A student asked me for some kind of daily, positive personal practices, personal on up. There are so many things you could say, so many things one should / could do - just look at all the approaches humanity has taken over the millennia! There are the obvious ones, like offerings and sacrifices, incense, prayer, hymns, festivals, and so on and so on. There are a few culture-specific ones, like pulling thorn-studded strings through your tongue in Mesoamerica (a kind of sacrifice), or some of the more ascetic practices in India (like holding one arm up for your whole life). Lots to consider.
That's too much though. It's hard to practice them all when you're starting out, overwhelming even. The books say do this and that, the other blogs enthuse about the 67 rituals they did just last week, you feel obligated to do all the things every day, and it's making you broke and stressed and not so interested in any kind of daily practice. It's enough to give you a complex.
So I'm going to suggest just a few small things that are easy to inject into our busy lives to make all that spiritual work WAY less daunting. As you become closer to your spirits, you'll figure out what else you need to do. If not, They'll make it abundantly clear what they expect!
Morning and evening prayers take many forms, and have a rich history in every religion. Catholic monks and their Hours, Muslim prayers towards Mecca, and even the Greeks singing hymns to the Olympians. Doing something grand and eloquent is awesome, of course, but you know what's more important? Actually doing it. And all that takes is a simple heart felt "Thank you" to... whomever... as you swing your feet out of bed and onto the ground.
And while you're at it, let those feet touching ground be a moment to center and ground. Just breathe deep, remember your Self and your own power, and prepare for the day. If you say "Thank you" as above, follow it up with some statement of identity to being yourself fully into connection with who you are. Something simple, like "I am whole", is more than enough.
This is tongue in cheek, of course, because I assume you're a generally clean and hygenic person like everyone else. The idea here is to high-jack that time and make a point of cleansing. It doesn't need to be complicated. get your lavender-scented shampoo and literally wash away whatever is hanging around and shouldn't. Or use the sandalwood soap you like. Scent is powerful, so pick one that says "clean" to you, and recognize the power it has. I'm partial to Irish Spring myself.
4) That Mouth
The rest are mostly obvious, I think, because they're recommended by every tradition I can think of, in one way or another. This one is a bit different and less common. So, when yuo go to brush your teeth, use that as a moment to focus on what you need for the day. I usually think "may I speak truth" when brushing my teeth. Starting with what you say is important, because words are magic (there's a reason it called enchanting). This might also be a good time to address those other senses (or in the shower): wash your hands ("may I act with truth"), and your eyes ("may I see truth"), and so on.
5) Make Breakfast
Not just your own, of course, but for the Spirits (non-bodied) and People (that have bodes) and Ancestors (that once had bodies) around you. A lot of people freak out about this stuff, and agonize over just the right drink, or that dish specifically. That works for bigger observances, but as a daily offering, it doesn't need to be so big. And it's better if you do it daily, in a way I cannot emphasize enough. All you need to do - set out a glass of fresh water. Do that, daily. Just that - super simple. Maybe say another "thank you" or "for you" or whatever speaks to you aesthetically. Don't skip it.
There you go. 5 things you're already doing, turned into spiritual practices that will improve your spirit relationships, your magic, and even your own self, simply and without a lot of hand waving and chantiong and magicking. Now, if you have the time and inclination, any of these can be made more complex, with candles and oils and sprays and poetry and so on. And that's nice - but don't forget the simple power of a word like "Thanks" or taking a moment to just breathe deep.
What To Do With the Pandemic
There's not really a good reason to go into all the things that everyone, their dog, every one of their cousins, and multiple governmental agencies are telling you to do right now for safety, health, and so on. There is, however, a dearth of people giving suggestions from a spiritual or magical point of view about what to do with all this time many people have come up against. Plenty of jokes about switching from day pajamas to night pajamas, not so much on how to best utilize the time you (may) have available to you. There are obvious things to do (exercise, work from home, cleaning, games with the family, etc.), but here are some suggestions from the spiritual / magical direction. Figure out what works for you, and make a little progress if you can.
The Wight Doctor. Diviner. Worker. Writer.