Thursday, July 25, 2013

Emotional Rhythms

Up and down, round and round. Like the Great Wheel of Nature, the rhythms of the seasons, my emotions move in a somewhat (and I emphasize somewhat) predictable cycle. My cycles of spiritual practice, seem to coincide with my emotions to a certain degree as well; but not always.

Right now, I can feel myself sitting at the lower part of an emotional valley. Not depressed, luckily, just feeling off; like a combination of "meh" and wanting to move in to the woods and become a hermit. I'm introverting to a heavy degree, needing a lot of space and time to myself and my thoughts, wanting to just cocoon up in my house, my yard and my bed. It feels like Winter in my spirit despite the hot sunshine outside. But, as is so often the case when one gets in to these sorts of moods, well intentioned friends are refusing to simply let me do that and it is driving me deeper and deeper in to the floor of the downward curve. I shut off my phone and avoid social media as much as I can, but that only makes them worry about me, or freak out and assume I'm mad at them. No amount of saying "Guys, I'm fine. I just don't want to talk or hang out right now." seems to help. The downside to being open, like really open because I don't like to hide any aspect of myself, about the fact that you live with depression and also happen to be an introvert is that people tend to worry more frequently and with much less provocation than they would if you were... say, a normal introvert. And while I am grateful and lucky to have so many caring people in my life, I really wish they'd listen to me and get off my ass. If I'm not worried, If my husband isn't worried, then just give me space and quit poking and prodding. You wouldn't do this to a bear you found hibernating.

But, I'm not a wild animal and I digress.

Usually, this point in my emotional wheel coincides with Winter. Short days, long nights, lots of gray skies and time indoors caused by the cold; makes perfect sense. This year, however, has been different. It started with hibernation in Autumn and an awakening in the Winter, right at Yule. My energy levels were high and I ran myself ragged through the Spring and early Summer. Unusual as well is that while I did so, my spiritual practice entered what I called a time of knowing, a pause in my desire to push forward, celebrate and learn and to instead, take a break and sit on my haunches for a bit. Ostara, Beltane and Litha passed; barely observed as more than a gentle acknowledgement that the great Wheel was indeed still turning. Odd, because usually the Spring sabbats set my soul a buzzing as my energetic levels are extremely high. But, as they passed by and the days grew hotter, muggier and the mosquitoes chased me inside with 25 bites after a measly 5 minutes outside; my emotional cycle spun around to the lower half of the wheel. The darker, introspective half.

A note here: When I say 'dark', I am not implying gloomy, depressing, miserable, etc. Much like there is a light and dark side of the seasons, there are similar sides to a soul and a personality. Some of us have longer or shorter ones, depending on our own unique emotional makeup. So again, I must stress so no one worries and annoys me further (yes, this post is coming as much from a place of annoyance as it is reflection), this isn't depression. When that happens, I own it, rock it and get the fuck through it.

And even more oddly, as I'm sitting at the bottom of this smooth, cool curve, lounging about with me, myself and I, the call home to the altar is loud. The whispers to clean, reconsecrate and come back to practice are strong. My intuitive wheels are spinning; my eyes spot several signs of coming change, my ears rejoice in the call of Grandmother Crow and the sound of winds in heavy Summer laden branches. I can feel the wheel spinning back around, slowly to the light and a more lighthearted, external emotional state as Lughnassadh approaches.

And as it does so I wonder at the change in my usually predictable, seasonally affected, cycles. It feels almost like the wheel is spinning in reverse for me here, in the much hotter Southern climate. It's as if longer days don't mean more time outside as they have most of my life, but quite the opposite due to oppressive humidity, heat and blood sucking pests. And while I wonder, I'm also learning to embrace these new cycles as I look, as always, forward to Autumn's arrival and a bit of delicious normalcy.

Have any of you moved to radically different climates and had your emotional or spiritual cycles switch around on you? I'm curious, because growing up in the North, seasons behaved as you were taught and expected them to. Now that I'm living someplace so drastically different, my head and heart are clinging to all the things they feel to be true about the seasons, but my body is very definitely aware of the fact that things don't work like that here. And the two are having some issues reconciling it all.


  1. When as a newly wed I moved to San Francisco from New Mexico, I was overwhelmed by all the cloudy days that came in a row without any break. I became sluggish and out of sorts but couldn't figure out why. It should have been such a sexy, wonderful time and I wasn't depressed just environment challenged by all the rain and clouds. So yes, I do think that change of environment has a huge affect on our well beings. Oma Linda

  2. I haven't moved to a different climate - I didn't even leave the town! - but somehow this year, Summer is hotter, more than double the temperature than normal. And I find myself in a similar-sounding place, both in a spiritual, emotional sense, and in that I spend my days cowering inside with the fan going. There's a heaviness on my breath, and what almost feels like a weariness in my spirit. Kinda.
    I grew up with depression too, and so I know that this is not what it is for me either :)

    But for me this is slowly becoming a time of deep, deliciously slow revelation. Things that seemed hidden before are becoming foreground. Also, some things I thought I was sure of, are starting to slink away behind the veil.

    I see a Spiritual, emotional warming, like sunshine upon my back, coming just in time for Harvest.

    I hope you feel more in tune soon :) xx

  3. Yes, I was raised in Ohio and Fall is my favorite time, all the color changes, the air temp changes. Then we move to Texas no such thing as fall and color changes here like in Ohio.

  4. I know exactly what you are talking about with the different climate and moods and Sabbaths. When I did my time in VA it was the opposite too. I didn't leave the house unless necessary from June through August and was outside a lot in the Winter. It actually pissed me off royally because I'm a Jersey Girl and shit is right up here, period.

    I totally understand the introvert with mental thang riding shotgun too. Gawd forbid I have a few nights of fucked up sleep and have some energy and am just fucking goofy. The big ol "mania" word gets taken out of the box.

    It sucks.


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