On Spiritual Emergency, Shamanism, Mental Illness, Therapy, and Anti-Psychiatry Sentiment in the General Pagan/Polytheist Community

I’m really glad to see this being addressed and talked about. The dual romanticization and shaming of mental illness in all communities (but especially Pagan or polytheist or “alternative” or whatever communities) is really, really destructive. I have depression and anxiety and can’t count the number of times my experiences have been erased and my use of medication and therapy questioned.

It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with dysthymia, put on meds, and seeing a therapist weekly that I was able to make enough space in my life to find Brighid, Who I now see as a patron of mental illness and healing. I don’t think it’s coincidence that Brighid in Her guise as Lady of the Stars found me a month after my diagnosis, or that Her holy festival of Imbolc takes place during a month of extreme emotional trauma for me. But I don’t think that She /gave/ me this trauma so I’d understand Her better (geez, that’s horrifically awful thinking isn’t it?) or that my mental health issues have somehow made more spiritual or whatever. They haven’t. They just exist.

Foxglove & Firmitas

Alternative Title: I’m Gonna Keep Talking About This Until It’s a Generally Accepted Thing…

It happened again. Someone posted another article on mental illness being a sign of a healer being born on the Local Pagan Facebook Group with the general overarching but not direct message being that all native and ancient cultures saw it as this. Now I don’t deny that mental illness can be the birth of a healer. I’ve known too many people who have struggled with a history of it, myself included, that haven’t found themselves called to help others dealing with similar problems.

However, these articles tend to stress how society is actually the sick one, and how we need to stop shoving pills at people to fix all their problems.

Anyone who has ever been on psychiatric medication will probably tell you that pills don’t solve all the problems and most professionals are pretty…

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