Surviving A Spiritual Slump

Do you live, eat, breathe, and sleep moon phases? Are you able to meditate, perform ritual, do yoga, commune with your deities, and sage that shit on the daily? Are you constantly on your spiritual A-game with no signs of stopping or slipping away from the woo?

If so, I applaud you–you are the Super-Human New-Age Goddess we all revere and aspire to be.

If you’re a professed human being like myself, however, chances are that you fall out of touch with your inner-divine from time to time. In the woo community, this disconnection is generally referred to as a “spiritual slump,” and even though it’s incredibly natural and common, it causes many stress and concern.

So, what should we do if the flatline of spiritual malaise begins to sneak up on us? 

Attitudes vary. Some claim that periods of disconnection are part and parcel to the spiritual journey and that we should just ride them out while enjoying the beauty of the moment. Others recommend going through the motions until you (inevitably) reconnect with your practice. Still others claim that spiritual slumps are an indication that it’s time to move beyond current spiritual practice and experiment with new approaches and ideologies.

 

But what if none of these approaches works for you? What if you can’t shake yourself out of a slump and you can’t release your attachment to spiritual practice?

I was an atheist for the better part of a decade. You could say I “lost my religion” at the ripe age of fourteen–I wasn’t too keen on the patriarchal conception of God and I was far too logical, literal, and green to consider working with an archetypal pantheon. Instead, I took up the banner of nihilism and existentialism, and although it was something to believe in, it left me feeling empty, isolated, and hopeless.

This is no way to be. And I have the sneaking suspicion that these feelings prompt many to experiment with woo even though they don’t consider themselves particularly spiritual.

When I finally reconnected with this aspect of myself and rediscovered my place in the glorious All that is the universe, I was intoxicated by the feeling it gave me. Having lived a life apart for so long, all I desired was to prolong this oneness, this union. But, like so many things, this deep spirituality ebbs and flows, and the first time it ebbed, I have to admit that I was fairly devastated.

Spiritual slumps suck. And however true it may be, “this too shall pass” offers little comfort in the moment.

I feared that I was losing it again and that I would never get it back. I did all the things–performed ritual even though it no longer resonated, experimented with new approaches and ideologies, I consulted the tarot, and I tried to accept my slump period and take advantage of the opportunities it afforded me. Nothing seemed to help–I still felt lost and disconnected. And then, something wonderful happened–I felt my spirituality returning. I tried to pinpoint what had caused the shift, but I eventually realized that everything had caused it.

Ultimately, it was my dedication to being spiritual and living a spiritual life that brought the feeling back to me.

Even when I was sad and despairing, I persevered in living my truth, working my shadowpracticing compassion and forgiveness, spending time at my altar and receiving guidance and counsel from those who’ve been through similar experiences. Each of us works through our spiritual slumps in our own way, and if we truly wish for a deepened connection with the divine, we’ll have it.

So, how do you survive a spiritual slump? Hold space for yourself. Seek guidance and support from those you trust. And never give up hope that you’ll find your way back.

Much Love, Seekers,

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Seeking spiritual guidance? Consider booking a reading with me.

 

Exploring the Mind/Body Connection in Tarot

My husband got sick five days ago. It didn’t worry me–I don’t automatically get sick just because he does, and I felt absolutely fine. A few evenings later, however, my nose began to run. About a half-second later, I felt my body slacken and weaken. Goddammit, I thought. I don’t have time to be sick right now. I poured myself a cup of respiratory health tea, threw a blanket over my head and breathed in the goodness. I’ll be fine by tomorrow.

At precisely 3:40 AM, I awoke to an unbearable pounding in my sinuses. The pain was so intense that I couldn’t sleep. I dampened a towel with water and some Lavender essential oil and threw it in the microwave. Once I had the compress on my face, I began thinking. And thinking. It wasn’t the good kind of thinking, mind you, but the freakin’ nine of swords kind of thinking. By 4 AM, I’d convinced myself that I was dying of skin cancer. I picked up my phone and began scrolling through photos online, trying to find one that confirmed my diagnosis. I knew that it was completely useless to act this way and that all I was doing was fueling anxiety that would keep me from sleeping. I couldn’t seem to stop, however. I continued compulsively surfing the web until I’d given up on answers and was so exhausted I didn’t have a choice.

Hypochondria is certainly a condition that I’m known to exhibit, but only under severe duress. If my health is in good working order, I’m not carried away by compulsions or irrational thought. As soon as I’m in an overwhelming physical or psychological state, however, it’s as if the levee breaks and all hell rushes forth. This got me thinking about the mind/body connection, and how important it is for us to nurture both systems if we want to maintain a general sense of health and wellbeing. And this got me thinking about…tarot, of course!

The pip cards do an awesome job of illustrating this mind/body connection, which is why we need to give these cards their due in terms of attention. Now, don’t get me wrong–a lot of majors in a reading certainly does indicate that something huge is afoot, but it’s the pips that help us break it down into single serving portions of understanding. When the six of wands appears in a reading, for example, I’m likely to interpret it as an indication of stress in the most physical sense of the term–a prolonged adrenaline reaction that causes anxiousness, sensitivity, clamminess…the list goes on. Determining the stressor is a great first step, but taking some viable action is necessary in terms of getting your stress back under control. How do you do that? It’s easy for a tarot reader to say, “Do work that makes you feel empowered, not stressed.” “Your relationship with your mother triggers you? Maybe you should stay away from her for a while.””The cards indicate that this relationship isn’t working out. Perhaps you should consider moving on.” These are all amazing suggestions, and given the situation, may be exactly what the doctor ordered. However, many of these are likely to increase stress, especially in the short-term. In the interim, treating the body may be your best bet in terms of stress reduction. Meditation is a statistically proven way of relieving stress regardless of the existence of stressors in a person’s life. Likewise, exercise is known to lessen the effects of depression by half. And yoga…don’t even get me started on yoga.

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As a metaphysical practitioner, I help others navigate the landscape of their subconscious so they can reach clarity in terms of what’s happening (and in rare cases, what may happen) in their lives. But the truth of the matter is that there’s so much more in terms of wellness that must be addressed in order to make major headway. Therefore, when cards like the six of wands come up, I may suggest a more physical stress relief technique (of course, only those I practice and have greatly benefitted from). Likewise, when a card such as the nine of wands appears, it’s an indication of physical exhaustion, and prioritization of responsibilities and activities is in order (read: your body need some rest).

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On the flip side of the coin, the King, nine, and ten of pentacles are indicative of comfort and vibrant health. I mean, they’re practically wearing blankets–these lords and ladies know how to take care of themselves. Given the question, their appearance in a spread may mean that the querent would greatly benefit from a spa day. Literally. Physical relaxation breeds psycho-spiritual contentment and vice-versa. One rarely exists without the other.

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Now, I’m no doctor (as my ethics very clearly state!), but I’ve been around for thirty two years and in that time, I’ve learned a thing or two about the body. And given that I draw from both my personal experience and scientific research, I find know qualms with suggesting a meditation session within a tarot reading. If a client mentions that he/she has recently stopped exercising and my reading indicates that this is an issue, my interpretation will most likely include actionable advice about getting moving again. Why? Because it’s good advice. And I have enough practice and experience in tarot reading to know how to do this lovingly, gently, and productively, and how to connect it to the psycho-spiritual issues that led her to consult me in the first place. I figure that if one client in ten is inspired to view her situation more holistically, the suggestions are well worth it. Sometimes, all it takes is the right combination of word choice and context to make something real to a person. And if that word choice and context comes through one of my readings, more the better.

Much Love,

Jessi