Retreat and Renewal

I spent the past weekend at a conference hosted by the Fraternity I helped re-found on my campus (yes, it’s co-ed – relax). I was already out of shrine for purity reasons, but I felt the distance more strongly for being physically separated from it. The first night I felt guilty for “abandoning” my duty to the gods. By the second night, however, I had settled in to the distance and it didn’t feel quite so painful. When I returned, I found that I was looking at my shrine a little differently. I had some fresh perspective.

I wonder if I would have felt so changed if I had just stayed out of shrine for the week rather than leaving my home for three of those days? Was it the total change of pace and scenery, or just space to breathe?

There’s a lot of discussion about how women are given the short end of the stick because they are ‘kicked out’ of shrine for several days each month. Now that I am committed to daily ritual as a priest, I am learning how valuable that space can be. I almost feel bad for people who don’t get that reprieve every month. It’s like a reset button for my attitude towards shrine.

Tonight there was comfort in the shrine – a hushed peace. No words from the Gods, just love, quiet strength, and Their divine radiance. It’s a simple, silent joy. I wish I could wrap it up and give it to you all – but I will just pray that you find the stillness of peace within renewal.

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