It happens to the best of us. Something big changes in your life, and you want to punch the cosmic wall. Or you’ve been practicing for a few years, and you’re feeling stagnant and stuck. Whatever is going on, you’re dreading ritual and dropping daily practices right and left. You might feel a twinge of guilt or panic about your recent behavior. Or alternatively you give no fucks, but something in your gut feels off or wrong. Worst of all, you feel like the worst Witch or Pagan in the world.
Let me key you in on a little secret: it happens to everyone. Moments of doubt are a normal part of every religious experience and spiritual journey. It’s the rite of passage no one ever tells you about, the moment when your faith is really tested. So take a deep breath and read on for some ideas to see you through this period in your path.
- Reach Out: If you have never, ever connected with Pagans in real life, a stagnation in your spiritual practice can be an indication that the time has come for you to reach out and let others encourage you on your path. Use Meetup.com, the Witch’s Voice, or your local Pagan supply shop to find other Pagans in your area. If you already work with a group, talk to someone you trust about your fears. The support from others can help comfort you and see you through.
- Take a Break: You may be experiencing spiritual burnout, especially if you engage in an incredibly rigorous practice. Take a month or so off with no magic and no ritual. I just took four months off from my spiritual life, and it was completely the right decision. Now I feel more confident, and my practice feels more genuine. If you’re hesitant to go cold turkey, maybe just scale back a little and see how you feel.
- Gage the Other Events in Your Life: If you have just lost a job, a home, or a loved one or are combating a serious illness, of course you’re feeling a lot of grief, anger, and lostness. It’s natural if you don’t feel like doing a moon ritual or celebrating a sabat. Be gentle with yourself and encourage your return to spiritual life when a little time has passed.
- Self Care: I cannot stress how important it is to take care of yourself. I’ve written before about magical self-care, but I would also encourage you to look at other resources, such as this started kit from the University of Buffalo. If you even vaguely think that your spiritual stagnation is a symptom of depression or another illness, add professional counseling visits to your self-care routine.
- Seek Out Inspiration: When was the last time you took a walk in the park? Or stargazed? Or even felt the wind in your hair? Pagans and Witches are, at our core, children of nature. Getting back to our roots not only connects us to the Goddess, but also can reignite the spiritual spark.
© Ariadne Woods