This year has been tough.
A lot has happened—deaths and illnesses in the family, career struggles, personal conflict. It’s been a wicked year for my psyche.
Back in September, I was on the verge of leaving ADF. I had no energy for spiritual pursuits, I’d had two separate upsetting encounters with individuals in ADF, one of whom I’ve had a turbulent relationship with for a long time, and, simply put, the conflict had begun to outweigh the fulfillment I was getting. But instead of rage-quitting, I took a deep breath and told myself I would take a break until December: three whole months off would, I hoped, help me reboot mentally and spiritually. I put my ogham and tarot cards away, I dusted my altar but didn’t use it, and I tucked all of my druidry books back onto their shelves.
This was actually a long time coming. My time running SDF and the subsequent vacuum it left behind started me on a long, slow burn-out. At Summerland in August, I discussed with a priest-friend the possibility of giving myself some time off from my studies, and she agreed that a break might be in my best interest.
I’m coming out the other side of my personal wasteland now, and I’m not entirely sure where to go. Do I still want to be an ADF priest? What do I have to offer my community? What should be my role in my local and national pagan organizations? Do I owe it to myself to get my home practice back in order before I even consider the former questions?
The answer to the last question, of course, is YES. Spiritual work should always, ALWAYS begin in the hearth and heart. But outside influences can and do affect one’s altar practice. I’ve suffered because of my fellow druids, and that hurt doesn’t just go away. I have felt, and do feel, very alone and disconnected from my local grove. Those bridges can likely be repaired, but I suspect I need to repair the foundations of my personal druidry before I even try to look outward.
I’m posting today because I think sometimes it’s good to write publicly about our struggles on this path, as well as our successes. Crises of faith come to all religious folk, and druids are not exempt from that. I don’t want to walk away from ADF, and I don’t think I will. My instincts remain druidic—the question, though, is how I will act on those instincts, and what my role will be moving forward.
I hope to continue posting here occasionally as I start working to figure that out.
So please, forgive my absence, and light a candle to help guide me.