So, made it to Tuesday….first blog of the week. And no topic has really come to mind. So I do what I normally do – I read. This time around, instead of pulling books off the shelf, flipping to some arbitrary point to see if a topic to write about hows up, I spent some time reading blog posts from folks I haven’t read for a while. Over on Night Owl Meditations on Patheos, Jessica Ripley had a blog post asking if your Spiritual Practice was really serving you. Its quite an interesting post, but a particular section actually caught my eye:
We worry about what a new normal means. We forget that we have a hand in creating it. We so easily give up the power we have to shape our lives with this all or nothing way of thinking. A chaotic time is the most important time to remember what you do control. There’s a time for railing against the loss, and there’s a time for acceptance and empowerment. If we don’t get to the place of acceptance and empowerment, then we are willfully giving up too much. Life will continue to happen, and not one of us is immune to difficulties and loss no matter how much magick we practice or how spiritual we think we are. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use what’s at our disposal to make things better, though.—Jessica Ripley, 4/18/2020, “Is Your Spiritual Practice Serving You?”
Yeah, this Covid-19 issue has definitely come along and disrupted what everyone seemed to understand as “the normal.” We have found ourselves isolated to our homes, finding new (old) ways of communicating with another, and finding plenty of time to do our own navel gazing. But what if this is what the new normal becomes? What if we have to look suspiciously at the person in the grocery store that isn’t wearing a mask or suddenly coughs? And what about the practices that normally make up our Spirituality? Currently, large ritual gatherings are not really a good idea. Travel from point-to-point is spotty at best. Are virtual rituals going to become the new aspect of our Spiritual lives?
Well, as Ripley points out, we truly are the ones in control. What happens to us, our reaction to it, and our ability to adapt – all of that is in our own control. The virtual rituals, concerts, and gatherings that have been happening are innovative ways of filling that social gap that we feel is so empty. For those of us in more rural areas, sometimes these virtual gatherings are not entirely possible. I moved from up on the north central area of Texas to nearly smack in the center of the state. From one rural area to an area that is a touch more rural. Streaming anything is a definite challenge. But, I am also an individual practitioner, so much of these online gatherings are not really that necessary for me. The online rituals that are designed to showcase how to practice celebratory rites as a single individual are all good, but not necessary for someone who spends that large majority of his Spiritual focus alone. That’s just my own perspective, because I do know a lot of people are getting a lot out of those streaming moments.
Now, I am a type-II diabetic. I have asthmatic reactions to colder weather that was brought on by a serious bout with pneumonia very recently. I was already treating people with some degree of suspicion when it came to potential illnesses and the such. My lousy immune system already sets me at risk for easily catching the common cold and influenza. All of that only makes me a higher risk factor towards catching Covid-19 from an individual that already has it. My reaction could easily be one of anger, particularly when encountering individuals without masks, and those who do not practice social distancing in public. Anger will provide nothing in this case, except maybe to let me feel a touch satisfied at venting my frustration. I could also spend my time interacting with my Gods asking “Why? Why now?” Instead, I have decided to utilize my energy towards preventative measures when I am out in public, minimizing my contact with other people as much as possible, and staying in my current place of residence as much as I can. Now, to be clear, I cannot tell anyone else how they can or cannot react to all of this – everyone processes information differently. Rest assured, how you feel is how you feel. That is true…for you. I’m not about to deny that in anyone else.
So, with all this change happening to “normal” – how do I handle this in daily Spiritual life? To be honest, not much has changed. I still greet the sun whenever I wake up…before or after sunrise. I still do my daily devotionals to Coyote, Crow and Abnoba. I still follow the celebrations of the Wheel, even though my typical celebrations with others have turned into singular ones. Just because the times out in the mundane world have changed, doesn’t mean those in my Spiritual walk will radically change too. I have come to a better understand of the nature of The Storm. It has zero to do with a “crumbling Empire” and more to do with a position of difficult times that can have dangerous consequences for anyone.
Is all this the wrath of the Gods? Is it Nature or the Earth biting back at human kind in order to put us in our place? Is it a karmic retribution for not taking the issues of climate change seriously? I honestly have no idea. All I really understand is that this is happening right now. And that we, as a species, are learning to change and adapt to it. We will struggle with this for some time to come. I am not looking to my Gods for answers though. I am looking to my Gods for strength and resolve. Just like anyone else out there, I have the desire to live through this. I have a desire to see everything go back to “normal” – whatever the Nine Hells that might look like. Unless, this is now what normal is. And we will adapt. Its what we humans do quite well. Two Quid.