“The Light of Death, The Dark of Life”
“This type of magick; it’s DARK. It’s about life and death. And I
don’t want to play god.”
–Sarah Paulson as Cordelia Foxx; via ‘American Horror Story: COVEN’ –S.3, Ep.3
Regarding the online and otherwise Pagan communities, I always point out that I’m only four years into my studies as a (hopeful!) priestess in the FOI (Fellowship of Isis). I’m what’s’ considered a practicing, solitary/eclectic pagan and polytheist. More specifically, my studies focus around: Kemetism and Hellenism (i.e. Ancient Egyptian or Graeco-Roman paths of study); Caananism, Basic Witchcraft and Ancestral Worship/Magic (i.e. Sangomas, to use the African term).
Today, I watched the latest episode of my favorite show (American Horror Story: HOTEL –S.5, Ep.10) and found myself sucked into the usual heavy layer of metaphors. I yet again found myself in an almost meditative state of questioning. More specifically, I found myself questioning the events of a scene in which
s character serial murders originally started by ’ etc. etcetera.
The character John had entered some sort of community center/building that a small group of pagans were seen worshipping a dramatic, life-sized altar of La Santisma (Santa, Saint) Muerte (Death); the Mexican Saint of (or, Head-of) the cult of death.
As a polytheist, I immediately noted the leader or Priest over the group offered welcome immediately, as well as a brief reference to the old gods still being alive. Said Priest also wore a wolf head/skin and head of a wolf; this had me thinking immediately of the worship of Norse gods, maybe Fenrir. (?) My mind as usual immediately got busy…😉
WHY didn’t the writers of the show bother to research the ‘old gods,’ Santa Muerte or the practices of polytheist-pagans? The failure to do so had me wondering if this was on purpose in regards to the crossing storylines on AHS or just a
simple disregard for being aesthetically and politically correct? I’m sure the answer to that question is a loaded pistol, one way or the other. Beyond all this… what about my own feelings surrounding the scene?
Well from this pagan’s P.O.V., the scene was kind of ridiculous. My immediate thoughts went from mildly offended to kind of pissed; mix in outright humor and uncontrollable laughter. But then I thought to myself,
“who am I to have any say about what’s right or wrong in the portrayal of modern-day pagans?”
Seriously, who in the hell do I think I am?
It has been a really long time, since I spoke openly or wrote down my thoughts regarding ‘paganism-anything!’
Truth be told…I’ve seen about a year-and-a-half pass since I picked up my raggedy old notebook or pen with the purpose of telling anyone, ANYTHING.
I wanted to say to myself,
who in the hell do you think you are Porsha Williams? ”
As it is, currently I find myself having no feelings of guilt; no anxieties of separation or shame about my aforementioned opinion.
I truly thought I’d have something of the like since I’ve never stopped referring to myself as a(n) *amateur* writer and blogger.
I mean, a year-and-a-half is a long time for complete and utter silence via one’s blog, and personal and private journals! It’s a long time to stall on both personal and commissioned projects. Most important is that it was too long, to stall out on my practice-study-worship-and interactions with the gods.
But don’t get me wrong folks. To be more specific, there was and is still
some guilt when I think of my gods. It’s the sharpest when I remember how I only spoke when I felt the need for their mercy; these times few and far between, relating only to the hardest trials of my life which occurred during my silence. The more I think about it, I feel the best word describing this period in my life isn’t silence but
Yes, that word most accurately describes how and what I did to my gods while my pens and paper sat untouched. Even so, I still prayed during the hardest chapter of my life – my craniotomy this past June 2015. I prayed to my gods and goddesses openly, with no shame (but yes, some guilt!) while I read aloud ‘on the inside.’ And what do I mean by that? I mean that each and every fear and question; questionable urge-desire-and-action that I laid out to those who have known me best was on display inside and out. Truly – I was on display; I felt ready for my death if it needed to be.
Then again, that’s a bit of a lie as well.
I was nowhere NEAR ready to die, if only for the sake of my son! He was my only concern, though I can humbly say now that I knew my death would’ve caused pain and suffering to more than just him. But in the end all that I really wanted was the chance to rectify all the times, chances, actions and the opportunities that I might find missed. Anything that had any importance regarding my son was imagined as the lights began to dim out.
As medication began flowing through my veins, the doctors and nurses asked me to countdown from 10 to 1 with them. It was then I had the realization – out of any unfinished business my soul could have had, my son was wholly related to all of my pre-surgery thoughts. I vowed to myself and the gods that he mattered first and foremost, with every move I would make or step I may take. And if I was to die I could envision myself happily walking the world as an earthbound ghost. I would shadow his every move if necessary, and if it allowed me the chance to fix or prevent any of future issues or wrongs against him.
As I silently vowed these things to the gods and myself, I had to chuckle as I remembered my own little in-joke. I had always joked around that I had ‘nine lives’ and that while four were already down, if I survived this surgery then life five out of nine would get to start.
To Be Continued…