Lately, I have been in a cooler spell spiritually. That's fine - it's part of the natural order of things and just as acceptable as when I'm in a warmer spell and being inspired. The part that has been challenging has been a sort of wistfulness that my path has taken me out into the woods to do my own thing. It's cold and lonely in the night. It's hard not to feel abandoned if I compare myself to other people who are re-constructionists or in a tradition. They have books of instructions, mentors, training, scholarly resources to turn to if they're stuck in a rut.
I just kinda have...waiting. Hoping.
While I love what I've learned and the gifts I've been given, it is hard to forge your own path. It's like growing food from seed. So much work and preparation for inconsistent return. Fruit borne wild and robust and in a completely different sector than you've been toiling in. I have eight pots outside on the front porch. Seven failed to turn into plants. One is growing a surprise attack cantaloupe out of season with a vigor I've never experienced in years of failed gardening. It's Texas and still summery here, so there is hope that the fruit will grow into maturity. We have named it Cantaloupi Wan-Kenobi. (Apparently, I'm not great at judging when the compost won't grow into things if I mix it in dirt...)
It seems nice to have the rock of tradition to stand on, to have a thread of history to follow into the dark. When it feels like I'm recreating the wheel yet again, I wonder if I've made the right choices. Have I been too proud or stubborn by not setting aside my discomfort with X or Y and just joining something? Should I have worked harder to find some hidden society? Am I alone because I've been too impatient with the mess that is Pagans in Public™ and feared being associated with the absurdity of a few more than I wanted to chance finding the right people?
Fear of success is there, too. If I found a wonderful tradition or moved somewhere that one existed, and I had the chance to join, would I be up to snuff? What if all the work I've been doing for years is my mind playing tricks on me? While I know this is false, I sometimes feel like my experiences count for less because they're not within established parameters. Sometimes, I worry that the ridiculous levitating objects trick TV witches do is real and will be used to prove that I'm a phony.
I know this won't happen, that it's silly. I trust that what I'm doing is the right thing for me in the place and season my life is in right now, and that when there are shifts in that, it may take me to new places, new ways of worship, new gods, new spiritual relationships, and maybe a different form of devotion all together. It's just hard to remember that sometimes when you're slogging along...