In the last few years, I have had a bit of a crisis of faith. I started my journey into the world of paganism 12 years ago. I remember feeling a sense of mystery, wonderment and awe at the enchanting world of The Goddess. I used to love sitting under the trees, listening to nature and feeling my soul mix and churn with the energies therein. I used to meditate almost daily, read and reread piles of books on wicca and paganism and all around have a sense of belonging.
Within the last three or so years, I've lost a lot of who I am. I believe that woman is still there, just buried beneath a host of trauma and issues. I want to feel that spark of belonging again, but I don't have the slightest clue where to start. I've tried meditating, but I have such a hard time clearing my head now, I think partially due to anxiety disorder and a lot of stress lately. I've tried reading the books I still have, but it's hard to read the same things you've read countless other times in countless other books, only slightly varied. I've even tried learning about other pagan paths, like Asatru for example, in hopes that one of them will bring back that spark.
Has anyone else been through this? Is there any advise you could give me to help me find my religion again? Anything anyone could offer would be appreciated.
I, too, was extremely involved with my spiritual side when I was a teenager (when I finally discovered paganism). I remember vividly that all-encompassing spark you mentioned. As I grew and life began to actually happen, I slowly lost touch with that spark, until it was only a moldering coal deep in me.
As life continued to happen, and I began to cycle once more, that moldering coal became an ember, and it burns within me once again. Like you, I've had a hard time really getting my Self around it, and trying to rediscover that path that my feet actually want to tread in order to fan that flame.
What I've done is sit and focus on what it is my thoughts turn to when I think of my spirituality and what it wants. Almost like a meditation, but not exactly (as my thoughts never calm down enough either). When you think of that spark, of that feeling you had before- what thoughts come to mind? What are you doing? It might help to get a journal and write it down.
For me- a lot of it was Nature. So, I started by just going for walks in the parks and woods around me again. If I couldn't get to a park or the woods, I would just walk wherever I could, and took note of the way I felt, of the natural world around me. The feel and smell of the air, the way a leaf of a neighbors decorative foliage felt, the feel of the grass on my bare feet.. stuff like that. Watch the sunrise, and/or sunset. Look at the stars and the Moon. Listen as best as you can.
I discovered that what I thought about involved my kitchen, the food I cooked/baked and making my own natural beauty and home care products. That's the part I'm at now. I still do not do spell-work in any sort of full capacity. I'm not there yet. I'll light a candle here or there, but I'm not quite back to that level of practice. Instead, I am focusing on rediscovering who I am inside, who my Self is.
I would continue to read whatever you are drawn to, but don't go in looking for the "fix". It's going to be a process, but it is one that can be filled with just as much awe and wonder that there was before. Just- perhaps that Goddess that you are searching for is the one within yourself right now?
I hope this helps at least a little. Good luck with your journey.
Don't feel guilty for any distance you feel on your path. You are your own judge, in your own court.
You are most powerful when you are most undeniably yourself.
Don't let your practice lock you up, let it open you up instead.
Those are my ramblings,
Beccy - from what you described, you're still healing and are just barely starting to get your life back in focus. Don't rush anything. Your faith will come back when you're at peace with yourself and the world.
I have a problem with my freezer. The line that drains moisture is frozen over and blocked so every couple of days I have to go into my freezer and forcefully remove a big sheet of ice. What it needs is for me to turn it off for 24-hours to allow the line to clear. Assuming your condition is not clinical, something only you can decide, this is what is happening to you. There’s a clog in your line to the self. It happens to a lot of people: shamans, priests, priestesses, artists, and writers. Anyone that depends on that connection to the other side of the hedge. To clear it, I would turn the TV and computer off. You don’t really need to know what’s going on. If your meditation practice is an active form, put that aside. Instead, just sit and listen to what’s inside you. Do that for at least 20 to 30 minutes. If your mind races, use a breath count meditation to slow it down, and just be. You don't really have to 'do' anything. Being is enough.
After that, if you write, try doing a morning page. That’s like automatic writing. You just write whatever comes out first in your head. If you draw, take a piece of scrap paper, put a pencil to it, and just make a mark. Let your hand draw whatever it wants don’t try to do anything, and don’t freak out if it starts drawing something weird like a bunch of crosses. The unconscious likes to mess with us. As for reading, I’d add some variety. If you’ve only read what comes out of the Pagan industry, then you need to go out and grab something outside that realm such as philosophy, history, art, and don’t forget fiction. Truth lies buried in everything, and when you stumble on it in unexpected places, it can recharge your batteries.
If it's warm where you are or you don't mind the cold, go for a walk in a park. Nature heals.