Within the last two years, I’ve taken up dyeing my hair black as an act of devotion to Darkness as a whole. This is not only because it looks pretty, but also as a way of stating “this is where my loyalties lie.” It also helps that I prefer a casual romantic goth type look over any other aesthetic (much to the Madman’s delight.)
Recently I’ve begun to grow my hair out–I still live in a conservative state, and am still closeted in much of my day-to-day life. I decided to grow my hair out in order to “pass” as more feminine at places like job interviews, since I was beginning to worry that my more masculine haircut would mark me as queer right away. Being visibly disabled is a hard enough hurdle to pass over when job interviewing, being visibly queer in a conservative state was becoming something I just didn’t want to have to deal with.
This isn’t the first time I’ve done something with my hair related to devotion. Several years ago, before I knew I was trans, I covered my hair. The Dreamer initially asked it of me because he thought it would make me happy, and at the time I was in an abusive living arrangement, so the head covering would help ground and shield me as well. Eventually, he asked me to stop veiling, because it was no longer helping me (and I later moved out of that house, so the grounding and shielding were no longer needed to such an extent.)
My hair right now is at the point where I need headbands or combs in order to keep it out of my eyes. The Madman has suggested that I style my hair in public, eventually braiding or pulling it back as it gets longer, and keeping it down in private. I really like that idea, and I’ve found it to be comforting.
I actually prefer a more feminine look, which is frustrating when how I want to look, and my gender identity, are often seen as the exact opposite. While I want to transition and live as male full time, I’m also not in a rush to be see as extremely masculine. I feel conflicted about going partly back into the closet (still out to friends, closeted to family and work) because I enjoy some feminine style clothing and jewelry, but despise being referred to as a woman, or with “she/her” pronouns. I know that my safety and ability to have a job comes first, but it’s still really frustrating to have to go back into the closet, when I felt like I was making progress in my gender expression and feeling comfortable in it.
Within these darkened woods you wait, oh Mother of Darkness. Queen of the Hunt, your arrows find all targets, and your knives take down all foes. Mother Death, be kind to me, and lead me on your shadowed path.
–for the Lady of the Gallows
Image sources: x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x, x
I did a reading this morning with the Queen, since she wanted to give me more information on my eventual Oath to her. She told me that the Oath is more about making her the center of my spiritual practice, since she’ll be the only deity I worship. (She’s not asking to be the only deity I worship, that’s just how things are working out.)
We’ve agreed to do a trial run of the Oath for a year before I Officially take it. So this Halloween I’ll give her a “trial run” version of the Oath, to see how it works for me, to show her that I can keep my word on this, and to be certain that I can keep up with my daily devotions to her.
I’ve been doing daily prayers for the Queen, one in the morning and one in the evening, since late May. Aside from a few days when I’ve been sick–I have a taboo [link] about doing anything spiritual when I’m ill–I’ve kept up with the prayers.
I do want to eventually buy a ring to signify the Oath. I’m not sure what kind of ring that will be, I want something I can wear every day, I do know that.
Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m back at the very beginning of my path. I know I’m not, really, because I’ve known the Queen for almost six years now–but that feeling of being at the start of a new journey lingers. Except this time, I know about the gods, about their morals and values (rather than starting from the group up on research,) and this time it’s an unrecorded path and pantheon.
Part of the Queen’s faith is focused on creativity, so I’m getting back into writing. I’ve been meaning to do that for a while now, and I’ve taken the story to the writer’s group when I’m stuck on it. Which brings me to the other major thing that’s part of her faith–community, and more importantly, asking for help when I need it.
I’ve talked plenty of times before about how I struggle with isolation, as well as with asking for help. I feel–at least right now–like I’m starting to do better on that. I’m currently writing this at the library, both to get out of the house, as well as getting better wi-fi to work on my job hunt.
So far, walking the Queen’s path has been more about improving my life Here, which is just what I need right now. My active devotional practice is simply the morning and evening prayers to her, along with the occasional coffee offering when she wants to do a larger divination session. Even though I feel like I’m back at the beginning of my path, it feels like where I need to be.
I’ve been quiet on almost all social media lately, both because we don’t have the greatest wi-fi where we live, and because I’ve been spending a fair amount of my spare time (both Here and There) focusing on the twins.
I’m not exactly in a fallow time right now, but close to one. Things are simply quiet, though lately I’ve been having dreams (what I can remember) about the process of my Beloved [the Dreamer] leaving behind the name I first knew him under. It’s odd that that’s coming up again, but that shift did begin four years ago around this time of year, so in a sense it’s an anniversary.
I have another anniversary coming up, soon it’ll be 3 years since when I began to explore Darkness (both the Pantheon and Realm.) I don’t have an exact date pinned down for when that happened, but there’s a holiday coming up with my People to celebrate the anniversary of their arrival in Darkness, so it’s going to be something we all celebrate together.
Last night I sat down with the Queen, and she had me draw a few tarot cards about where she wants me to go next. (For someone who’s in a fallow time, it’s busy around here with the Queen.) She wants me to explore the path/faith (not sure what the right word is) in Darkness that’s dedicated to her, along with simply learning more about her.
I questioned this, because Summer is the annual fallow time in Darkness. She reminded me that last Summer I worked with [a friend of the Dreamer’s], and it’s the Wild Hunt right now, which means that Summer is her time of year.
I’m currently waiting on some outside divination to confirm what I know of this path, to be certain that I have the details right. This is part of becoming her Devotee–and Jake thinks it’ll be good for me, to have a specific path I follow. That said, this is something that will take time.
My friend Allie and I started a forum on Dreamwidth for devotees of death deities.
It is here: https://devotees-of-death-deities.dreamwidth.org/