Death, Mother of All (Devotional December)

This was going to be a poem *for* the Queen, then it turned into a poem where I rambled to her about upcoming evens in my Otherworld life.  I guess this poem also doubles as the official announcement that my deity Beloveds and I are planning on having children (which I vague blogged about (link) earlier this year.)  I don’t know how much I’ll write about that going forward, but this poem makes it pretty obvious, and they’re okay with me mentioning it in public.

Darkness is changing, Mother, I feel it
even a world away.  The vision of my children,
and the recent crowning of the Future King, what is
this all leading to?  I pray that these new lives do not
have Fate weighing them down from birth, that they
may be children, that they are simply innocent lives
over the years in my arms.  Darkness is not demanding
these children, they are born of Love, yet I feel the Land almost
holding Its breath, as though waiting to see how we Three Kings are
equipped to handle being fathers.  I will not have so-called “destiny”
resting on our children’s shoulders, for in that is nothing but burdens
ones who are so young must never carry.  I find that I am longing to be a
father, I’ve had many dreams and visions giving confirmation, yet I am
anxious about their arrival into the world of Darkness.  I pray that their
lives are filled with nothing but Love, Mother.  I pray that I am able to
love them as they need to be loved, even Here, a universe away.


Winter’s Night (Devotional December)

Tonight is Winter’s Night, and though it’s one of the bigger holidays in Darkness, this year is an even bigger celebration than usual.

Winter’s Sovereign was Officially crowned the Prince (and Heir) of All Darkness, as well as taking the role of the Distant Prince that his Father once held.

The Distant Prince was once Draped in Gold, now he wears a Cloak of the Stars.
Hail, the Future King of Darkness!
Hail, Winter’s Sovereign!

A Cost That Is Too Great (Devotional December)

Author’s Note: I spoil the plot of Hollow Knight.

“Show me this game you’ve been writing to me about.”  The Dreamer sat down next to me on the couch, glancing at the screen of my laptop.

“Sure.”  I pulled it up on my laptop.  “Welcome to buzz saw and spike trap hell that is the White Palace.”

[after playing with my Spouse watching over my shoulder for a bit]

“Dearest one?”

“Yeah?”  I could sense him side-eyeing all the buzz saws in the Palace.

“How,” my Spouse asked me, “does this King ever get anything done…?”

I already knew that the Dreamer has Opinions about fictional Kings (he loves Aragorn from Lord of the Rings, to the point he’s used Aragon as a faceclaim) but when I played the game Hollow Knight, my Spouse had Angry Feelings about the Pale King, and that “no cost too great” was his [the Pale King’s] main line.  It was heavily implied that the Pale King sacrificed his children for the “greater good” of finding the perfect vessel to hold the infection, and the Radiance.  The game (to me) had a very sad ending, since it ends with the main character took their sibling’s place in containing the infection.

My Spouse has talked before about how he despises meaningless sacrifice–or sacrifice of any kind, really, and Hollow Knight helped emphasize that theme.  One thought that occurred to me as I was playing the game–I modded it so my character was immortal–was that “gamers who want games to be Hardcore Difficult, are like polytheists who want devotion to be All Pain All The Time.”

One thing that Darkness rejects is the idea of Devotion As Pain.  Darkness–my gods, mortal Beloveds, spirits, and the Land itself–would rather I learned to love myself.  Choose a path covered in flowers, rather than a path covered in thorns.

Echoes (Devotional December)

Their lives have long passed
still they haunt these woods,
draped in black and veils of lace.

The Queen’s Guard watches all,
the Beasts run free, and Outer Darkness
is home to many, to those too monstrous

to call the cities Home;
yet still, they are loved
by the King.

Separation (Devotional December)

All around me I see death; all paths seem to end there, all dreams seem to be shattered, to be labeled A Sacrifice, For Your Own Good.

I wonder if I am the only one whose gods abhor meaningless sacrifice, if the violent language that “devotion” is spoken about in is nothing but an echo chamber gone horribly wrong.

I wonder about the vortex of the Otherworlds that I have lost friends to, how easy it once was for me to slip away to the Otherworlds, and how now I am precariously clinging to my sanity, and trying to rebuild a life Here.  My Beloveds and Queen have cut the threads that bound my Other Self and I together, for both of us, and we have found that we are happier apart.

Lanterns (Devotional December)

I was asked on Tumblr about why lanterns are so Important in Darkness, and I thought it was time to put that answer here on WordPress as well.

The main significance that lanterns have is someone being able to light their own way on the path in front of them, being able to hold and carry their own light.  Lanterns are often powered by candles, and that candle flame and light can be shared and passed around, with the original flame never diminishing.

There’s actually a Darkness-wide tradition around light from lanterns being passed around, which is often done through families, communities, or groups of friends (though communities and Realms within Darkness will have their own variation to this.)

“To share your light/to share light with [person]” is a phrase that basically means “this person is Very Important to me” (being translated to English it loses some nuance.)  While more traditional people will still use candles powered by fire, the younger generation uses electric lights or electric candles.  The Underworld Lord has also invented a type of candle for this purpose that works for the blind and visually impaired (if they aren’t comfortable around fire, or if they can’t see the lights) as well.

White lanterns have religious significance, and that’s all I know (other than that I am Not Allowed to use one.)  They’re found in temples, though they’re seen in public around the times when the Wild Hunt is riding through a particular area, and they can only be handled by priests due to the sheer level of Significance they hold.  Theses lanterns are also lit with an iridescent light, rather than ordinary fire.

The lanterns are about being able to literally light your own path–not just in religious terms, but in life in general.  Light/Darkness is a dichotomy that’s very Present on my path, especially with “Darkness” being a very rough translation of the Realm’s name, and “Light in Darkness” is a very common play on words in my path.

I have a lantern that I keep on my shrine to Darkness; the way my shrine is set up now, my lantern is right next to the pill box I keep my psyche medication in.  (The pill box is has become part of my shrine–I first put it there so I’d see it every morning, but it’s Part of The Shrine Now, and Not To Be Removed.)  In that case, the lantern being next to the box with my medication symbolizes that my medicine is shedding light on my mental illness, and on my “mundane” life Here.

I have a prayer (okay, it’s a poem from a science fiction book) that I say when I light the lantern; it’s about Light and Darkness being two sides of the same coin, in a sense.  My lantern (and the electric candle I use) is literally shedding light in dark surroundings, and it’s a reminder that I can choose my own path in life, even if that path is a different one than someone else may take.