Avoiding Mental Miasma

VERY relevant for me, and a lesson I’m learning the hard and grueling way on several fronts. Both as a polytheist — avoiding spaces and actions that are devoid of spiritual meaning to me — and as an anarchist — avoiding entertaining thoughts, relationships, and atmospheres that do not serve my anti-oppression, anti-consumerist, revolutionary praxis. This is putting a strain on many parts of my life that I’d previous taken for granted, but I am wholly convinced that this is a direction I need to go.

A Forest Door

In Galina’s recent post On Being and Becoming in Devotion (which is worth reading in full), she talks about the potential for miasma resulting from certain sensory input:

“If we can be contaminated spiritually by what we see and hear, by what we experience, then the logical curative is to be vigilant with regard to our senses….How much are we shaped by our experiences? How much might our center be shifted by what we watch, or what we hear, or the settings to which we expose ourselves?”

I feel this more acutely as time goes on. At first, it was just noticeable during and around ritual practice – for instance, a desire to limit the topics of conversation on a holy day to those suitable for a spiritual mindset, or to avoid areas of excessive commercialization when going out for a festival. Eventually, it began to permeate my everyday life, especially as my…

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