In the past few months since I started this blog, I’ve had a few folks tell me that my work has inspired them in their own spiritual paths, or that, independent of what I’m doing, they find themselves in similar situations. So I’m not the only one who’s been seeking a more formal path, a closer connection to the Divine, and a more regular practice. I find this to be an excellent set of events, personally. One of my goals with this blog, along with helping me to keep track of my progress, is to demonstrate one person’s progress in creating a formal path essentially from scratch. While there are numerous elaborate and spiritually fulfilling traditions and religions out there whose adherents are quite satisfied (and in some cases are contributing to a great deal of positive growth), some of us prefer to wear down our own trails in the grass.
I do know that at least a couple of the aforementioned folks have their own spiritually-focused blogs that I’ve enjoyed getting to read. It’s nice getting to compare notes with other folks, whether they’re on a shamanic path or not. And while there are plenty of resources on how to be a solitary practitioner of an established path (such as Wicca, or as some would argue Neo-Wicca or eclectic Neopaganism), there’s not that much out there on constructing your own personal path. Oh, sure, there are books of correspondences and spells and whatnot, but most of the deeper texts on constructing a specific path, cosmology, set of rituals and celebrations, traditions, etc., seem to be group-oriented*.
Granted, some of that just comes with the group-based territory. If you’re already in a tradition of one sort or another that depends on groupwork, then you’re going to have the cosmology, rituals, etc. handed to you as part of your training. The same thing goes for those who are individual students working with a teacher or mentor. As I’ve mentioned before, though, those of us on our own have to create these things from scratch, determining what works best for us and what’s don’t really mesh well with our beliefs. One of the reasons I’m a “career solitary” is because I never found a particular tradition that I agreed with enough to dedicate myself to it, and now that I’m older and set in my ways, therioshamanism is the best choice, given that I’m its creator. However, I also value the input of others. Talking shop and trading notes are valuable practices for me–they allow me to bounce ideas off of others, and they help me to find inspiration in others’ work.
Here’s where, in the past, I might have said “Hey, I’m going to create a listserve/Livejournal community/forum/etc. for the discussion of creating your own path!” However, I’ve done that sort of thing before, and honestly, at this point, I haven’t the time. Additionally, it takes a TON of work just to get a bit of steady activity going on such a forum, and I’m stretched thinly enough that I don’t need another commitment. So I know better than to bite off more than I can chew.
However, I would like a way to gather a few resources for those who come to this blog seeking ideas on forging your own way through the spiritual world. Therefore, here’s my request. If you have a spiritually themed blog that you are primarily using as a journal to record your progress through a stage of growth, I want to link to you. Whether you’re creating your own path, starting a group, or working through a novitiate in an established tradition, if you’re recording it as you go along, complete with successes and setbacks, feelings and experiences, I’m interested. I’m going to create another section of links on the left sidebar of this journal just for these links. I want to offer the stories of others’ journeys for those who visit here who like using my experiences as inspiration for their own, and can benefit from reading even more first-hand accounts.
What I’m not looking for is personal journals that may include some spiritual content, but are also full of day to day minutiae, memes, etc. For example, I have my Livejournal for that sort of thing, but this one is specific to therioshamanism.
Leave a comment here (on therioshamanism.com, not the Livejournal feed post for those on LJ) and I’ll get you added in.
* For those curious, two of my favorite books related to this are Gathering the Magic: Creating 21st Century Esoteric Groups by Nick Farrell and Magickal Connections: Creating a Lasting and Healthy Spiritual Group by Lisa McSherry. While both of them are rather practical, dealing with things like group dynamics, and the latter text is particularly coven-oriented, they also are good for prompting thought about group-based spirituality and magic in general, creating a group mindset without becoming a cult, etc.