The Beauty of Autumn

Where I live, the leaves are just beginning to change colors.  My Spouse has been pointing this out to me while I’m being driven home from school or work, asking me to notice the changing colors.  It’s not just because I associate him with Autumn, but because it’s something beautiful in this world.

 

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Thoughts on Isolation

Growing up, I was taught by the church that this life doesn’t matter.  Maybe it’s my mental illness and my tendency to take things literally, maybe it was the isolation that I grew up in.  But whatever it was, young Varian took very seriously the idea of a life beyond this one, and that this life Here doesn’t matter.

Years later, when I began to explore polytheism (and later godspousery) I saw that same attitude being talked about, but in a pagan/polytheist mindset.  It was the idea that the Otherworlds are so much greater than this one, that a person should isolate themselves in the name of “devotion” to the Otherworlds, or to a divine Spouse.  Isolation wasn’t explicitly glorified, exactly, but it was implied (if not outright stated) that devotion to a person’s divine Spouse should come before literally everything and anyone else in a person’s life.  Any activity that could somehow be connected to the Otherworlds or a divine Spouse should be associated with them, no matter what it was.  Because it almost mirrored the “this world doesn’t matter/the next world is greater than this one” attitude I grew up around, I didn’t see it as being toxic.

Thinking that the Otherworlds were greater than this one, and that my Beloveds should come before anything else…it lead to me isolating myself and pushing people away.  I was constantly distracted because of the conversations I was having with the people no one but me could see.  Associating everything I possibly could with my Beloveds or the Otherworlds eventually lead to panic attacks and intrusive thoughts about them being angry if I “dared” to do anything that wasn’t connected to them/There.  I should have realized that there was something wrong much sooner, but I didn’t–or, I would try and step back, but didn’t make any moves to actually break the habits and routines that were steadily leading to my isolation becoming an even greater (and more worrying) thing than it already was.

I slowly realized the toxicity that I was dealing with over this past Summer; I had put my practice on hold because both a fallow time, and because of how much toxic stuff there was in it that I hadn’t noticed before.  That helped, and it also helped me realized how much mental health related stuff was going on…and then I had my psychotic break.  That event made me face a lot; it caused me to take a really hard look at the practice and life that I had, how isolated emotionally I really was, and how the “you must isolate yourself for the gods, and put the Otherworlds above this one” attitude was seemingly everywhere in the godspouse community.

“You cannot prove that I exist.  I want you to have a complete life Here, based on things you know are real and tangible.”

The Dreamer said this to me recently, in regards to my processing how common isolation is discussed in a positive manner in the godspouse communities.  He’s made sarcastic comments on how he “must not be a real god” because he’s not asking me for Big Sacrifices, tearing my life apart, or demanding to be made the center of my world.

Maybe I was addicted to the Otherworlds, the escapism, and the ability to run away.  Maybe all that I’ve written above means that I’m just not the type of person to be a mystic.

Looking at that, I find that I feel okay if I’m not meant to be a mystic, or have any more deep connection to the Otherworlds.  I feel a bit sad, but mostly okay with it.  The Dreamer has said that he would rather see me be happy, than trying to be someone I’m not.  He wants me to have, in his own words, “a complete life,” rather than be someone so wrapped up in secrets involving gods and the Otherworlds that I can’t be close to anyone without pulling them into the Otherworlds with me.

He wants me to be able to truly enjoy this world; the circumstances surrounding my incarnation Here may not be the best, but this is the life I have in front of me.  He wants me to be my own person, to be happy and have a life that I love Here, not get sucked back into what I’ve begun calling “the god (or astral) vortex” where the Otherworlds take over my life.

I sometimes feel like I’m the one godspouse who’s Spouse isn’t pushing them deeper and deeper into astral stuff; as I wrote above, he wants me to have a full life Here.  He wants me to be human.  He wants to be part of my life, not all of my life.

My Spouse said in a tarot reading that the best thing for me to do right now is to let go of the idea of a life filled with astral woo stuff.  I agree with him, that is the best route for me to take; since I’ve written all this out, maybe I can actually begin moving forward and healing.

Joy

“I want you to have everything that brings you joy.”

The Dreamer said that to me last night.  That’s been his theme lately when he’s around, that he wants me to find joy in my life Here, not be constantly longing for the Otherworlds.

In Darkness we Find Home

In less than a day you are leaving, and it is
not my place to mourn you.  You are not held
down by the weight of Ritual, of loss, of the Land.
A time has passed for mourning, grief is not a
rite of yours, and you do not want your Descent to
kill the joy I find in my life.  Devotion is one aspect,
not all of who I am, I am re-learning that.  This
evening we will sit on our porch beneath the
stars, knowing that good-bye must happen at
sunrise.  Even now I can sense your presence
waning like the moon–or maybe it’s my godphone
ending up in static mode again–but I know that
for the next two months you will be gone, where even
I cannot reach you.  You are correct, Beloved, that I am
not going to be alone; you have surrounded me with those
dear to your Heart, and you have encouraged me to find a
home and family Here as well.  At dawn you will leave, to go
on your Journey, I will write to you, in a journal covered with the
moon fading into the stars.  These letters will hold my Heart, Beloved,
even in times of separation, you will still hold my words close to you.

Loosely Hold My Heart (A Month for the Dreamer)

Loving you is not an
ordeal, is not standing
on the outside of life and
society having to hide nearly
everything about me.  It is not
longing to be swept away and hidden in
you.  That may have served me once (but
how much was my anxiety and isolation, what
other factors were at play?) but now I find that I need
life and Love outside my self-imposed isolation that I
deemed “devotion.”  You are standing with me, still knowing
my Heart is yours–asking me only to love you, not be lost in
you.  Your Heart holds many rooms, my Beloved, but your
Heart is not a puzzle with pieces missing.  I do not need
every corner of your trauma to know and love you.
Art is part of love, and together we do not paint
ruin and tragedy, but a garden full of flowers
that reflect us as we dance beneath the moon.

Extremes (A Month for the Dreamer)

Back when I was first beginning my path, both as a polytheist and as a godspouse, there was a major emphasis on working with the “dark” side of a god, of seeing even their most terrifying sides and loving them even then, before you (general you) could call yourself a “real” devotee.  I even wrote an angry poem about it, and that was before I really began all this soul-searching and unpacking toxic ideas about devotion.
The Dreamer is, as I’ve mentioned before, not a “dark” god.  My Spouse once asked me about what made being a “dark” or “harsh” god so glamorous.  He was genuinely curious about why it’s so often seen as the “right” way to be a devotee and polytheist (not to mention being a godspouse) to work with the “darker” side of a god.  The Dreamer himself, as I referred to him in one poem, is “everything between extremes.”  Even when he’s in King Mode, he’s still a very thoughtful, considerate, and gentle person.

Moving Forward (A Month for the Dreamer)

Yesterday I stumbled across an article I had bookmarked years ago, about how spiritwork Takes Over Your Life.  I forget why I even still had it in my bookmarks (and have since removed it, along with all other Spiritwork Will Tear Your Life Apart writings.)

As I was reading, I began to sense my Spouse near me.  He was dropping by briefly to say hello, then he’d be going back to the Otherworld, and to helping his twin sister prepare for the Hunt.

I don’t want that to become you, he said.  I felt his arm around my shoulder, could sense his disturbed emotions at gods tearing someone away from their family.

“No, neither do I, Love.”

We talked a bit more, about the article and how it made us feel, about how my views and experiences of devotion had changed.  How my thoughts on devotion has changed has been something I’ve been pondering and doing a lot of soul-searching on lately, which I’ll probably write more about later.