The crash.

I remember being new to Kemetic Orthodoxy. Everything felt exhilarating. For the first time in my life I had a direct line to communicate with the gods. I felt when They were near me keenly, as vividly as I felt any human presence. I could hear Them speaking when I calmed my body and centered my mind. I was feeling things I’d never felt and experiencing things I’d never experienced. I loved Them deeply, and I was overwhelmed to feel how much They loved me.

Time passed. My relationship with the gods began to normalize. When Wepwawet’s voice spoke through the songs on the radio, I was first thrilled, then touched, and then… mildly bemused. The things that once caused my breath to catch and my spine to tingle were suddenly a part of everyday life with the gods.

And it sucked.

I felt abandoned. The excitement was gone. I began to wonder whether the gods were angry with me. Were They pulling away from me? Had I done something to offend Them and make Them withdraw? Was I losing my ability to communicate? All I knew of religion was ecstatic intensity, and suddenly I couldn’t feel that anymore.

Any new relationship is exciting, and religion is no exception. It puts us in dialogue with something greater than us, and calls to our deepest self. It is more powerful than any secular relationship — and yet it is not immune to the same pitfalls. As time passes, the thrill we feel in a new relationship fades into something calmer and more constant. We don’t live with our friends or romantic partners eternally giving us butterflies the way they did when we first met. So, too, do we not live in the same intense space that we occupied when we first met our gods.

When I felt this natural ebb for the first time, I panicked. I blamed myself. I frantically tried to reach for the powerful joy that They had brought me, and — finding only contentment and happiness — felt lost. It was frightening to think I had lost something that had brought me so much joy already.

I write about this now in an attempt to reach those new to the worship of their gods, to head off those fears and normalize this natural experience. It’s normal to lose the intensity in your relationship with the divine. It’s normal to go through cycles in your devotion. Just breathe and let it happen, be as present with the gods as you can, and keep moving. It’s a process.

 

8 Replies to “The crash.”

  1. I agree that the point in this post is something those starting should really know, so I really appreciate your recognizing it and saying it. Especially since I think, as in romantic relationships, people have a tendency to chase the “rush”.

    In my own practice, these points have sometimes spurred growth and reinvention (if and when I took this lack of “intensity” as motivating). Just like other relationships, you have to do things to keep it “fresh”. But even when you do, the growth that occurs is different from the rush of just starting. Its the difference between the long-term, committed couple that rediscovers each other, and the frantic rush of just falling in love.

    I’d like to believe its because the older couple (and the older practitioner) have found things to motivate them to continue the relationship beyond the initial, “I found you!” excitement. The lack of excitement can mean our love is maturing, as you said.

    That feeling of ecstatic joy is certainly something we might want to chase. It might be the reason we want to practice the religion in the first place. But that excitement isn’t the sole reason you “settle down”, with a partner or a religion (YMMV, of course). It may signify you’ve met “settle down” material, but it can’t be the only box you check. I think we have to remind ourselves that we practice not *just* for the warm fuzzies, but for the deeper beliefs and values that inspired the warm fuzzies.

    Just my opinion though 😉 Again, great post!

    1. I’d like to believe its because the older couple (and the older practitioner) have found things to motivate them to continue the relationship beyond the initial, “I found you!” excitement. The lack of excitement can mean our love is maturing, as you said.

      This is great – exactly what I was driving at. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experiences!

  2. I wonder if some people aren’t more comfortable in the crash, too. I hate falling in love and long for the weird body habits & sweatpants stage; I find I have been enjoying Kemeticism much more since I set aside chasing one deity or another and was able to focus on the daily practice and casually learning about the culture and concepts more.
    Then again, I have a somewhat remarkable ability to kill a thing before it ever starts, so maybe it’s just me who enjoys this stage :p I like knowing what I’m doing more, newness has never been my idea of fun while some people rock that shit.

    Neither am I 10 years in, though 😉 I guess this past year has been my first crash, and just to contribute, I’m happy to share that it has not been the end of the world.

    1. That crash can come early! For me it was about a year in too. I think it took getting into a comfortable human relationship before I could be okay with a comfortable divine relationship. I’m glad it’s comfortable for you! 🙂

  3. Thank you for posting this! As I’m approaching the 10yr mark I’ve become aware of a sort of tide in the intensity of my relationships with my personal Gods. They are very much still there, but my awareness of it is less acute because Their presence is so familiar. It’s like wearing a watch or something similar for so long that you almost forgot you wear it, although you see it in glimpses of yourself all day long. While They are there, it is so familiar that I almost forget to notice.
    My challenge is the balance between comfort and formality when life gets busy and I fall out of daily practice, and then have to bring myself back around. I find trying to force it never really works for me personally. I usually find some spark when kind of going back to the things that caused me that intense wonder in the beginning, and then look for something new to research. Often that is enough to organically draw my awareness back to feeling Them more acutely.
    Thanks for sharing this experience. It’s something I also kind of wish people had mentioned before. I’ve literally gone through that exact list of questions of myself.

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