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Author Topic: "I don't do workings when I'm sick."  (Read 1951 times)

Queen of Swords

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"I don't do workings when I'm sick."
« on: November 04, 2015, 12:46:34 am »
I've come across quite a few people in different places who have said, off-handedly, that they don't do magical workings/ritual/divination when they're ill. I could guess at why this might be, but I'd rather ask. Would anyone here who abstains in this way care to explain why?

Ghost235

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Re: "I don't do workings when I'm sick."
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2015, 02:02:05 pm »
Quote from: Queen of Swords;181855
I've come across quite a few people in different places who have said, off-handedly, that they don't do magical workings/ritual/divination when they're ill. I could guess at why this might be, but I'd rather ask. Would anyone here who abstains in this way care to explain why?


Good question.

For me it comes down to ability.  If I'm sick I know I'm not going to do any form of working(magical or otherwise) as well.  If I can possibly wait then I will do so and do it right later when I'm better.

Aisling

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Re: "I don't do workings when I'm sick."
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2015, 03:47:33 pm »
Quote from: Queen of Swords;181855
I've come across quite a few people in different places who have said, off-handedly, that they don't do magical workings/ritual/divination when they're ill. I could guess at why this might be, but I'd rather ask. Would anyone here who abstains in this way care to explain why?


Prior to being diagnosed with a serious chronic illness, I would abstain from working while sick due to not being at my peak mentally or physically. Much of my religious work/ritual is liminal which can sometimes be intense and draining. This kind of work also requires being clear-headed enough to judge where it is and is not safe to tread. Being as healthy as possible for a working allowed me to give it my full focus and complete the work without being sucked dry or making really dumb mistakes.  

With long term/chronic illness, abstaining while ill isn't really an option if one wants to continue practicing.  I have had to shift my mindset about abstaining for this reason.  Unless I am too physically or mentally incapacitated to safely do the work, I will go ahead with the ritual, modifying it if necessary.  

For example, my Samhain ritual went forward as scheduled even though I'd had a major surgery the week prior. I didn't feel 'well', but was well enough  to do what needed to be done.  If I'd still been taking the combination of opiod pain medications they'd given me at the hospital, I would have abstained from the work as opiods destroy my sense of danger and self-preservation, both of which are pretty vital in liminal work.

Unfortunately opiods also make it easier to slip across boundaries.  I recall my guardian dragging me to firmly back in this world the last time I was given morphine, because I decided that it would be fun to find the Grim Reaper (which is how Death typically appears to me) and play his rib cage like a xylophone. That was an instance when abstaining from religious work/ritual while ill was a really, really good idea. :whis:
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Re: "I don't do workings when I'm sick."
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2015, 09:42:35 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;181897
With long term/chronic illness, abstaining while ill isn't really an option if one wants to continue practicing.

This. Although my problems are relatively minor (almost all sinus-related), the fact that no treatment really gets me completely well means my choice is to never do anything or do the best I can. For example, this year my post-nasal drip has triggered a cough (that no medicine will stop) that started last month and may go on until spring. My choice is to cough my way through my rituals or skip them for a few months.
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Re: "I don't do workings when I'm sick."
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2015, 10:08:24 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;181910
For example, this year my post-nasal drip has triggered a cough (that no medicine will stop) that started last month and may go on until spring. My choice is to cough my way through my rituals or skip them for a few months.

 
I go through something similar every spring, but it's the sniffle that will not die, rather than a cough. It annoys the hell out of me, but nothing seems to make it stop, other than the end of spring pollen season.
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Queen of Swords

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Re: "I don't do workings when I'm sick."
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2015, 07:42:10 pm »
Quote from: Aisling;181897
With long term/chronic illness, abstaining while ill isn't really an option if one wants to continue practicing. I have had to shift my mindset about abstaining for this reason. Unless I am too physically or mentally incapacitated to safely do the work, I will go ahead with the ritual, modifying it if necessary.


Quote from: RandallS;181910
This. Although my problems are relatively minor (almost all sinus-related), the fact that no treatment really gets me completely well means my choice is to never do anything or do the best I can. For example, this year my post-nasal drip has triggered a cough (that no medicine will stop) that started last month and may go on until spring. My choice is to cough my way through my rituals or skip them for a few months.


I have two pretty serious (by which I mean debilitating) chronic conditions, hence my curiosity. I have some personal experience with the notion that engaging in certain activities takes something out of you, so my body puts a hard limit on what I can do and when I can do it, but if I had to wait to be completely well I would never get to do anything either.

Thank you for your input Randall, Aisling, and Ghost235!

Jabberwocky

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Re: "I don't do workings when I'm sick."
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2015, 02:46:34 pm »
Quote from: Queen of Swords;181855
I've come across quite a few people in different places who have said, off-handedly, that they don't do magical workings/ritual/divination when they're ill. I could guess at why this might be, but I'd rather ask. Would anyone here who abstains in this way care to explain why?

 
For me, it's because workings are something I do for a purpose (including because I feel like doing one). They aren't part of a religion or even a regular practice.

And I'm more likely to feel like doing them if I feel well.

That's minor sniffles etc. With migraines, it's more simple. I'm too busy vomiting from the pain to do anything but lie down in a darkened room.
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catonmyshirt

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Re: "I don't do workings when I'm sick."
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2015, 03:33:04 pm »
Quote from: Queen of Swords;181855
Would anyone here who abstains in this way care to explain why?

 
I always avoid doing any spirit work or divination when I'm sick or my allergies are particularly bad. For those things especially, I like to have a clear head when I practice (who knows what I'd encounter if I'm unable to think straight!).
And I do tend to shy away from the more complicated spells and rituals when I'm feeling under the weather, but I still try to practice as best I can. Usually that just ends up being me lighting a candle and meditating, and then sometimes falling asleep. Oops.

Jenett

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Re: "I don't do workings when I'm sick."
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2015, 06:25:03 pm »
Quote from: Queen of Swords;181855
I've come across quite a few people in different places who have said, off-handedly, that they don't do magical workings/ritual/divination when they're ill. I could guess at why this might be, but I'd rather ask. Would anyone here who abstains in this way care to explain why?

 
I've been meaning to comment on this since it was posted, but, um, spoons.

I have chronic stuff, and usually one or the other thing is being notably difficult, but in combination they are not too horrible. (By which I mean I work full time, but I'm really careful about planning time/energy outside of work, because I don't have a lot spare.)

There's a couple of different pieces for me, and there's also, I think, different kinds of being unwell.

I think, in other words, that the solutions for handling magic, ritual, daily practice, etc. are different if you're talking about

a) an acute, unusual thing (which can be as relatively minor as a cold, or a lot bigger)
b) a chronic acute thing (where it is taking up a lot of space in your life right now, but probably won't forever)
or
c) a chronic ongoing thing (where you need to figure out what is a long-term option for you, and what isn't, and what you can occasionally do, but need to plan for/adapt/etc. On the other hand, because it's long-term, you have time to figure out what the things are that help.)

There's also another axis, which is about medication, effects of medication, self-care, effects of self-care, sleep, effects of sleep, seasonal change, weather, etc. where stuff (for the two more chronic options, and sometimes for the acute stuff too) can really change what's functional or feasible for you.

(And of course, bodies being bodies, just because you have b or c, doesn't mean you also don't come down with a cold or whatever.)

So. Me.

If I have an acute thing, I usually put off anything complex magically or ritually, because the extra acute on top of the chronic makes it just really tricky. Where 'complex' involves more than three or four steps and/or raising and focusing energy for a specific goal.

Sometimes it's a judgement call: I came down with a cold ten days ago (yay, planes), and went and did Samhain with friends a week ago. But that was Samhain, I had specific people I wanted to honour who'd died in the past year, and our plans were not very demanding or high energy for me.

In general, I use the rule of thumb of roughly "Am I currently competent to make a meal involving the same number of steps as this ritual? If not, I should delay the working"

For chronic stuff, however, I adapt my practice, so that my general practice is something I can sustain a reasonable chunk of the time. For me, this involves a lot of things that don't require much attention or focus in the moment: jewelry, password choices, images for computer desktops, playlists, what I'm reading and how I'm thinking about it, more than 'I must do this ritual this morning'.

When I have more energy/focus/time, I do more things, but I really do think that taking chronic illness seriously as a second or third shift job is pretty necessary (which is to say, even if you're not actively feeling miserable, managing chronic health issues generally takes additional time/energy/resources above and beyond ordinary daily living tasks, and I don't do well in a situation where all my spare energy beyond that is going into ritual or magic, at least not long-term.)

For chronic stuff that is currently flaring and being unusually demandingly annoying, I think really hard about what I want to accomplish, the most efficient way to do that, and then plan to spend several days of my spare energy outside of work doing it. (Usually a day to prep everything, a day to clean sufficiently to do ritual, a day to do ritual/working, and a day to clean up.

I know from experience that if things are that iffy for me, I will not manage to do anything *else* other than the bare basics for those four days, which is really good incentive to go "How much do I want this ritual/magical thing?" (Because I would also like to be able to talk to friends, maybe see them, cook more than the absolute bare minimum needed to manage food, read, knit, etc.)
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Sobekemiti

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Re: "I don't do workings when I'm sick."
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2015, 02:31:36 am »
Quote from: Queen of Swords;181855
I've come across quite a few people in different places who have said, off-handedly, that they don't do magical workings/ritual/divination when they're ill. I could guess at why this might be, but I'd rather ask. Would anyone here who abstains in this way care to explain why?


Ritual is mostly affected by this, because I do ritual devotions morning and evening. Generally, I will stay away from shrine if I'm not feeling well enough. It's about how I feel, and my ability to do ritual, but also about not bringing that stuff into shrine with my gods.

I actually just had a period of time last month where I was sick, which is not a common occurrence for me, and I stayed away from shrine for about ten days. I also had menstruation to deal with, so I felt worse than usual, and that also affected my purity and ability to carry out my rituals. I didn't handle any of my statuary until yesterday, which was about a couple of weeks after I recovered. I had a period of spiritual recovery/purification after I had physically recovered, while I waited to become pure enough to touch my shrine again. I had been doing my rituals again, but not touching anything sacred except for my prayer beads.

I did one magical working during that time, a healing spell, because everyone in my house was sick, and it felt necessary. (What is the point in doing healing spells for yourself when you are well? That is not when I need healing spells.) But I didn't do my daily rituals. My living situation means I can't keep the shrine as ritually pure as some might prefer, since it has to be in my bedroom, but it does mean that if I'm not well enough to be in shrine, I don't open it up to limit its exposure to, well. To the rest of it. The best thing I can do for my gods is rest and take care of myself when I'm sick, rather than be in shrine.

I was well enough to do my High Day ritual on the 31st, though, but those, to me, are different to my daily devotions, and the altar/shrine I use for those doesn't have the same stringent care-and-feeding requirements as my main shrine, so it wasn't a problem.

Migraines, I tend to take one at a time. Sometimes, they aren't enough of a bother and I can get through my rituals and it's fine. But some days, it's not worth it. Sometimes, this means no rituals at all, but sometimes, if it's come on during the day, I'll just close up the shrine without ritual in the evening, and leave it for another day.

So much of it depends on how I feel, and what I'm doing. Sometimes, it's fine to keep going, but other times, abstinence is required, so I can heal, and keep the shrine clean.

Though, I can't tell you how good it felt to finally return to my daily rituals after ten days of not doing them. I missed the scent of incense, and the peace of that brief time with my gods. It was a break in my routine that I didn't want, but had to put up with, because I wasn't well enough to be in shrine.
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Re: "I don't do workings when I'm sick."
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2015, 06:05:01 pm »
Quote from: Queen of Swords;181855
I've come across quite a few people in different places who have said, off-handedly, that they don't do magical workings/ritual/divination when they're ill. I could guess at why this might be, but I'd rather ask. Would anyone here who abstains in this way care to explain why?

 
I have some-sort-of-chronic-pain-that's-probably-arthritis (the rheum is currently working on it), so I definitely can't just not work magic when I'm sick.

Instead, I stick to things that are pretty low spoons for me. F'ex I pretty much exclusively practice 'low' or folk magic, which is not as energy draining as even reading about ritual magic (YMMV, of course). So I can make myself a hot toddy with a bit of ~woo~ when it's cold out and my knees are swelling, instead of doing a lot of energy work, casting circles, or going into trance states. Or I'll sit down in a comfortable position with my tarot deck and do some readings. Anything that leaves me enough spoons to still do everything else I want/need to.

However, when I'm in a really bad flare or have some sort of acute illness, I do tend to let my practice slide. Mostly because my back is in so much pain that I can't really think about much else or I've taken pain killers that make me even more tired than my usual fatigue. That's mostly about self-care for me, rather than a belief that magic wouldn't work (or work correctly) in those circumstances.

I've only just started really getting interested in Roman revivalism, so I'm not sure how this would work in a religious context, rather than with my fairly secular magic practice.

habbalah

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Re: "I don't do workings when I'm sick."
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2015, 10:17:11 pm »
Quote from: jsquared;182050
(snip)


Depends on how you feel, like pretty much anything. A friend of mine won't do work when she's sick, unless it's destruction magic.

Me, I worry more about my mood than being sick, unless it's severe. I have chronic pain, so if I waited until a day I felt well, I'd never do anything. If I'm in a bad mood, I try not to even go into my work room. If I'm terribly, laid out sick, I similarly stay away. Might as well keep the negative energy out.
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Scales

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Re: "I don't do workings when I'm sick."
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2015, 09:55:38 pm »
Quote from: Queen of Swords;181855
I've come across quite a few people in different places who have said, off-handedly, that they don't do magical workings/ritual/divination when they're ill. I could guess at why this might be, but I'd rather ask. Would anyone here who abstains in this way care to explain why?

 
For philosophical reasons I'm fine with it (although I'd like to have showered, taken medicine, etc if I have a cold and am about to do something), but I just generally can't. I have long term health issues and just end up not realizing weeks of time have passed, and in that state I don't realize I'm not doing magic (although if I did, I'd be worried about exhausting myself, unless that was specifically the point of it).

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