Thursday night, I did something incredibly stupid. I was exhausted, about to fall into sleep, and called to Manannan. He’s been on my mind much of late, always right at the edges of my perception, ready for me to turn my attention to Him. What I’m going to say isn’t going to be popular with everyone who works with and follows this enigmatic God.
From day one, Manannan has shown himself to me differently than seems to be the norm (I talked about this the other day). He’s no indulgent uncle/father to me as He seems to be to so many. He has drawn me to an understanding that He is closer to Hades than Poseidon (and if you’re wondering why that matters, it is much easier to find people who are willing to talk about their relationships with Greek and Norse Deities), and He has drawn me to followers of Loki. I spoke once before about my experience trying to find other people who have experienced the side of Manannan that He has shown me from day one. Manannan is a shapeshifter, a God of many faces and many places, and in the stories it’s claimed that He had a hand in a great many things, but rarely did He stride boldly into battle, but rather led others to doing what they were meant to do.
Because I lack the knowledge and the words to properly describe this portion of His personality but to use terminology from other paths and call it a “trickster” aspect. No, it doesn’t fit completely – He’s no Coyote, He’s no Loki. And yet, in His way, He is. And I think it is why He has led me to read up on others who are followers of Loki – yes, They are completely different, but sometimes They have similar ways of doing things.
Which leads me back to Thursday night. I asked Manannan to show me something He wanted me to see. I shouldn’t have. Not with everything that happened last weekend with the Isla Vista shooting, and the push afterwards of women coming together to speak out against misogyny (and the male backlash of those who aren’t willing to “man up” and admit that there is a problem in the world). I shared a very small part of my story with everyone – about the fact that not only do I feel the only reason that I haven’t been sexual assaulted is because I’m big and not necessarily beautiful, and about the fact that even I have been assaulted by a guy because I “provoked” him. Which, of course, stirred up a lot of my history that I’ve done my best to gloss over, especially in the last couple of years under the pretense of “forgive and move forward for my own sake.”
Because I lived the first two decades plus of my life enraged. And I, fool that I am, asked Manannan to show me something, because I knew He wanted to show me something. What followed was half-dreams and my fevered mind going over the things I’ve gone through in my life and the realization that while I had forgiven my father to the best of my ability, he hasn’t changed the way I thought he had. And it dredged up what will eventually happen if things don’t change with our relationship. I ended up spilling all the pent-up anger and worry and raw emotion into a blog draft; I was in bed and only had my phone, so that’s what I used. I don’t know at this time if I will post it. A lot of people in my life now read my blog and there are things that happened in my past that some people in my family don’t know about – that only my husband and a very few other people know about.
So what’s the point of all of this? How is this spiritual? I learned the hard way not to be flippant about asking your Gods to show you something, not to ask Them for revelations unless you are genuinely prepared for it. I spent many hours going through an emotional turmoil that left me exhausted and broken, and had me waking my husband up at 7am to comfort me. And I heard Manannan’s voice. Sometimes, it isn’t until we’ve been broken that we can be formed into who and what we are truly supposed to be. I don’t know if there is more breakage in my future, if there is more I need to give before I can start moving forward. But I know that I will have to face it, because my Lord will not allow me to walk away from this – because I am strong enough to come through and what I am meant to be is worth it. And you know what? Even through the worst times in our lives, we can find joy. And finding joy when we are at our lowest points teaches us the most pure way to seek joy.
I can’t say that I look forward to what is before me, but I look forward to the results. And I know that my Lord, Manannan, will lead me through it, that my Holy Mother, Danu, and my Holy Father, An’Dagda, will be there to comfort me when I am broken, and that Brighid will give me the words I need to soothe my soul. Who knows, maybe this is a joint effort and She is the fire that will forge me. (I still don’t know where Lir fits in all of this, nor what purpose He has for me. I guess I will know when it is time for me to know.)