“Get religion, man,” my friend said to me. “Give faith a try. It might carry you through.” He was an apostate himself and spoke in jest, but nothing else was doing much good, so I figured it was worth try.
As an atheist, naturally disinclined towards the worship of deities, I turned first to Transcyberist Buddhism, attempting to walk the Eightfold Circuit to Enlightenment. But though I plugged in diligently, there was no solace to be found for me in the prospect of nothingness in the great digital Nirvana.
Next I dipped my toe into the waters of the Fellowship of the Divine Semiaquatic Cephalopod, who under the seas lies in dead sleep. The end of the world was an appealing notion, I admit, but the pre-dawn chant times were more than I could handle. Also, I hate the smell of fish.
I rolled the dice on the New Vegas Church of Divine Lady Luck, but came up snake eyes.
I donned the green robes of a male acolyte to the Sisterhood of Gaia, but found no succor to be milked from the breast of the Great Mother.
Nothing took. Not the Brotherhood of Thelonious Monks, not the animist practices of New Orthodox Shinto, not even the great, glorious mead halls of Nordic Revivalism, where I hefted my ax towards Asgard and dedicated my first kill – pig, and sweet dining it was – to Odin Allfather. I wondered if I was somehow spiritually bereft, missing whatever piece that was necessary to make a lonely sole part of a fellowship.
And then, one day, when I believed myself to be the end of my path, I found the Church of the Great Wheel. Though I am not a full covert – at least, not yet – I found their philosophy appealing. As the Earth turns, so too does the solar system it nests in; beyond that, so does our galaxy, and beyond that, so does our universe. And beyond that, our souls.
All things are cyclical, forever turning round and round. Our lives. Our ecosystem. Even the sacred cycles we ride, be it by pedal or motor. There are no straight lines; our eyes are merely unable to perceive the subtleties of the curve as it comes back around.
So I go, and I worship with my fellows, finding comfort in the knowledge that each revolution brings me closer to that which I’ve lost.