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Author Topic: Discovering What's Missing  (Read 9447 times)

Firaza

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Discovering What's Missing
« on: July 06, 2011, 08:21:39 pm »
Sorry if this is in the wrong place!

This thread in the Reformed Kemeticism SIG, particularly Devo's first post, got me thinking: Recently, I've been suffering from a spiritual block. I recognize the connection I have with my Gods, but I don't have the motivation to practice as I want to in the typical Kemetic sense. Meanwhile, I have always been incredibly moved by the power and energy I feel around Shinto shrines. After studying in Japan, I returned home with a renewed respect for and interest in the pervasiveness of Shinto in the Japanese culture.

While suffering this spiritual block, I thought that if I forced myself to make offerings and do ritual as I've always done them, I'd break through the block. However, Devo's post made me wonder if following a different path is actually the answer, and if it could help me find what I feel is missing.

I'm not sure what I'm asking in this thread. I guess, if anyone has felt this way before, what did you do? I'm not looking to leave Kemeticism; I love my Gods and my Patron especially. Yet I feel like Kemeticism is not inspiring me to put that spirituality and love into practice.

Sage

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Re: Discovering What's Missing
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2011, 08:29:06 pm »
Quote from: Firaza;2253

I'm not sure what I'm asking in this thread. I guess, if anyone has felt this way before, what did you do? I'm not looking to leave Kemeticism; I love my Gods and my Patron especially. Yet I feel like Kemeticism is not inspiring me to put that spirituality and love into practice.

 
I've been watching the various discussions in the Kemeticism SIG with a lot of interest. To an extent, I've been where you are now - I worked with Athena and Dionysus for nearly all of my Paganhood, but was still struggling spiritually and unable to find the connection I needed. I felt nudged in the direction of Druidry and have now found a host of Celtic deities (Brighid and Manannan, at the moment) who are opening new paths for me. While I feel that I can (or will) one day return to the Theoi, right now Hellenic work has completely dropped off my radar. (My one exception is honoring Persephone's ascent from and descent to the underworld during the Spring and Fall Equinoxes.)

Sometimes... you just really need a change of scenery. And now you have the background experience to know what's spiritually effective for you, how much time you have to spend on devotions, and what you're looking for in a religious path. It can be scary and disconcerting, especially if you have the sense of your gods pushing you out of the nest to see if you can fly. It was really scary to feel like Athena and Dionysus were just cutting me loose to go do my own thing.

Maybe your Patron (Set, is it?) will follow you into the wild and wooly reaches of Japanese folk religion. Maybe He'll stand to the side and wait for you to learn whatever it is you need to learn. But I do believe that our gods want what's best for us and have a unique vantage point we just can't see from. Something that may seem aimless and random to you may be just what the doctor ordered. Best of luck, Firaza.
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
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What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

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Starglade

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Re: Discovering What's Missing
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2011, 08:31:39 pm »
Quote from: Firaza;2253
Sorry if this is in the wrong place!


 
Sounds similar to what happened to me a few years ago. Check out my post in the "Who are you working with" thread--I think it's in the Interfaith folder, but don't quote me (so to speak). I'm very inept at technical things like linking to threads and such. I pretty much sent up a flare saying "I'm here, who's listening?"
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Firaza

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Re: Discovering What's Missing
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2011, 08:38:45 pm »
Quote from: Sage;2256
Sometimes... you just really need a change of scenery. And now you have the background experience to know what's spiritually effective for you, how much time you have to spend on devotions, and what you're looking for in a religious path. It can be scary and disconcerting, especially if you have the sense of your gods pushing you out of the nest to see if you can fly. It was really scary to feel like Athena and Dionysus were just cutting me loose to go do my own thing.

Maybe your Patron (Set, is it?) will follow you into the wild and wooly reaches of Japanese folk religion. Maybe He'll stand to the side and wait for you to learn whatever it is you need to learn. But I do believe that our gods want what's best for us and have a unique vantage point we just can't see from. Something that may seem aimless and random to you may be just what the doctor ordered. Best of luck, Firaza.

 
Thank you. I still feel my Patron's presence strongly, though Anpu (not Set, though I have worked with Him before) tends to be the type to silently watch as I go about my life, giving advice only when I seek it. Maybe I should consult Him, as I've always done.

For months, I've struggled with the knowledge that I get so much from even simply observing Shinto practices versus the feeling of obligation to the Kemetic path. I dealt with it by putting off any decision-making, blaming my busy school schedule instead for my lack of practice. Maybe it's time to jump into the fire feet-first.

veggiewolf

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Re: Discovering What's Missing
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2011, 08:41:41 pm »
Quote from: Firaza;2253

...
I'm not sure what I'm asking in this thread. I guess, if anyone has felt this way before, what did you do? I'm not looking to leave Kemeticism; I love my Gods and my Patron especially. Yet I feel like Kemeticism is not inspiring me to put that spirituality and love into practice.


If it helps (and I don't know if it will), I believe Set pushed me into FlameKeeping in order to sync "-doxis" with "-praxis"...and I didn't know it was He at the time.  The work I need to do is best served by acting my beliefs and I wasn't doing that before FK.  Neither of my Gods have deserted me in the process and, I think, it has enabled me to be able to make a full commitment to ritual on a regular basis as of Wep Ronpet.
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Firaza

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Re: Discovering What's Missing
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2011, 08:55:18 pm »
Quote from: Starglade;2259
Sounds similar to what happened to me a few years ago. Check out my post in the "Who are you working with" thread--I think it's in the Interfaith folder, but don't quote me (so to speak). I'm very inept at technical things like linking to threads and such. I pretty much sent up a flare saying "I'm here, who's listening?"

 
I went to read it. I'm familiar with Buddhism and do, in fact, take a few Buddhist teachings to heart, but for me, they are more like life guidelines. What's more fascinating (and powerful) to me is just how accepted Shinto is among the Japanese.

During one of my first days in Japan, I went on a tour of Inuyama Castle. The tour guide said, quite matter-of-factly, as if it were the most normal concept in the world, that the broken tree next to the castle had protected the castle from a lightning strike that would have destroyed one of Japan's national treasures. That alone was reason enough for the Japanese to believe that a kami lived in the tree. They had erected a roof over the remains of the tree and had tied gohei around the trunk. The Japanese regularly leave offerings of lucky coins at the tree's base, thanking the kami for protecting the castle.

I was so affected by the kami's power -- a power I tangibly felt, standing next to the tree -- that it's been with me ever since.

Hmm, I'm not really sure where I wanted to go with that rambling. :p Hopefully it's elaborated on what I'm basically looking for.

Firaza

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Re: Discovering What's Missing
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2011, 08:57:17 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;2274
If it helps (and I don't know if it will), I believe Set pushed me into FlameKeeping in order to sync "-doxis" with "-praxis"...and I didn't know it was He at the time.  The work I need to do is best served by acting my beliefs and I wasn't doing that before FK.  Neither of my Gods have deserted me in the process and, I think, it has enabled me to be able to make a full commitment to ritual on a regular basis as of Wep Ronpet.

 
That's what I need! Something that will get me to act out my beliefs in everyday life, as I'm not inclined to the priestly path.

Sage

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Re: Discovering What's Missing
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2011, 09:01:53 pm »
Quote from: Firaza;2271
Thank you. I still feel my Patron's presence strongly, though Anpu (not Set, though I have worked with Him before) tends to be the type to silently watch as I go about my life, giving advice only when I seek it. Maybe I should consult Him, as I've always done.


Anpu, got it. I read so much from the Kemetic SIG I probably got you confused with someone else. :D Definitely, ask Him for some advice. Sometimes being really upfront and honest is the best. Let Him know you're worried/upset, but also looking forward to whatever-it-is.

Quote
I dealt with it by putting off any decision-making, blaming my busy school schedule instead for my lack of practice. Maybe it's time to jump into the fire feet-first.

 
Been there, done that, t-shirt in the mail. :)
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

Sage and Starshine (my spiritual blog): last updated 2/25.
Friday Otherfaith Blogging: last updated 2/27
Join the Emboatening Crew over on Kiva! Emboatening the boatless since Opet 2013.

veggiewolf

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Re: Discovering What's Missing
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2011, 09:23:18 pm »
Quote from: Firaza;2286
That's what I need! Something that will get me to act out my beliefs in everyday life, as I'm not inclined to the priestly path.


I've not worked with Anpu, but it could be that the restlessness means you need to explore another path for now...and that He is leading/pushing you toward that decision.  I'd ask Him, like Ellen suggested.

(shameless plug - I'd also suggest you look at FK, since Shad makes me mention it to everyone.)
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

Devo

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Re: Discovering What's Missing
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2011, 09:48:20 pm »
Quote from: Sage;2291
Anpu, got it. I read so much from the Kemetic SIG I probably got you confused with someone else. :D Definitely, ask Him for some advice. Sometimes being really upfront and honest is the best. Let Him know you're worried/upset, but also looking forward to whatever-it-is.

 
Probably me XD I'm Kemetic, and on the Shinto path as well- and work with Set :P

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Devo

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Re: Discovering What's Missing
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2011, 09:50:08 pm »
Quote from: Firaza;2286
That's what I need! Something that will get me to act out my beliefs in everyday life, as I'm not inclined to the priestly path.

 
I really love this about Shintoism. It's so peaceful. So simple. When I was focusing on Shintoism, I didn't feel the need to GODORITUALEXACTLYRIGHTEVERYDAY. I just was. It was nice.

If you're interested in exploring Shintoism, I'd recommend you look into Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America. Rev. Barrish is very good at explaining things, and pointing people in the right direction. They have an FB page which is also nice.

Not sure if there is much else I can offer about your situation. It's probably best to just take the plunge, and see where you end up :)

-Devo
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Firaza

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Re: Discovering What's Missing
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2011, 10:17:27 pm »
Quote from: Devo;2322
I really love this about Shintoism. It's so peaceful. So simple. When I was focusing on Shintoism, I didn't feel the need to GODORITUALEXACTLYRIGHTEVERYDAY. I just was. It was nice.

If you're interested in exploring Shintoism, I'd recommend you look into Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America. Rev. Barrish is very good at explaining things, and pointing people in the right direction. They have an FB page which is also nice.

Not sure if there is much else I can offer about your situation. It's probably best to just take the plunge, and see where you end up :)

-Devo

 
I've heard of the Tsubaki Grand Shrine and have made it one of my goals to visit it as soon as I can. I live on the East Coast, though, so getting to Washington state is a bit of a trip for me! I guess I'll have to work up the courage to contact the Reverend if it comes to it.

Devo

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Re: Discovering What's Missing
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2011, 10:20:21 pm »
Quote from: Firaza;2346
I've heard of the Tsubaki Grand Shrine and have made it one of my goals to visit it as soon as I can. I live on the East Coast, though, so getting to Washington state is a bit of a trip for me! I guess I'll have to work up the courage to contact the Reverend if it comes to it.


I would love to make a shrine visit, but am also pretty far away. Doesn't mean you can't still get involved with the shrine, if it really calls to you. They offer memberships to people, and the Rev. will perform regular rites for you and your family throughout the year. Usually gets you an ofuda and all of that as well- if you wanted one.

I still interact regularly through the FB group. Allows me to learn things without having to ask questions directly.

-Devo
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Re: Discovering What's Missing
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2011, 10:24:35 pm »
Quote from: Firaza;2271
Thank you. I still feel my Patron's presence strongly, though Anpu (not Set, though I have worked with Him before) tends to be the type to silently watch as I go about my life, giving advice only when I seek it. Maybe I should consult Him, as I've always done.

 
I mean, if it's helpful to remember, Anpu is called "Guide to the Lost" for good reason, and if anyone understands moving on the edges between worlds, He does.  That and, well, psychopomps are everywhere because Their work is everywhere, all the time.  I don't think you'd have to leave Him behind.
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Starglade

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Re: Discovering What's Missing
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2011, 11:03:21 pm »
Quote from: Firaza;2284
I went to read it. I'm familiar with Buddhism and do, in fact, take a few Buddhist teachings to heart, but for me, they are more like life guidelines. What's more fascinating (and powerful) to me is just how accepted Shinto is among the Japanese.



Hmm, I'm not really sure where I wanted to go with that rambling. :p Hopefully it's elaborated on what I'm basically looking for.


I understand what you're saying. For me, that's what I got when I started studying Vajrayana. Buddhism as practiced in Tibet is different from any other form, in any country--for many of the same reasons as you outlined and hinted at w/r/t Shinto in Japan. Because they've subsumed so much of the pre-Buddhism animism (the Bon religion) into the Buddhist form they practice, Tibetans take many of the same kinds of things in stride. I tried to touch on that at the old board, w/r/t prayer wheels. They're ALL OVER the place in Tibet, not only at temples. Every time one passes a prayer wheel, one turns it. One need not be a priest or a monk or a nun, one just--does it. It's what's expected, and one knows that by doing so one sends prayers to the heavens, accumulates merit and positive karma, etc. Spirits (including demons and such) are everywhere, and everyone--including the priests--is aware of them and of what one needs to do for protection, propitiation, etc.

While I have never been, and probably will never be, able to visit personally, my readings have given me a very solid sense of what that must be like--and I am drawn to it. I want that pervasive sense of oneness, that my practice is my life and my life is my practice. I found it in Vajrayana.

I hope that you will find it wherever is best for you.
"The Eightfold Path is sometimes called the pathless path. Each step brings a growing awareness that enlightenment is in the here and now--in the world and in our relationships as we read these words . . . now." -- Jonathan White
http://grammargeddon.com

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