Apologies for a belated post – though ironic for the subject of this particular topic!
“Fallow Time” refers to those periods when we are not being fruitful with our religious or spiritual lives; when we feel disconnected or separated from the gods. It is an incredibly broad term, I think, because it encompasses so many possible causes.
When I feel that disconnect opening up, it manifests in so many ways. I may doubt the validity of my practices. I may have trouble perceiving the presence of the gods. I may feel sluggish or disinterested in worship. I may feel like I am letting the gods down, or like I’m not good enough.
And then, these feelings can come from so many different places. It can be an internal block that causes me to feel distant: depression and anxiety taking over my ability to feel close to the gods. I might be going through a period of self-doubt, wondering if my work is effective or meaningful. And sometimes, the gods leave me to focus on the mundane. Ecstatic experiences aren’t necessarily appropriate woke km cramming for grad school midterms or dealing with a hectic work schedule.
In all of these cases, I have found that persistence helps incredibly. Even if I am not feeling the same intensity of connection, I inevitably benefit from going through with my practices anyway. It is grounding, at the very least, to spend time quietly contemplating the gods. This is, of course, a case of “do as I say, not as I do”, given my general habit of lessening my devotions during periods of stress. Still, when I’m struggling to find a connection, a constant effort helps bridge the gap.
Above all, considering the causes of the silence can be most helpful. My reaction to silence stemming from my own anxiety is likely to be different from my reaction to silence stemming from a simple withdrawal on the part of the gods. If the gods are quiet, maybe I need to concentrate on something like schoolwork or work. If I am unusually depressed or anxious, I should talk about that with my therapist, and try to keep my practices moving. If I am stressed or overwhelmed, I need to keep a constant devotion in a way that doesn’t over tax my resources.
This was kind of rambly, but I guess my point is that the only key to coping with fallow time is treating the cause, if any, and keeping your habits of devotion.