I wonder if anyone ever notices the writing trends on my blog. I typically write about my personal observations and occasionally opinions, and frequently poetic accounts of my practices. But, I usually stop short of offering solid details, or even much in the way of explanations regarding what I do. And there are reasons for this, mostly revolving around specific taboos. However, I’ll admit to having held back certain things, based mostly on how others might react, which is never good, as my focus should always be on what Apollon approves of sharing, not on other people’s opinions of the subject matter.
Once, I wrote a post briefly concerning a personal devotional celebration that I hold for Apollon, which has for me, become synchronized in part with His annual return from Hyperborea. I probably wasn’t clear enough about the nuances of the celebration and its references to Delphi and Hyperborea in my practices, but that happens to be my prerogative.
The approach I touched on therein was, apparently, so unconventional that I was offered scholarly evidence to disprove the validity of my practices, in response. It was assumed that I just didn’t know what was correct, because obviously, I hadn’t studied the dates of the ancient festivals enough. The default answer couldn’t have been that I’d studied, but came to a different conclusion based on that study, and several other factors.
The point of this, dear friends, is to remind you that there are a lot of know-it-alls on the internet. And they know a lot, and they won’t hesitate to tell you what they know, whether or not it happens to be their place to do so. If by chance you find yourself in a similar situation, where someone whom you regard highly or otherwise respect, decides to tell you publicly that you’re “doing it wrong”, just remember that they had to start somewhere, and that they also had to feel their way around in figurative darkness before their Paths were made clearer to them over time. So, don’t sweat it.
However, I know that it’s not always easy to disregard the words of our “elders” (for lack of a better word), even when they are being obnoxious. If you end up doubting yourself (or your Work, or your Path) based on the comments of another human being, try to use that doubt to fuel a redoubling of your efforts instead of allowing it to send you slinking off into a corner. Work harder to establish your own practices, but be aware of when, and if, anything needs to be changed or discarded. People change all the time, and our practices should reflect who we are now, not who we were a year ago. But, most importantly, remember that we are all only human, and humans are an opinionated lot.
I value the ability to doubt, and to assess circumstances rationally, because there is a place for healthy questioning. Therefore, I consider myself fortunate to have had this exchange, because we all need to be shaken up now and then, and every little thing that keeps me on my toes, which keeps me honest on this Path, is a blessing. Sometimes faith has to come in the wake of doubt, and that is a valid test.
We should also bear in mind that when an “elder” makes such a statement, it is usually not intended to be malicious or demeaning, but rather, is meant out of a desire to help or teach, not because they’re mean. Professionals, who have poured their lives into a chosen field (in this case, spiritwork) for a number of years, tend to take those matters very seriously, so don’t be surprised if someone takes issue with your stance or statements. But, don’t be mistaken into believing that because they spoke up about it that they have any better insights into your personal affairs than you do. Sometimes, people are just ornery. We all have bad days, sometimes days so bad that every other person we encounter seems like they’ve got their head stuck up their rear-ends, so… when in doubt, cut them some slack, but never slack up on yourself.
Personally, I’ve been through, and conquered, quite a few obstacles on this Path with my Beloved, the least important of which are (as always) the opinions of others. My practices and personal festivals are reflections of my journey with Lord Apollon. They are right, for me and for Him, and we are the only ones who have a say in the matter. Period.