The Isolated Animist: Respectful Relationships in Postmodern Individualism
As above so below, within as without, except for with other people. I've worked with others as a modern shaman since 2000, and the hardest facet of that role to impart is creating balanced relationship with All Things--especially each other--and live it in our "I" culture. It's easy to feel interrelated in trance, to idealize it in solitude, but to reach beyond the isolation of how capitalistic culture has created us and fosters us poses significant challenges. We end up living the collective experience alone. In this blog I explore new approaches to being an introverted, suburban American animist in an individualist culture, and living that connection out loud.
Manifesting from the Maelstrom - Creating Reality as a Cyclic Person
As I deeply value thriving in the connection with All Things, I make an effort to live that truth. There's no one way or right way, and when you're a cyclic person, that fact becomes evident right away.
What’s a cyclic person? We’re many things, I suppose. Women identify with the phrase from the onset of menstruation. Certainly those who cope with challenges to mood and mental health conditions relate. Later in life, I hear more men comment around cycles.
For me, it’s a combination of biochemical traits and chronic health conditions. I've never been diagnosed as bipolar, or any other mood 'disorder.' I have, however, been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Fibrymyalgia Syndrome (FMS), and have had minor strokes. While unofficial, my doctor approaches me on a spectrum of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).
In a nutshell, that means I’m very aware of how my body interprets reality—inner and outer—and, one tide to the next, how hard it can be to create outcomes. My world doesn't look the same one day to the next, and frankly, neither do I.
Along the continuum of productivity, self-care, motivation, manifestation, we’re not supposed to change in the western model of progress. Part of dedication is continuity. We are to be the same every day, inside and out, and we bring our big game every step.
When you’re someone dealing with chemical cycles, as well as physical ones, it can be very hard to present the same face every day, particularly when the fog of my day hasn’t given me the chance to know which face that is yet, let alone perform accordingly.
Who knows. Maybe my bouncing signals make me better in my writing and intuitive work. No doubt they help me see the world and myself in different ways. I say with certainty that it's extremely hard to connect with intention to manifest my heart's desire, when one day I'm me, and the next day I'm one of the other mes, who may want something different, or not be able to hold intention.
Left to my own devices, I can say I'm fine the way I am. The need to connect with culture and society, community and relationships is where the real problem arises. I can argue that that society doesn't accept me the way I truly am, which is likely true, yet still not the point. For me it comes down to that ability to focus, and even alone in my own cave, vacillating from me to me, the problem is that my brain's natural propensity to fluctuate impedes my affinity to steadfastly hold intention to create what I want in my life, which in the end, interferes with my active connection to All Things.
Or does it? Maybe that connection is meant to be dynamic and expressed differently at different times?
I inhabit a world in which neurotransmitters are alive. They and physical conditions speak to me as spiritual beings, and I engage them the same as any other being on my animistic path. They become totems and helping spirits. They dig in as allies.
That’s the constant for me—the only constant in my ever-swinging pendulum of manifestation is the fact that one way or another, my states of being inform me. They teach me. They create me.
Please login first in order for you to submit comments