Real Talk for a minute: I am not in a good place right now.
Let me re-write that, actually: I am not in a good place spiritually right now.
It’s funny how suddenly we can get thrown off our paths. I would never have expected a move to a new apartment and the procurement of an adorable puppy to be catalysts of spiritual change…but if my intuition has any validity, I think it honestly goes deeper than that. I think that this sudden spiritual funk was not necessarily something that a change of scenery or a new addition to the family could have caused; I think it was something that was always going to happen, it was just a matter of when.
Summer is a hard time for me. I am a cold-weather person; I thrive in Autumn, and I made my peace with Winter’s darkness long ago. Spring and I are good enough friends, but it is Summer that I can’t seem to connect with at all. The high heat, the influx of allergies, the humidity, the groups of people who suddenly don’t have school or work for a few months (not that that’s their faults, they should enjoy their time off – it just makes for busier parks, busier restaurants, busier everywheres: an even greater lack of privacy, when you live in a city). Summer also marks a time for me, every year – and I think this might be the still-fresh aftermath of having been a student for 16+ years – when I feel uninspired and antsy. I feel I have no direction in summer; but even though I feel that way, I always find it hard to get projects going in the summer. It’s as if the very heat itself (even in an air-conditioned home) simply leaves me paralyzed.
And so here we are, in “high summer” (the summer solstice having only just passed us by), and I am at a spiritual loss. I don’t think I can call this fallow time, however, since it’s not so much an absence of my Gods that I feel (no, They are definitely here – see: my last post about the Lady Aset), but an absence of purpose. And it’s funny, because only just two weeks or so ago, I was perfectly content with my routine, and I wouldn’t have given it a second thought.
And now, it’s like I’ve walked right into a metaphysical wall. Suddenly daily ritual isn’t enough. Suddenly just talking to my Gods isn’t enough. Suddenly taking part in the KO chats online isn’t enough. Suddenly blogging isn’t enough. Sure, I have plenty of secular-life needs to attend to, that aren’t trivial (a new puppy is a lot of work!), but those aren’t really excuses enough for how I feel spiritually. And like I said, it’s an awkward feeling overall, because it’s not the easy-to-understand emptiness of the Gods being absent (i.e. “traditional fallow time” for me)…it’s a much more complicated, myopic sense of watchfulness…of Them simply waiting for me to realize there’s more to this.
More to this. What more could there be?
What is “this”, I suppose I should ask. What is my spiritual practice? I am Kemetic, and Judaic; I do a daily Senut ritual as defined by the Kemetic Orthodoxy, a group of which I am actually quite happy to be a part of now. I honor my ancestors with Hebrew song and prayer. I read about and discuss religion online with good friends and with new friends and with total strangers. I try to be a good person in the name of Ma’at. I try to recognize the Kemetic feast days as per my home-made calendar and the KO calendar. I read daily Tarot.
And yet, something is lacking.
Just this morning, I read this post again. I don’t know why I re-read it today of all days; and I’m honestly not sure why I read things like it in general from time-to-time. It’s nothing against the writers of these types of guides or personal accounts, it’s just that I’m not an Astral person. I never have been. I accepted my fear a while back and said, “this is not for me.” I put an end to it.
But maybe I didn’t. Put an end to it, that is.
And I don’t necessarily mean just the Astral; I seem to be in some sort of denial when it comes to what spirits or other entities might be around me and/or around my home, and my city. Just a few days ago I was talking with a friend (who used to run the proserpinas-garden tumblr) about hearing things…about hearing spirits. About how there are times when we’re alone and we hear our names called. Like when you think someone is there, but they aren’t. That tingly sense of “I’m being watched,” but when you turn around, there’s nothing physical there at all to explain the feeling.
And you know what’s funny? As we were talking, I thought to myself, “Geeze, things like that happen to me all the time.”
I hear my name called almost once a day, by nobody and nothing in particular. I hear noises I know aren’t coming from my house or my dog or my boyfriend. I sense things at night, watching me…not necessarily scary things, just aware things. Things that exist. I never feel like I’m alone when I’m alone. I never have felt alone when I’m alone. In fact, I’ve had things like this happen to me for a long time, I just ignored their significance. I said to myself, “either you’re crazy, or it was a coincidence.” Never once did I consider that there might be another option: the option that spirits and other entities really do exist, and that I can and maybe even should actually interact with them.
I don’t do shadow work. I have never considered myself in need of it, nor brave enough to attempt it. I don’t Astral travel. I don’t meditate. I’ve tried in the past, to a bad end. But perhaps, like the post I linked to earlier talks about, perhaps I haven’t been experiencing my world enough to know what it’s really like to travel elsewhere. Perhaps my inner fear was my daemon or my subconsciousness or whatever else you’d like to call it yelling, “YOU AREN’T READY.” While maybe I’ve been doing a fairly good job of being Deity-aware and ritually dedicated and community oriented on this plane of existence, perhaps I have been leaving out a very large part of what could be fulfilling me spiritually: and that is, a conscious awareness of what exists elsewhere, on other planes, in unseen realms.
There’s no need to rush into something as deep and complex as shadow work…the first step is to simply become more in tune with what’s around me here. My house spirits, for example. My city spirits. My guides, if I have any (I had one once, a long time ago, but I haven’t seen him in years – he may have moved on, and I don’t blame him, what with how badly I seem to have neglected that area of my spirituality). I need to pay closer attention to what I hear and see and experience with my five senses. I need to write down dreams. I need to attempt meditation again, if a little bit at a time. And I need to make offerings to more than just my Gods. There’s so much out there to experience, and I’ve been ignoring it. I think that’s what’s brought me here, to this moment of uncertainty…because even when there is an established routine, a daily ritual, a comfortable place in one’s practice, there can still be more to learn. We are never done learning.
I wonder how much more I could be helping myself (sorting out my own demons, so to speak – and I have them, they exist), were I to let down my defenses…let go of my fear of what’s out there and just experience it.
Perhaps that is how I will spend the rest of my summer: finding out.