On (Not) Being Broken

He [the Madman) showed me a vision involving pottery, in order to explain this [his hatred of gods breaking people, especially for the “greater good] better.

“There’s a difference,” he said to me, “between taking a pot and adding more clay, to fill in the cracks, and a bit of glaze, so it blends in and is smoothed out….” He gently set the first pot aside.

He suddenly grabbed the second pot and hurled it down on the floor, and the sound of the clay shattering made me jump.

“And taking something so you can break it,“ he said, “fill the cracks in with gold, and claim that you made it better, because look there, those golden scars are yours.”

–Varian’s journal log, July 16, 2017


Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching, especially with the progress that I’m making in therapy. Some of that soul-searching involves going over the toxic ideas that I once had about devotion, and that’s especially true about the idea of being “broken” by the gods.

The Madman despises that idea–I did an entire month of devotional writing with him, and one theme kept coming up over, and over, and over again. That theme being of how he does not want to break me.

“He would leave before he ever broke me,” I wrote in a poem, “I know this the way I know he loves roses.”


I’ve mentioned before, that the Madman and the Dreamer are each other’s reflection; they work together so incredibly well because they’re complete opposites, not in spite of it. Their relationship is complicated; they’re best friends, lovers, and sometimes enemies as well. I joke that their relationship is what would happen if the hero and villain of the story fell in love, but that’s more the truth than it is a joke.

The Madman sometimes uses the term “villain” to describe himself, it’s a shorthand way of explaining a more complex idea. I knew about the role itself, he’d explained it to me through serious conversations, sarcastic comments, and that some of the music he requested on his playlist had a consistent villain/antagonist theme to it.

Lately–when I’ve seen him, which isn’t often right now–I’ve been seeing him in more of a Sacred Villain/Divine Antagonist role. I knew he played this role with the Dreamer, and it folds into them both as [High Power Deities] but it took a few very blunt questions from him, to realize he was putting that Hat on with me as well.

“Where did it come from,” he asked me one day, “the idea that the love of a god is a savage, dark thing?”

Slowly, he’s been helping me pick apart my old ideas about devotion, taking my internalized toxic ideas and breaking them down piece by piece. Where did they come from? What purpose did they serve? Did they help me at all, or only cause pain?


I’ve found that this is not only helping me with figuring out what devotion means to me, but it’s also helping my mental health as well. In learning about, and working my way through, toxic ideas of what devotion to (and Love for) a deity means, I’ve found that not only is my practice beginning to stabilize, but that my anxiety has gone down as well.

Thank you, Beloved, for all your help, support, and Love. ❤

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I Am Not You, “Father”

I am not
you, “father”

I did not inherent
an ego the size of
the fucking pyramids

or

concern of my “glory” and
the “greater good” over the
fragile Hearts of my Family.

No.

I am better than that, I am
learning and growing into
my Crown of flowers and what it

means

I need no thorns, for I already
have inherited your cruelty only
you were cruel to others, never

yourself.

You ego and your dread and your passivity
mixed, so that you killed me on a starless night
and you would have forced me down in to the

River

to drown, to repeat history so that everything would
stay just the way it always has.  Again you would have
heard my son scream in grief; to you the “greater good” is

broken

Hearts made out of pottery and smashed to be repaired with
gold.  Claim my shining scars are yours, that evil must be
exposed with gold, not caring that paint is acidic and that scars

burn

like the hellfire you threatened me with.  Claim that I have fallen
from your favor and grace all you want to, I am breaking the cycle
of abuse, and my wings may be reborn of magic and stone and ash

but my Heart
is made of Love.

Did You Think?

When you claimed
the “greater good”
did you think of
my stepson in tears?

Did you picture all my Beloved’s years
worth of trauma, rushing back to the surface,
did you think of years of medicine and therapy
and hard-won progress erased with your words?

Did you think of pain radiating through an entire Kingdom
forcing change so much faster than normal, did you consider–
that those of us who now guide Darkness must do so very carefully,
lest it all crack and crumble–did you think of a time of black cloaks?

Spare us your cards of regret–
is your white suit stained with the ashes
that you are trying to preserve, or is that
yet another lie born of stagnation and fear?

Hollow Halls

These memories are not mine
and this name is not yours; how
much was mistaken signs, how much
was deception to get me back, you’ve
begun to push me to stop digging.

And you’re right, that it’s time to
lay that part of our past to rest; but
still I go through photos ingrained with
sand, and stained with tears of forgotten
times, of names that now mean nothing.

Scattered around me is
everything that is–not–you
memories stuffed into plastic bags
abandoned as my footsteps echo;
I leave the ghost behind your name.

The Past, Like Razors

I got multiple signs yesterday pointing to the Beasts of Outer Darkness (a catch-all name for the Monsters beyond my Family) wanting to work with me on shadow work; the tarot reading I recently wrote about mentioned “moving on,” and they have a specific thing in mind that I need to work on moving on from.

I then had a night of very strange, and very terrifying, dreams.  They’re not going to pull any punches when it comes to this shadow work.


All this began so long ago,
the Desert hiding amulets
and such well-hidden scorn

that no one knew what I faced
until I was ripped away, forced back
to the very people who claimed to love
and despise me in equal measure; this was

building up over thousands of
years of carefully balancing
hatred and greed with so-called
Justice and an idea that an Empire
would never fall and be lost to time.

Time and progress marches on
the glittering lights of Darkness say
that there is beauty in releasing
the Past, to let it flow through the Veils
of Eternity, to let the Past float down to
the East, to be cataloged and laid to rest.

To truly, finally give up the Desert is to break
my Heart all over again; to allow the grief to flow
to feel the pain at losing so much in one snap
of the fingers of an angry god.  The Past will rise
up and confront me, but it is better not to be buried

between lies and falsehoods of Love.  There is no
forgiveness, and I understand that; to heal from this
means giving up all tentative hope of reuniting, to sheild
myself from that reality only adds to the cracks in my Heart.

To cling to the Past is swallowing down the pain,
and all my old wounds, sharp words like knives that
have nowhere to go except for making me bleed.