Walpurgisnacht in the Infirmary

Walpurgisnacht in the Infirmary May 1, 2024

Me: “It’s Walpurgisnacht.”


Me: “I should be flying to the sabbat.”

Herself: “You’re sick.”

Me: “But this is an important night.”

Herself: “For some. In some years.”

Me: “I’ve done important things on this night.”

Herself: “You have.”

Me: “I should be doing important things tonight.”

Herself: “You should be resting and getting better.”

fire - photo by John Beckett

Me: “It feels like I’ve been sick all year.”

Herself: “Longer than that. Which should tell you something about the need to rest.”

Me: “I’m tired of this. I want to dance around the fire. I want to walk between the worlds. I want to raise power and create change and then write about it so I can teach other people how to do it too.”

Herself: “Of course you do. It’s who you are: the scientist who experiments, and the teacher who shares what you learn. You’ve done that very well in the past. You’ll do it again in the future. And none of that changes the fact that you are not physically capable of doing these things tonight. Or tomorrow. Or any time in the near future.”

Me: “This is a critical time. Important things are going on. I want to be a part of them. I need to be a part of them.”

Herself: “The enemy is not at the gates – we do not need to mobilize the sick and injured. The recruits remain in training. Senior staff is planning. Logistics is preparing. They are all doing their jobs to be ready when the time comes.”

Me: “But this is Walpurgisnacht and I am doing nothing!”


Me: “I am so tired of this.”

Herself: “Of course you are. But you like to tell people ‘you don’t have to like it – you just have to deal with it.’ You’re refusing to deal with reality as it is. You’re sick. You’ve been overloaded for months and it caught up with you. You’re still overloaded, it’s not going away any time soon, and I can’t make it go away. Well, I could, but you wouldn’t like the repercussions.”

Me: “I have friends who are dealing with worse, and they don’t have the resources I have.”

Herself: “Don’t be so arrogant – don’t assume they don’t have skills and resources that you can’t see. In any case, they’re doing the best they can with what they have to work with. You should do the same.”

Me: “But I did so much better before <waves hands dramatically> ‘all this’.”

Herself: “You still aren’t dealing with reality. Did you think your spiritual work was going to be one ecstatic experience after another? One big spell after another? One success after another after another until it was time to take up permanent residence in the Otherworld? Where do you see that kind of linear progress in Nature? Where do you see it with your fellow humans? Where do you see it with me, for the love of all the Gods?”

Me: “I know, but…”

Herself: “And while we’re talking about reality, it’s past time you accepted that while your soul is immortal, your body is not. You made a career out of balancing capacity and load. Your capacity is not what it was 10 years ago, much less what it was when you got serious about this spiritual journey. You cannot carry the load of a 40-year-old and the load of a 65-year-old together. Yes, you were able to do that for a few years, when you were younger, when you had more support, and when your mundane workload was less than it is now – less than you realized at the time. The capacity is lower, so the load has to be lower, or the system will break. Is breaking. Has broken.”

Me: “I tried to step back.”

Herself: “Only so you could add more elsewhere. You’ve only ever rested when you’ve crashed. And you’ve crashed but good this time. That’s why you’re here.”

Me: “But I enjoy this work so much. It brings meaning and purpose to my life.”

Herself: “Your work is not over. Your time in this world is not unlimited, but neither is it short. There will be time for more research, more analysis and synthesis, more writing and teaching. There will be more ecstatic experiences. There will be more magic… much more magic. But first you have to rest and get well. And then you have to keep the commitments you’ve made for this time of transition. Those commitments are honorable and necessary. They may last longer than you think and longer than you wish, but they will not last forever.

You will not be forgotten while you rest – certainly not by me.”

Me: “This feels like failure.”

Herself: “This is not failure – this is doing what must be done. Learn from me. Play the long game. Bide your time. Get healthy and clear your slate, so that when the time comes you will be ready and able to do what needs to be done – what I need you to do.”

Me: “I’m so tired… and tired of all this.”


Me: “So this is Walpurgisnacht.”

Herself: “This is Walpurgisnacht – for this year.”

"Come to think of it, I have a nice evening planned the 19th. Dinner and ..."

The Summer Solstice: Celebrating Before the ..."
"Celebration before the labors. I like that way of thinking of it.I don't have much ..."

The Summer Solstice: Celebrating Before the ..."
"If you want to see intelligent pagans on social media, pagan+ on mastodon is a ..."

Dear Exvangelicals: I’m Rooting For You
"You could also tell them that 'pagans' domesticated animals, invented mathematics, geometry, cities, agriculture, metallurgy, ..."

Paganism Is Anything But Boring

Browse Our Archives