Visiting family usually means that my mental discipline goes out the window. Not that I've had much recently in regards to religion... With a craft show coming up, my free time is filled with more sewing than meditation, ritual, or spellwork. I even brought my work with me so I can create while visiting family. So far I've made a small dragon and another mushroom spirit. I'm in the middle of working on a larger doll. I think I'll have a nice collection of whimsy available for the craft show!
Obviously I have my hands full and am mentally distracted. I brought my traveling altar with me and did a quick devotional on Thursday evening. Otherwise it's hard to find a private, quiet time to do anything. I pray or chant to myself. My Gods, while they do like attention, are not so full of condemnation when I cannot visit my altar each day. They hear my whispered prayers, I think. They are tribal Gods and seem to understand the importance of family time. My patroness is pleased by art and, to me, sewing is a way of bringing her honor because she is my muse. It is a different sort of ritual and I am coming to terms with that. There is a sort of magic in art - that cannot be denied.
My family is not Pagan, although some of them have animistic tendencies. They are accepting of my beliefs, and I am free to talk about them, but I do not go out of my way to rub their noses in it. I may pray in front of them from time to time, as I did for Thanksgiving, or discuss my ways, but I generally find myself a quiet corner to perform any rites in. I prefer it that way. I don't want to be a spectacle.
Not tonight! Tonight will be full of magic and socializing - with my witchy friends in Utica! Since moving to the North Country, my old Pagan pals stopped meeting openly. The high priestess*, my dear friend, has learned a lot from her teachers and she is forming her own coven/circle/study group**. They've continually made it known to me that, no matter my path or where I roam, I'm always welcomed to join them. I've started to take them up on that offer. I miss the frequent magic and Pagan fellowship. Between ADF rituals and amidst so much work, this is exactly what I need. I cannot exactly put into words exactly what I feel about working with them all except to say that we've all grown. There is a palpable trust and understanding between us which allows me to feel very comfortable and welcomed despite my different ways. I think we intersect on our love of folk magic and academic study. The high priestess and one of the others seem more and more influenced by traditional witchcraft - something I am also continually drawn to. I feel like Druidism is my religious path, but traditional witchcraft can fit very nicely in there. This is something I'm still exploring, and the group in Utica is just what I need. I'm so excited for later. :)
*I am not sure if she is comfortable being called such, but, to me, that is what she is and that is the role she plays. In my opinion, it sounds less cult-like than "leader." :P
** They are not actively calling it a coven, but I can see it going that way. And you know what? I've grown spiritually since a couple years ago and find myself comfortable being a part of that. Totally another entry for another day...
( For My LJ Friends: http://adfcatprints.blogspot.com/ )