Ekunyi's Embers

Kemetic Round Table – Facing the Prospect of Fallow Times

The Kemetic Round Table works to connect Kemetic bloggers of various practices and paths in order to provide helpful information for those new to Kemeticism. More information about the project can be found here. 

I genuinely struggled with writing this. In part, because I think the prospect of a spiritually “fallow” time — a time when, for whatever reason, we cannot hear our gods and lack the energy to complete our usual rituals — can be particularly frightening for those of us who have yet to really experience one.

I am new to faith. I sat in church throughout childhood, but never felt comforted by it, never felt like I needed it, should one day my father decide he no longer wished to go. I have meditated and journeyed, gained much from both, but even this was different from what I would call “faith.” My teachers in that part of the unseen generally only came to me if I reached out first. It was very much a matter of my asking for their help from the start, and spiritual entities of various shapes and sizes offered assistance only after deeming me worthy. I knew, from the get go, how things worked. If I didn’t close my eyes and journey to visit them, I should not expect a response.

But the gods of Kemet found me. Bast during my early adolescence, Set about two years ago. They offered Their comfort, Their strength, without my seeking it out. They have loved me and aided me at my worst, pushed me to try again when I needed a good solid kick in the arse to get moving. They’ve challenged me to do what I didn’t think I could, celebrated my successes, picked me up when I failed. They shoved past my cynical disbelief, gave me the proof my academic’s mind needed to permit myself to believe in something beyond the secular. The prospect of losing that connection, that contact, is horrifying.

My sibling said something to me the other day that I’d like to record here:

“With Set and others in your life full-force, you’re no longer just dealing with embers. You’ve fanned the fire back up to a healthy blaze.”

For the first time in my life, the fire within is fully lit. My fields are vibrant and alive, filled to the brim with healthy crops from my labors. When the seasons of my life shift and the appropriate time comes to take action, I will be ready for a tremendous harvest. I will pick the fluffy ideas off the stalk, shuck the ears off the creative endeavors I’ve grown and start them cooking into fully fledged projects for change and growth, ready to nourish me and my community.

And then, when the work is done, I will stare across a vast, empty field, and I will wonder: what now?

There are other members of the Round Table who have written of the usefulness of a fallow time. The good that can come of letting yourself rest and rejuvenate. They’ve suggested putting your energy into other aspects of your life while you wait for the spiritual field to be ready again, dedicating these new efforts to your gods to stay connected during the time apart.

Yet it can be so difficult to predict what that time will be like. Painful, to imagine what will happen when, for the first time, you hear only silence on your end of the “god-phone” after seemingly having a direct line that got you through so many trials. For me, it’s tantamount to thinking too long on the future of any relationship. Some day, the way things are now will come to an end. Such is the way of things in a world of transience and mortality.

How do I accept this?

For one: Be present. When I am in shrine, when I speak with my gods, I cherish those moments. I try to give Them my full attention. I thank Them when ritual concludes. I fully live in the time with Them that I have.

Two: Trust. They showed up when I needed them. Chances are, if and when They eventually grow distant, my gods are doing so for a reason. Perhaps depression or grief needs my full attention for recovery. Perhaps there is another project that merits greater focus. The gods don’t abandon, but They do give space, if space is needed.

Three: Take heart in cycles. Kemetic faith is a faith of constant return. Consider the concept of Zep Tepi, the first time, which comes with the rising of the sun each morning, bringing new opportunities, new chances. Consider the changing of the year and the seasons, if our spiritual life has dried out, eventually the flood waters will come again. Nothing is static, for good or ill.

Four: Reach out. Talk with your gods and the other members of the Kemetic community about your fears. As you can see from the other posts in this week’s Round Table, plenty of other more experienced Kemetic practitioners have gone through this before, and come out the other end. Perhaps they were changed, but as mentioned above, this is a natural thing, and can often lead to insight.

I hope this proves helpful to you, from one neophyte Kemetic to another. When the fallow time comes, we may not be ready, but we will be okay.

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