This year has been a long, tough one to date.
In January the Great Queen began a rewiring and take-down process on a daily basis that often left me incapacitated and not-really-here. Piece by piece energetically, intellectually, and emotionally I was taken apart. By February and PantheaCon, the changes were sufficient to catch the attention of Gods I had not been previously aware of but who now have claimed my life and the Work I do.
In March my beloved younger sister was diagnosed with severe brain cancer- she called me from the hospital and I left the next morning for the 17+ hour drive. I remained at her side for a month and the two of us held each other together. She lived in the same area as my much loved friends of the Coru Cathobodua, who, individually and as a group, provided both of us energy, friendship, support, and solace through this time. (She is now being cared for by family in our hometown, and is doing reasonably well with treatments.)
The Gods of Thrace along with the Morrigan continued to Work on me. I was claimed to eventually become an Oracle- still in process for that one- as well as additional priestly duties, including becoming a more developed "horse" (someone who carries Gods/spirits- read "Drawing Down the Spirits" for info.) I was already a good healer as well, but this is a new level; grad school, if you will.
The final crack to what I had been, that which completely shattered me, landed in April. I moved to a new location three thousand miles away where I could fall apart without energetically damaging those around me as well as where I needed to be to train and initiate in the tradition in which I am to become a priest. I had to leave my marriage and my children, but it was done cleanly and with honest understanding.
To round out the destruction of my old life, the woman who had been my closest friend closed the door on our friendship and I lost my mundane work contract of 6.5 years, within a week of each other.
With the firm, unobtrusive and deeply understanding support of fellow polytheist priests I wept and railed and fought the pain. Hung on to my sanity. Wrestled with the worst parts of myself. This is why there are so few us. We talk to Gods and spirits. We've given our lives to Gods of Consequence, to create, build and maintain living, breathing traditions. It takes everything, everything, to do this. To be broken and bleeding and get up again, because it matters. Because warriors need healers, Gods need priests, the next generation needs teachers and role models. Whether it's writing the books that need to be written, building the Temples, or guiding and encouraging each other, it matters.