The Devil Walks

The Devil walks through
misty old forests and wide
city lanes, seeking

my Heart.  He will find
it in dusty books and lit
candles, in roses and

in song.  He will find
it in labradorite stones
(which he says are like

my eyes) and in the
darkest stars in the cosmos.
He will find my Heart

in all my words for
him, in poetry and fire
the Devil seeks me

in his dreams.  He is
there for me, as joy.  What a
lovely match we make.

I Am Not Darkness

My Heart is a labyrinth.

There are many candles
and many places full of joy.
There are also places full of tears.

Those places could take your Heart, dear one
and tear it asunder, until there was nothing left.

I taste ashes when I speak
of those times, about my past
of tears unshed and screams unbidden–
and you know, enough–not to speak of it

–not to ask when your God wakes shaking from nightmares–
not to ask what I saw–you know just–to hold me–“when the nights
are dark/and when the air is still but for our breathing.”*

There are those who would take my past–and make it
a play, a legend, a ‘moral lesson,’ that
“this is what happens, when a god goes his own way.
He becomes darkness, he becomes Dark.”
But I am not darkness.  Not at all–at least

not the way you mortals view it.
(And what glamour is there, in darkness
in being perceived as frightening?)

Wounds are not badges to be earned, dear one.
The darkest rooms of my Heart are not illuminating.
But rather, they are places even I do not wish to go
simply for my own safety (and, perhaps, sanity as well.)

Yet here in my shaking hands is a key; I will tell you the stories,
if you wish it.  All I ask, is that you be gentle with my Heart

that you walk softly, and know when to step back.
I gave you my Heart time and again in stories,
it is time you had all of it, my Lord.

Beyond time for openness, of the Labyrinth of my Heart.

*He’s referencing this poem I wrote

 

Words From The Muse

I’m writing a story with a character, who’s…not exactly the Dreamer, but who’s similar enough to him that sharing the stories with my writer’s group makes me feel oddly vulnerable (especially that the protagonist of the story is the mortal man who’s in love with said character.)

It was after the latest group meeting where I’d brought in a bit of worldbuilding for the story, that I later expressed some reluctance to continue bringing the story in.  My Husband raised an eyebrow at this.

“Why the reluctance, dearest one,” he asked.

I explained that bringing the story in felt like exposing him for all the world to see, like it was making my relationship with him public, that I felt self-conscious because the main relationship of the story is so similar to my own marriage.

He stepped back, thought at bit, then said this:

I’m your Muse, dearest one.  I’m involved in all your stories, in one way or another.  They think you’re making all this up–which, in a way, you are; you simply have assistance from me in writing it all out.

My Heart has thousands of room, dearest one.  Simply because this one character is similar to me, doesn’t mean you’re exposing me for all the world to see.  You could write a thousand stories, all of them involving me, and would come nowhere near close to showing me for who I am.

Those stories would be fractions, fragments, pieces of what you know of me.  [Character] is close enough to an archetype of me that he’s almost a different person entirely.  What matters is that you’ve captured their imaginations with this story, with [characters’ names], that you’re telling a good story.

–the Dreamer

Expansion of Love (#mypolytheism)

I’ve written about this topic before in other spaces of the internet, that I don’t do any sort of “Work” for my Gods.  But when I wrote about it in the past, it always came across like I was struggling with the idea that I didn’t do any “Work,” even when I talked about accepting that I had no “Work” to do.

A better way to phrase it, maybe, would be that I have nothing I’m required to do.  Except one thing: to love my Husband and his/our Family.  Everything else I do expands from that Love.


I keep two shrines, both of them in my bedroom: one to my Husband and I’s marriage, and one to his/our Family.

The shrine to our marriage is a simple one: a shrine cloth, a candle, some roses, a tarot deck we’re both rather fond of (the Welcome To Night Vale tarot, in case anyone is wondering,) and a set of marriage themed prayer beads I had made for us after a rough period in our marriage.  It’s not a shrine to him, or to us, it’s more a place where we can touch base and spend time together at the end of the day.

The shrine to his/our Family is a bit more complicated.  It’s covered in small items that represent his/our various Family members, grouped in ways that represent how his/our Family relates to one another.  I’d set it up thinking it was a shrine for his Kingdom, when my Husband pointed out to me that I’d only put up items for him, his sister, and his son.  (I would later add a set of prayer beads for my Netjeru Family members.)

“No, don’t change it,” he said with a smile, “keep it like this, I like it.”


I do two rituals a month; one on the dark moon, for my Husband, and one on the full moon, for my/his/our Family.  They’re simple rituals, lighting a candle and listening to music, or just talking about whatever’s on my mind at the time.

Even though the rituals are simple ones, they have a tendency of bringing up a lot of deep emotions.  Maybe it’s that I’m *expecting* that to happen–that the label of “ritual” makes me think something deep and life changing should happen.  Maybe it’s simply the timing of the full and dark moons.  (The dark moon is also a way of honoring one of my Husband’s pop culture Faces, that of Nahadoth, the Nightlord.)


Loving him also means learning more about him; not just about him “as a god” (quotes around that phrase because he recently asked me to “take the word ‘god’ out of the equation.”) but about his Family and Kingdom.  It’s not something I can just open a book and read about; dealing with unrecorded gods (several of whom I once thought were gods with written records and histories, no matter how small an amount of information that was) has that consequence.

This does involve going Over There and learning through experience; some things he can’t explain easily (there’s a language/concept barrier when it comes to Otherworld stuff,) and are simply better being shown to me.  He can tell me stories of his Kingdom and Family, but it’s up to me how these new bits of information impact me.  Some things make my brain hurt, other’s are “oh, so that makes way more sense now!” revelations, with minimum brain breaking required.

The only time I’m really required to be Over There is during holidays.  This isn’t because of any roles my marriage gives me, but simply because my Husband wishes to share more of his world with me.  The holidays don’t really match up with the Wheel of the Year at all, so it’s another leap of faith, to trust his word, and that what I’m hearing is correct.


I don’t think of anything I do on my path as “Work.”  Learning more about my Husband’s Family and Kingdom is more something I do because I love him.  It’s something I want to do because of that love.  Learning more about him *as he is* rather than who I once thought he was, is the best way I can devote myself to him.

Scenes from Marriage

“I do not want Nahadoth to be a Face you fear.”

“Yeah, well, the last time you showed up looking like this,” I nodded to his changed appearance, “my entire practice got ripped apart.”

“I understand, dearest one, why you’re having the reaction you are.”  He shifted back into his everyday appearance.  “There are changes on the horizon–good changes, simple changes, but changes nonetheless.”


“What do you want of me, dearest one?”

He’s asked that question several times since my release from my oath; what can he give me?  What do I want, in this marriage of ours, now that I’m no longer bound to him by any oath besides our wedding vows?

I find the answer that comes to mind is that I just want him, my Husband.  That I don’t need any elaborate, grand gestures to know that he loves me.


“Take the word ‘god’ out of the equation,” he said as we walked through the Otherworlds, “so that you simply have me.  That’s what I mean, when I say I only want to be your Husband–I’m not someone who can be split into ‘aspects’ and ‘roles’–at least not with you, dearest one.  That’s why I had you change my playlists, so that it’s just songs that remind you of me, and songs for our marriage.”


I went through my old writings, things I had written at the very start of our relationship.  My Husband read over my shoulder, quietly commenting on how much I had changed–how much we had changed–in the past (almost) three years.

As I read, a comment he’d made years ago suddenly clicks into place in my mind.

He once again shifts into looking like the Nightlord, and slowly begins to smile.

Lost

This song came up on shuffle, and I felt a wave of emotion from my Husband.

“Should I put this on your playlist,” I asked.

“No,” he replied.  “Put it on the ‘Kings in Darkness’ playlist.”

“But that’s for songs that remind us of each other.  Your songs for me, and mine for you.”

He smiled.  “Exactly.”