Sometimes I am stubborn. I get set on doing something, and when it becomes apparent that perhaps my plans should change, I simply refuse to acknowledge it. I do this with shrine a lot. I will get focused on going to shrine on a particular evening, and then when something happens that would stop me – I develop a splitting headache, my knee or back starts to stiffen and ache, or I am washed with overwhelming fatigue – I don’t acknowledge it.
Instead, I try to go to shrine anyway. I start to purify myself, spilling the water, dropping things and stumbling over words I’ve spoken flawlessly hundreds of times before. That’s usually my first clue that maybe I shouldn’t go to shrine. Unfortunately, I usually ignore it. Then things get progressively stranger – tools for shrine go missing. I forget to bring the offerings into the shrine room repeatedly. It’s usually around the third time that I’m going back downstairs to get the crackers that are sitting in the kitchen that I start to wonder if maybe I should just skip shrine for the evening.
Usually I’ll confirm my suspicions via divination, just to be sure. Without fail, I am told to stay out of shrine. I want so badly to be in shrine whenever I am physically present and theoretically able (read: not bleeding and not suffering from acute illness). It’s hard for me to then admit that there could be other obstacles to being in shrine, but when my gods say no, I have to listen. How do you know when to stay away from ritual? What are your “warning signs” that you probably aren’t in the right mindset for heka or worship?
3 thoughts on “When to Stay Out of Shrine…”
I’m learning the hard way about the little nuances, the “impure but not really impure, I can surely suffer through it, I’m fine, really” moments that wind up keeping me out of shrine. I find out as I approach my shrine cabinet, I will feel my Father’s influence very strong and if He says “no”, I politely back out and away as quickly as possible. It is frustrating and a blow to my ego. With every slap of my impure fingers, I learn more about what my Parents expect of me.
My warning signs include pain that makes me wince (physical injury), mental distractions, and basically not being able to clear my head enough to focus solely on the task at hand. If I cannot give Them 110% of my focus, then I shouldn’t go in front of Them. Doesn’t always stop me from trying, though. 😉
Doesn’t always stop me from trying, though. 😉
Heh – boy do I know the feeling! One time I got in the midst of things, ignoring this creeping, awful sensation that was positively screaming “get out get out get out!”. It got absolutely oppressive before I caught on to the fact that hey, maybe that’s not just my monkey brain making things up. *sheepish*
I have to bring offerings upstairs as well. “Oops- I forgot this!” *traipse traipse traipse* “There…, now where’s the…?”
Usually when I start up, I can do the rite without much trouble. I think reading stories to the grade school kids has really sharpened my shrine skills!