One of the trickier things for the urban pagan is staying attuned with the natural world within the confines of the city. It isn’t just because we’re in the city and away from nature (though that is a large part of it). It is also because we get so wrapped up in the city life, the rat race, the tight schedule. It is far too easy to just forget everything else.
A big part of how your day goes is how you start it. This is true regardless of what you believe or what you are trying to accomplish. Just as the first thing you eat helps set your metabolism for the day, so too do our first activities help set our spirits.
For me, starting the day with an offering and meditation really helps me set the tone and focus for my entire day. My preference is to go outside (though having an indoor altar helps too), it can be hard in the city. I live in an apartment. Behind the building is a hillside covered in woods. At one time I would go up on this hillside, climb to the top, and meditate in the woods that overlooked part of the county. It was beautiful.
Recently though, construction and clearing on that hill has removed that option. I still climb the hillside, but now I stay on the hill where there are still trees & I am not trespassing. I won’t go into how upset I am over the construction; that is a different blog entry.
There are many ways to start your day this way. Offerings and meditation can get us off on the right foot, keep our minds and hearts open to any mysteries revealed to us that day. It may sound corny or silly… I find that everything I do in the morning (music, food, meditation, routine, etc…) sets me up for the day. Being aware of what we put in our minds and hearts is every bit as important as what we put in our bodies.
I find that the ideal is if you CAN get outside and get in touch with nature physically, do so. If you can not (or it is just not easily done) then an indoor altar is fine too. In fact, if you have a permanent altar set up that would be best. Just spend a few moments (even if it means getting up a little earlier) to start your day. make it part of what you do everyday and it won’t seem like something you don’t have time for. Be committed. Doing this daily WILL have a positive impact on your spiritual life. There’s no way around it.
On a more personal note, for me it is very much about talking directly with the Lord and Lady, attuning and maintaining a sense of closeness. What routines or rituals do you (try to) observe on a daily basis?