The instinct to take the last post down after getting up from my nap was strong, and only got stronger as the evening wore on.
I don’t like showing vulnerability to begin with, and when you consider how many enemies I’ve accumulated over the years it can be a serious liability. (Especially with how many of them are magicians of some talent and could use this to strike against me.)
Beyond that, I admitted some things I don’t particularly like about myself, like how it’s affected me that my influence has waned and the role I’ve played in driving folks away. I can rationalize it by saying that the involvement of others is necessary for the work I’ve been given to do for my Gods and Spirits and the string of failed groups I’ve started is just another way I’ve let them down – but there’s more to it than that.
I crave the respect of others, I want to accomplish meaningful and extraordinary things that will live on beyond me, I want to have people who excite and inspire me that I can collaborate with and who will help pick up the slack when I’m hurting, exhausted and stretched too thin as I often am these days, and – fuck, this is hard – I even want to be liked for who I am, not just what I can do for other people.
And I’m keenly aware that I don’t make that easy. I’m strange and off-putting, I take hard and controversial stances, I don’t care about the things most people do and won’t bother faking it, I don’t let folks in easily or reach out, it takes a lot to get back in my good graces once someone disappoints me, and I have a tremendous capacity for ruthlessness and cruelty when I am wronged.
To compound things, I’m going through a really rough period health-wise. It’s not necessary to go into all of that, but let’s just say that I count the hours I’m not sick or suffering high levels of pain, and there aren’t many of them in a given day. That’s affecting everything from my general outlook on life to my fraying relationships with friends and loved ones to the state of my religious practice, which requires serious effort to do even the simplest of things like pray and make offerings, let alone the types of ecstatic and magical practices that used to be second nature to me.
I have a sense of what I need to do to dig myself out of this, but most days I find it challenging to manage self-care and household chores, let alone higher level functions such as traversing the abyss, confronting the empty husks of dead selves, transmuting poison into the elixir of life, and harnessing the rays of the Black Sun. Especially since I’m figuring shit out as I go, there’s no guarantee I’m going to succeed and I don’t exactly have any living lineage elders or even a community I can turn to for advice and support.
But I know that if I don’t do something, and soon, this situation is not just going to get worse – it will destroy me.
And so that’s why I made the previous post and this one. I needed a good, hard look in the mirror, an unflinching inventory of where I’m at, what’s going on in my head and in my life, and to unburden my soul through public confession so that I can begin to move forward. I do this all the time, internally, as part of my practice of discernment – but there are minimal consequences when it’s just in your head, or something shared with someone who’s going to accept and love you no matter what.
I needed to put this stuff out there because I didn’t want to, so even the folks who hate me could see it, so that both the truths and the lies of it can no longer hold power over me. I had to declare, “this is who I am” so that I could move past that and become something else.
And now it’s time to do that.
8 thoughts on “The Journey Begins”
may Asklepios hold you, my friend, and help you find ways to mitigate the pain and challenges and continue your Work.
our pathways don’t intersect in many places, but i’m always delighted when they do. i’m glad you’re in the world and doing your thing. it’s a more interesting place with you ferreting and agitating about it in it.
Dealing with life changing disabilities causes the old self to be mourned. You are creating a new self. Problem is you carry memories of the old self, and ponder why can’t you be that. It’s like going through the sound barrier in a rickety plane. You are not sure if you can make it. But you have to go through the sound barrier because you have no choice.
Yes. You are vulnerable. There is no shell to protect you.
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May your Gods and heroes sustain you and strengthen you. As for antagonizing people, in my experience there are very few people who do not soon get antagonized when one does anything other than parrot their own words back to them. Most people will get hostile when they hear things that they have not heard before. It is taken as a breach in sociability. Whatever else may be going on, there is always this as well confronting any genuine thinker.
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Your path is not mine, but I respect your work and obvious dedication. I don’t read every post all the way through, but am impressed by the breadth of your research. Those who seem to get their ideas of the ancient deities from childhood memories of Bulfinch’s Mythology or who seem to view them as constantly malleable along the lines of ‘i don’t care if Persephone is goddess of the underworld, I see her as a mystic water sprite’ have so much to learn from your work. I wish you strength and hope.
I am proud of you. Best Wishes from the Texas Gulf Coast.
Thank you guys. Your words of support mean a lot to me.
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Late to the punch bowl here, but luckily, none of the other commenters above are known for their propensity for drinking directly from the bowl and backwashing into it, so thank all the Deities for that! ;)
There is something you’re bringing into the world that would not otherwise be possible without you–and while that is true of almost everyone (except the Jonas Brothers, or “insert your preferred names here”), what you’re doing with polytheism and making these connections between divergent strands of it is something that literally no one else has been doing or has done. Sure, some of us are doing things that are analogous and have some crossovers with it, but not quite to the level you have been, and that will continue to be the case for as long as you remain breathing, I’m absolutely certain.
Being in such a position, the haters are going to come out in waves because you don’t fit whatever standard they believe everyone should uphold. But, they’re not going to make a mark on the world in the same way you have been…and so it ever is for those truly walking an untrodden path that would not otherwise be known without their enterprising footsteps.
As for the health difficulties: my friend, I’m 100% with you there, and have been for most of my life. It isn’t always easy, but what makes getting up in the morning worthwhile for me–and what has been the only thing often that gets me doing any of it–is this very practice. As I have said in the Antinoan context for sixteen or more years, Haec est undr vita venit, “THIS is where life comes from!” You know what your own personal “THIS” is, and you have known for ages. As long as you remember that, you’ll be able to find the strength to carry on in it, no matter how much crap you have to put up with from others in the nay-saying crowd.
If you ever want to chat further about health issues and dealing with such things, I have 38 years of it to draw upon, for whatever it may be worth in assisting you in your own situation (which may be nothing–but I accept that may be the case!). When it is a new reality, it is the worst, but time tends to make it a bit better, if only because one can learn to deal with the routine of it more effectively.
There was a reason Tiresias was such an insightful seer, after all! ;)
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I’m sorry to hear things are difficult for you, still. I know this isn’t a big thing in the grand scheme of things, but you brought Dionysus into my life and I’ll also appreciate you for it.
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