October 11, 2010

On Practicing During Illness

So, despite my early flu shot and my daily mountain of herbal immune boosters, I still managed to come down with the flu (or something equally nasty) last week. Hurray for working in the health industry.

Generally I handle discomfort pretty well. Bike gear through my leg? Meh. Giant gash that I have to stitch myself? Bring it on. Fever of 102? Cue me curled up and waiting to die. Thank god a few Motrin will put me back at 100% for a few hours.

But I surprised myself a bit during those NSAID-induced moments of wellness. I was totally up for adventure; parties, sex, going out to new places, you name it (as long as I carried my precious fever-reducers with me). But as soon as the thought of magic popped into my head? "Fuck that, can't you see I'm sick?"

Meditation? Oh no, I'd cough too much. Offerings? I should be conserving energy. Energy work? I'd burn myself out. Prayers? I can't concentrate.

Clearly, these are all terrible excuses, but for a good 5 or 6 days this is where my mind was firmly planted. It did serve to pique my interest, though, so as a general point of interest I'm asking the masses, what practices do you keep or give up when nature gives you a sucker punch? Inquiring minds want to know!


  1. This is a very timely post (and not just because I'm getting over a nasty cold that lingered and festered because I toughed it out last week when I should not have). I learned I have to be really careful when it comes to working with energy, when I'm feeling under the weather, a couple years ago. And I learned that after coming to the realization that working with energy for weeks or months on end actually makes me susceptible to illness. Yep, I do a lot of things to prime the pump such as commuting on public transportation daily, and working with the public, but the thing I continue to return to is that I really need to relearn how I work with energy during workings and rituals and ongoing projects, so that I don't burn out my batteries once or twice a year.

    The biggest thing in my peculiar case is needing ample sleep. More than ample sleep. It is glaringly obvious, but it wasn't until I got over the hump with banking more sleep hours in the spring that I realized I'd been missing a heck of a lot in terms of journeying, receiving symbolic messages, and the like. Magic on depleted reserves is basically no magic at all. And spirit and deity really don't have a lot of sympathy if our reserves are depleted, because we were jackasses to run on empty and to do more than we ought, to begin with.
    Anyway, that's just one perspective. And I totally get your point on, "Oh sure, I could do any and all of these things ____, just let me get the fever down a bit," yet we apply the brakes completely when it comes to magic :)

  2. I should add, I do morning walking prayers, offering up some disclaimers and apologies for having a head full of mashed potatoes. I keep things very simple, just the usual giving thanks for ___ and ___ or whatever else is relevant.

    And I keep up with offerings at new and full moons if they coincide with when I feel like utter crap. But with the same disclaimers as above.

    Daily life does not change, in other words. But I do not embark on special projects that need lots of planning, lots of concentration, and collecting raw materials for a working, much less performing the working itself.

  3. Dealing with the same here,

    Prayer, mostly. No Seriously. When the cold/fly Allergy thing hits the messages from my physical body are often a little too loud to clearly discern stuff from the spiritual world or my energy body...

    ...I think also I am rarely sick, once a year usually, twice if you count the annual Allergen assault - which I keep forgetting happens in Feb/March down here and often end up taking cold meds for a couple of days...

    ... I did try drawing down a little energy through my chakra's the other day... top down, and that helped a little.


  4. Continuing daily prayers while sick seems to be the consensus across the blogosphere (I'm trying to convince myself that nature didn't specifically engineer the ManFlu to go after bloggers specifically. BlogFlu?).

    Somewhere in my early teens I seem to have developed an aversion to daily prayer because I somehow equated "daily" to "without specific purpose" (read, "pointless"). Jason is just breaking me of that notion, but I still haven't quite gotten the "daily" part down yet. At least now I have a notion as to what I'm missing out on, though.

  5. Well, the daily prayer or thanksgiving, for me, is a very specific time which is set aside for me to reaffirm my connection with deity and various and sundry patterns and energies that might be influencing my life at a given time. It is actually a respite in my case, and it is the very necessary morning ritual I go through before I find myself at work and subject to shitloads of external stressors and irritations.

    It started as a coping mechanism for being stuck in a job which is not ideal, and not a place I should stay longer than I have to, and umpteen other things which actually hinder rather than help me. It was a coping mechanism which evolved into a way to turn a bad situation into something I could learn from, and learn to transform into something very positive indeed.

    So, if there is something you are preoccupied with, that stresses your system, or makes things less than ideal, that might be a workable gateway towards creating a daily practice or simple ritual which makes lemonade instead of souring everything. At least, that worked well for me.

    And this is even assuming you want to set time aside daily for whatever. It's not for everyone.

  6. I never take the flu shots, because I'm one of the lucky ones who seldom get the flu at its highest levels. But I heard that shortly after taking them, it's common to get a flu indeed, weird as it may sound!

  7. @Sara: Indeed it's not for everyone, but I must admit to wanting a time just for myself and Deity, away from the mundane for a time. Discipline isn't my strong point, though, lol.

    @Nydia: The idea is that after you get a flu shot, your body is busy building antibodies to the strains that were in the shot, so you might be more susceptible to catching strains that weren't included in it. But at the same time, antibodies have cross-tolerances between strains, so anything you catch will probably not be as bad as it might have been... Obviously this is all very hard for us scientists to study!

  8. I usually do some meditation, but its focused on helping my body heal as soon as possible.

  9. I've always been leery of flu shots. I've read too many disturbing things about them. Well, since you wrote this post a bit over two weeks ago, I hope you're feeling better and up to your magickal self! When I feel like crap, anything spiritual and magickal just seems to take a dive.

  10. I keep my daily prayer list, and i keep my i'm thankful for my blessings list. i use sick-in-bed time as rest time, to recharge all my batteries, plan what i want to do next, and catch up on my "read me later" bookmarks... usually means 2-3 hours of blog surfing, and learning in a lighter way.