I don’t really have any taboos yet.
I didn’t have any taboos. The taboos I’m discussing here are religious and spiritual ones, imposed on us either by the religion we are practicing or the gods and spirits themselves. As someone walking a path towards spirit work (well, I consider myself already on that path, but I’m still a novice) and mysticism, I always expected to have taboos given to me. None really came.
A year ago I got brief, unsure impressions that I should no longer consume alcohol, but I wasn’t entirely sure where the impressions were coming from. My family has serious problems with alcoholism and other addictions – we used to be divided in the ‘smoking’ and ‘drinking’ camps, with most of the women smoking while most of the men drank – and I suspected my brain was just trying to push away from falling into that sickness.
Then, last Sunday, one of my spirits came to me and said very firmly, “You’re not allowed to drink anymore.”
It was a bit startling. I had noticed that whenever I consumed (and I should note, I’ve never been drunk and hardly even buzzed, thanks to my general disinterest in losing my control to that drug) various parts of my life would spiral out of control the next day, often seemingly unrelated, but that was a clear direction.
No problem, I thought. Except then I remember that drinking is often a social activity, bonding, helping loosen people up, and that most of my friends engage in it when we’re together. I already exist on the periphery of most groups and people, and this easily pushes me farther outside of all of that.
And that’s okay. Most of my current offline friends, though I rarely see them, are aware of my religious practices and occasionally come to me for religious advice (usually concerning a monotheistic faith, but). Though some of my rowdier friends will be disappointed that they won’t be able to take me barhopping – an activity I wasn’t planning on in the first place, mostly because I prefer spending time reading or working or writing, and here you all realize how truly boring my life is to outside observers – not a lot will change on that front. And even if something did change, I’ve gotten semi-competent at accepting change and loss.
I’m not sure if the taboo means I am not allowed to ever drink or if I am allowed to drink alcohol for ritual purposes, but I suspect that the taboo is meant to cover all consumption.
What does it mean that I’ve gotten my first ‘taboo’? Did the spirits just get tired of me not listening to the subtler signs? Does it mean my Work is going to change or shift or warp? Does it mean I’m suddenly ‘legit’?
I think it just means my spirits don’t want me consuming alcohol. Now when I abstain I’ll think of my gods and spirits, and that’s a powerful thing.