Dedicant studies have ground to a halt, I’ve pretty much checked out of participating with the semi-local ADF groves, and I’m in the midst of examining why. There are at least three factors that I can think of – one, local ADF grove politics feel a little weird to me, and I’m feeling gun-shy about getting involved; two, I don’t have anyone within a 20 mile radius (i.e. a distance that allows for more frequent in-person meeting) who’s excited about ADF studies, and in particular about an Irish approach; and three, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time and energy putting on a tarot class and meeting with Land, Sea & Sky for various local events.
But I sense there may be some other factors as well, ones that are not so external. This is the second time in as many years that I’ve gotten close to really throwing in with a group and then backed away when I sense internal tension and/or when I encounter a question of ethics that troubles me. Given how soundly my last group blew up because of internal tension and ethical concerns with both our small group and the larger community/tradition that surrounded it, I guess this isn’t that surprising. There aren’t a lot of folks around who can help with this kind of processing in a professional way, and I suspect that’s what I need to finally get clear of it.
I’m in a bit of a rut, I think, one I’m trying to blow out of with some “hey, this is new and exciting!” type energy. What I find that I’m doing is seeking someone with excitement and energy about the things I’m excited about, but having a really tough time finding that person. Irish seems to be out of vogue lately, and I’m not much for the Norse, Greek, Roman or Egyptians. While I think it’s nice to have a UU approach to mythology (which is basically what many in ADF are doing by setting themselves up to honor multiple hearths), I want something that I feel more passionate about, and I want to deepen my relationship with the gods, ancestors and spirits I feel most in tune with. And I could go it alone, but I appreciate the energy of having someone to share these things with. And, I want to be selective about who that person is (i.e. I’m not interested in a public congregation type experience).
I have a fairly jaded approach to slogans and jargon these days. I have experienced enough to know that sometimes that’s all there is … words, and we place faith in words, and there’s not really anything there to back it up. If I’m honest, at least part of the Irish thing is seeking to have a sense of belief and magic and belonging again. To again truly believe that there is more to the world than meets the eye, that science doesn’t even come close to explaining everything (and that it is in many ways a religion of its own for some)… but there’s a part of me that keeps whispering that it’s just words, just slogans, just the human response to discomfort with the great silence of the universe.
Finally, there’s a basic reality of time and energy. Having a full career, a family, a marriage, physical fitness, a full spiritual experience (i.e. not just showing up somewhere on Sunday and calling it good), and maybe a second master’s degree, and oh, also writing, and sleep, and the occasional night out and other things that contribute to good health, well, these things all cost time and energy. And I find that time and energy are not infinite for me, so that means I need to prioritize. I tend to prioritize in order of what costs the least energy and time so that I can cram the most in. Because to shorten that list seems like admitting some kind of failure. A full spiritual life (as I would have it) takes a lot of time and energy. And I keep finding reasons to push it further down the list of things I make time for.
Obviously I’m having group intimacy issues, among other things. My mind is busying it up enough that I don’t have to deal with that in isolation. I haven’t really worked through leaving Reclaiming and the demise of my last group. I recently recognized that I have shaken myself out of depression by moving on several occasions. Once I saw this, it really helped me frame my behavior and impulses in a way that kept me sane and headed in an intentional direction (rather than one dictated by a lack of serotonin). I suspect this is the same pattern – to knock myself out of something by seeking something new to absorb.
SMH. Depression is always, always a factor. It’s been creeping up again, despite the medication. I stopped seeing my therapist in February mostly because I got too busy and had some transportation difficulties… but that’s not true now, and I’m still not making it happen. It’s so funny to me that most people get the creeping black when the weather gets darker and colder. I get it when the weather gets sunnier and warmer. I am truly an oddball.