Hecate has another great post up about living in relationship with a specific piece of land. When I commented that this, like a relationship with another person, takes effort, Hecate expanded on that and linked it with the importance of daily practice. She says that both are important, but it’s hard to believe that either alone is sufficient. In fact, I think ideally the two grow to be more intertwined over time. I know I’m not the only Wiccan who has fantasized about having my own little garden altar where I can do my devotions (in the good weather) and at least spend some time grounding myself and observing the seasons (in bad weather). I think that’s more than a romantic fantasy; or, more precisely, it is the kind of romantic fantasy that shows I am not just in love with the divine, but that I want to meet my love where he, she, and they are, in nature. And, as Hecate says, I don’t just love an abstraction, but a specific place, a specific spirit, a specific manifestation of the divine.

For now, though, I do my daily practice at home, because I’m sure I can get there every day. I trust that the God and Goddess come to meet me where I am, too. But I work on developing my relationship with them in many ways, and going out to meet them when I can, and doing it regularly, is the natural counterpoint.

One of the benefits of that effort is giving deity a chance to show itself to me in ways I wouldn’t expect or call on, if I were only willing to interact with the divine on my terms, in my usual practice. Yes, we call the quarters and invoke the God and Goddess, but one of the ways you know those invitations are effective is that, just like your human guests, the personalities that show up aren’t solely what you imagine. More importantly, for Wicca to be truly nature-based, we have to recognize that even when we cast our circles, we’re doing so in the midst of a living, breathing, spiritual fabric of being. The immanent wells up to meet us, we’re not just calling the transcendent down. Letting that welling-up happen, creating space and time for it, welcoming it, is one of the benefits of being in relationship with the land.