I have been studying paganism for over 20 years. I have considered myself a pagan for a bit less than that, with some random asides into frustrated pseudo-atheism brought about by a vicious depressive disorder.
I have called down the gods, danced with my beloved dead, and worked ritual from books, from the head, and, most effectively, from the bowels. I was going to say, "from the heart," there, but it was from the bowels -- from my gut, from my womb, from my sex, from the deepest part of my lower self, the cauldron of my soul.
And yet here I am nearing 40 and feeling a deep need to start over, as it were. First there is the call to the Greek and Roman pantheons, one I've never really dealt with in too much depth. My religion, such as it is, has been all bones and blood -- deep family line shit. My god is a guardian, red and black, a demon and an angel, the man in black. My goddess a Red Queen in an amber castle.
But I am getting strong signals from Mercurius and Jupiter and Diana and Dionysos and Hera and the Magna Mater and a push to enter into a more formal religious practice. I have been digging my trenches too wide, too shallow.
"Go deeper," they say. "Get some structure; you fucking need it," they say. And I know that they are right.
It's time to make some changes and do some hard work.
And, as always, in the corner of my eye, is my shadow self, the stuff I'm not dealing with. She lurks. She waits. And if I don't take some proactive steps to integrate her, she's going to do it herself, and the results won't be pretty.
My head, thought it might not seem like it, is in a pretty good place now. I am in therapy and back on the meds I need. I have started the shadow work with words, but I think I'm finally ready to rend some flesh, too.
So I'm starting over but not at the beginning. That was a long time ago. I feel like I'm starting over at the end, the end of one part of my life and the start of a new one. Not THE beginning, but A beginning. Things will be loose around here as I tear down some old shit and try to build it back up. I feel like I might need to go a little crazy.