It would be nice if we all had this, if all of us who walk with our Gods in serious dedication were valued, and within reach of supportive networks of friends and/or coreligionists. It is exactly this lack of support which stops many from diving into the deeper waters of mysticism. And, perhaps it should be so. The mystic’s path is one fraught with danger, both physical and psychological. One must be prepared to face the challenges that will inevitably come their way from having such deep contact with that which is Other. The Otherness changes you, and the people who are around you will see that, and they may not like what they see. In some cases, their disapproval will cause unbridgeable rifts between you and your loved ones. This can not always be helped, and it is a challenge that we all must endure, at some point.
As a Polytheist or Pagan (or whatever label you identify yourself with), one day you will have to explain what your beliefs are. The extent of your explanation may be to offer little to nothing, actually, but the time will come when someone will ask for (demand!) an explanation. To go even further, if you are involved in mysticism (I am specifically including godspousery and magic in this definition of mysticism), or even something as innocuous as veiling, you may be put upon to explain (defend!) your involvement in those practices… to other Pagans, no less.
So, what happens when your explanation is less than satisfactory for whomever issued the question? Well, a few things could happen, I suppose, but one of the first is the withdrawal of physical and emotional support from those who disapprove. And they may be people you love deeply, or only internet acquaintances, but the effect remains the same. Rejection hurts.
A sudden loss like this can be devastating. I know. I experienced it last year, when my spouse revealed his true feelings about Apollon, and my own practices. I can no longer trust him to support me. I am alone. I have always been alone.
Some of us do not have support. Some of us do not have trusted lovers, or friends, or mentors who may assist us when the Work knocks us to the floor (figuratively and literally), or when the burdens of being Connected leave us cracking, and falling apart. Some of us even go through these times without the support of our Gods. We call them “fallow times”, and they too, are necessary.
I have only recently stepped out of a fallow period. It wasn’t awful, though, but that is probably because I passed the test, and am now looking back from a longer-term perspective. I won’t go into the details, because this is just one of those keep silent kinds of things, but after emerging from the trial a little more open, and a little more His, I can see that the Gods need to know we are capable of guarding our own frailties, and that we can stand on the foundations They have helped us to build, while speaking and acting from places of knowing; knowing ourselves, our limits, and Their expectations.
I am expected to stand above my burdens and to carry them, always. This lack of emotional support has been my life from the beginning of my life. I don’t see it changing any time soon. But that is alright. I embrace the Alpha, and I embrace the Omega. Hardship and victory both, are mine.
The trials of life are the best teachers, I have learned, thanks to the Prince. Not having a cushion to lean upon when one is exhausted will teach you one very important thing: how to pick your battles. No one can fight every injustice that they see, nor can they allow their peace of mind to be shattered by them. We must not give up, even when we are alone.
It will be those of us with nothing who will build the somethings that will support future generations. It is just as they say, ‘Be the change you want to see‘. If something is missing, find it. If something is needed, build it. Create it. Foster it. But, don’t ever give up because you are alone. When the people disappear, it is the Gods Who stay, always teaching us new lessons. Trust Them. They are the true support structures of the Kosmos.