Sometimes I hit a nerve. Last week, I released a new tarot spread for getting back on track after life has really shaken up your snow globe. It can be tough to find our center, or to even know where all the pieces should go, after a period of intense change and chaos. The response to the reading was consistent across the board – people feel “stuck” or out of balance.
Getting spiritually “stuck” is a feeling I’m familiar with – it happens to me periodically. Author and teacher Christopher Penczak refers to this experience as ‘Hitting the Wiccan wall’ and I think it’s beautifully phrased. When I’m stuck, I find that I don’t have energy or enthusiasm for my spiritual practice. My altar goes unattended and unlit, I tend to try to numb out with video games or mindless social media scrolling, and my overall mood takes a downward slide. The longer it goes on, the harder it can be to right the ship. So, how do we break the pattern? How do we get un-stuck?
Techniques will vary for everyone, but I have a handful of methods that generally help me get moving again.
Many of us are lucky enough to live within driving distance of a walking labyrinth. You can find the one nearest you using the World-Wide Labyrinth Locator here. Now, there is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. Even if you step onto one with no plan in mind, you’ll still find yourself calmer and more centered on the other end of your walk. That said, I learned a specific approach to walking the labyrinth that’s been really helpful for me.
At various points along the labyrinth, the path turns so that you face a new direction. Each of these turning points is an opportunity to shift your perspective. On the way in, every time you turn to face a new direction, release an aspect of being stuck. For me, that has meant releasing apathy, fatigue, disconnection, resignation, etc. For each concept I release, I sweep my hands in a slow downward motion, ‘earthing’ that concept. I usually release each energy or aspect more than once. Many times, as I’m releasing those ideas, new ones that are also related surface in order to be released
When I get to the center of the labyrinth, I simply pray. Sometimes there’s a message. Sometimes there’s not. And either one of those things happening are totally okay. You can use the center for contemplation, connecting with a Deity, or simply taking long, slow breaths.
As you walk out of the labyrinth, the turning point practice changes. Each time you turn to face a new direction, welcome in or receive an energy or concept you’d like to draw into your life in place of the stuckness. For me, that has meant receiving connection, community, love, inspiration, creativity, enthusiasm, etc.
When you have completed your walk, linger a little bit to feel your mind and spirit rebalancing in light of the shift you just made. A releasing/receiving walk is only ever the first step to larger change, but it can be a very potent step nonetheless.
Start a Challenge
A Challenge (for the purposes of this discussion) is a specific window of time where a certain action will repeat daily. Challenges can be anywhere from one week to one month or even longer. Two weeks to one month seems to be the best fit for most people who engage in them. Your Challenge should be tooled to your spiritual path and will prime the pump for better spiritual connection. As you’re contemplating your Challenge, consider what daily spiritual practice would benefit you most. Options can include candlelighting, offerings, meditation, prayer, litanies, reading inspiring texts in a structured way…the possibilities are endless. Remember to build in rewards. For more information on designing a Challenge, click here.
Go on a Pilgrimage
Here on the East Coast of the United States, temperatures are warming and outdoor activities are more accessible. On top of that, more and more people are being vaccinated, allowing for less restricted movement in general. If that is true in your region as well, consider a journey to a place that is sacred. What ‘sacred’ means will vary from person to person, of course. It might be a state park, a natural spring, a particular body of water, a museum, etc.
One of the important aspects of pilgrimage is mindset – you are going on a sacred journey to a holy place. You can prepare for pilgrimage by engaging in purification practices like bathing in salted water or cleansing yourself with the smoke from smoldering herbs or incense. You can dress in clothing and jewelry that you associate with spirituality. Remember that the entire journey is an experience designed to deepen and connect you. If you’re driving, put on music that helps you connect to the sacred (my favorite album for this is Prayer by Omnia).
Lastly, engage in a ritual action when you arrive. One of my favorite places to go on pilgrimage to is a natural spring about 45 minutes’ drive from my home. When I arrive there, after walking some beautiful trails, I spend time anointing myself with water from the spring – a self-reconsecration if you will. Try to be fully present to the sacred in this moment. Spend time in reflection afterward. You might want to bring a journal along with you for jotting down observations and insights.
Do Some Group Magick
This one varies in terms of location, vaccination status, and social nature. However, one thing that helps me feel connected is to engage in ritual or magick with other pagans. I’m starting to have enough vaccinated friends that some of us are gathering in small groups to do little workings here and there. Rituals do not need to be complex – you can do an offering or a releasing fire, a divination circle, or a simple healing ritual for everyone present. The part that really helps me get un-stuck is feeling the joy of connection and the way sharing our spirituality can be deepening and enlightening. I always love seeing what people bring to sacred space.
So, what helps you get un-stuck? Hit me up in the comments. You never know when your technique is exactly what someone else needs to read right now.