Stepping Back from the Vortex (Devotional December)

At times, I feel like I’m the only mystic/godspouse/polytheist who has an “ordinary” life Here, and who’s gods, spirits, and Otherworld people encourage having that “normal” life.  I know I’m not (and that I can’t judge a person’s life by a handful of blog posts) but  “give up everything to the gods/make everything about the gods” is an attitude that I still see, and I’ve written about before (link) how unhealthy that is for me.

I got a new tarot deck yesterday, the Sinking Wasteland tarot.  I love the modern art style, the diversity of people in the deck, and that it has very little nudity.  The reading I did yesterday said that this is going to be a deck to help me when it comes to mental health related stuff; since it has a more sparse color scheme, it feels like it’s perfect for that.

I did a reading with the High King, and he gently called me out on having a difficult time breaking the habits in regards to what I call “the god (or astral) vortex.”

I know you lost friends [to the astral,] and I understand that you’re hurting from that, he said to me, but there’s deception in that path, in having the Otherworlds take over your life.

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Scars on Display

I broke a coffee mug this morning; I was clumsy when getting a plate out of the cabinet, the cup fell out when I bumped the plate beside it, and it broke when it hit the floor.  As I was helping my aunt clean it up, I found myself thinking of the art of kintsugi, repairing broken objects (often ceramics) with gold.

The Madman despises how this art form is often used as a “see how you survived abuse” metaphor.  He’s talked about how it’s much easier to treat a broken piece of pottery with gentle hands, being kind to it, and allowing the scars to fade away; instead of breaking it to form golden scars that are on display for all to see.

Music and Quieting The Voices (A Month for the Madman)

I already knew that my Husband was a fan of Sopor Aeternus & the Ensemble of Shadows for the classical pieces, an entire album based on Poe’s poetry, and all of Anna Varney’s work being Super Goth…but I found out today that her music also quiets the people in my head.

I don’t know if it’s the complexity of her music, or if it’s that Anna herself describes her music as being written for “dead children, [and otherwise wounded souls,]” and several of the people in my head are young children.  Either way, I’m listening to the album Poetica (All Beauty Sleeps) as I type this post; I feel grounded Here, and slightly less shattered.

I personally prefer the version of “The Sleeper” found on Dead Lovers’ Sarabande (Face One) over the Poetica version, but both of them are fantastic.  The Dead Lovers’ Sarabande albums already reminded me of my Beloved, with him loving classical music, and ruling over the Underworld of Darkness.  Today’s discovery that this band helps the inside of my head be quiet, means it’s going to make me think of him even more.

King of Evil and Love (A Month for the Madman)

King of Shattered Conscious, of steps
into the Past, into my Heart, what is
now coming to be in my mind, has it
gone away, or has this always been there?
On the voices, and the chanting, and the other
four people in my head, I feel like I’m not
even being seen as taken seriously.  What rotten
vine does my shattered mind and self come from?
In what disguise have my (possible) alters hidden, how
long has my sense of self been shattered for?  My mind has
always felt like it was too quiet, too still, but I find that
now that I may know what is wrong with me, that I feel
damaged even more now that I know the possible answer.
Long is going to be the wait for testing–at least a few weeks,
or maybe a month, and I’m going to need your help, because
various things may be wrong, and not know is half the battle,
even typing this, I can feel the people in my head waking up.

Cracked Mirror (A Month for the Madman)

When I feel as though I am a cracked mirror,
you are there to hold me close as I fall apart.

This feeling of being shattered hurts, Beloved
I might be multiple people all crammed together,

I feel as though I have always been faking who I am
yet you’re still with me, even as I take three steps

backwards in healing.  I need a guidebook for how to
be a polytheist and dissociative, is that too much to ask?

Sanity and Solid Ground, or, Life as a Mentally Ill Paranormal Romance Novel Protagonist (A Month for the Madman)

Michael’s post here inspired me to write this; the post confirmed my wondering about why the Madman has been a less frequent presence in my life lately, as well as inspiring some thoughts of my own.

I often joke that I’m the protagonist of a paranormal romance novel, but in my life Here I’m in the chapters of the book before the brooding hero sweeps the protagonist off their feet, and whisks them away from “ordinary” life, into the paranormal world.  [Now that I think about it, I haven’t read any paranormal romances where the mortal stays mortal, and has a “normal” life.  Maybe I should write one.]  The whole sacred marriage and Otherworld Self stuff, yeah I fell in love and got married to two gods, and I can travel to the Otherworlds if I wish to…but Here I’m still in college, and trying to figure out what I want to do with the degree I’m getting this December.  Job searching is still going to suck, divine Spouses or not.  I’m still legally blind and mentally ill; even with my Beloveds’ support and love, I still need my anti-psychotic medications to function day to day.

I’ve written about it in the past, how I’m now adjusting to my life being fully lived Here–my close connection to my Otherworld Self has been severed, and my ability to just fall into a trance at the drop of a hat is gone (which I am thankful for–spontaneously traveling Over There because I couldn’t pay 100% attention in class was not fun.)  At the same time, fully living Here has been such an adjustment, it’s like I’m suddenly realizing that Here I’m an ordinary person, just a regular guy who’s about to finish his first college degree, then hopefully get a job, and an apartment in the city.

Writing that felt like a bucket of cold water got dumped on me, to be honest.  It’s the strangest feeling, and difficult to explain, that feeling of what made me unique is suddenly gone–not that I enjoyed the hallucinations, my sense of reality shifting, or the violent intrusive thoughts–but now I have to pick up the pieces of my life Here, and try to gather up the words to describe what happened to me.  Having to a shattered, broken, sense of self is terrifying–thank the King of Shattered Conscious for Seroquel, because now that I’m on medication, I’m starting to feel like a whole person.

My Beloved is a god of madness and insanity–his nickname is the Madman, after all–but even more so, he’s a god of healing from those things.  When my metal health symptoms were at their worst, when I wasn’t on any sort of medication–having violent hallucinations, hating that I existed, and feeling like I was about to fly into a million shattered pieces if anyone so much as looked at me–he was there.  I was in a fallow time at the time of my breakdown, but I’m certain he was watching out for me; when I was being driven to the hospital, I got some songs that were eerily appropriate, songs of love and healing.  Songs of “you’ve got this, the doctors will care for you, I love you.”

My Beloveds are very aware that I have a life Here to live; the Dreamer reminds me that I can’t prove that he exists, and that I should have a life Here based on things that I know are real.  I’ve received what I consider proof to me that my Beloveds are real, but I can also see how all of this could be seen from the outside as one (very long) string of freaky coincidences.  My Beloveds have both said that if I ever get any tattoos involving them, that it should have another meaning beyond them (like flowers simply being pretty.)

Leaving behind what I refer to as the “astral vortex” has been difficult, it’s meant facing what a ordinary life I have Here, even though I’m married to two gods.  I’m beginning to become grateful for the ordinary-ness both Here and There, for the small moments of joy and Love that I share with my Beloveds.  My Beloveds and I joke that I live in what is possibly the calmest paranormal romance novel ever.  I’d take the quiet, peaceful life we all share together with our blended Families, over angst and saving them from their brooding souls any day.

Small Signs (A Month for the Madman)

Therapy was rough today, so my planned longer post is not happening, since I lack the emotional spoons to write anything deep or poetic.  After I was done, and feeling emotionally wiped out, I got in the car.  My aunt turned the music on…and this song started playing.

I stared laughing, because of how appropriate the song was, both lyrically (my Beloved telling me to relax) and musically–when we were first getting to know each other, the Madman would play a lot of classic rock for me.