I stood at the crossroads before the Bright Queen with Her Dread hounds and made my oath. Her eyes pierced through my soul and I felt myself burn; Her flames are devils and snakes, licking me with venomous tongues.
The path I have chosen is laden with Nightshades and creeping beauties, Devil’s Herbs and Mushrooms. It is a path of wilderness and owl song. I have butterflies in my stomach or perhaps they are moths being consumed by fire.
The path is dark but the stars are bright.
Along the path I find Datura; it is in various stages of blooming and fruiting. It looks devilishly delightful. In this place I would die just to open each fruit and pour the seeds down my throat. Here I can dine on the Banes. My heart will not stop; just a few purple helmets and soft bells of Heavenly blue, and I will fly with my dark wings.
I am a creature of shadows. The shadows are sometimes helpful, beautiful and protective, but at other times they threaten to strangle me, leaving me in hopeless despair. There are shadows both within and around me. This path is filled with them. Some of the shadows are frightening, some are not; sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference- one only need look at how our shadows reflect a distorted reality to know this.
I have been told there is a choice, always a choice… I was told it was a choice to worship The Jackal, I could have said no, I could have rejected Him. I could have told Anubis, “I am sorry, I think you are scary, dark and horrific” In fact I could have said the same to Hekate. I could have crawled under the bed covers and hidden from Them the way I hid from the Laughing Devil when I was a child. I could have taken my yearnings for deepness and buried it under layers of fluff. I could have found a lighter and sweeter God to coddle me.
But even the sweeter and “lighter” gods have their darkness. They also set gargantuan tasks for those that are devoted to them. Hathor may be sweet as roses, but roses have their thorns. I do not think that Pagan gods coddle their worshippers, regardless of how sweet they may seem on the surface. When one looks deeper there is always something that could rip your mortal soul into pieces. Shallow spirituality is not for me.
I said Yes. I said Yes to teeth and claws, poison and devils. I said yes to knowledge, to the serpent, to the Dogs, to the spirits aching to crawl out of my fresh scars. I said yes again and again until it was an ecstatic cry.
Grief and Despair brought me to my path and the Dogs were waiting. Black Shadows and soft fur kept me warm, protected me and showed me depth in their dark, abyssal eyes. There was flame and fury, passion and power. There was wildness and whimsy, and with love and moths in my stomach, I said yes.
I will not deny my agency in making the oath. Did the gods hold a gun to my head? No. Only teeth and fangs; I chose to be devoured.
I stood before the Lord of Curses, with his Jackal-mad eyes and made my oath. I could have turned my back and run away, but at what cost? Would it be pleasing to others, who run from the darkness, and the wild, and thick thorny hedges that I loved so much as a child? Would it make others feel safe and secure? Is it unsettling that I said yes to what seems like the devil to those who are ignorant?
Am I afraid? Yes. The shadows are there. Poison isn’t poison unless it hurts. Digging inside your own soul is scary. There are monsters. Being half-dead, and half-alive opens you up to Fear. Am I afraid enough to turn back; too afraid to keep walking this path? No. The fear serves to teach that this is real. This isn’t a game. This is life and death. These are forces of Nature and the wild, forces that are older and bigger than any of us. Do you think that you can look into Hellfire eyes, be devoured and sewed back together by Gods and not have even a small amount of fear?
Oaths are not to be made rashly, with no thought, no fear, or passion.
“Words without blood are nothing but air”- Salem
My dreams, my visions and my deepest feelings have all led to this path. I was scared when I saw my wrists tattooed with sigils and gushing with blood. But I must cut deeply into my heart and soul if I am to follow this serpentine path.
It is time to look into my own black pit and see the darkness for what it truly is… the birthing place. All birth comes with pain and blood. I am Nightshade, I am a Witch, I am a weed. I grow in rubbish heaps and craggy roads.
You cannot eradicate wildness, no matter how much you try. You are only killing off bits of your own soul.