Cultivate= to improve by labor, care, study; to refine.
Cultivating yourself, your soul, is the key to finding and defining your path. You must truly know thyself, the good and the ugly… all of it… all of YOU. To accomplish this feat requires much introspection…. the act of delving deep within yourself while being completely honest with yourself. Introspection can be done in a variety of ways:
* Inner child work
* Shadow work
* Dream work
* Questioning/Examining yourself
* Examine patterns in your life
* Self help workbooks
There are many questions you can ask yourself, here are a few to get you started:
* Who are you really?
* What are your strengths? Your fears? Why?
* What are your hopes, desires, likes? Your Goals? Your Dreams/Fantasies/nightmares?
* Who are your favorite role models, why?
* What are your dislikes, pet peeves, and why?
* What is your favorite Season(s)? What is your fave Sabbat? What part of the Wheel do these fall on?
* What deity are you drawn to and why?
* What Element are you? (your birth element isn’t necessarily your personal element)
* In what areas would you like to change in yourself and why? Are these changes realistic? Are you ready to
take the necessary steps and do the work necessary to accomplish these changes?
* Are you organized or a clutterbug?
* Do you prefer informal rituals or more elaborate formal rituals?
* Do you follow the Rede?
* Do you believe in the Threefold Law?
* Are you basically a happy, satisfied person, or bored and unhappy? Why?
* What inspires you?
* Do you have an animal totem?
* What is your favorite memory? What feelings does it invoke in you and why?
* What was your worst experience? How did it make you feel and why? How can you or did you overcome
* When you want to escape, where do you go and why?
Once you have examined yourself thoroughly and honestly and having truly accepted all that you are, you can move on to strengthening your weaknesses, refining your strengths, facing your fears… and GROWTH! What does this have to do with your spiritual path?
Well for one, you have to come to know yourself, and accept, understand, and love yourself before you can find peace. Finding peace with yourself enables you to find peace in life and brings you closer to the Divine. When you are at peace you can more easily let go of the physical realm and reach your Higher Self, which in turn enables you to experience the spiritual realm, receive messages from your guides and deity, etc.
Also, while finding your true self you discover your personal elemental and magickal affinities which is beneficial in finding your spiritual path.
Here are some books that may help you along the way:
* Elemental Witch by Tammy Sullivan
* Shadow Magick Compendium by Raven Digitalis
* Life's Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest by Christina Baldwin
* Zen-Sational Living: A Simple Guide to Finding Your True Self and Maintaining Balance
by Sheila M. Burke