The Solitary Path and Depression

 

Hope This Helps

We need a loving grown up to give us advice

And that loving grownup is the universe

Who wants to go to the universe for help?

You can’t touch the universe or kiss its mouth

Though sometimes the universe works horizontally through people

And I like that.

My friend channeled the universe

When he said I was milk.

My friend said I was born milk

But then grownups poured in lemon juice

Which makes sense

Because I’ve always felt like cottage cheese

And I’ve been running around the planet

Like I don’t want to be this

When in fact I am milk

And was always milk

And will always be milk.

I don’t think this is a story

About blaming grownups

For the ways we are ruined.

I think this is a story about knowing what we are up against

Mostly ourselves

And what our essential consistency is

Which in my case is milk

And in your case is milk

You are milk you are

Milk you are

So milk.

-Melissa Broder

 

Depression and the darkness of anxiety, which is fragmented light revealed through a consistent experience of panic, are an aspect of our spiritual paths that speak deeply to my heart.

It does so because depression has been as much of a constant in my personal life, as say Odin, or Hecate, as Isis, as Jesus.

Often times this all-encompassing, sweltering darkness, is what leads us to activate a spiritual path in our lives in the first place. We are grasping at straws for anything to save us from the black hole of desperate, unending pain, the pain of nothingness, the belief that we are in fact, at the end of it all, indeed worth nothing, unseen, unloved, forgotten.

As we grasp around in the dark, we may rub up against an energy, an archetype, that grabs our hand, that walks us into a larger room, a room that has clearer, brighter air to breathe, filled with at the very least a small flame that beckons us to continue on in this human form, that reminds us there is a light that can not be put out, and that that light exists within us.

We are reborn. We dedicate ourselves to this path, perhaps even to the deity we collided with down in the shit hole that was us back when we thought all was darkness, when we thought all was lost.

We feel alive. Free. Time passes.

Time passes and before we know it, the depression we thought our spirituality had saved us from has reared its ugly head again.

Now the shame collides with our unworthiness. If we were good enough, whole enough, wouldn’t our path have saved us from ever feeling this dead again?!

We turn to shadow work. To dark deity. Kali-Ma burns blue fire into our lungs. Hecate shines her torchlight into the crossroads of bull shit from our childhood. We climb out of the pit again. This time with deeper understanding. We have been refined by a further fire. Now the darkness is our friend. We can take on anything. We feel we have full knowledge of our wounds and unconscious motivations.

We change our lives. End relationships, walk away from unfulfilling careers. We leave a candle burning on the altar for La Santa Muerte 24 hours a day, every damn day.

We take tea with Hades. We listen to Boys for Pele, the Cure and Joy Division on repeat.

We are alive again. We understand why the darkness has knocked on our door for the second time. We discover the Sidhe are often cruel for a reason, we find our deepest longing reflected in the Unseelie court. We heal and time passes. Maybe a year, maybe five. Oftentimes we begin working as healers in our respective communities, using the wisdom gained from these experiences to aid others on their own spiritual journeys.

And then…

I often find the third time something happens, it’s the most visceral. The sacred rule of three and all of that.

….

We don’t defeat depression.  We don’t lose anxiety. A spiritual path does not mean we never encounter these experiences or ways of being ever again. So often we want it to mean that.

It hurts. Feeling things fucking hurts in our bones. We look to our paths to transcend, so very often we want to transcend so that we never have to feel the intensity of the darkness of depression, the fever pitch of anxiety.

The truth is, we wouldn’t be in this body, we wouldn’t have chosen humanity if we weren’t meant to feel it all. All the things. For those of us who are different, empathic, psychic, mediums, healers, etc ad infinitum… For those of us who often turn to alternative spiritual paths because we don’t fit in to traditional societal roles of “spirituality”, or indeed even traditional societal roles of “male, “female” and anything/everything in between….. we are actually meant to feel it all. It is an essential part of the process here.

We can not out run depression or anxiety, or any experience on that spectrum of gray into black.

Due to this understanding, trust me when I say my understanding of this comes from painful experience, we can not avoid the basement that is darkness on our respective journeys.

By the time the third incidence since our path began arises, we start to realize that we aren’t going to “get away” from these two powerful energies. Like Cerberus, these two creatures contained often in one body will not be vanquished.

Many people come to me to speak to dead relatives, or because they want to know if their lover is faithful, or because their body aches all the time, but many more show up at my doorway because the blackness is so unending, so visceral, they want to end their lives in order to escape. That is the true purpose of my work, this is why I am here in this body now, at this time. To shine the light in that darkness.  To make a friend of that darkness, and to understand that that darkness shows up for those of us who walk these pathways because it teaches us something powerful. The more we engage instead of run, the more we befriend the dark, and begin to see that it is in fact hidden light. We can transmute it to become a fire. A bonfire that never leaves us abandoned, that serves to warn us when we are not in alignment with our truth. It is the Divine showing us our own divinity, calling us to action. For many of us, depression and anxiety don’t go away forever. They are our greatest teachers, and I have always found much like the image of the Hierophant in Ian Daniels Tarot of the Vampyres, it is best to listen when we are in the presence of wisdom.  We can only fight what the depression and anxiety are trying to show us about ourselves for so long.

I invite you to turn into the dark, to ask it why instead of crawl away from it. To extract the wisdom and then make the changes in our lives that allow us to feel our worthiness in our own bones again.

As Matt Kahn says, anything that arises is only ever coming up to be loved.

Why not love the fractured selves into wholeness? Even when you’ve been a witch for ten years, and depression cripples you yet again. Move into it, move with it, and let it lift you into the light.

Joining you in this journey of life always,

Raecine Ardis

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “The Solitary Path and Depression

  1. Thank you Raecine. As much as I love the fall with the smell of decaying leaves and Halloween right around the corner it’s also that time of year for me to become depressed and hate life again. Living so far away from everything and driving in the snow is a constant depressant for me but I am reminded constantly that moving is not an option. Thank you for reminding me that I’ve been down this path before and somehow I will get through it again.

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  2. I love it all Raecine. Your lover’s picture, the poem you’ve chosen, your wise words and Debi’s comment. I feel like entering a safe space, a sacred temple for wounded healers. You have shed light in my darkness before and continue to do so. And for that I am grateful.

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  3. Hello Raecine, thank you so much for articulating this issue. Ive been experiencing depression for most of my life in a very similar way. I’m finally realizing that its part of my purpose to learn from and befriend these dark experiences because I’m strong enough to do so.
    I actually misread the word “energies”, for “inner guides”. I guess that could be very fitting too!
    Holy Depression, come on, let’s dance!
    Its not easy.
    Thank you so much for your videos and all you do. I have learned so much from you!

    Like

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