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Week 7

On the night after I wrote my last Meditation and Devotion post I became very sick. I’d just written how my daily practice had become a central part of my life, and then I was bedridden for days; unable to maintain my normal routine.

I lost about 3 days of meditation and devotion, and when I returned on February 12th, still a bit stoned from Nyquil, I felt completely shaken and unable to focus. I described it like this in my journal:

“…it felt as though there was a kind of hood over my inner eye. I felt like my inner vision was blocked off along the edges.”

The low energy and sinus pain continued on the following day, and things began to clear up on February 14th. That was also the day that I noticed that, as I put it,

“The trance-like intensity of my daily devotions and meditations has waned. Given, I am no longer in the thick of an intense creative process – or, at least, not the same creative process – but it is strange to me the way this is starting to feel ‘ordinary’.”

I was forced, due to the illness, to cancel a very important event in my life; what felt like, at the time, the culmination of much of the creative work I’ve done so far this year. On that day, February 16th, I was wrecked. I rushed through making offerings, drew cards but couldn’t see any meaning in them, and then closed the Hallows without offering thanks to Brighid and the Kindred. I was so upset that the illness had disrupted my life as it had.

Week 8

What brought me back into a pattern of meditation and devotion was the tarot. I put my focus on the spreads I’d lay after making my offerings, and those spreads began to show more sign that they were coming from the Kindred; they offered new insight, creating greater context for why I’d become ill and what I had to learn from the experience.

All of my entries during this week are heavy on the tarot interpretation. I focussed little on stillness in meditation, and went through the ritual of making offerings with a slight mechanical nature. The cards were my main focus, and they were what brought me back into an awareness of the mystery of this daily work.

Week 9

I reached a point where I was beginning to feel like my practice was solely a tarot practice, and not an extension of worship. I wrote on February 25th:

I’m having a difficult time starting this entry. I have a 3 card spread before me, and this is beginning to feel like a Tarot Journal rather than a journal to document my spiritual growth. Every day I perform my devotional ritual, and every day I sit down to draw cards. I ask the Kindred to guide my hands and send a message, and yet as I sit here now, staring at the cards, reading their interpretations in the DruidCraft book, I feel alone, and very much in my head. The rest of the experience feels spiritual, but trying to make sense of the cards launches me into a mental tailspin.

What is this time designed to do?

What had given me an entry way back into this daily time – the tarot – was now pulling me out of the moment.

I notice as I look back on the rest of the Week 9 entries that I’ve created a pattern of documenting my daily time. Each entry starts with 1 or 2 paragraphs of reflection. Then, usually somewhat abruptly, I write about the card reading. The rest of the entry is about the cards, and I don’t seem to spend much time contextualizing them or connecting them back to my initial reflection.

I tried that this morning, and I noticed that my mind went to a million different places. I think it is time for me to return to the DP material and search out techniques to control my mind. It’s time to bring more mental discipline into my practice.

I’ve been moving too fast. Ever since Imbolc, and the completion of my deep Winter creative project, I’ve been rushing forward without a clear sense of direction. Movement for movement’s sake, really. Last week, just before I was set to undergo another intense creative project, my body gave out under the pressure.

Illness struck hard. My temperature rose to 102 degrees with little warning, and my corners and edges began to ache. Sweat to chill and back to sweat again; this would be my pattern for days. There would be no working; no business. I was down for the count.

I did not meditate or practice my morning devotional for the first 3 days I had the flu. It was the only time since I began my discipline that I’ve taken this long away from my altar. I put that work aside, trusting that there would be no severe spiritual repercussions from taking a few down days (I don’t think The Kindred work that way).¬†When I returned to it, I felt weak. Lost. Uncertain of what this setback meant. I was upset that I’d been unable to keep up my pace. And, as it turns out, keeping up the pace may be the problem.

My great grandmother showed up again yesterday. She came with the message that if I don’t slow down – if I don’t rest even more than I think I am – I will miss an opportunity. I won’t be prepared for it. This isn’t unlike her last communication, so apparently I haven’t gotten the message yet.

The idea of releasing the need to make everything move forward is a bit scary. I think I’m motivated to action – in my spiritual work and in my career – by the fear that if I stand still everything will fall apart. Then I get the message from an Ancestor – stand still. I’m not sure I know how to do that.

I call out to all of my friends in the blogosphere with this inquiry:

How do you do it? How do you slow down? Any tips for a movement-addict?