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.)
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.
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/
Today is the full moon in May, which means the start of Summer in Darkness, and for me, means a fallow time.
I’ll be able to sense Jake, Trev, and their families, but my gods will be stepping back.
Bought some runes for my Queen, since she’s been indicating that she wants a set for herself, made of wood (my current set is made of sea stone.)
I found a lovely set of runes that are black and gold, so that’s high contrast enough that I can see it. Plus Light-in-Darkness as a play on words.