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
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.
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.
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?
- It Is Well to Lie Fallow For a While. (satsekhem.wordpress.com)
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.