November 29, 2008

Last night I was re-reading David Richo’s book Shadow Dance and thinking about virtues. The ones he lists are:

  • Love
  • Trustworthiness
  • Courage
  • Honesty
  • Humility
  • Gratitude
  • Openness
  • Conviction
  • Compassion
  • Cheerfulness
  • Simplicity
  • Hopefulness
  • Generosity
  • Courtesy
  • Candidness
  • Flexibility
  • Appreciativeness
  • Confidence
  • Loyalty
  • Justice
  • Serenity
  • Respect
  • Humor
  • Forgiveness
  • Truthfulness
  • Cooperativeness
  • Ability to Temper Desire

A lengthy list – and it certainly gives me something to work with.

And I was pondering an aspect of myself – that is the bane of my existence – and also one of my truest strengths – my interest and curiosity about the world and people and my investigative nature. Next to my bed – I have piles of books – started, not started, half-finished. I often open a new book – read the preface and then just flip through until a passage catches my imagination – and then I read – until I get restless. I set the book aside – maybe to come back to it soon – maybe to never return – or more likely, I will return to the text when something in my life needs me to know that bit of wisdom. I almost always remember where something came from – and I know how to go out and find it.

And this morning – I am reading through the Twelve Days of Christmas – from Waverly Fitzgerald’s School of Seasons. Waverly is way more organized than I! And there are probably times that her level of attention to detail is bane to her existence – just as my investigative self needs to be reined in at times. But here’s the thing – her writing is well researched and documented and she tries to go find primary sources where possible. This makes such a difference in the depth and quality of the teachings that she shares with her students.

Too often – in my search for traditions that I want to add to my repertoire, I read something online or in a book – and it is difficult to tease apart the author’s wishful dreaming and the historical roots of the ritual or the practice. The Virtue in the packets I get from Waverly is that she is quite comfortable with not knowing and quite rigorous about naming her knowing.

It is not too late to shift yourself into celebrating this sacred time of darkness – where we welcome the Sun and the Son. Dive into the teachings from the School of Seasons (and if you miss Yule and Advent, Candelmas is right around the corner!). Or you can be inspired to open yourself to Advent right now by “a little magic everyday” at Owl’s Wings. And more here…

I believe that the attention and intention that we apply to daily practice is what allows us to be useful in the world – to be of Service. My musings on this started with Joanna’s last newsletter – and her sharing of her Daily Devotions. I am grateful to have wise women mentors in my life. Thank you to each of you – for being of Service and inspiring me to live a more virtuous life.


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