Friday, January 24, 2014

The Razor's Edge

I feel like I'm getting mixed signals from the universe. I'm strangely okay with this. I guess I'm used to being knocked around by the Gods. And I no longer suffer the burden of needing to be an expert or needing to feel like I've got everything figured out, so I feel freer to experiment and change direction when needed. I enjoy that as I grow as an individual I become a more humble person. I don't feel so bad about being honest about my spiritual struggles.

My last two posts have been about my reexamination of Druidism. I had a deep nostalgia for that part of my life and decided to crack open the books and shared with you a desire to maybe start a new group. And I do think that is what I've missed a great deal. I used to have a really great job of writing and leading rituals. For someone who has always felt, no matter the religion currently practiced, that I have a priestly calling, the fact that I was a Druid priest in practice, if not title, was very satisfying for me. I love ritual. And I love being able to facilitate great rituals for the Gods and the participants. Being a part of a group that strove to be of service to the community felt right and good. I felt purposeful.

Tie that in with parts of Druidism that just made sense, like the focus on nature, and it's easy to see why I loved the path so much. I have such fond memories of campfires, music, singing, and laughter late into the night. I miss the feeling of family that I had with the close-knit group of people that I used to work with. I'm still friends with many of those people today, but I haven't been a part of a group that worked and played together so closely in a very long time. I miss very much certain ways I used to live my life. Not all the ways. I'm very honest about the very self-centered and insensitive person I was when I was younger. But, there are aspects of the kind of spiritual person I was that I have wanted very much to integrate into who I am today.

However, as I've been looking at Druidism again I've had to really think about how much of what I missed was particularly Druidic and how much was simply being a more spiritual person in general. It could very well be that I've been focusing on philosophy so much that my spiritual life has suffered. I haven't made any time for ritual or meditation or really spending any time in nature. My time spent exclusively as a Hellenic polytheist wasn't spent actually practicing the religion. It was studying the philosophy, which I love. It has changed my life. And it was time spent speaking/arguing with political extremists which I didn't love so much.

That's made it really tough to be sure of what I've been feeling or what I should be doing spiritually. I mainly went with my feelings when I started gravitating toward Druidism again, but kept my eyes and ears open for signs. Perhaps this might sound stupidly superstitious to my more secular friends, but I do believe that the Gods speak to us. In simple ways, mostly. Usually intuition, sometimes other signs that make sense to us. One of the reasons that I kept flip-flopping for months about Hellenismos is because every single time I would change my mind about the religion, signs would crop up. Mentions of the Gods in the most random of places, even work. A commercial, a song. References to Ancient Greece. Even  yesterday, just as I was thinking about all of this stuff again, I went to see what the reading for my class was. Keep in mind that it is not one of my philosophy classes, and it is not one of my Greek classics classes. The reading was a selection from Antigone, written by Sophocles. This might not sound like such a big deal to you, but to me it was a shock. Just moments after wanting a sign, I get my own Hellenic name in big bold letters on my computer screen, in the last place I expected to find it. That alone is not anything conclusive. It could simply be a matter of coincidence. Anyone would be right to think so. Sometimes I even think so. When moments like that happen so often, though, you start to think that there is more to what you are experiencing.

So, what to do? Some kind of balance needs to be achieved. I may have gotten a lot of things wrong when I was younger, but I did somehow feel more spiritually alive. It certainly wasn't because of my morality or my eating habits. It certainly did not stem from any abundance of material success. I think that it came from being of service and feeling as though I was acknowledging  my calling and doing something about it. I do want to be more involved, and get passed the theoretical aspects of religion. I wanted to blame Hellenismos for my feeling spiritually numb, but I'm starting to think that I did that to myself by not really being engaged in the religion.. any religion.

I don't feel as though the Greek Gods are done with me. They call me too much. And I also feel great joy in acknowledging my Celtic ancestry. I feel a great pull to now integrate all the parts of myself. I am mix of many different peoples, and their traditions have worked their ways into my life on multiple occasions. As a mystic and philosopher, I enjoy the tapestry, and I want to be a part of all of it.

2 comments:

  1. Steven, you are a Druid at heart my dear!

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  2. Maybe. Although I'm not sure I know what it means to be a Druid at heart. I think that I can say I am a mystic at heart, and a philosopher too. I certainly think the Druids were philosophers and mystics. But I don't know if that makes me a Druid... I feel a pull in that direction, but I also feel a pull toward the Hellenic tradition too.

    I'm trying my best to understand my feelings.

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