Building Your Own Spiritual Practice in a World of Blended Cultures

Building Your Own Spiritual Practice in a World of Blended Cultures June 1, 2023

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Although I am speaking from an American perspective and experience, people have been moving and blending all over the globe since the beginning of humanity, in some form or another. The majority, if not all, of the people living in our current age have some sort of mix in their blood from various regions/ peoples. We are not just one thing, we are a blending of many.

For Americans that is definitely true. The idea behind the “melting pot” is exactly that – the mixing and blending of a variety of cultures and people from around the world. Even before the Europeans came, the Americas saw these movements and blending between tribes and regions.

As we move into an age that is moving away from organized religion and more to a place of personal spirituality, people are looking to the past for clues. Their Ancestry – the people tied to them by blood. The things that call to them and draw their curiosity. They are looking to the land itself and the spirituality of nature. Looking for where they fit, or more accurately, what fits with them.

Before we go deeper into building our own spiritual practices, we must first take a step backwards. To look at some influences that should be considered on this path of self development.

Tree rings and fingerprint together
Connection of nature and ourselves -author unknown

Blood and Water

Science has proven that water holds memory, and DNA holds genetic memory  . Together, these two aspects give us unique ties to both the land we reside on now, and our blood ancestors.

It could explain why many people are drawn to certain cultures, art styles, and places they have never been or been a part of. Their current self may not have direct ties to them, but deep memories buried within them could. It calls to them and draws emotion from them.

By nature, we have this need to explore and push the boundaries to see what is possible. As people encounter other cultures and start living among them, the two cultures start to blend. In today’s social climate there is a lot of talk about appropriation, which does happen, but the fact of cultural blending tends to get left out of the conversation.

By understanding the influences of both of these, it gives us some places to start our journey.

Where to Start Looking

These are going to be suggestions of where to start your journey. Ideas to help inspire and give you some direction. Here’s the thing though – We are talking personal spiritualism, not a structured one. That means no one can tell you what is best, right, or “the way” for you. You will have o discover that part yourself.

old graveyard in the fall
Walking with the Dead – by Esa


Like I said, I live in the United States, and although we are not unique in blended culture, this will be written from that perspective. Specifically from the Appalachian/ Ozark regions, as those areas have been the backbone of my heritage in the US.

People came to the US from all over the world for at least the last couple of centuries for a variety of reasons. Many in the beginning were explorers, soldiers, and indentured servants – people from European counties that were sent to the colonies to work off debts or those who were imprisoned. Some, as in the case of many Scottish and Irish immigrants, were forced into indentured servitude just by crossing the ocean.

As people from various regions came together in this new land, so did their cultures. Those coming into the Appalachians and Ozarks tended to be a heavy blending of Irish and Scottish – which had a heavy mix of Scandinavian from the blending of their homelands earlier in history. The majority appeared to have gotten along well with the indigenous tribes that already inhabited the land, and cultural blending can be seen there on both sides. I do think that the defiant, independent, and sovereign natures of these particular peoples had some thing to do with that.

As a descendant of those people, my DNA and ancestry is a mix of Irish, Scottish, Scandinavian, Choctaw, and Chickasaw. I do not belong to any of those cultures or people, but I am of them. A subtle difference in language that has deeper impacts. I did not grow up in their cultures, but I did grow up in what they became here, the blended version of them.

The music, art, stories, and practices I have been drawn to all my life align with my own ancestry. This was not me seeking them specifically, but just what I was drawn to. Even the Deities that have come to me and that I built strong bonds to, are connected to my heritage. So I do think genetic memory plays a role here.

This is not to say ancestry has to play a role in our spiritualism, but it can be a strong anchor. It can give us direction and can show us things that are already rooted within ourselves.

Mystical Waterfall
Mystical Waterfall – by Esa

Land Connections

I live on land that has a deep and rich history of its own, with spirits and energies unique to it. Although the US is considered just one big blob, we have a wide range of Eco-systems and landscapes. The country may be one thing – but the land is a mix of many. It holds the memory of all who have lived upon it.

Animism plays a large role in my own connections and practices. The land itself holds its own ancestry that stretches back farther than any human involvement. It has been touched and blended with all the different people who have lived upon it. Home to Nature Spirits uniquely connected to it. Those of the elements, the plants, the animals, and the features of the land itself. All of them holding deep knowledge and their own stories.

Connection to the land you currently live on, to the nature that surrounds you, is another good place to start. You are already there, a part belonging to it. All you have to do is start connecting to it, opening yourself to it, and blend yourself with it in a conscious way.

tree by the lake with the sun peering through the top branches
Lake Barkley – by Esa

What You are Drawn to

It is important to pay attention to the things we are drawn to. The things that catch our attention and evoke emotional stirrings within us. They call to us for a reason. It may just be a small piece of information or perspective you need from there, or it could be something much larger.

Our souls are eternal. Energy never dies, it just changes form – and energy is what animates the body and allows the mind to function. Our soul is what is driving the body, using it to experience the material world. So I believe our soul has its own type of memory, and possibly even its own agenda in this life.

How to start Building

Exploration is the true path to building your own spiritual connections and beliefs. Through exploration we gain knowledge and various perspectives. Then we experiment/ experience that knowledge within our life, finding what truly vibes with us and works for us. Through this process we are piecing together our own beliefs – building our own ethics and foundations – connecting to our authentic self – and creating true bonds with divine/ spirits.

History and Stories

As I stated in “What You Call Divine Doesn’t Matter- Only the Connection” – There is truth in all stories but no story is true. This hold true for our history as well. What we read in books is from the perspective and experience of that person or that side of a conflict – History is written by the victors.

This becomes even more evident when looking at spiritual context. Everything you are reading came from someone else’s experience, their perspective, their gnosis. It may have been repeated over and over, others may have adopted it, but it does not mean it is the only way.

History and stories give us a glimpse, but do not tell a full truth. I think they are important in that regard. They share ideas, understandings of the people and culture of that time period, and how they connected to the natural world around them. They also give us a place to start.

Just remember, the majority of what you are reading now when looking at pre-christian traditions and practices in Western cultures were written down long after that take over and by people influenced by the christian religion. It comes from their perspectives, assumptions, and best educated guesses.

Exposure to Various Perspective and Practices

Seek out both traditions/ religions that you are drawn to and ones you are not.

In my experience, we find pieces to the spiritual puzzle in some of the most unlikely places. It does not mean we believe as they do or will incorporate them into our own practices and beliefs, but they do give us a broader perspective for ourselves. Knowledge is power.

In my own research and journey I explored everything I could get my hands on. What I found is that they all have their own ways of going about things, but also a place where they all seem to overlap. A core that they share or at least can stand in together without divisions. It allowed me to shift my own mindset in order to see our commonalities instead of focusing on that which divides us. That alone has come into play in my day to day living and dealing with people in all aspects of my life.

Science and Spirit Together

There are many places where science can be extremely useful to your journey.

Understanding elements in the context of science gives us the foundation to understand them in them more clearly on the spiritual level. By seeing how the elements can act upon each other from a scientific perspective, it gives us an understanding of how they can be weaved, blended, and worked with on the spiritual plane.

Spiritual meanings of plants and animals, the energy they hold, can be seen through science. How they act in and upon their environment and in the body gives us information of what they can do in spiritual context. If you are receiving signs in nature, look at the science aspects of them to help give you a clue as to what role or message they are trying to pass.

Trust Your Intuition and Personal Experiences

In the end, your intuition should be your biggest compass. It comes from a personal knowing, something unseen but is our best guide. It is our soul, the energies we are connected to, the memory we carry within us – all of this contributes to our intuition.

Many people are very good at rationalizing away or pushing down their intuition. There are people who are telling you that what you are experiencing is either not real or incorrect. Others who say if you are not experiencing Deities/ Divine the way that they do, that you are wrong. All of these outside voices start to affect how you are listening to your own, creating doubts, and thus creating divides within yourself.

The most important voice you need to be listening to is the one within you. This is your spiritual connection and path you are building. You are not forcing anyone else to walk your path – you are just enriching your own life, growing through your own lessons, and discovering your own answers.

Your experience is for you. It may look similar or different from others, but what you are experiencing is for you. It is lessons in the way you need to go through them. The way we experience Deity is also specific to us and what growth we need to go through. The spirit allies such as plants or animals are going to be specific to our perspectives and encounters with them.

from Shakespeare’s Raven’s Grimoire

Not How I do it – It’s About How You Do It

This was not telling you how to build your own spiritual path – it was to give you ideas and inspirations. To show different places where you can explore and things to consider along the way. Only you can decide what is right for you. If you take nothing else away from this, I hope you take that one piece. This is about your spiritual journey, your beliefs, your growth, and your connections. What that looks like is entirely up to you and what you personally experience.

My personal path and spiritual beliefs are a blending of several cultures and systems, as I am a blending. My Deities come from different pantheons, because I am connected to Them, not a tradition or religion that has incorporated them. My practices that express my spiritualism are guided by the blending of my whole self, not just a part. I have found great joy and abundance of personal growth by being able to flow in this way. A place of blending – of the Liminal spaces – the places in-between and overlapping.

Are your practices and connections a blending?

Does your spiritualism reflect your own blended nature or are they set in a specific tradition?

I would love to hear your thoughts and any aspects you are willing to share of your own. For in the end, sharing is how see new perspectives, gain new inspirations, and grow together.

I am an avid explorer and believe experimentation is the key to growth. Science and Magic are not competitors, they work together to help us understand and alter the world. Magic and Spirituality is personal – the bonds we build, the skills we hone, how we practice, all of this being developed along our journey. The rules and limitations are those of you and nature, not another person.” - Author, Oracle/ Tarot Reader, Liminal Walker, and Spiritual Guide for those wanting to build their own path and connections You can read more about the author here.

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