You ever just get so tired of all the nattering going on around you that you just want to throw your hands in the air and scream, “fuck it,” while you stomp around like a child? Or, you ever just get so fed up with everything that you finally realize if you don’t do something, possibly crazy and definitely unintended, you’ll end up wrapped in those hug-yourself coats for a few years? Or, maybe, you just get so sick and tired of the constant background commentary going on around you that you finally come to the crushing realization that you are so far off your intended course and you don’t know how to get back there? Yeah, I’ve been there. Hell, I’m still there. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get back to where I want to go, but I know that I need some time – a few weeks, a few months, a few years, the rest of my life – so that I can at least try to choreograph my movements more precisely…
I’ve been pretty tired regarding all religious items for the last few months. Everything that I have been building up to and creating had been jettisoned to the backseat in since, oh, around February or thereabouts. It was something that would leave me awake late at night, while I stared at the ceiling unable to sleep. All of the things I’ve been doing lately have all been those surreal and frightening experiences relating to my godphone or adventures on the astral. Everything was suffering because of this, not least of all me. I have to admit that when it comes to constantly having some really tough fucking conversations with beings who are bigger than you are, it can take a lot out of you. Never mind the addition of running around on the astral and the absolute desecration it can have on my energy reserves/spoon management. I have to say that since my godphone got really loud this year, everything has suffered. It’s felt very much like I’ve been trudging along and just trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy as my Kemetic practice slammed on the breaks and halted in its steps.
Every post I’ve written regarding the whole “doing as opposed to thinking” or the entries where I harp on how we need to live in ma’at or the entries when I go on about how we need to remind ourselves that our religion is an orthopraxy… Every single one of those posts in recent months would rear their heads at me on those nights where I would toss and turn because of religious matters. It was like a poker of guilt had begun to wedge itself at the back of my mind until I found myself unable to do anything but ponder how much I was putting off or not doing. There are so many varied aspects to my practice, specifically relating to the orthopraxy, that I try to do. But with each step further into the astral, each step further into questioning my sanity, I began to feel like I was failing all over the place. I knew that I needed a break, some quiet time, and figure out what in the world the next step with all of this was.
The thing is about asking for a time out is that you may not necessarily get it. As many parents are wont to say to their children, “the worst they can do is say no.” And in this case, it was something that was a little more important than asking if you could borrow someone’s Hot Wheels or asking to go along on a shopping trip to the mall. I was asking for myself, specifically, and a deep-seated need to step away from everything that was peripheral. I needed to jump back into the foundations of what my practice is supposed to be – laity – and shunt things forward on that. If I’m legitimate about wanting to create a layperson practice specifically for other people in my shoes, then I need to focus on what the hallmarks of that laity will be so I can explain it to others. And frankly, I’m having a hard time focusing entirely on work nowadays with all the head crap going on inside of me. There was no way I was going to be able to adequately focus on what I needed to without some form of, “I need some indefinite time off while I work on this.”
I have to admit that I’ve felt completely wrung out in recent months. I know a lot of it has to do with my personal life and work life. Neither of those two items have been particularly … smooth lately. It takes a lot out of you. But, even with all of the crap going on when I was unemployed or I was having troubles with my family, I had the ability to throw myself gung-ho into my religious practice. I knew that while things may been kind of crappy in other arenas that at least my religious practice was where I needed it to be. And it would always just be there to help me pick up the pieces with everything else sucking so badly. However, since I started working I’ve noticed a severe downtrend in my religious life. While I have attempted to keep a balance, it was like the only answer was to listen to the godphone messages and to have those conversations and to go to the astral more frequently. Bitterly, I would give in to each impulse to discuss, to go, and ten times more bitterly, I would come from those sojourns knowing that I was failing somehow, somewhere, in some way…
Whether or not my OTHERS™ saw it as that is irrelevant here. I know for a fact that they were quite all right with my going off to do the things. However, I was not all right with this trade off. I know that it works in some peoples’ practices, but not mine. I’m supposed to be creating a fluid practice based on laity for all and sundry to pick and choose from. I’m supposed to be the keeper of the faith – the person who tells everyone, “Hey, yeah, it sucks but you have faith in your gods, right? So keep it going.” I’ve still been sending those messages, but I no longer feel like I’m as full of faith as I used to be. And damn it to fucking hell, that fucking bothers me. That’s the whole point – to me and my thoughts – in this shit, “have faith.” And if I’m having some severe troubles with the “have faith” message I try to pass around, then I think there’s a huge fucking problem. No matter what my OTHERS™ may think or feel on the subject, this is about me and what the hell I had initially wanted when I entered this whole religious sojourn.
So, I asked for a break.
Not in so many words.
How do you convey to your gods that you can’t do this anymore? How can you really just sit down, look them in the eye, and say, “I need a time out. Please put me in the corner.” That statement makes it sound so, so easy and it’s just really not. After years and years of wanting this whole kind of experience – and getting it – I was asking for them to kind of take it back. And it wasn’t like I was saying, “for right this second” or “for the next few months.” I was just thinking that I needed a huge break. The volume was too high and the words were too painful and there was so much fucking chattering from every fucking corner of my religious life that it was just… eating at me. So, without using words and without really getting into the details here, I kind of surged my feels at all of them. After writing my post about the godphone mess, I just felt all of these horrible, awful things relating to my practice and just kind of made them realize what the hell was going on with me. Why things were slowing down; why I felt like I had no energy; why everything was too difficult to do besides sitting on my ass when I got home from work… I just laid it all out there without thinking or even talking or even asking, but just feeling. That night I dreamed I went to a party with every single one of my gods.
The lwa were conspicuous only in their absence.
I didn’t really understand what it was I was seeing in this dream. All day, I thought about it. I wanted it to mean as a kind of like “farewell, bon voyage” kind of thing. That’s what I was hoping. When I got home from work, I decided I needed to at least ask if that was the case. I pulled cards to clarify. It felt like if I tried to contact them via the godphone thing that I was really just saying, “kidding!” And besides, I had used my cards for so long and had relied on them so heavily. And then in recent months, you know since February or so, I stopped paying attention to them outside of the general deck I use for everyone but me. I just… It’s like this quintessential need to go back to the “simpler times” we hear old fogeys talk about. Yeah, you know… it was exactly like that.
There’s something really meditative, for me, when it comes to reading cards. So, I was pleased with myself when I very easily went running to something that I knew, for sure. I mean, yeah. It’s always possible that I could be screwing up the interpretation. And in same vein, maybe some netjeri takes a hold of what it is I pull and fucks up everything. But, there is just something soothing about the control of being able to, well, see the future for a bit. During the entire reading, as I went through the meaning behind each card, I kept getting this feeling like I had a year to see this reading through to its completion. And you know what? I was pretty okay with that time frame. A whole year to get through whatever it was the cards were telling me? That seemed like a pretty good deal, all said and done.
The gist of that reading? I had to focus on the foundation of my practice. I had to go back to the beginning, sort of. There was more to it than that. The cards all hinted at the return of my energy and a return of my faith, which is an excellent idea if you ask me. But it also told me that it was time to start applying all that I’ve learned, from the books and from others and from various trial and error, to get this cohesive unit of a practice going. It also reminded me that I have a strong intuition – which is where I get the ability to Tarot so effectively, if you ask me – and that no matter how much I cry, later, about taking this back, I had to keep going and trust my intuition. And frankly, unless my gods are planning on smiting me down all wroth like, then I don’t think I really care right now. What matters is that I’m getting what I wanted.
After a year or more of constantly being told I have no choice in anything that gets thrown my way this is… well, it’s a novel experience.
It’s like asking for a lollipop and getting an entire chocolate cake for dessert instead.
It’s time to get back to the foundation of what it is I’ve been intending on building from the get-go. It’s time to remind myself that I am full of faith. It is time to stop worrying so heavily about whether I’m normal or insane. It’s time to get back to it. Now, let’s just see where we should begin…