Purity: A Study Guide.

This study guide is designed to get you thinking about purity, purification, and how these ideas relate to you, your life, and your spiritual or religious views. As always, some of these questions may not even be applicable to your worldview. If they are not, simply move on to the next question. Hopefully, you will find some food for thought. For a printer-friendly, PDF version, click here.

In the broadest sense, what does purity mean to you?

How does the idea of purity make you feel? (Examples: anxious, giddy, peaceful, angry, restless, calm, etc.)

What memories come to mind when you think about purity and purification? Is this a pleasant memory? If you are comfortable, describe it.

Is it possible to be in a pure state outside a religious or spiritual context?

How do you define purity on an exterior or mundane level?

How do you define purity on a personal or internal level?

How do you define purity on a religious or spiritual level?

What influences have helped you define purity in these ways?

Have experiences helped to define ideas about purity for you? If so, what are some of the experiences you associate with the concept of purity?

Do you hold all pure ideas, concepts, etc. as being equal? Or is it a more hierarchical system for you? (Examples: the freshness of the air is equal to the purity of Deity; Deity is more pure than human thought.)

How many definitions of purity are there? Do you believe these definitions are absolute or are they flexible? Do you believe there is a universal idea of purity? Why or why not?

What terminology do you associate with purity? Is this terminology related to the process of purification? (Examples: holy, whole, etc.)

How does your cultural heritage influence your understanding of purity?

In what ways does your faith and/or spirituality influence your understanding of purity?

Does the absence or presence of purity affect your connection to Deity? Why or why not?

Does the absence or presence of purity affect your relationship to others? In what ways? Does this only apply to purity of mind or spirit or..?

Are there certain sights which are linked to the concept of purity in your mind?

Do you associate any symbols with purity or being in a pure state? What are they? Why do you associate these symbols with the concept of purity? (Examples: color, shape, icons, etc.)

Do certain sounds call to mind purity more than others? What are they? Why do these represent purity to you?

Do you associate certain words with purity? What are they? Where and when did you learn these words?

Is there a certain action or movement you associate with being pure? Are these motions something you only do during certain times, such as prayer?

When did these kinds of sensory input first represent purity to you? Have they changed over time?

Are there any other types of sensory input which represent purity to you? Tastes or smells or feelings perhaps? What make these special? How do they make you feel?

Do you believe a person needs to be cleansed beyond the demands of hygiene? Why or why not? How would a person go about this?

Can a person avoid becoming impure? If so, how might they go about it?

Is purification something each person must be responsible for? Is this something a person can do for themselves? Or should others be involved? Are there any circumstances which might require special consideration?

If you feel a person can or should be cleansed and you feel yourself existing in an impure state, how do you purify yourself?

Is this method specific to you or could anyone use this technique? How might you teach another to purify themselves? What advice would you give?

Does the process of purification change based on specific circumstances? (Examples: degree to which you feel impure, astrological cycle, life events, etc.)

Have you or would you involve others in the cleansing of self? Why or why not?

Does space need purifying? What contributes to space being pure or impure?

If you feel space needs to be made pure, how do you go about the purifying process? Is this something which can be done quickly or does it require ritual?

Do objects need purifying? Why or why not?

If you feel objects need to be purified, how do you go about it? Do certain kinds of objects require different methods of purification? Why or why not?

How many steps are involved with the purification process? If there is more than one, do the steps need to follow a specific order? Describe or list them.

Do you feel there are certain tools required for the purification process? What are these and why must they be included or utilized? (Examples: the inclusion of elements, meditation, prayer, incense, etc.)

What happens if you lack access to these tools? Are there alternates?

Are there special consideration which need to be addressed during the purification process? (Examples: moon phase, dietary changes, seclusion, etc.)

Where did you learn to purify a person, place, or item? Did you learn from a specific source or are you self-taught, using intuition?

Have your ideas about purity and purification evolved? How so?

Have your ideas about purity and purification been challenged? When? By what event or by whom?

How did you respond to these challenges? How might your respond to these challenges in the future?

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The Senses & Practice: A Study Guide.

It’s important during practice to be present. Regardless of whether you are meditating, praying, or creating, being aware and fully engaged deepens the connection between self and the moment. I would argue, it is equally important to do the same outside of a religious setting. In each day there is the possibility for discovery, learning, and even the divine. Without using all of our senses, this possibility may go unnoticed. Or perhaps not.

How many senses do you believe exist? Five? Six? More? (It’s ok to think there are only five!)

Why do you accept the existence of these senses? Is it because you have been told or because you perceive with them?

On a daily basis, how many senses do you actively use to perceive your environment?

Which senses are you neglecting and how might you begin to re-familiarize yourself with them?

Do you engage your senses during practice? Are some more important to you than others? Which ones and why?

Is it important to use earthly perception during your practice or is it better to focus on the beyond?

How do your senses affect your practice? Is the sound of prayer and scent of incense enough to create a sacred space or do you prefer to focus on touching objects or seeing an important symbol/icon?

What scents, sounds, feelings, tastes, and sights do you equate to daily life? How do you respond to these sensations?

What scents, sounds, feelings, tastes, and sights do you equate to practice? Are these necessary for you to be engaged in practice? (It’s ok to say yes. It’s ok to say no.)

What scents, sounds, feelings, tastes, and sights do you equate to the divine? Are these a part of your daily life? Practice? Or are they separate?

Could you use items which recall a sensation of importance more often or would this diminish the specialness of the moment? For example: If apples make you think of divine gifts and prayer in Autumn, is it appropriate to use apple-scented soap year-round to recall the feeling of the divine? Or does using the scented soap take away from the uniqueness of Autumn or lessen the precious moment of being fortunate enough have dishes that need cleaning?

To Divinate or Not: A Study Guide.

Do you use divination of one form or another? Why or why not?

When you divinate, is it always intentional or does it sometimes happen accidentally?

What forms of divination are you most familiar with? What methods do you use? Tarot, pendulum, divining rods, bibliomancy, pyromancy, scrying..?

Why do these call to you? Is it the ease of access? Why do you continue to divine in this way?

Are there other forms would you like to learn? How many types are you familiar with?

Do you find it acceptable to use a form of divination that is not a part of your spiritual path? Is divination even a part of your spiritual path or do you consider it as more secular? Why or why not?

Is there a ritual or spell or chant or action that you find helpful? Example: you mediate or pray before hand.

Are there any tools you find essential for helping you during your divination practice? Incense, candles, music, etc.?

Do you have a process for developing a relationship with your divination tools? How do you feel divination tools should be obtained?

Does timing matter? Examples: you do not divinate during times of personal crisis, you always divinate during the waxing or full moon, etc.

How do you feel about divining for others? Should such services be charged for? What about divining for yourself?

What advice would you give to others? Do you recommend different things to a beginner than you would someone more advanced in divination techniques?

Do you feel divination is a skill you need a teacher or mentor to learn or is self-study preferable? Why or why not?