A Living Religion — or, Observances tweaked

The awesome — and sometimes off-putting — part about having personal relationships with gods and spirits is, They give feed-back. After Monday’s experience, while still reeling from the small shattering that took place, Poseidon indicated that He’d prefer me to forgo the fasting. I was hit pretty hard on Sunday with the effects of it, and He convinced me (or I convinced myself, who knows at this point) that a day off from the fast could be good. I’d still skip on snacking, and really all that happened was my crispbread portions became toasted bread instead, so it wasn’t a HUGE departure, but I would refuel on my day off for the week of fasting to come. And then Monday happened, and He made it clear that I could pick. I could do a weeklong amount of pretty intense energy work *or* I could fast, but since I was going to have to be out about in the world during the bulk of my fasting and post-energy working, I was not going to be doing *both*. And, after the experiences on Monday, when He hit me with the feeling of, “allow Me this area in which I can offer comfort and nourishment,” I really couldn’t insist. This holy week of observance was inspired by Him, is being held in His honor; how do I ignore His requests and feedback and still claim that it’s for Him?

I understand why — and my understanding of why has me wondering still, despite knowing it was His request, as it came from a few different places, more than just from within, if it isn’t my own self (or Self) requesting that I set that aside. I have weird food hang-ups that are tied into having enough to eat, and I love that that was challenged and weakened during the fast, and I love the mindfulness it fostered, and I may make fasting part of a regular practice for real, just for that benefit alone. It enabled me to not stress eat yesterday, instead of mourning my grandfather’s passing properly. But, we’re also coming upon Jo-is-Locust-eat-all-the-things!!! day of the cycle, if you follow me, and I’m still starting hormone treatment for that, and having this extra variable upon me may not be for the best. The mindfulness is still there — how can it not be with the interrupted sleep and the heaviness upon me? — and I’m still maintaining a fast from meat, and the only thing that’s been dropped is the fasting every day. I plan on fasting Saturday and Sunday, Sunday until the funerary rite is completed and the offerings given unto the river.

I am struggling to not feel like a quitter over this, but, you know? If we know that our gods are real, and we know They interact with us, and we honestly examine what we suspect comes from Them, we’re honor-bound to honor Their wishes. And really, it would be much easier to continue with the fast all week; physical suffering is something I endure rather easily (though not *quietly* when it’s an injury or chronic. Everyone and their sister knows I have the gout, for example)(though that may be because I enjoy saying, “I have The Gout!” It sounds so dramatic that way) and so setting it aside is actually harder/more of a sacrifice, than going forth with it. How well my God knows me . . .

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6 thoughts on “A Living Religion — or, Observances tweaked

  1. It can be a peculiar conundrum that sometimes sacrificing the sacrifice *is* the sacrifice. Or rather, letting go our attachment to a specific idea of what sacrifice They wish of us is the sacrifice. Particularly when being the caretaker at expense of self is a “thing,” turning around and taking care of self can feel indulgent, but sometimes the point is letting go of the idea that using ourselves up is somehow “more virtuous” than making sure we’re able to keep going for the long stretch.

    • Letting go of our ideas of shoulds, yes. One can’t very well say, “Here, I did this/am doing this for You, la la la la la I can’t hear Your feedback/see Your signs and omens/head-in-sand la la la!” and still remain in the spirit of the giving. It’s interesting to me that you mention the ‘using ourselves up is somehow more virtuous’ angle, because I’ve been having thoughts about that, even before this past week, and it’s inherent broken-ness. It seems prevalent in various paths, and I’m a bit dismayed to see it cropping up in paganism, and I’ve had thoughts about Protestant baggage — because I see that as distinctly Protestant in mindset — so focused are they in the *doing*, but then, I come from that background, and so maybe that’s really why I see it thusly. Wherever it springs from, it’s not healthy when taken to extremes all the time, and it distinctly goes against having to take care of one’s self when one is a caretaker so that one may be an effective caretaker, etc. IT’s really too early in the day and too late in the week for thinky thoughts, though.

  2. Yes, what Diane said! This is something I have had to struggle with too, as you know, most recently regarding Odin’s demands that I tweak my seidhr rules somewhat. I think the lesson is very much that if we believe They are living, changing gods, based on our experiences of Them as such, then we need to actually listen to Them rather than clinging to our ideas of the way things should be.

    • But, my ideas of how things should be are so *shiny* and appealing! Surely, He should consider them, at least! 😉 I kid of course, but . . . well. They *are* shiny and appealing…

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