Magic Everywhere, Every When

For me, Venus and love work is not something that happens in rituals, at festivals, in dedicated events. It's something that runs through my entire life. Yes, there are rituals and festivals, but I go to these rituals because I've chosen this path for my entire life and the rituals help me accomplish that goal.

Accepting and integrating this work has been an interesting journey, one that is ongoing. One change is that I try to be conscious of the love, compassion and passion that is around me. In business settings, I'm more aware of the human connections. This has been especially true within the small company where I'm an owner. I have greater appreciation for how we help each other out. I take great joy in how we've been able to fill in and give people space as they are running through rough times and how we've been able to help each other grow and gain confidence in new skills.

To some extent I've always done those things. Appreciating how your employees would like to grow is part of being a good manager. I've always tended to make friends at work and the line between my professional and personal life has been fuzzy. One of the biggest changes is that there is a lot more intent focused on the human connections throughout my life. I'm paying attention, I'm focusing a lot more of my will on it. Another change is that my values are changing. I definitely explicitly acknowledge the value of communities like Debian that value more than just the commercial and technical aspects of what they are doing. I am even more committed to our goal of making the company a good place to work, focusing on the employees and owners more than rapid growth. I wrote about an example of how my Venus work intersects my software work. That captures both the growing importance of community as well as how will, intent and magic play their roll.

Personal Life

In my personal life, the changes are also significant. I've taken on the challenge of perceiving love, appreciating it, and fostering the growth of love. Part of that is not taking the love, connection and care in my life for granted. I try to notice it with all my being and rejoice in the love. Part is appreciating the journeys of those around me, offering support and where appropriate and welcome, help. A lot is giving thanks for this love, honoring it as wonderful and offering my joy and wonder to Venus. This too is a refinement of something that has been going on for a long time. I was originally drawn to spirituality through a desire to celebrate the wonder that we create in the universe and the joy of love and life. Now, it's more conscious and explicit.

Sexuality has become an explicitly sacred connection with this love and an act of worship. Whether I'm exploring myself sexually or interacting with lovers, I try to fully embrace the experience. I work to offer my lovers a connected and open experience, sharing the joy I find as best I am able. Of course this joy too is something I offer back to Venus.

The Underlying Magic

All of these things work together to focus my will and intent behind the idea of a world open to love where love can take a sacred roll. That's kind of the whole point of this path for me. I'm leading my life this way both because it's literally what I want and because if I do it with will and knowledge it's a symbol for the kind of transformation I'd like to work on the universe.

I've talked about how difficult it is to openly talk about this work. Even the decision to overcome fear and to be open is tied up with a desire to focus my will on living in the kind of world I'd like to live. Admitting that I do think about things in the context of magic and my work with the gods is hard. When I face communication challenges, spending some time with Venus and other goddesses I work with is part of how I approach things; I seek advice and also welcome their energy to difficult interactions or negotiations. Similarly, spirituality is part of what I turn to in difficult aspects of my life. However, I still want to be valued as an engineer and valued by people who don't focus on spirituality. Spirituality doesn't replace mechanisms I've always used. I still work to understand all sides of an issue; I still practice negotiations skills I've learned. These are all additional ways I can enact my will and focus my intent. The spiritual work weaves together with everything else. It feels very open to admit that it plays an important role in how I approach things.

Approaching Others

Giving advice to others who don't have a spiritual focus is relatively easy. I might ask someone if they've worked through all the things they've been thinking and focused on a coherent, consistent response to a problem. I might suggest that they ponder whether they'd find value in doing so. That's a relatively good non-spiritual way to think about focusing intent.

Interestingly I have a lot more trouble when talking to other pagans. The boundaries are less clear. Is their spirituality something only for rituals and celebrations? Will I be over sharing if I talk about the spiritual side of some aspect of my life? Will I come across as crazy and impractical?

It's even harder when I am talking to pagans about their life. Sometimes I want to ask someone if they have turned to their gods and asked for help in some situation. That seems a very intimate question. I'd love to create an environment where people can feel comfortable being open about that work if they wish just as they might be comfortable with other aspects of their life. When someone is receptive to considering how their spirituality might help them, I'd like to encourage that consideration. So far, though, I've found it a very difficult thing to balance because I value letting others find their own path both in terms of when they approach the spiritual and how open they want to be about it. However, I'd like to continue to improve in doing that while promoting openness and comfort with the spiritual.