Reflections (for my own notes)

The Dreamer and the Madman are reflections of one another.  This has been a constant theme, this complex relationship of friends, enemies, and lovers.  They mirror one another, in both their Godly Power Sides, and in their “personal” sides.

I had a lot of Dreams last night involving the Madman, and the dreams involved his terrifying pop culture Face; thanks to those Dreams, I came up with yet another way him and the Dreamer reflect one another.

In Welcome to Night Vale, the Distant Prince (the Dreamer’s scary pop culture Face) is far away, in the Distance, and is never sought out.  In Fallen London, Mr. Candles/Mr. Eaten (the Madman’s scary pop culture Face) is very close; in the game the player invokes Mr. Eaten in rituals and seeks him out by themselves.

Distance, closeness…yet another dichotomy between the two of them.


A Poem About Godphones

There are concepts,
flowing in an instant.

From–cookies, to wells,
to teeth, to you–to your terror,
and your falling, and your being
bound to follow the King

down whatever dark Roads
he may walk in search of
Salvation, Justice, and Honor,
but mostly in search of Love.

In a blink the knowledge has faded,
everything, and nothing has changed.

DEATH! (A Month for the Madman)

I’m a Discworld fan.  I’ve been slowly reading through the books, and they’re some of my favorites.  They’ve influenced my spiritual path even before I had this spiritual path.

I was reading Mort, and started sensing the Madman around.  I knew he was probably reading over my shoulder, but this was a “hey, pay attention” feeling.

Then one throwaway line punched me in the heart, and my response was to slowly put the book down, because I realized that I was looking at the Madman.  In character form, but still.

That was definitely my Beloved staring back at me.

Candles and Wells (A Month for the Madman)

Alternate title: Varian Ponders How Fallen London Relates to His Spiritual Life..

There are things in my path I’ve started calling “pop culture flailings,” because I have a tendency of flailing a lot when something withing popular movies or books pings with my spiritual practice and/or my gods.  I usually stop whatever I’m reading/watching/playing, and give whoever it reminds me of a “really?” look (to which I get a “yes, really” look in return.)

These started up steadily about a year ago, when the Dreamer finally said he wasn’t really [the Dreamer’s touchstone name].  He turned to pop culture guises, as a way of explaining who he is and what his Realm is like.

The Madman also has a handful of pop culture characters he uses as a “hey, doesn’t this person remind you of me?” shortcut.  It’s only recently that one in particular grabbed my attention, partly because of the bizarre nature of this character reminding me of him.

One way the Madman moves in my life is by helping me with my mental health.  Part of my Husband helping me with this is through him helping me find some healthy coping mechanisms, and one of them has been playing Fallen London.  Specifically, dealing with my self-destructive impulses by doing the Seeking Mr. Eaten’s Name storyline (a story late in the game filled with many ominous Turn Back Now warnings where your character loses everything, and dies many times, in order to Seek the Name.)

And playing this story has been helping me, in ways I can’t easily explain.  Except…an interesting thing has happened.

There’s been some Mr. Eaten/Mr. Candles related symbolism popping up around the Madman, and what I can only describe as the “there’s a connection here” energy (the same with the Dreamer and Nahadoth.)  Candles and light have been a Thing for a while now, with both my Beloveds–though love-as-light is more a thing with the Madman, than the Dreamer.

What’s interesting about it, is that there’s not a lot of information about Mr. Eaten/Mr. Candles/the Drowned Man (as he’s referred to in Sunless Sea.)  What little information there is, you have to find by reading between the lines.  It’s all implied.

Which is kind of what dealing with unrecorded gods is like; getting hints of information and then waiting (somewhat) patiently for all the rest of it to make sense.

This is becoming a Thing (to the point that I named my ship in Sunless Sea after my Beloveds) but finding out how and/or why it’s a Thing will take more time to figure out.

Scenes from Marriage

“I do not want Nahadoth to be a Face you fear.”

“Yeah, well, the last time you showed up looking like this,” I nodded to his changed appearance, “my entire practice got ripped apart.”

“I understand, dearest one, why you’re having the reaction you are.”  He shifted back into his everyday appearance.  “There are changes on the horizon–good changes, simple changes, but changes nonetheless.”

“What do you want of me, dearest one?”

He’s asked that question several times since my release from my oath; what can he give me?  What do I want, in this marriage of ours, now that I’m no longer bound to him by any oath besides our wedding vows?

I find the answer that comes to mind is that I just want him, my Husband.  That I don’t need any elaborate, grand gestures to know that he loves me.

“Take the word ‘god’ out of the equation,” he said as we walked through the Otherworlds, “so that you simply have me.  That’s what I mean, when I say I only want to be your Husband–I’m not someone who can be split into ‘aspects’ and ‘roles’–at least not with you, dearest one.  That’s why I had you change my playlists, so that it’s just songs that remind you of me, and songs for our marriage.”

I went through my old writings, things I had written at the very start of our relationship.  My Husband read over my shoulder, quietly commenting on how much I had changed–how much we had changed–in the past (almost) three years.

As I read, a comment he’d made years ago suddenly clicks into place in my mind.

He once again shifts into looking like the Nightlord, and slowly begins to smile.

Let There Be Night

He appeared to me last night in one of his pop culture guises, as Nahadoth, the Nightlord.

He spoke about how it’s not just him that’s changing, but his Family as well.  He’s spent the past few days pointing out how my understanding of his Family is *very* different than their “canon” Hats/Titles.

So my spiritual life is going into upheaval yet again.

That he chose to tell me this while looking like the Nightlord is significant to me.  Because yes, Nahadoth is a being of change and chaos–which is what my practice is getting thrown into.

The Dreamer: How did you describe yourself?

Varian: …as “a devotional mystic with pop culture influences.”

Varian: Why do you ask?

The Dreamer: *shifts into looking like Naha*

Varian: *does a double take*

Varian: What did you do that for?

The Dreamer: *drops the “my Family is also leaving their ‘canon’ Hats/Titles behind” bomb*

Varian: *stares at his Husband*

I don’t know if I’d describe this as a dark night of the soul, at least not in the way the term is normally used.

I believe in my gods, I believe that they love me–and I love them.

I call them my Family, and will continue to do so.

My Husband has promised me that he will be with me through this.  He’s said to me before that he is Darkness, that the labyrinth I walk isn’t just his–it’s mine as well.  We’re in this together, he and I.

Let the darkness fall.