Within the past year, there’s been a lot of changes within my devotional life; the main one being going from dealing with recorded gods, to dealing with unrecorded gods. One of the greatest challenges has been letting go of the impulse to ask “are you X, are you Y?” when finding a deity who kind of fits the description or associations of the unrecorded deities I deal with.
Back when the shift away from [the Madman’s touchstone name] happened, I had (mostly) let go of this with the Dreamer; that this other god was abandoning the name he’d initially given me as well was…unsettling, to say the least. (The Dreamer’s twin sister, and his son, had also abandoned the names they’d given me. For whatever reason—maybe because there was so little information on their touchstone names—this was less upsetting.)
The name the Madman has initially given me had fit a handful of his stories, with some major things being changed from the “canon” [touchstone name] version. When the shift was happening, I began to jokingly call him “my AU (alternate universe) version of [touchstone name]” because the “my life is a fanfic” joke had expanded to include my entire devotional practice.
Except the “alternate universe version of [touchstone name]” has turned into less of a joke and more the truth, since the Realm my Beloveds are from is located in a universe that is separate from this one, but still connected because Otherworld Politics.
The Madman doesn’t occupy the exact same Otherworld Job as [touchstone name], but there’s enough resonance there that the name was useful at the start of our relationship. He’s told me stories of how and why he went from using [touchstone name] in the Otherworld, to having a place in the Dreamer’s Realm as his Home.
The stories he tells me are fascinating, and sometime brain breaking because of Otherworld metaphysical stuff. Often the stories come together in bits and pieces, symbols that suddenly show up that give me “this reminds me of you, but why?” feelings, and then they continue to make more sense over time.
Dealing with unrecorded gods is like putting a puzzle together. It’s simultaneously frustrating and delightful, especially when I’ve finally Figured Something Out.
(…and a song that reminds me of the Madman suddenly started Making Sense in terms of my practice. I see what you did there, Love.)