Devotional Architecture Walk for Seshat

Ariana Dawnhawk

Many “earth-based” NeoPagan resources recommend walking in nature as a spiritual practice. A mindful walk is a certainly a good way to engage all of one’s parts in one’s spirituality. I however don’t think that mindful and devotional walks have to be limited to “natural” spaces. As an urban Pagan and a devotee of Seshat, I find a lot of value in walking around my city and looking at buildings, and so I came up with the idea of a devotional architecture walk.

Before or after your walk you can offer to Seshat if you’d like, or anoint yourself with some oil associated with Her. (Mine and other’s UPG is that She likes jasmine, sandlewood, frankincense and myrrh. Also, she seems to like jasmine tea and sweet things.) You could even bring a bottle of jasmine tea with you.

You can walk for Her in any place where there are buildings. I personally enjoy looking at older (especially Gothic Revival) and postmodern buildings, but I believe that any sort of architecture is Hers and will probably have features worth looking at.

As you walk, notice the overall “feel” of the neighborhood. Do the buildings look like they were built at the same time? Can you guess when, or are there cornerstones or historical markers to give context? What is the style of the buildings, and what are they used for? If there is a mix of styles, how do they fit together and interact? Are the courtyards and parks included? Is this place set apart in some way? (I’m a huge fan of college campuses, for example.)

Notice the angles and lines and overall shapes of the buildings. Are they tall or squat? Do they seem to soar or be grounded, or both? What kind of environment do they create – cozy, stylish, professional, intellectual?

Then notice the details of the buildings and how they tie in with the overall picture. What do the windows and doors look like? Are there gates, fences, arches? How is color used, in the building and the surrounding ones? How are materials used? Are there carvings, railings, balconies? How does the landscaping, if there is any, fit in with the architecture?

Look for buildings in process – restoration or remodeling, or construction sites. If you can, check back every so often to see what progress is being made. How does the new building relate to its foundation, or the restoration relate to what was there before?

Look for buildings with architecture influenced by Greek, Roman, and Egyptian styles. (Egyptian influence can be much harder to find, but it definitely was popular at one time.) Look for images of the gods or their symbols. (Buildings used to be decorated with allegorical figures, some of whom came from mythology.) How do the gods portrayed relate to the past or current function of the building?

As you walk, consider the people who live her and who used to live here. How do the buildings record their stories? Sometimes there are brochures, books, and guided tours available that describe noteworthy buildings and their history. Researching this would be another appropriate way to honor Seshat.

Finally, when you return from your walk, you can record what you’ve seen in some form in honor of the Lady of Builders.

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