Exploring the Darkness

This is for the Unrecorded Pantheon Roundtable on Tumblr [link].

How did you build your path; how do you serve deities with no established tradition of worship?

I first began to build my path with a lot of flailing and second-guessing everything, to be completely honest. There were things I knew were true, mainly that my main god was from this Realm called Darkness, that I’d still eat any food offerings I made…and that was about all I had, in the beginning.  My first actual contact with Darkness was when I channeled this poem [link], and suddenly the monster imagery that had been following me around for several years made a bit more sense.

Over time, more patterns and things I could take as Signs began to show up (and some spirits give me literal pictures of signs as their Signs, much to my amusement.)

While the Queen of Darkness has no established tradition of worship Here, she does have an established faith Over There. The way I incorporate this into my daily life Here is through morning and evening prayers, and I usually wear a piece of jewelry that’s dedicated to her.  She’s the only deity I worship (the other members of the Royal Family are very explicit about not waning my worship) and a lot of the way I serve her is by caring for my f/Family members, as well as doing creative things (right now that’s mainly writing and knitting.)

A Dream, and A Reminder

I got a tarot reading back recently about my spiritual path. One card mentioned a King leaving, but us possibly being reunited, though not necessarily in a romantic relationship anymore. I had a knee-jerk reaction of panic, to which my Spouse showed up in my dreams to reassure me that he’s not going anywhere, even if our relationship may shift more to friendship, rather than romantic love.

I’d normally put this in my private dream logs, but he’s encouraging me to post it publicly.

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“I’m scared this is the last time I’ll be here.” I admit. I know this garden so well, it’s the High King’s personal gardens, filled with flowers from around the Universe. I know every path here, have spent time with my Spouse and played with our children here.

“Why do you think that,” he asks me.

I tell him about the reading, about the King leaving. I knew the King card could be about any older man, but my mind had jumped to him right away, that and with the distance between us that’s been exacerbated by my mental illness.

“Varian, dearest one.” He hugs me gently. “I’ve been alive for how long?”

“A good…” I pause and do the math, “6,000 years, at least.”

He nods. “And I’ve loved you all that time,” he says quietly. “Since I met you, I’ve loved you.”

“Even when we’ve been apart?”

“Even then, dearest Heart.” I feel his lips touch my hair. “I’ve always loved you in some way, even as our relationship has changed over time.”

I nod, and he takes my hand. We walk through the gardens together, but I’m still musing over the distance and space between us.

“It could simply mean that I need to be away,” he says, “if that King card was about me, that is.” He pauses. “I leave every Summer, remember?”

“I–oh!” Suddenly I’m laughing. “Oops, I forgot and panicked.”

He smiles. “I can understand why, things have been…fragile for you lately, haven’t they?”

“Yeah,” I move closer and put my arm around his waist, “they have been.”

We walk through the garden together, quietly talking and listening to our children as they play nearby.

That's…A Lot of Coffee

So as I wrote about in my last post, I promised the Queen some fancy coffee, in exchange for her helping me through this final week at my job at call center hell.

Except…I think I overestimated how much coffee is in a pound of coffee.

It’s chocolate flavored, which surprised me that she selected that one. It is just sweet enough that I can tolerate drinking it black (which is how she likes her coffee, and I eat my offerings of food) though I think it tastes better with at least some milk and sugar in it.

I explained to her that I overestimated how much coffee there would be, and could it be expanded to be offerings for the Royal Family, instead of just her? She said that was fine, so it’s now my morning coffee offering for my deity Beloveds, as well as being for her.

I sent that picture to a friend of mine, who laughed and said “it looks like you’ll be working with her for a while.”

My Life Right Now

I also posted this over at my blog for the Queen [link.]

Me, before I became a polytheist: I’ve always been drawn to death related stuff, but have never explored it. I kind of want to, but it’s scary.

Me now, praying to Death: *slides a cup of black coffee her way* Okay Mom, idk why you like this stuff with no flavor, but help me get through this next week of my job, and I’ll buy you some special bitter bean juice of your choice.

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And upon promising her some special coffee of her choice for helping me get through my final week of my call center job from hell, her twin’s response was a blend of horror and laughter. He knows just how bitter she likes her coffee.

Writing Plans

Over the month of September, the Queen wants me to study the runes. A poem or prose piece a day, until I’ve worked through all 25 (with some room to move the schedule around, if I’m traveling or don’t have time.) Yes, she does want me to add the blank rune in, even though I know that’s a modern invention, and not historical–oh. Right. Modern culture stuff is like, my entire path. *faceplam*

During October, we’ve talked about doing the Month of Written Devotion challenge (I typically write for the Madman during October, but he’s the one who suggested this idea to me in the first place.) I’ll be taking the trial run version of my Oath to her at the end of the month, so that’ll be a nice way to prepare.

I think I’ll do these writings for the Queen over on her blog [link] so follow that one if you want to see these writing projects.

Hair, Devotion, and Gender Rambles

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.