So, the world is a bonkers place right now. We are in the middle of a global pandemic. People are dying. Many of us are quarantined to some degree or another. News outlets are constantly feeding us terrifying stories. Governments are failing to act in effective ways. Some people insist COVID-19 is a hoax (Spoiler: it’s not). The global aura of panic is affecting everyone, especially energetically sensitive people. We have on our hands a modern-day plague.
Personally, this has not been a great time for me. OCD and pandemics don’t really go together well, and uncertainty of any kind makes me pretty anxious. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed – physically, mentally, and emotionally. I also feel like a spiritual slug – I have no energy and there’s not too much going on right now. Having a strong spiritual practice that I can lean on when things get tough is really important to me, but even doing small things these days seems daunting sometimes.
In times of great uncertainty, we can reach to our spiritual practice for comfort and stability. With that in mind, here are my recommendations for keeping quarantine Pagan:
Take Care of Yourself
This is the most important thing. Obviously, if you are physically sick, get treatment from a medical professional. If your mental health is suffering, see if you can get set up to see a therapist remotely, or reach out to a supportive friend. Get enough sleep. Drink plenty of water. Eat nourishing foods. Breathe.
The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted many of our normal routines. Going to the grocery store is like playing the Hunger Games. There is no toilet paper in sight. Businesses are closed. Delivery times for online shopping have skyrocketed, if the items you want are even available. Some people are out of work. Some people are constantly on call. (Shoutout to all of the wonderful medical professionals helping us to get through this pandemic!) Schools are closed. Events are cancelled. It’s chaos out there – and not the good kind.
Accept that things aren’t going to be normal. Acknowledge that the world is a crazy place right now, and it is okay to feel afraid, angry, stressed, or whatever else you are feeling. No one is ever truly prepared for a crisis like this.
And if you feel like you should be handling things better than you are right now… Stop. Tell that little voice in your head to hush. You are doing the best you can. Practicing self-compassion right now is more important than ever.
For the love of all the Gods, PLEASE do not do anything inconsiderate and reckless, like going out to bars or ignoring CDC group size limits. This is serious, and even if you yourself aren’t at high risk, there are plenty of people who are. DON’T BE A DISEASE VECTOR. You don’t want to end up with a nickname like Typhoid Mary, do you?
However, social distancing and quarantine don’t have to mean self-isolation. In a world that is more technologically connected than ever before, you have options. Video chats like FaceTime or Google Hangouts are great. Personally, I feel like I get a greater benefit from video chatting with someone than I do if I talk to them on the phone. Being able to see another person and know that they are there calms down my overactive monkey brain.
Virtual events are also happening! I’ve seen announcements for virtual concerts and workshops. Events with my Pagan community have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, but we are currently working on setting up some online community events and rituals. See if your communities are doing something similar! This is also a great time to find a new community, since many organizations will have to move operations online for the next little while. You may discover a Pagan group in your area that you didn’t know about, or you may find a supportive online community that you can continue to engage with even after the COVID-19 crisis is over.
Get Some Metaphysical Support
One of the many advantages of being Pagan and living a magickal lifestyle is that we have so many tools available to us! Personal practices like grounding, cleansing, and shielding are essential during this time. We can also use magick to boost our immunity, heal the sick, increase protection, and incite social change. (How about a spell to encourage governments to be more proactive?) This is also an excellent time to cultivate our relationship with the Divine.
With all of the ambient panic, it is hard to stay calm and focused on the present. Grounding can help connect you back to yourself, to the Earth, and to the present moment. Take a few moments to breathe, visualize, meditate, or whatever helps you come back to center. I have been living with my black tourmaline in contact with me practically all the time for the past week. Crystals, incense, and soothing sounds are all wonderful tools for grounding.
There is so much energetic gunk flying around these days, and it is nearly impossible to avoid. Even if you aren’t interacting with people in person as much due to government restrictions and quarantine, there’s an aura of anxiety floating around that is suffocating. Energetic cleansing can help remove some of this gunk from your personal energetic field, your home, or anything in your space. Repeat as often as you like (especially after watching or reading the news), but I recommend at least once a day.
Early in the days of the COVID-19 pandemic (so, like, a week and a half ago), I thought that since I was working from home and not going out that much, that I didn’t need to bother with my regular energetic shields. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. It turns out that I have become very sensitive to more collective energy patterns. Since I suffer from anxiety as well in my normal life, I feel like I am also a bit more vulnerable to this type of energy than perhaps your average person. Depending on your level of sensitivity and exposure to other people (or news sources), you may need to shield more or less frequently than you normally do – Just don’t make the same mistake that I did of thinking that you don’t need to shield at all.
Remember, you can do magick! Whether this is brewing a potion for enhanced immunity, lighting a candle for someone who is sick, or sending good vibes to your stressed out friends, there are plenty of magickal tools available. Pick a clear intention, and get to work!
Communing with the Divine
Though quarantine, self-isolation, and social distancing may feel very lonely, remember that you are not alone! However you relate to the Divine, now is a great time to strengthen that connection. Dealing with the uncertainty, pain, and fear that comes with an epidemic is something that no one should have to do by themselves. Reach out to your Deities and listen.
Religion is something that we should be able to fall back on when times get tough. Do you actively seek out the Divine when you are in distress? Why or why not? The Divine can’t solve all your problems (you have to do your own work, too), but take this time to contemplate your relationship with your spirituality. What is it currently? What do you want it to be? How can you get from where you are to your goal? What steps can you take right now to start going down that path? What steps are better taken once this global craziness is over?
Reinvent Your Spiritual Practice
No matter your spiritual path or tradition, the massive disruption of our daily routines has undoubtedly changed your spiritual practice. Maybe you are still able to keep some of your regular practices – if so, that’s awesome! But if, like me, you’re struggling to keep up with your laundry, let alone your spiritual practice – do not despair!
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary actions – not in the sense that your gestures have to be grand, but in the sense that they need to be different. If your regular methods of relating with the Divine aren’t working, try something else! Is there a meditation technique you have always wanted to try? Is there a magickal skill you’ve been wanting to hone? Is there a spiritual something that you have been putting off? Now is the perfect opportunity.
However, some of us don’t have time to go on a solo three-hour quarantine meditation retreat. Maybe your quarantine schedule is busier than ever, trying to juggle extra hours at work, the kids being home from school, and being in constant contact with your family which is slowly driving you crazy. If this is the case, don’t worry about picking up a new skill or trying out new offerings for your Deity. Find the little things that you can do to stay connected to your spiritual practice in this tumultuous time. Say a quick prayer. Bless your morning coffee or tea. Do a cleansing ritual in your shower. See my posts Pagan Practice When You’re Busy, 7 Ways to Bring the Magickal into the Mundane, and 7 More Ways to Bring the Magickal into the Mundane for more ideas on finding spiritual moments in the everyday craziness of life.
What is most important in this trying time is that you take care of yourself and those you love. Your spiritual practice should support you. Things may not go back to normal anytime soon, so we need to be creative to adapt to this ever-changing coronavirus situation. Ask the Divine for help and open yourself to guidance. You may be surprised what comes up.
Brightest blessings to you and your loved ones as you navigate this difficult time! Stay safe and healthy everyone!