Saturday, July 24, 2010

Generation Gap - Watch Your Step

Quite a while ago, I had a friend who was an actress. Her Deva sense of self entitlement suited her career to a tee. Yet, in her 35th year, she decided to search her soul, and various groups, to find the one spiritual path that agreed with her own concepts. Eventually, she found the Jehovah's Witnesses. (Actually, they found her).
She read the Watchtowers, spoke to church teachers, embraced their particular view of Christianity – then dropped them cold.
“Why?” I asked.
“They expected me to go door to door. I have a schedule. I'm busy. Their level of commitment doesn't fit my lifestyle.”

Imagine my surprise when, decades later, this same sentiment was expressed to me by some of my own “Witchlets”. It's an unfortunate by-product of a generation raised on instant gratification. If it can't be Googled, Twittered, or reconstituted in a microwave in under 5 minutes, it doesn't suite their “lifestyle”.
Oh for the old days, when you grabbed your cape and crow, and poured over tomes of ancient wisdom!

The problem is, “The Divine” (however one defines it) is not a respecter of our cluttered calendars. I speak only for my own family Path, but Spirituality can not be ordered on-line. (“This package contains Wisdom! Insight! Psychic Perception! Tranquility! And Magical Abilities! Just add Chalice Well water!”). As we rush around, attending to our personal wants and needs, we keep the Old Ones on hold, listening to the muzak of the spheres, until we can fit them in. This tendency towards “catch as catch can” devotion alters radically, however, as soon as an ambulance siren sounds in our driveway. Suddenly, the Gods become our BFFs, a focus of promises and prayers.

I am not advocating a life spent on one's knees, or conducting elaborate rituals every evening when the kids go to bed. I actually do believe that everyday responsibilities – like household chores and attending to children's needs – can be done in a sacred manner. Working with the earth – tending a garden and feeling the connectedness with the divine energies in the soil – can be a spiritual observance, if done with focus and deliberateness. Cleaning out the refrigerator is a sacred act if we purposely focus of making it a symbol of inner cleansing – and retain that focus throughout the process. It can NOT be claimed as a holy rite, after the fact, when all you did was exclaim “Eewh!” and “What the hell's in this Tupperware?”

I recently offered an elevation to a student who has denigrated the idea of “ritual” within her Wiccan practice. She was perfectly content to have me perform the rite alone, while she “tuned in” to it wherever she found herself (grocery store, poolside etc.). It was the ultimate example of “phoning it in”. Some things just shouldn't be multi-tasked.

Non-committed Wicca is not Wicca.
“Back seat” spirituality is just bad juju.
Better hope that the Old Ones don't take a clue from us and develop a new idea of their own: Instant Karma.

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