The Kemetic Round Table (KRT) is a blogging project aimed at providing practical, useful information for modern Kemetic religious practitioners. For all the entries relating to this particular topic, take a peek here.
I’ve spoken about Fallow Times numerous times on this blog (and all those pertinent entries are linked below). I even have an entire category about it. I’ve recounted the how, what, why, and when in regards to them. I’ve gone through one major one and a minor one since I started this blog. I’ve encouraged other practitioners of various faiths to discuss them positively and willfully in public venues because they’re a normal part of this growing process. (I occasionally view it as a kind of religious growing pain, personally.) Hell, I’m even the reason we have the coined phrase, “fallow time,” when we’re discussing these quieter times in our religious lives. But the one thing I’ve never really bothered to discuss was how I have managed to survive my Fallow Times.
And I’ll tell you why.
I never actually survived in so much as I bumbled around like a slug for a while and then, magically, one day it all stopped. So, while I can’t really begin to tell you how to get through this, I can at least be an obvious example of what not to do. So, here are some obvious examples that I have completely done and that I just do not recommend.
1. Don’t get depressed about it.
While it is possible that a depression can cause the Fallow Time, it’s not always the case. I’ve detailed this in other entries, but I can tell you that the sudden absence of your gods can be a completely mind-boggling and self-esteem destroying event. It can really end up playing with your head in ways that I can’t describe beyond, “KDFHUDSHBFKB SDIU VBSDHBDHNA JSHNDJSANBKJSHDFUSJKLM.” (And yes, I did just button mash.) One of the things, though, that I can tell you is that if you end up in a depressive phase because of this whole thing, it will only make matters worse. Instead of just having questions, concerns, worries, and fears, they will end up ten times worse than they normally would. And in fact, in ending up in a depressive phase, you can end up having a longer Fallow Time than what would have happened because in a depressive head-space, everything is twenty thousand times worse.
2. Don’t start panicking about it.
This is one of those things that, again, is probably easier said than done. However, having an anxiety attack because the OTHERS™ have gone on walkabout for whatever reason gets about 0 shit done and you’re left weeping on the floor, snot running down your face, and just generally not looking your all-around best. It doesn’t get anything accomplished and will not bring them back. As much as it is our very first and obvious response to freak the fuck out – trust me, I know, as I do it just about every fucking day over something – about things, this is one of those items that is firmly listed as “beyond humanity’s control.” It is quite feasible that the OTHERS™ that have gone off to do whatever are doing so for their own purposes and may not feel the need to tell you about it. (Just because an open line of communication can happen doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to use it, just so you know.) Try to handle the situation with as much grace as you can muster because, really, it doesn’t matter how much snot and pleading you have going for you, they’re probably not going to listen.
3. Do not say, “fuck this shit,” and claim to be done.
As much as you may think that this quiet and solitude is the time to run the fuck away from all the horror and pain your friends may have gone through, it doesn’t mean a damn thing. This will only set you back a good twenty paces (or more!) on this ultimately fucked up and insane path you happen to be on. After all the hard work you’ve put in prior to the Fallow Time, giving up is not a good idea even if it appears to be the most amenable and pleasing to the eye. Not only does it possibly screw up what you’ve been doing, but it may only end up pissing your OTHERS™ off exponentially when they get back. And as someone who works with Sekhmet on a daily basis… having a pissed off OTHER™ on your ass because you gave up… that’s not really a good thing either.
4. Do not bug your friends to divine on your behalf.
Chances are if you’ve tried making contact with the walkabout-on OTHERS™ on your own, no matter how much you annoy your friends, it’s not going to make a lick of difference. If the OTHERS™ want to talk with you, then they will do so through whatever means necessary that they decide. By asking your friends to try and get a hold of them on your behalf, you are proving that you are not ready to stand on your own two feet. And if that is the entire point in this Fallow Time – since it may be a learning curve to see how your survive without them around – then by continuously harassing them, you’re not really giving them a desire to come right on back. Also, this annoys your god-bothered friends, so… there is that to consider.
5. If you’re a blogger, don’t stop blogging.
Even though you may not have a lot to say, other than, “WOE IS ME, THEY ARE STILL GONE,” you should keep it up. It’s hard to get into a set schedule in the first place. It’s even harder to let that schedule go to fucking hell even if all you want to do is curl up into a ball and not look at anything that has to do with your OTHERS™. Keeping up your schedule will make it a little more seamless for when they do come back. It will also make it so that you have something to do with your time aside from curling up into a tiny ball and sobbing about how much everything sucks. Even if you need to find other pagan/polytheistic bloggers and write 500-word essay responses to something you saw on their blogs, just keep doing it.
6. Do not stop your daily devotions.
Please see above response about schedules and swing of things.
All in all, these are probably the biggest things that I did repeatedly when I was in a Fallow Time that I wish I hadn’t done. It made things harder and more irritating when things started getting back into the swing of things, but it also doesn’t solve the over all issue. I recommend checking out my category about it, clicking on any of the relevant links I’ve posted in those entries, and networking with other related pagans or polytheists on your path. Chances are, they’ve gone through this a time or two. Chances are, they’ll be able to hold your hand. And chances are, things will get better.