I’ve had to take a break from my regular practice for the past couple weeks due to sudden and uncontrollable health stuff. One of my prescriptions has always been a little side effect-y and it ramped up pretty dangerously. Whether due to dangerously low sodium levels, neurotoxicity, or throat spiders I started having dizzy spells of increased frequency and severity. I fell down twice. It took a lot of preparation to move twelve steps from the bedroom to the kitchen and often I couldn’t do that much. Getting to various altars, stepping over mess-related obstacles, playing with fire and incense, staying standing for prayers, etc. was simply not manageable. I gave myself a medical leave for the most part. (Though I rather mourn the changing nature of my job description, I don’t miss being hauled out to Work, rain, sleet, or neurotoxicity.)
Finding a care provider on short notice was also unexpectedly difficult but I did finally manage to find someone to provide medication management. There might be a high cost involved but this was one of those situations where waiting 6 weeks for an appointment with another provider was equally dangerous in an entirely different way. I’ve also been trying to get my taxes together and once again I’m outraged and depressed at the high cost of being self-employed. In one way, having a job where I work from home is an immense luxury and privilege; on the other, health stuff/disability prevents me from having the kind of 9 – 5 job that I’d otherwise be able to. (I do have a part time desk job where I play with digital collections at a library but the pay is criminally low and it’s less than part time, so no benefits.) So basically I’ve been rather too sick to stick with my regular practice and rather too busy to let myself feel bad about it.
At the present time I’m focused primarily on building and maintaining connections with several different Powers. Different days of the week are given to Santa Muerte, the Newcomer, the Ancestors, and Hela. I’m also ready to begin (re)connecting with various entities in my neighborhood. Our garden spirit needs some attention, particularly because hir garden will soon be partially paved. The spirits in the green space down the block are quite feral but not terribly fierce. I worry about harm coming to them due to various destructive activities the neighborhood addicts and assholes engaged in (these categories don’t necessarily overlap but destruction nonetheless results).
I want to reconnect with these nearby Powers in large part because I love them and want to experience their proximity and because I’m hoping to engage in a little give-and-receive assistance. I’m concerned about the physical property I live on and what might be happening to it. I’m worried that it’s going to be sold to a party that won’t care for it the way we (the residents) do. I’m worried that the current owner is going to disregard its inherent precious character (like by paving the garden). I’m worried that rising rent is going to force me to move or to adopt an even more restricted lifestyle.
I’m also worried about reckless development, “improvements” made without regard for the wights, human activity that harms and distresses our Good Neighbors, and about their general well-being. I care a great deal for the land spirits, all of them, and for my most immediate neighbors in particular.
Ideally, a relationship with land spirits and related spirits-of-place is one that supports and promotes the interests of all parties. My goal is to create this kind of ideal relationship, or come as close to it as I’m able. Like every other human, I require a lot of help and support; unlike many other humans, I don’t get a lot of this support from other people. Since I’m limited as to what I can do for myself (we all are to one degree or another), I rely on the Powers for aid. Since the Powers are also limited in what they can do, I do my best to cultivate many different mutually beneficial connections. And this is how I imagine my life when I think of how I would most like to live.
I am not separate from the community of spirits. I’m part of their company. We are all different, distinctive entities with our own needs, desires, ambitions, fears, and teleological trajectories. At this time, in this place, we’re all together. We all benefit from aid shared; we all increase through the sharing of resources, effort, and attention. We all grow through increased understanding.
Maybe this all sounds outrageously utopian but you know what? It’s entirely possible. I’ve achieved this kind of community building with spirits and Powers before. It’s not actually that difficult. Sure, you’ll find locations with really pissed off land spirits that want nothing to do with humanity, but you’ll also find wights who are quite interested in forming beneficial connections with us. After all, you’ll find plenty of people who are disdainful of humanity, dismissive of suffering, unwilling to share, angry at the prospect of helping or providing for others, and resentful at any trend towards equity. You’ll also find people who are very willing to engage in sharing and a dialogue towards understanding, compassion, empathy, and aid. Spirits, like people, have to be met where they are, on their own terms. I look forward to this work and I am humbled by its magnitude.