What's this got to do with Paganism, you may wonder?
As many know, having a child throws your world out of whack, or it did for us. Many new parents/not-so-new parents often find themselves disconnected and miserable. Unable to reconnect with their faith, peace, and that energy. Many are lost. You've probably seen them in forums or reposted messages about how they want to know how they can get back into it [Witchcraft and/or Paganism].
Sleep schedule? What's that again? Eating? Going to the toilet by myself? Get out of here, people don't do that anymore. At least, I don't. Any time I'm about to nap, eat, or go to the restroom, my son knows, it's like he senses a disturbance in the force! And these are just basic things. Spiritually, things have been....neglected. Mentally, I've still been true to myself and faithful to the Spirits and Deities--living in a way that will make them proud of me, and thus given me confidence and self-love (I've grown tremendously these past 8 months!). But concerning physical things, like my daily rituals, well, that's another story. My shrines are a little dusty. Meditation and chakra cleansings are rusty. I've forgotten many a time to give Hestia the first bites of dinner. I don't practice tarot or cast as often as I did. Offerings? New/Full Moon rituals? Sabbat celebrations? Forget about it.
(The only thing I do keep up on is smudging my home and charging our wards!)
However, They haven't forgotten about me. I can feel Hestia more than ever (and She's not disappointed about not receiving physical offerings!). My Spirit Animals are still popping in with reminders. Messengers, like Great Slug, are coming by, answering deep-seeded questions. And Jackalope has revealed himself as my newest Guide, in relation to Sister Moon and Hedgecraft. I do believe he's trying to get my attention concerning journeying or "riding the hedge". I'm listening. As for time? I'm trying to find it. When a Spirit or a Deity calls, I do beckon. Or try to anyway.
One useful tool that I've found is Pinterest. Creating E-Shrines to my various Deities and Spirits. Finding images that evoke powerful emotions or pictures that I think They'll enjoy. Another good resource I've found is Youtube. How many videos have I watched about my Spirit Animals? Couldn't tell you, but some have moved me in such way that I've been brought to tears. But not sad tears. Awe tears, I suppose. I can't really put it into words....just emotions.
I'm in my 8th month of parenthood and my 4th month as a full-time worker (after taking a year off). I'm getting used to this new, chaotic life. Jackalope's come at the right ripe moment! I can feel the doors of myself opening again. I plan on doing a spell here in a few days. I'm going to clean off the shrines, give some offerings. Surely the Spirits and Deities can see that I've been busy, and I know they'll understand. Even the nit-picky ones. I just gotta start out slow and find my nitch. Find those perfect quiet times where I can focus my energy and be at one with my spiritual self again.
Like Great Slug, just gotta keep moving slowly, but surely. The one good thing about working the graveyard shift is that Sister Moon is with me most nights. She helps me keep going. The night isn't complete until I see Her and feel Her blessings--Her energy. One of my nightly affirmations is, "Sister Moon gets up, works all night long, without complaints. She only gets three days off a month! If She can do it, well, so can I." It seems silly to compare my work schedule with the Moon, but it helps. It drives me to not throw in the towel, and She's motivating me with Her Jackalope helper to get back into the swing of things.
I just can't wait until my son is old enough to participate in activities and rituals that I have planned for us! To share the joys and magik of my spirituality with him, to show him the beauty and wonder of the world, and thus allow him to grows spiritually....well, that's going to be a wonderful gift, and well worth the pains and elation that parenthood can bring.
(also posted on Book of Mirrors)