I decided for my inaugural blog post it was probably best just to jump right into things. None of this “let me tell you my life story” stuff—just pick a topic, and start writing. So…here it goes =P
I have a little ritual i’ve been doing for a few years now. It’s nothing terribly formal or complicated, and doesn’t take a great deal of effort (which is always a plus for me, because i kind of suck at adhering to a regular practice of any kind).
Every morning when i get dressed, i have three rings i wear, and as i put them on i say a (very) short phrase meant to inspire a bit of contemplation.
The first is the ring i got when i finished grad school. I put this ring on and say, “My ancestors.”
The second is a silver ring with a Celtic knot sort of design. I put this on and say, “My Gods.”
The third is my wedding ring, a claddagh. I put this on and say, “My troth.”
The first ring reminds me that, while yes, i did the work to get myself into (and through) graduate school at one of the best universities in the world, i am still indebted to my family for helping me get there and then supporting me through the process. I remember my ancestors—their deeds (and misdeeds), their works, their sacrifices; i remember that so much of who i am is bound to the people whom i came from; that i wouldn’t be where i am if not for all that my ancestors did in the past, going back through the centuries. This ring reminds me that my kin are proud of what i’ve accomplished, and that i’m grateful for all they’ve done (and still do) to get me here.
The second ring reminds me of the intimate connection i have to my Gods, and my immense gratitude at all the ways i experience Them in my life. It reminds me to bring my thoughts back to Them often throughout my day—to remember that They’re always there, inextricably bound to me, and i to Them. I think of my practice as predominantly devotional in nature; this ring reminds me that every moment has the potential to become an offering of love. While the ring was chosen by Loki, and so reminds me most strongly of Him, it has become a symbol of my relationship with all the Powers in my life.
The third ring reminds me to mind my honor: to strive to always keep my word, and to consider the worthiness of my actions before (and after) i act; to make amends when i am in the wrong, and to maintain frith whenever possible. It reminds me that i have duties to the people i love, to family and friends—as well as a general rule to really try not to be an asshole to other people. The claddagh is commonly said to represent friendship, loyalty, and love; this ring reminds me of how my bonds to others (not only my husband, although him first of all) are built on those three.