Historically “Spiritual Direction” is a method of intentional spiritual growth rooted in the Christian tradition, but today it covers the mutli-religious field of professional spiritual companionship. This is an essay I wrote to Spiritual Directors International about what Spiritual Direction is like in my tradition:
I am a pagan priestess and witch living in Northern Minnesota, USA. I am a follower of the Goddess and a scholar of religion, both academically and spiritually (I hold a BA in Religious Studies, as well as an Mdiv with certificates in Women’s Studies in Religion and Multireligious Studies; and throughout have engaged in contemplative formation of the identities “priestess” and “witch”).
The term “pagan” is broad, and admittedly means many different things to many different people. For me, it is the ancient practice of village witchery as an expression of the Goddess tradition and a healing spiritual art.
In my tradition, spirituality is embodied. This experience in this body is sacred, and a unique expression of divinity. We recognize the impact of the physical on the spiritual, and the spiritual on the physical, as we travel life’s pathways. As such, many of our practices have a tangible component to them in ways other traditions do not. Spiritual direction, for example, has a particular manifestation in the witchcraft tradition in the form of divination (which in my practice is reading the tarot). It takes place as the seeker opens themselves to the Universe (substitute a God word that feels best- I find “universe” sits well with most of my clients as an image that is at once immense, all-encompassing, interconnected, and non-dogmatic) in the companionship of the reader, asks a question in their heart, and then receives the response as the reader interprets the images and feelings of the cards.
This differs from Christian spiritual direction in that the spiritual director has a more active role in facilitating the interaction between seeker and Spirit, but it is however still a collaboration between seeker, reader, and Spirit. Though the reader interprets the cards, the seeker must do the work of applying the message to their life and their question, and they must access their spiritual self in both asking for and hearing the messages of the Universe. In a proper tarot session, Spirit saturates the experience, and seekers hear what they need to, often moved to tears as they touch their deepest places in need of tender spiritual care and direction. It is a humbling and magnificent practice, and through it many people are able to touch Spirit in ways and places they haven’t accessed before. Though it looks rather different from other spiritual direction work, it is the primary way I practice spiritual direction as a witch.
If you are looking to develop your own spiritual practices, explore your unique spirituality, or begin the transformative journey of deepening your spiritual experience- reach out. I want to hear about your journey; where you have been, where you find yourself now, and where you would like to go!