Opening to Subtle Changes

A lot of what being a Pagan is about is paying attention.

Being connected to the world and to yourself means being aware of subtle feelings and changes in conditions that many around us simply may not notice.

Some of this is knowing the Earth lore for your region: what is the first tree to flower in spring where you are? What are the native wildflowers, and in what order do they appear? When do leaves begin to turn in the autumn, and which trees turn first?  Which asterisms (“constellations”) are ascendant at a given time of year? These are indicators–data points that can help us to notice that changes have arrived or are coming.

Some of it is watching, very carefully, for changes that happen so incrementally that the day-to-day changes are almost imperceptible: the changes to the angle of light and the color of the sky as autumn approaches, for example, and the timing of sunrise and sunset; the tiny daily changes in the cycle of the Moon.

In social situations, as well, paying attention to the emotional tone can help us to be effective navigators and communicators. Ask yourself, What does this situation feel like? What is the emotional signalling I am getting from this person? Simply paying attention to questions like this can result in better connection with others.

And within ourselves, knowing how we are feeling both physically and in terms of mood can reveal patterns, fears, and what makes us truly happy. Personally, as a man who lives with depression, being acutely aware of the state of my mood helps me to see patterns and to better manage my symptoms.

Much of what people have put down to being “psychic” or “witchy” over the ages really comes down simply to paying attention to what is happening around us. It is so easy to coast through our days consumed with our thoughts, but material reality is happening outside us and offers a lot of information which can help us to be better connected with the Sacred Earth, and with one another.

So seek to cultivate mindfulness in the moment–to still the inner voice long enough to see what the world can tell us. For not only ritual skills, but psychological skills and tools are useful for us as Pagans, navigating our world.

2 thoughts on “Opening to Subtle Changes

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