My last two entries have detail parts of my relationship with Anubis, from how he first came to me to how he abandoned me over a year ago. Now I want to talk about how I got him back.
In truth, I don’t truly know why he came back. I don’t pretend to know how the gods think and choose their comings and goings. It just isn’t something that I know.
Where I left off, I was a mess. I was abandoned, broken, and spiraling into a depression. It was tough, and for awhile I just felt empty. That Halloween, or Samhain, I tried to do a ritual to get him back, a plea for him to return. I took off work and spent the day gathering supplies all across town for what I had in mind. Before the altar I knelt, lit the candles and the incense. I closed my eyes and prayed.
I think that was the final straw for me, what caused me to feel hollow for so long. After that, nothing really seemed to matter. I went to class, took my finals, spent my winter break with my family or with friends, came back and started the spring semester. I wrote about my exhaustion and my depression on my old blog and I might repost some of those thoughts here again.
I was lost again and there was no one there to help me.
When I think about my spiritual development, I picture myself in a dark forest. I’m barefoot but clad much in the same clothes I typically wear: jeans and a t-shirt. The forest is thick with oaks and pines, the ground littered with underbrush and fallen leaves; ivy and vine crawl everywhere. When I look up, the tree branches block out the sky and the light, but I can still see. I can still see the trunks of the trees all around me; I can make out my surroundings.
In the beginning, there was no path. I was battered, laying on the forest floor, and wailing my pain into the earth, clawing my fingers into the rich loam beneath me. My heart ached, my chest throbbed. I felt like I couldn’t move except to try and grip tighter to the earth beneath me. Some days I could find the effort to walk, to find my way back to the path. Back to my Path. But I couldn’t find it.
One day, I fell to my hands and knees on the forest floor again. Tears left trails down my face and I watched them fall like stones to the forest floor. I knelt there for a long time, not having the energy to press on.
And then something changed.
I felt a tiny spark light within me, a wee flame beginning to burn again. When I looked to my side, I found a lantern there and knew what I had to do. As I knelt on the damp ground, I took the lantern in my left hand and plunged my right within my chest.
It’s an odd feeling, rooting around in your chest for a flame. I felt my fingers curl around it the tiny speck of fire; it was about the size of a pea when I found it and cool to the touch. As I pulled it out, it began to grow until it reached the size of an orange. I lit the lantern in my hand and stood, mud falling from my knees. I began to walk again, my lantern as my guide.
Eventually I stepped out of the woodland and onto a dirt path that ran through the forest. It was rough, tree roots snaking through it, and seemingly abandoned, but it led Somewhere.
I’m still on that Path, lantern in hand, and picking my way through the knotty roots and overgrown ivy and vines.
I don’t know if the forest is an astral location or a manifestation in my consciousness, but it’s where I find myself when it comes to thinking of my Path. I’ll be interested to see where I find myself in the coming years and how the forest develops over time
But you’re probably wondering how this deals with Anubis.
During my depression, I began to get signs from another god. Or, to be specific, a goddess. Crows began to appear to me more often and caw. I would have conversations with them when they visited the Dead Tree in front of my apartment building. The Morrigan kept appearing to me in conversations, random encounters, and under odd circumstances.
I was tentative at first. It felt as if she were reaching out, but my knowledge of her was that she was Very Intense as a goddess, and I was still pining for Anubis. It felt wrong, like I was cheating on my god. But as the weeks and months passed without word from him, I began to feel a stronger and stronger tug to her. And finally, I relented.
I worked with her for a time, but my heart was never in it. Anubis had been with me for half my life and as much as the Morrigan appealed to me, it wasn’t the same. I couldn’t say good bye to her, though. But then, I had developed a relationship with her and we had become familiar with each other. It felt wrong to abandon her as Anubis abandoned me, though I imagine it would not be remotely the same. She reminded me to fight for what I wanted and I wonder sometimes if it was her that helped me light that lantern in the forest. But it was with her help that I began to fight for my relationship with Anubis and eventually he came back. The circumstances of his return are hazy, but one day he was gone and the next he was back. It was like a pressure on the back of my mind, as if he were saying hello again but keeping his distance. Our relationship isn’t the same as it used to be. We’ve grown apart, but I’ve also learned that there is life beyond him and it is okay to work with other gods and goddesses.
It’s okay to be a polytheist.