This is the second of a two-part article exploring the relationship between the discipline of the martial arts and neo-Paganism religious practices. Get up to speed if you didn’t catch the first post, Black Belt Witchcraft. –Florida PNC Editor
By Lady Alpandia
June 27, 2012
On the surface, you might say to yourself, “I study a path of Celtic/Roman/Welsh/whatever. What spiritual lessons are there for me in the martial arts? Isn’t it just all punching and kicking?”
Well, self. That’s pretty short-sighted!
The Martial Arts systems are deep and rich with spiritual lessons that will heighten and compliment the working you do in either your solitary practice or in coven rites. Many pagans find a commonality in the Eastern physical arts that is sort of like coming home – but to a home with a different menu. In fact, there are magickal traditions that encourage, and even require, you to participate in Martial Arts training to proceed through their various degrees.
Both magickal arts and the martial arts work your mind, body, and spirit. Through each, we find balance, strength, and harmony, allowing us to achieve things we previously believed impossible. The arts, regardless of origin, teach us how to live better, trust ourselves, and be the change we want to see in the world. In each there is the feeling of an energy at play in the Universe, and there is a give-and-take of energy that happens in each interaction we have during the day. Call it Qi. Call it Numen. Call it Spirit. Call it Bob.
There’s a myriad of other similarities between Witchcraft and the Martial Arts. Here’s a brief list of some Ah-Ha moments I’ve had. It’s up to you to determine which is a karate “ah-ha” and which was a witchy “ah-ha”:
- Half of all power comes from knowing how and when to relax
- Everyone is on their own journey.
- My “ready” is not your “ready”
- The best way to learn something is to explain it to someone else.
- Keep your feet on the path, but have fun along the way
- I can do much more than I believe I can
- Trust in the Journey. Trust in yourself.
- The more you live in your head, the less you can live through your heart.
- Finding center brings you balance and flexibility
- A teacher’s goal is to make their student better than they are themselves.
- Thoughts are things
I’m sure you’ve guessed by now–these are both Witchy AND Martial Arts Ah-ha’s!
I have learned so much about myself, and others, through both my witchcraft studies and the study of the Martial Arts. Achieving my Black Belt was its own initiation, and reminded me of the rites and vows I’d taken in my magickal path.
Finding spirituality in the Martial Arts is a good reminder that your spirituality does not end with closing circle. The Divine is all around you, and in you: in every action, word, and thought. And it lives inside everything thing you encounter. You just have to be open to recognizing it.
Image credit: “Taekwondo Witch” by spicky27.