Dry Spells (Kemetic Roundtable #02a)

Dry spells. The Fallow Times. Times when you have absolutely no contact with gods or goddesses. You don’t often hear about them unless you really dig in some of the forums. Why?

They’re not that interesting to talk about. “I got nothing today” isn’t worth posting on a forum. It’s even too dull to use as a facebook status, and that’s dull indeed!

It’s painful too. Everyone around you is relaying their happy experiences with their gods, sharing a soda with Sekhmet, going on shopping trips with their best friends from the Duat. The gods just don’t seem to like you much at the moment. “Whyyyyy?!?! What have I done to make them mad at me?”

The Delta Swamp and the Red Desert

English: American crocodiles taking the sun at...

Image via Wikipedia

Individual experiences vary. Some of us live in the swamp where it’s too wet to walk from one place to another. We’re up to our necks in Netjeru contact. We can get overwhelming tasks and assignments- a far cry from fun little shopping jaunts. How can we get all that extra work done and cope with the day-to-day living? If all that extra work starts to get in the way of daily life, does it start to look like a variety of obsessive delusion? And when a drought hits it’s devastating. Daily practice slacks off, becomes weekly, monthly, or never starts up again.

Some of the swamp folks do amazing stuff with all that water. I suspect others get stuck in the mud or drown.

Egypts "black desert".

Image via Wikipedia

For the desert-dwellers it’s a different problem. No water in view anywhere.  No clear communication. Try to collect morning dew? Chase after that mirage that looks like an oasis? Ignore an oasis thinking it’s a mirage? Figure out what you’re supposed to be doing, when you get only the thinnest of hints, if you get hints at all. I think a lot of people start pantheon-hopping. If the Egyptian gods don’t like you, maybe the Greek ones will? No? How about Norse? Mayan? Some people give up entirely.


English: Mirage in Libyan desert between Aswan...

Image via Wikipedia

The other desert problem is uncertainty. Should you chase that oasis? Is what you’re doing completely and utterly wrong, and making the gods angrier every day, or are you on the right track? They’re  not talking, at least in an unambiguous voice.

Where’s the balance?

It looks like it’s one or the other, and it’s not common to see someone on the middle ground. Maybe this religious landscape is like Egypt, with a clear line between the black inundation soil and the red desert?  Feast or famine.

You’re not alone:

There isn’t a lot of discussion on Kemetic boards about this. One of the most interesting places to look is eCauldron, one of the best multi-path pagan forums.

Divine Communication. Do gods from different pantheons have different expectations/styles? How does that effect us?

Crisis of faith. Are politheist gods omnipresent? Are they ignoring you? What expectations do you have? Does depression block communication?

Depression… and Spirituality. Another take on the ‘busy signal’ or ‘no answer’ from the gods.

Keeping it fresh, from the read-only archive. “We all have to be fallow in order to receive.” Is spiritual development cyclical?

Are you in the swamp or the desert right now? What expectations do you think the Netjeru have for their followers? Are they interested in your spiritual development? Do you get ‘assignments’?

This post was written for the Pagan Blog Project 2012. It’s also linked to the Kemetic Roundtable question: How do you survive the Fallow Time.

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  • SatSekhem

    I'm in a slump. I think I may have gotten bogged down in the mud and ended up transported to the desert, honestly. I'm still in love with my goddess and I still want to, one day, forge better with the Hetharu. In the mean time, I'm kind of at the "I'm so damn overwhelmed that I need a break" aspect to all of this. I think that's why writing has started to come back into my life, actually. It was a way out; a catharsis in the form of losing myself in a story of my own creation. It's a way to contend with things without actually having to work at it. And so, you know, I think that's why I've been so single-minded with it lately.

    Plus, you know, I do have a book to finish.

    Also, thanks for the link. I'm planning on an updated revamp for The Fallow Times for this upcoming F entry on the PBP. Dver, from a Forest Door had left some interesting comments on my first post about it, which left me wanting to get back to it. Now, I have a reason. 🙂

    • Maybe they don't want to jog your elbow while you're writing.

      I'll be sure to link to the updated Fallow blog.

      I remember the Hetharu link isn't an easy one for you. Maybe approaching the Solar Deity / Eye of Ra aspect first, and work around to the other aspects through that route?

  • veggiewolf

    Feast *and* Famine…it's smacking me in the face. I think this is exactly the point when one is Kemetic, and the duality of the feast/famine idea doesn't hurt either. 🙂

    • I've wondered what's up with you, because tC Kemetic sig has been pretty slow. I should try to carve out more time to check out the flamekeeping section.

  • RaasAlHayya

    I am, and have always been, in the Desert. However, I do not envy those who are constantly slogging through the Swamp!

    I think there should be more discussion of the Desert.

    • Agreed. There definitely should!

      For instance, we know that the ancients practiced many forms of divination. Would there have been a need for that if close god-contact was common or trusted?

  • von186

    I am in the desert right now. I think everyone has backed off to allow me time to learn, grow and get my head on straight before I get sent back into the swamp.

    However, even though I'm in the desert, I don't fear it. I know it is only temporary. And that if I really need to feel Their presence or a connection, I know that it's always possible to find ways to reconnect.

  • I'm a glutton for punishment and enjoy the swamp. At least I know that the neteru know I'm there. Like a pet student I rush off to tilt at the next windmill. It's so easy, though, to wake up and find myself in the desert. It's an emotional thing, I've found, for me. The neteru don't forget. It is I who temporarily forgets how to pick up the phone and call just to say hi, and not expect feats like the parting of the Red Sea, just because I want it to happen. All relationships are cyclical and take time. Even priests and priestesses forget this. Em Khut en Mer.

    • One thing that seems to be common on those eCauldron threads is that depression messes up our 'Netjer Radio.' If that's true in some circumstances, it's possible that other emotional states might impede or enhance the reception.

  • SatSekhem

    I just wanted to let you know that Dver from a Forest Door: she weighed in on this. forestdoor.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/fallow-times/ She added a sixth reason to my list. I've never had that particularly reason but hope to get there one day!

    • Seeing a community of bloggers start to develop is thrilling when I see topics begin to cross-link like this!

      • SatSekhem

        I really like that people are beginning to see it as a common problem amongst all branches of paganism and are *finally* willing to discuss it.

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