Building a Foundation

A few months ago I wrote about my fledgling steps to begin building a civically-oriented religious practice for myself, mentioning that I was hoping to do more with the concept. One of the things that I’ve been able to polish up in that regard is a liturgical script for building a foundation of this civic practice by establishing a…well, foundation. The focal point of the ritual is two-fold: 1) to establish a “hearthstone”, or a locus within one’s dwelling to foster the energies (figurative or literal, depending on how one chooses to look at it) of a “home”; and 2) to enter into an agreement with one or more house-spirits. 

Why? Well, the hearthstone is there to (at least) help cement the idea of one’s house being a home, it being inspired by a suggestion from one of the priests at my wedding (who offered the idea that a stone used during the ceremony could serve as a symbolic cornerstone of my wife and mine’s new household as a married couple). Also, the idea of having house-spirits is one that has deep-roots in Indo-European cultures, especially the Northern European ones. So much so, I have heard that within the last century or so, it’s not been unheard-of to see “want ads” for house-spirits in the newspapers of some Scandinavian countries. The idea of having not only resident spirits of some kind, but happy resident spirits is tied into an idea of fostering good luck/blessings in a home.

Happy house-spirits = a luck-filled and prosperous home. Which is generally considered a good thing.

But, entering into an overt relationship with a house-spirit (or multiple spirits) to the mutual benefit of all parties is sort of a stepping stone to fostering an overt relationship with the spirit(s) of one’s street, one’s neighborhood, one’s city, one’s region, one’s state/nation, et cetera. In the same way that one “should” (in my estimation; YMMV) focus more on fostering a good relationship with one’s Ancestors primarily, then land-spirits, then deities (since the Ancestors are usually one’s blood-family, the land-spirits are akin to “neighbors”, and the deities are akin to government/public officials; family will help you because you’re family, neighbors will help you if have a good relationship with them, and public officials will help because that’s their job – but it’s a good idea to call on them sparingly since they usually have more pressing matters to attend to) – fostering a good relationship with one’s house-spirits is paramount since you share the same space with them, day-in-and-day-out, but it’s also a good idea to open up the web of community by seeking relationship with other “civic” spirits (street, neighborhood, etc.).

Anyway, as mentioned, this is a meant to be a stepping stone in that process, a beginning. I hope that it serves those who use it well, and please feel free to leave comments on any experiences with it.

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~ by crow365 on January 23, 2013.

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