fine. Yoga pose: Cat and Cobra.

Thursday: Earth's day. Earth is around us, always. It is what we stand on, what our buildings are made of, and where we get our food and clothes. Earth is connected with the body, wealth and prosperity, and our roots. Earth is grounding, which is a good devotion. Go outside and sit on the bare Earth. Bend over and smell the dirt, touch the grass, feel the energy that comes from it. Sit up with your legs crossed and begin the Tree of Life meditation. Do the chakras if you feel like it. Another good devotion is connecting with a tree. Approach a tree that you wish to connect with and ask it if it minds helping out. If you get a yes or positive vibe, then continue by sitting with your back on the tree. Clear your mind and reach out towards the tree, feeling its entire body. Feel up the tree and into its leaves. Feel the life that lives on or in that tree, and the movement of nutrients. Follow it back down into the roots and notice how large and expansive the roots spread. As you get to know the tree, you can ask it to share any memories it may have. The older the tree, the more it knows. Do NOT lose yourself in the tree. Yoga position to try: Tree and Eagle.

Friday: Water's day. Water is connected with emotion, the astral realm, and blood. Water flows and keeps moving, going from the seen to the unseen. Scrying is a good water devotion. Another one is taking a cleansing herbal bath or taking a shower outside at night (if you have a privacy fence, a water hose with a water nozzle that sets to something soft, and some guaranteed alone time. Make sure you bring a towel with you outside!). If you take a bath, set out candles and make it like a ritual. Have music if you want, or make your own. Think about what water means to you and how it affects your life. Think about how water is the Universal Solvent, that with enough time everything dissolves into it, including your own negative emotions and bad vibes. Let water was it away, and thank it. Yoga position: Triangle and Half Moon.

Saturday: Ritual day. Do something special this day, anything you can think of. Place offerings, sit and commune, or go and volunteer somewhere. Do something nice and random: for instance, if you go shopping and you see someone struggling to pay their bill, you could help out. Or perhaps look out for another person. If you are going to do a ritual, I suggest you make your own. The more personal, the better.

Most of these ideas shouldn't take more than 30 minutes or so. If you have more to spend, great! Do it!! But if not, these will help you start. Remember that time management in college (and in high school too) is very important. Of course, no one is perfect and slip ups should be expected. Don't berate yourself. It happens.

If you have your own suggestions, feel free to put them in the comments! The more, the merrier. 

Blessed Be.

1 comment:

  1. This is really really great! I'm done with post-secondary education (thank all the gods) but I still struggle to find time to connect spiritually on a regular basis. This gives me a place to start.