6 Tips For Practicing Alternative Spirituality When You Live with Others | Practicing Witchcraft with Christian Family
It’s not uncommon that many of us, especially in Oklahoma and other conservative areas, experience a lot of mistrust, and sometimes downright hate for our practice and our spiritualism.
Some of us have family or even live with people who do no support our practices. These people, while well-meaning, may have deep-seated religious fears and programming. They very well may believe you’ve lost your eternal soul, and will no longer be able to join them in heaven after your death. Processing and understanding how others perceive you can be helpful, but also particularly painful if you’ve left an oppressive religion.
While there is no excuse for disrespect of your spiritual practice, it can be helpful to understand what your family members and loved ones are thinking about when they learn of your alternative spirituality. This knowledge, compassion, and understanding can help bridge the gap between you and create mutual trust, communication, and harmony. Understanding where others are coming from can help you communicate and build relationships with them in the long-run. Here are 6 tips for living with people who don’t understand your spirituality.
1. Be Considerate.
If you live in a household with people who have medical considerations, (like asthma,) be careful when using smoke cleansing or incense.
If your family members or housemates go to bed early, it’s not kind or considerate to stay up all night chanting loudly or beating the bongos.
If you live with children who are not your own, you should take care to be respectful of their caregivers’ spiritual beliefs. Raising kids is very personal work. As long as kids are being taken care of you should be respectful of their family’s beliefs.
You can be unapologetically and authentically you, and not a jerk at the same time.
2. Be Flexible.
A lot of spiritual workings, spells, and ceremonies coincide with astrological events and seasons. Don’t beat up on yourself if you can’t manage to do spells on a particular day or at a particular time! I have also noticed that many spiritual “gurus” and teachers are very hardline about morning routines, rituals, meditations, and other practices.
REAL TALK: many of us ARE NOT morning people. AND THAT’S PERFECTLY OK. My kids are a little older now, and all of them wake up before me and are VERY LOUD. Sure! I could wake up earlier and start my day all magickal, but we all know that won’t happen at this stage in my life. The reality is, I can’t manage much during the mornings. Maybe a short smoke cleansing for myself and a few affirmations with a hot beverage. But the bulk of my magical workings happen at night when my house is quiet and my children are sleeping.
Be kind and flexible with yourself, especially if you are a beginner. You will learn the rhythms of your experience and find a way to fit your spiritual practice into your life in a harmonious, beautiful, and fulfilling way.
3. Communicate Your Needs and Set Boundaries.
If you need some quiet time for your workings, or for meditation, be clear! Tell your family or housemates how long you need some space, and be firm about this. Your needs are important and should be respected. Don’t worry about hurting people’s feelings when you need to do this. Clear communication of your needs is the best way that you can create respect and space in a relationship.
4. Be Creative.
Are you unable to perform smoke cleansing or use incense in your home? Consider a smudge spray, or use crystals or your intention to help clear energy.
Don’t have space for a permanent altar? Consider getting a nice wooden box where you can house your altar supplies to set up during workings, and easily break down when not in use.
Remove the word: “Limitation” from your mindset. Especially when adopting magical practices. Your drive to make magick work for you is the force that is moving your practice. Release limitations and beliefs about how a magical practice must work, and step into your own power and creativity to make things work for you.
5. Be OK with Questions.
Alternative spirituality is gaining a lot of momentum in our world. Many people are leaving organized religion in an effort to disregard arbitrary constructs and practice a version of spirituality that works on a personal level. You might be the first or the ONLY alternatively spiritual person that your family or housemates have come into contact with! Don’t be embarrassed by your practice. Stand firm and be open to sharing with others.
This rings especially true if you have been a victim of religion or another oppressive belief system. Sharing your message and your own spiritual experiences can be a very cathartic, healing experience.
6. Or Don’t Though.
You don’t owe anyone answers. If questions make you uncomfortable, or if you feel like people are asking questions to poke fun at you, you have no obligation to share your knowledge.
While deep, spiritual discussions with open-minded people can be fun and intellectually stimulating it can be exactly the opposite with the wrong crowd. AND, you’ve worked really hard for the spiritual knowledge that you possess. Sometimes it can be good to simply share resources and leave people to their own devices and research.
I have had many friends who are on or questioning an alternatively spiritual path. If you don’t set good boundaries sometimes you can feel used or taken advantage of for the knowledge you possess. Especially if you are one for a lot of work, research, and reading. Sometimes, it can feel like people are simply adopting your beliefs or ideologies instead of exploring the wide range of spiritual possibilities for themselves.
If you feel called, share information in a way that helps people question the nature of reality and spirituality. This path is unique and individual to the person walking it. If we regurgitate knowledge and information, without critical thought, we run the risk of becoming the very organized paths and belief systems that we have worked hard to leave.
Meet Bri 4-Wind
She is a passionate healer, educator, spiritworker, and minister, on the path of truth-seeking and knowing. She is the mother to 4 living children, with one somewhere in the great unknown.
She is on a mission to study Midwifery and to provide competent and caring maternity care services that honor the life, essence, spirit, and body of mothers and birth givers in her community.
She spends a lot of time educating and supporting the community in her Facebook Group. And enjoys helping people move through life with intention and passion.