In the Doldrums… But the Wind is Beginning to Stir

In the Doldrums… But the Wind is Beginning to Stir July 23, 2020

Those of you who work with deities and other spirits who tend to be loud and demonstrative (the Morrigan for sure, but also many others): have you noticed an extended period of silence?

Not absence, just silence.

In my case, the Morrigan was insistent that I honor Her in the online Summer Solstice Ritual. But while there was a clear call in that ritual, it was less a recruiting sergeant’s impassioned speech and more a quiet planting of seeds that will not be harvested for some time. And since that ritual, I’ve heard very little from Herself.

I still pray to Her every night. I still make offerings to Her every week. She’s still there – where ever there is. She’s just… occupied.

The same is true of other deities and spirits I work with and for, to a greater or lesser degree.

Are you experiencing anything like this? A few close friends I’ve talked with are seeing the same things I am.

Most of my extended friends who talk about such things have been rather quiet themselves.

On one hand, this shouldn’t be a surprise. Our Gods are part of our lives and we are part of Theirs, but we are not Their only concern – nor are They ours. We’re dealing with the worst pandemic in a hundred years and with social unrest that has been far more than a hundred years in the making. Perhaps They know we’ve got a lot on our plates right now and They’re giving us room to deal with it. How do you tell people to do deep mystical work when they’re struggling to stay safe?

On the other hand, this is still Tower Time… though this is a case where The Storm is a better name for everything that’s going on in this world and in the Otherworld. But I didn’t expect the mystical, Otherworldly portion of this phenomenon to suddenly stop.

Now, hurricanes have still centers and ordinary storms often have bands of calm and rage. A break in the action is not uncommon. But in this case, I think a better weather-related metaphor is something that’s become largely irrelevant in the age of engine-driven shipping: the doldrums.

The Doldrums

In our time, “the doldrums” has become a term for a period of emotional apathy, a feeling of being down that probably isn’t clinical depression but that’s serious nonetheless.

In the age of sail, the doldrums referred to the area around the equator where winds are generally calm and sometimes don’t blow for days or weeks at a time. They’re worse in some spots than in others, and eventually the winds will pick up again – eventually. You just had to hope your ship had enough food and water to last until you could get through them and get to some place where you could resupply.

Spiritually and metaphysically, I feel like we are (or at least, I am) in the doldrums. Fellow Denton Pagan Cynthia Talbot used the word “becalmed” – another nautical term from the age of sail.

I’m maintaining my devotions. I’m doing the work I’ve been tasked with doing. I’m hearing no complaints…  and in the past when I’ve disappointed the Morrigan, or Cernunnos, or even Brighid, They’ve made Their displeasure quite clear.

But I’ve had no strong ecstatic experiences in quite some time. I’ve had no calls to action, especially the kind of between the worlds activity that was common from around 2013 till late 2018 or so.

As I frequently tell people, these things come in their own time – they cannot be commanded. That’s as true for me as it is for a raw beginner. Still, the absence of these experiences is conspicuous.

Or rather, their absence is conspicuous now that I think about it. I’ve been so busy I haven’t thought about it very much.

The Storm is both this-world and Otherworldly

Many of the elements of the phenomenon we call The Storm are decidedly this-world things: climate change and its impact, the decline of the American empire, the rise of fascism, nationalism, and xenophobia.

Other elements are just as decidedly Otherworldly: the “Shredded Veil,” more frequent encounters with the Fair Folk, Gods on recruiting missions.

And then there are things that are probably a little of both, like the increased interest in magic and witchcraft from ordinary people.

If The Storm has an Otherworldly component, then it stands to reason that Otherworldly persons – including Gods – are dealing with it “over there.” That makes their silence understandable. Perhaps this has most of their attention. Perhaps their situation is such that we’d just get in the way if we were trying to help. Perhaps they figure we’ve got our hands full with this-world concerns.

Or perhaps they’re just focusing on their own plans. When Lugh, Nuada, Ogma, and the Dagda were planning the Tuatha De Danann’s overthrow of the Fomorians, They stayed in “a quiet place” for a year. Immortal beings operate on a different time scale than we do.

The wind is beginning to stir

I’m starting to feel the need to work some very deep magic – something far beyond the practical and narrowly focused operative magic I’ve been teaching.

This isn’t an external call to action – this is me feeling an Otherworldly desire all by myself. Now, might that mean it’s not the wind rising but me wishing for wind? Or in plain this-world language, are all the Covid-related concerns and restrictions driving this desire? It’s possible.

But a conversation with a few like-minded friends confirmed they’re in the same place: in the doldrums and ready to start sailing again. And at the end of the day “doldrums” and “becalmed” are nautical terms used as spiritual metaphors, not spiritual realities. Humans have magic of our own, so even if our Gods are otherwise occupied, we can start moving anyway.

As much as the Morrigan expects me to follow Her orders, She also expects me to not sit around waiting to be told what to do next. You see something that needs to be done, you do it – whether that something is in this world or the Otherworld or both.

Where are you in all this?

The purpose of this post isn’t to tell you that the spiritual wind is blowing again and a whole new set of metaphysical experiences are coming our way. Or that some new set of instructions is coming from any of the Many Gods.

The purpose is to ask like-minded people what you’re seeing, hearing, and feeling.

So, what are you seeing, hearing, and feeling?

Have things gone quiet for you? Have certain persons become conspicuous by Their silence? Are you starting to feel the need for something deeper, more ecstatic, more magical?

And if so, what are you going to do next?

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