Creativity, Obsession, and Religion

It’s been a strange month over here. I’m preparing for a huge move at the end of next month, starting grad school at a new school thousands of mile from home, trying to find a place to live, and trying to get in the headspace that this is real, it’s happening, and I’m going to be living much further than I’ve been from everyone and everything I’ve ever known. This is a good thing, believe me, but it’s also a terrifying thing. Especially when one has ended a relationship with a deity and hasn’t yet begun to forge a new relationship.

Simultaneously, I’ve done most of the physical work I can do for now, so there’s a lot of waiting involved. Most of what I’m doing right now is searching for and contacting people about potential living spaces. Also, I had a temp job for the past three months that has now ended, but took up a lot of my time and energy while it was ongoing.

All of this to say that spiritual practice has fallen by the wayside lately, as it does sometimes.

Strangely, though, or perhaps not so strangely, as the days close in on the time frame I’ve been looking to anchor the Chaos Paganism holiday of Narcissus, I’ve had a sudden bout of creativity during the Season of Creation. I didn’t look for it, in fact in the midst of everything else going on I rather forgot about Inspire, and Creation, and upcoming Narcissus, and all of it. It’s happened anyway and I am most grateful for it.

In the past two weeks, I’ve written almost 15,000 words on a project that will never be associated with any current public persona of mine. It’s a project I’m working on out of love and need–love of the source material and the need to fix something I feel is broken in the only way I have available to me.

I’ve had a fevered bout of writing like this before, only once before, in a project that ended up being just over 21,000 words. I worked on it nearly non-stop from beginning until I finished it, working closely with a beta/cheerleader with whom I had long conversations about the subject matter and source material. In the end, I ended up losing that person as a beta because they did not agree with my views on certain things, and I did not agree with them, and they asked that their name not be associated with having betaed the project. Before this, I worked well with this person and really enjoyed their help, suggestions, and conversation. When the project was posted it received high acclaim and even an award (I’m still flummoxed by this). While the person came forward as saying it was a great story that deserved the praise, we’ve never been able to pick up where we left off and have never repaired that relationship.

The point being, I lost a creative relationship because the project was more important. Or rather, because I needed to write this project and something like a little rift in my creative relationship wasn’t going to stop me.

I’m in that same space now. This is going to happen, obstacles be damned.

I wonder why this never happens in regards to spiritual things, at least with me. I’ve never been in that space for spiritual or religions things. My personal practice–Chaos Paganism, the Calendar Chaotica, my relationships with deity–are important to me. Yet they’ve never had the same air of I need to do this or I will never be able to stop obsessing about it as these two writing projects. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad one. Should spirituality have that urgency? Should religion have that drunken edge of obsession?

Most of me says no, it shouldn’t be like that, but there’s the other part that says but how else is it going to get done?

I shouldn’t rely on pure obsession to help me power through the things I need to do. Eventually, by virtue of being exhausting, that obsession will run its course and then where will I be? The current writing project could end up being in excess of 100,000 words. Is obsession enough to get me through? I doubt it. There will come a point when love and discipline will have to propel me through the inertia obsession left behind.

These are the thoughts I’m having as the Season of Creation comes to a natural close. Like Inspire, I haven’t actually decided on a date for Narcissus. However, I feel strongly it will be in the next week as I feel the obsession with my project wane and the need for some time from working–and from planning my move–in order to rest.

Next month I’ll be taking a trip to my new city to apartment hunt. Then, August first and in time for Rapport, I’ll be an official resident of Salem, Massachusetts. In between Narcissus and Rapport: the Season of Foundation. I hope to be better at exploring these Seasons and Holy Days than I have been so far.

Until then, everyone.

About the Author

Celestine Nox is a Pagan in the Southern U.S. about to escape to Massachusetts. Perpetual wanderer and seeker, she's terrible at structure and ritual but desires both greatly. Working on creating a structure that works for her and maybe some others is the majority of her current work as a Pagan. Mystic and pragmatist, magician and scientist, Celestine is a bundle of contradictions--unless she's not and it all makes sense after all. She has a B.A. in English and a B.Sc in Psychology and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, as well as a deeper relationship with various aspects of Death.

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