Wow, it's been awhile since I posted on here. So, it's a new year and thought I would try blogging again :)
Also decided to participate in the Pagan Blog Project again. Hoping to make it further in the alphabet this year!
As you may have noticed, today the letter "A" is for Again.
Sometimes I do things again because I didn't like how they turned out the first time. Other times I do things again because I enjoyed them and want to repeat the experience. Repeating things again and again can lead to them becoming a tradition. There can be comfort in doings again because they're familiar. I think the challenge is to keep learning and experimenting, even when doing a familiar activity.
Let me see if I can explain better with a few examples...
I have started keeping a Spell book, in order to keep spells and chants I have written (this is separate from my Book of Shadows, but we'll talk more about that in a future post). Anyway, I have one healing chant I wrote a few years ago that I have used several times when a friend requests some healing energy. Using a familiar chant means I can concentrate more on raising energy than on trying to remember the words. So in this way it can become more powerful each time I use it. The problem would be if I was merely reciting the words without paying attention to what I was saying, or if I continued to use an ineffective spell because I was too lazy to create a new one. To help me stay focused on the intent of the chant, I may place a picture of my friend on the altar or charge a crystal that I can give to her later. I might also light a candle in my friend's favorite color and inscribe it with her name. So even though I'm using the same chant again, the ritual is never exactly the same.
And a more general example...
I recently knit several pairs of fingerless gloves for friends. I don't often knit the same pattern multiple times, and knitting gloves means I'm already knitting the same pattern twice (since most people wear gloves in pairs). If I want a matching pair I can't switch yarn or needles to help keep the project interesting. But, I am more likely to have the pattern memorized, which makes it easier to knit on public transit! And having the pattern memorized also means I can settle into a rhythm, allowing the knitting to become a form of meditation.
To further connect knitting to my spiritual practice, I have found myself using simple chants to help keep track of where I am in a pattern. For example, if a pattern says "knit 3, purl 1" instead of counting the stitches, I may chant "maiden, mother, crone" for each knit stitch, then pause to purl, and so on. I think this is similar to how people use malas or other types of prayer beads.
Are there things you find yourself doing again and again? Do you see these as positive or negative things?
I don't think repetition is inherently good or bad, but I do believe in becoming more aware of the patterns that we are repeating. I think I will stop here for now, as that seems to be another topic. So, stay tuned for next week, when "A" will be for Awareness.