I love my path that I am on- it is true what many people say… when the path finds you, it is as if you have finally “come home.” Your path becomes home when you allow your heart to guide you to your beliefs, not your mind. What is true to me is not always true to everyone else, and that isn’t necessarily wrong. For the most part, I adore our pagan community- where we are alike and where we are vastly different- it is all beautiful to me.
However, some days… some weeks or even months, things get hard. You feel exhausted or uninspired in regards to your practice. Your pagan community can make you feel a little bit nuts, or you start to feel like you are losing touch with nature… in turn, you are losing touch with yourself. I’m no stranger to that feeling. Being manic depressive, I have to fight tooth and nail to keep a healthy, well balanced relationship with nature, myself, and my deities, however, there is only so much you can do sometimes… Everyone will face a spiritual burnout at one point or another.
Once you are in this “burnout,” how do you get yourself out of this funk? If you are having a hard time feeling positive, connecting to nature, or feeling inspired, what is the best way to get back to feeling good?
Redecorate your altar or make a new, smaller one to be hidden somewhere:
The first thing I do when I am stuck in a funk is clean off my altar and rearrange everything. My altar is a wonderful source of positive energy to me, so working with it helps me to feel refreshed. Often times, when I am cleaning it off after a while of not using it, I find small tokens that serve as memories of when my thirst of knowledge was stronger.
If I already like the way my altar looks and I don’t wish to change it at all, I will make a small, temporary “hidden altar.” The image to your right isn’t mine, but I used it as an inspiration for my small altars. In the past, I have made a tiny sacred bowl with a small candle in the middle of it. Every time I would leave the house to run an errand, I would look for a small rock to put in the bowl- this forced me to get off the pavement and into the grass, forcing me to rummage around in nature.
Plan something for an upcoming holiday:
The wheel of the year is ever turning, so we are fortunate enough to always have a holiday coming up on us at any given time. For some people, planning a big celebration for every turn of the wheel is exhausting- some of us have to work! However, simply taking the time to observe what the sabbat/esbat ands for can help to reawaken your stagnant spirituality.
For example, if you are currently feeling out of touch with your spiritual life, you may look forward to Beltane and make an effort to participate in at least a small ritual honoring it. Rather than holding a large bonfire and making a feast for all of your friends and family, you can simply light many candles around your house, drink your favorite dessert wine and indulge in your favorite sweet treat. What you have left over can be used as simple offering to the fae and the green man. When you are ready for bed that evening, take a moment to reflect on what Beltane means to you- chances are, you will be glad you took the time to celebrate it, even if you didn’t initially feel like it.
Create a mandala from nature:
This makes me get outside and find things that I find beautiful, then I am forced to invoke my creative mind in order to make this type of artwork. Though my nature mandalas are hardly ever as beautiful as the one shown here, It makes me feel wonderful to work with the plants, herbs, and crystals I have in my possession.
When making these mandalas, my creative mind is stimulated and my stressed mind is relaxed. In this state, I can find my connection to my spirituality much easier.
Light a prayer candle every. single. day.
This is my number one way to get out of my spiritual burnout… it just works for me. I will find an unlit candle with a scent that makes me feel happy- usually either cinnamon during the colder months and fresh apple during the warmer months- and pray over it every morning when I wake up, or every afternoon when I come home from work. I pray for guidance, for positive energy, for a better attitude, and for health. Right before I light the candle, I name at least three things that I am grateful for. After the candle is lit, I go about business as usual- cleaning the house, writing, doing homework, painting… every time I smell the candle while I am doing these things, I am reminded not only of the things I prayed for, but also the things I am grateful of, helping me to be positive and to reestablish my faith.
Most days, my spiritual life and mundane life have no lines between them. However, not all days are full of beautiful sunsets and twinkling stars. We are human- we are constantly battling the good and the bad. Burnout happens to all of us, but working to overcome it is what makes us even stronger in our faith.
Blessings to you and yours,