Notes For Myself on My Practice

For a while now, I’ve been feeling like my practice (what practice I have right now) is missing something.  I realized last night that it’s not more formality I want in my practice, but more structure.

Now, how I build structure around a group of gods with no written mythology, I’m at a loss.  I have things I associate with them, and there are…spiritual paths that are specific to Darkness (religions Over There,) but I don’t feel comfortable using what little I know of those within my own practice.

I could ask J if he has any ideas, but he’s a monk [he’s been sending me that symbolism since he got back into my life] and that’s…a very different, more intense level of devotion than I deal with.  I mean, he, of anyone, will have ideas, so I probably will end up asking him about stuff.

And there’s the Thing that my gods Do Not Want To Be Worshiped because they’re my Family before anything else, so how to add more structure with that restriction is something I’ll need to do divination on.

I think adding more structure will also maybe help with the you-must-always-be-doing-Otherworld-stuff-or-you’re-A-Bad-Devotee brain crap I’ve been struggling with lately.  J said to me the other day that a practice doesn’t have to be devotional to a deity, it could be about grounding myself and my practice Here, which sounds like something I need right now.

Advertisements

Finding Balance, and Learning to be Human

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve made a serious post about Stuff Over There, so I’m just going to start rambling.


A few weeks ago, I made the conscious decision to put everything astral related in the hands of [my Otherworld Self].  Since then I’ve been learning to have enough confidence in my Other Self that He can do His Duties in the Otherworlds, and He can update me (Here) if He has any updates to pass on.  That was one of the best things I’ve done in a while, regarding the Otherworld part of my path and my mental health.

One thing I’ve been learning recently is that I don’t have to be constantly “tuned in” to stuff Over There in order to do My Stuff Over There.  I’ve been coming up with some ideas on how to work with these spirits without astral travel, but right now I’m just making notes of ideas, since right now isn’t a good time to plunge back into spiritual stuff.  (Due to mental health stuff, and I have so much schoolwork that’s taking all my mental energy.)

Taking care of myself Here and my mental health is also part of this sacred Kingship path.  Finding balance between Here and There–which at the moment means my life Here and my life There are almost completely separate.


There’s also finding balance between my three Beloveds.  Two of them are deities, and one is not, so there’s different dynamics going on.  Plus there’s balancing several different romantic relationships at the same time.

Even though I deal with the Dreamer and the Madman as my Husbands, I don’t forget that they’re [High Power Deity Guys], because their Jobs influence how they see the world (especially the Dreamer.)

I joke that my life is a fantasy or romance novel, but if it was my Heart would be torn between the three of them, between the highs of divinity and the solid ground of my mortal Beloved–but they’re not asking me to choose.  Instead they’re helping me find balance, to learn to navigate my mortality, to slide between being a King in Other worlds, and a college student who procrastinated on his homework yet again.

I need that solid foundation of a life and Love Here, and they agree with me.  Now is not the time to step fully into Darkness, now is the time to heal, to learn and become who I am in this world, to build a solid foundation of a mind that isn’t screaming at me every time I possibly make a mistake.


I’ve been writing stories as a way to process all the Otherworld trauma I’ve been dealing with.  The stories aren’t exactly what happened, but exploring the Chosen One trope is a way for me to come to terms with what happened, and with being [Otherworld Me] and what that means.

The stories aren’t elegant; they’re fractured and don’t have a precise plot to them (other than the main character being angry about getting sucked into the Otherworlds) but they’re helping me deal with everything that’s been going on.

Astral Trauma, and Timely Music from the Dreamer

At the moment I’m frustrated, mainly at myself.  I’ve been Told to “rest and heal” I don’t know how many times anymore by e/Everyone I know Over There, and I’ve been wondering how the fuck do I even do that?

It’s been…difficult, processing and trying to heal from what happened this Summer.  I’ve spent the past few months going through several crisis of faith, realizing I’ve got gods only know how many repressed memories about all of this, having nightmares about what happened (and a lot of the nightmares I can’t remember,) yelling a lot at various p/People Over There, and having panic attacks when I learned about the ongoing Political fallout Over There.


I saw the Dreamer very briefly this afternoon, and my brain started giving me yet another what-if-I-ruined-the-Otherworlds/what-if-my-marriages-are-over themed panic attack (thanks, nightmares -_- .)

My Husband, shufflemancy expert that he is, sent this song my way.

When you came back I knew you’d have a story
You need someone to ease the pain of living life
You’re like a soldier in the fray, seeking shelter
from all the madness that you’ve seen raining down now

I sat there staring at my laptop, feeling the lyrics of the song sinking in.

“Is it really that bad,” I asked him, “is it that noticeable that I’ve Seen Some Shit?”

He didn’t answer in words, but I felt sorrow rolling off him.

I know things change, your world has slipped away
I know things change, but you’re living like a soldier who’s caught in the fray
Don’t lose your faith, it’s not so cold, it’s not too late

When you were naive you were so invincible
and you laughed at anyone and anything that ever got in your way
But now the mirror shows the change and you don’t see that
you’re sinking back into the crowd, an echo fading

I nodded; the song put into words how I’d been feeling for several weeks now.  My Otherworld self had been placed in a safe space to heal, and I wished I could join Him in solely focusing on mending my Heart.

I felt the Dreamer’s hand run through my hair; it was often how he let me know he was around.  This time the gesture was meant to convey comfort, as well as affection.

With this hand, I will lift your sorrows.

The line from our wedding vows slipped into my mind, and I grasped his hand, squeezing it tightly.

And you can look inside of me
but the answers that you seek
and everything you need
is all inside you

“Yeah I know,” I said.

“Dearest one….” I felt his hand on my cheek.  “I’ll be there for you,” he softly said, “I may be away right now, because I’m busy with what’s going on Over There, so is [the Madman].  We still love you, both of us do.”  He looked over at the gray stone I carry with me.  “And you have [J’s name], he loves you as well.  You’re not alone.”

I know things change, your world has slipped away
I know things change, but you’re living like a soldier who’s caught in the fray
Don’t lose your faith, it’s not so cold, it’s not too late

I don’t even know where I’m going with this entry anymore, just that I’m very glad my Husband sees and understands my trauma.  It’s a weird sort of happiness, to be glad he’s not pulling the I’m A God card (a fear I’ve talked about before) that he’s allowing me to heal at my own pace.

Thank you, Beloved, for lifting my sorrows.

They Remind Me That I’ve Ruined Nothing

One of the things I didn’t expect to happen with this Summer’s Drama is that my anxiety would go way up.  Thinking about it, it makes perfect sense that what happened would cause my brain to turn the “you’re in danger” warning lights up to a million–and with there being some ongoing fallout Over There [and that’s all I’m going to say about it] my anxiety has gotten worse.

I’m still in the fallow time, though lately I’ve been referring to it as “Otherworld Me is on lockdown mode,” rather than my entire spiritual practice stopping.  I’ve begun to sense Him* a bit more lately, and have been getting some visuals of where He is, but nothing more than that.  He’s been spending a lot of time in one particular area of the Otherworlds while He heals from all the emotional crap He got put through this Summer.


A thing that continues to surprise me, is that the Far Ones actually care about all of this.  They keep reminding me that the thing I need to focus on in all of this is healing.  One of Them dropped by this afternoon to check on me, and that conversation put into perspective that yeah, I’m an anxious wreck right now.

“I’m scared I’ve ruined everything, that [Kingdom and Realm] will go up in flames and it’ll be my fault–”

They raised eyebrow at this.

And what evidence do you have for that, young King?

“My anxiety.”

And nothing more than that.

“Yes but–”

Varian, you’ve ruined nothing.  Stick with [J’s name], let him be the center of your practice for a while.  Let [the Dreamer] handle what’s going on.


*I use Capital Pronouns when talking about my Otherworld/astral form to differentiate between me Here and Me-Over-There.

Processing, Faith, and Healing the Cracks

I started therapy today.

Before I went in, I got a message from my Beloveds–that they’ll be with me before and after the sessions, if I need them, but not during.  I need that space to myself, need to process all my mental health issues by myself–for myself, not for them.  I can take my prayer beads if I want to, just for something to hold in my hands while I talk, but…this is for me.  This has nothing to do with being a better devotee, and everything to do with me, and my mental health.


This intentional fallow time has been…interesting, so far.  I’ve had some weird as fuck dreams, but it’s a blend of random crap, and my brain processing everything that’s happened with the summer’s Otherworld Drama-fest.  Nothing involving Otherworld related stuff in the Serious Things Are Happening Now sense–and that’s a major relief.

Something that’s happened, that’s taken me completely by surprise, is that the “cracks” in my head from sensing astral stuff…those “cracks” have closed up.  If I try and reach out to the Otherworlds, I get a feeling like hitting…not a wall, it’s more like I hit the membrane between worlds, and it bounces back (gently throwing me back Here.)

I’ve been praying more often at my Husbands’ shrine at night, rather than reaching out during the day.  Sometimes we talk, other times they just listen (or they tell me to go to sleep already.)  I’ve found that if I try and reach out to them during the day, that I get the godphone version of their answering machines (which I understand, they’re busy with their Jobs.)

*Varian’s anxiety starts screaming that everything Over There is falling apart*

*Varian tells his anxiety to shut up, everything Over There is fine*


I was venting about mental health stuff one evening, and the Madman said something that made me pause.

“You were never taught about faith that ebbs and flows.”

He’s right, that I was taught that a person had to be “on fire” about their beliefs all the time, rather than having faith that’s not “on” and super intense all the time.

It’s okay for things to not be intense, I needed to be reminded of that.

“Am I Hearing a God or Am I Going Crazy?” ~ One Polytheist’s Angry Rebuttal

I really loved, and relate to, this article.

There’s not a lot of information out there, about polytheism and mental illness interacting. In my case, they *do* interact [my mental illness can influence how I perceive my spiritual path, often in not-so-pleasant ways] and trying to untangle the two has been a very difficult road so far.

Unhinged and unenlightened

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2017/08/hearing-god-going-crazy.html

I try not to spread anger. I try not to spread hate. I try, as much as possible, to be non-violent. But when I see ignorance and harm being perpetuated, I feel that keeping silent is a way to perpetuate such harm. So I find myself compelled to speak out. There are several articles that have pushed my buttons, but they are growing old and so I can try and talk myself out of dealing with them. ‘no need to add fire to fire’ I tell myself.

But this one. This one makes me angry. And perhaps I am adding fire to the fire, but you know what? At least by voicing my concerns, there will be a voice out there arguing for the sake of those of us with serious mental illnesses. And hopefully, I can help those who relate feel less alone. Because seriously, these sorts of…

View original post 2,237 more words

Knitting as Grounding (A Month for the Madman)

I recently finished the shawl I made for the Dreamer (which I started back in August) so I decided I needed a new knitting project.  I ended up picking a pattern that was much more complicated than it originally looked, so I asked the people at the knitting store for help finding something within my skill range.

So now I’ve got two skeins of deep red (nearly maroon) yarn, and a pattern for a cowl. I normally don’t wear cowls, I prefer long scarves, but I think it’ll be fun to make a project totally different than what I’ve made so far.  Plus I’ve wanted to learn cables, and this project has cables (and a 1×1 ribbed stitch that I’ve already lost track of three times now.)

This isn’t a devotional project for my Beloved, but he has compared knitting to geometry (among other things, my Husband is a scholar) and he pointed out that this isn’t something I can just mindlessly knit; the pattern is written in such a way that I have to pay attention to what stitch I’m on.  Which fits in with him helping me with my mental health, especially keeping me grounded in this reality, rather than dissociating.

Plus I’m determined to get that ribbing pattern down there will be a sense of accomplishment in learning new techniques, and I’ll have a pretty braided cowl when I’m done.